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MINIMONY WEDDINGS: POSTPONING – WEDDING ETIQUETTE – COVID
Our wedding in October was planned over six months ago. Postponing it for another year seems like dragging a good thing out for the long haul. We had an engagement party at home in Newport over Christmas and people are expecting their save-the-date card so they can make hotel reservations.
We’re weighing our options wondering if we should be flexible – as in here’s hoping everything will be opened up – or whittle down the list for a mini-mony, or simply elope when it becomes easier to travel. A destination wedding wouldn’t work because the old people won’t travel, especially now, and we wouldn’t want them to feel left out.
Not that you’re a fortune teller, but what would you advise, Ms. Didi?
–Althea and Ben, Washington, DC
Dear Wedding Couple,
You are not alone in trying to plan your wedding during the Covid pandemic. Who knows when travel and hospitality venues will be opening up. A lot depends upon containment practices and the availability of a vaccine. As of this writing, the end of 2021 is a safe guess.
We've gone from relatively simple backyard weddings, such as you see in the original 1950 Father Of The Bride movie with Spencer Tracey and Elizabeth Taylor and the 1991 version staring Steven Martin and Diane Keaton, to the 2018 over-the-top Royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle (that according to the British press cost 45 million US dollars). It would be interesting to know the stats as to which couples stay together longer; the marriages of those who had small versus those marriage whose weddings were huge, but this question is about you.
Remember, you can always have a post wedding reception, or sequel wedding, at another time. Even if it is in celebration of a wedding anniversary, and what could be cheerier?
What we're seeing now are lots of mini-ceremonies and micro-weddings. A mini-mony is all about the ceremony and includes up to a dozen people including the officiant and the wedding couple, and social distancing is top priority; there may be no celebratory party following the ceremony, and a post wedding reception, or sequel wedding, is a possibility at another time. On the contrary, micro-wedding can include up to fifty people, depending upon the size of the venue and the regulations of the state and town: the ceremony is followed by a celebration and a sequel wedding is not anticipated. Just be sure, in both cases, to keep track of the names and addresses or people who have already sent engagement and/or wedding presents, so that you can include them in any larger celebration that you may eventually host.
Here are some of the concerns we've been seeing when substantially sizing down your wedding plans:
- Depending upon the location regulations, a mini-mony, a small ceremony, consists of a total of a dozen participants, and has the possibility of a follow up celebration or sequel wedding at another date.
- If you already have a wedding website be sure to update it so that you won't have to be answering the same questions over and over from guests. When your wedding is a go, add local hygiene guidelines; suggest they time washing their hands to the chorus of "Marry You" by Bruno Mars.
- Remember many churches and wedding venue sites may have to integrate tighter restrictions on the number of people in the church or the banquet hall after the restrictions are lifted. Seating may still be limited.
- Keep in touch with your wedding planner or venue.
- Keep up to date on local government developments: state and town.
- If your wedding insurance policy was taken out before the lockdown and venue closures were put in place, check to see if your policy covers cancellation or rearrangement due to issues relating to travel bans, flight cancellations or government acts, including bans on public or social gatherings or any kind of travel restrictions.
- Call your wedding insurer to ask about the terms and conditions.
- If you paid any of the downpayments with a credit card, you could be covered, so check that.
- Most travel insurance policies cover trips cancelled due to government restrictions, be sure to check your individual plan.
- Check on your wedding dress as many are made in China and you want to be sure you have time to get it fitted properly whether your wedding is huge or mini. If there is a problem, you can buy wedding dresses on line to try on at home.
- Hygiene guidelines for your wedding should include asking the venue to have antibacterial soap and disposable paper towels in the restrooms, additionally ask that staff spritz every guest with high quality alcohol-based sanitizers and provide for everyone to wear a mask, except the bride and groom.
- Chic gift bags could include additional masks and hand sanitizers.
Whatever you decide to do,
working it out together
will deepen your love for each other.