I feel like in a decade, we'll look back and remember how we first felt the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, like how we remember where we were on 9/11... I've been in self-quarantine a little more than a month now, but I remember how my assistant texted me on a Thursday night to ask if our Saturday wedding was still on. I panicked, started browsing news about the coronavirus that I'd been hearing vaguely about, and saw that our governor recommended that all gathers be limited to 100 persons.
I reached out to the venue that night, and they let me know in the morning that they wouldn't close their doors and would be taking extra cleaning precautions, so the 85-guest wedding was still on. At the rehearsal we all tapped elbows instead of swapping hugs, and on Saturday we had one of the most beautiful weddings of my career. Everything was wonderful for the couple, and we went home happy and hopeful. The next morning, March 15, 2020, Gov Roy Cooper issued an Executive Order banning events of more than 100 in North Carolina.
It shook the wedding industry across the globe, as it did with everything else. Spring and summer couples scrambled to reschedule their weddings, but with no clear picture of the future, fall couples are starting to wonder if their date is safe. And beyond that, when will we be able to have large events again?
Well, my friends, the future is quite uncertain, but I believe there will be two main options for weddings as we move into Fall 2020 and 2021: you can have a small wedding, or you can elope.
According to an article in the Boston Globe about how experts believe life will change as we go back into the world, "schools and businesses may reopen, but life shouldn’t return to normal. The plan recommends that those who can continue to work remotely should, and that everyone should continue wearing masks in public. Gatherings should be limited to fewer than 50 people. And those older than age 60, or with underlying medical conditions, should “limit time in the community,” unless an effective treatment becomes available."
Because we don't know when states will be able to meet the requirements to begin this plan, we have no clue how long the gathering ban will be in place. So until you hear otherwise, we strongly encourage planning your wedding for no more than 40 guests. (Why 40? You have to account for any vendors on site who are there to make sure you have the best day possible)
If your guest list was in the triple digits, I can imagine your heart is sinking a bit. But can I just tell you, as someone who had a microwedding of 40 guests, it was such a delight to have the structure of a wedding with a guest list intimate enough that we could spend time with everyone. With this option, you should be able to keep your date and venue, and while it might be hard to shorten the guest list, those who can't attend will understand. If you're unsure how to approach uninviting guests, we'd be happy to discuss options that everyone will be comfortable with.
If you're just over all of this uncertainty and you want to marry your partner asap in a really authentic way, an elopement may be the way to go. With a simpler structure, an intimate guest list of 18 or fewer, and an elopement wedding planner to guide you through the process, an elopement can save you hours of time, money and stress. You'll love the freedom to make decisions without the stress of entertaining so many guests, allowing you to make the most authentic choices to celebrate your love story.
Whatever happens in the coming months, we wish you all the best in life and love, health and wealth.
Ready to elope or plan your small wedding?! We're here to help! Let's chat today.