Holding a dream wedding event often requires bringing family, friends, and associates together. If you have a big family and have lots of friends and associates, you might have a lot of potential guests to deal with. However, large gatherings including weddings are a burden in the COVID-19 era and it is in the interest of public health and to save lives that the WHO issued guidelines and considerations for such gatherings.
Coronavirus or SARS-CoV-2 is an infectious disease that causes respiratory illness. It spreads through cough, sneezes, talk, breathe of infected people, accumulation of coronavirus in the air, and through contaminated sources.
In the past year, many couples have had to cancel their wedding plans while those that can’t wait till forever opted for smaller weddings instead. As we are not out of the woods yet, those looking up to having their wedding this year have again been caught up in the web of uncertainties of whether it is safe or not to organize or attend a wedding event, bearing COVID in mind.
Common Issues With Wedding During COVID
Some of the issues associated with weddings during COVID have to do with the number of people to invite, what local restrictions on gathering are out there, whether to admit unvaccinated people and whether to require negative PCR COVID testing before admitting people into your wedding venue.
While there are no hard fast rules to follow, every decision a wedding couple should make has to put safety above all other considerations so that your wedding doesn’t become a COVID hotspot.
Now let’s consider how a wedding can be organized and attended safely during COVID-19.
Ways To Make Your Wedding Event ‘Safe’ During COVID
With COVID still around, it is impossible to ensure total safety during any form of large gatherings. However, you can significantly reduce the risks for you and your guests by considering the following recommendations.
Limit the number of guests
Consider hosting a smaller event or limiting the number of guests you are inviting to your wedding. You can offer to stream the wedding live or create a hybrid experience where online attendees can join with their webcam and also participate. This will reduce the number of people you will have to deal with onsite.
Consider an outdoor wedding instead of an indoor wedding
You can reduce COVID risk by using an outdoor venue for your wedding event. Most indoor venues are enclosed and this means poor air quality. However, outdoor weddings with adequate physical distance can be a lot safer.
If you must use indoors, use venues with well-ventilated rooms to ensure good indoor air quality. It would be good if such venues have windows and doors that can be opened, and window fans as well. You can also look for a venue that has any other system that can guaranty clean airflows such as HEPA filters and HVAC heating and airconditioning systems.
Such a venue should also be one where you can easily modify the layouts and seating arrangements to comply with the six feet physical distancing guideline.
Admit only vaccinated guests
Admitting only vaccinated guests at your wedding venue may be one of the best ways to lower the risk of COVID spread. Being vaccinated offers a sense of protection and this would allow a great time between friends and families without fear of contracting COVID. However, this might be difficult to implement as not all your potential wedding guests would have been vaccinated.
Request negative PCR COVID testing
Require your guests to test for COVID-19 within 48 hours before your wedding so they can tender a negative result before being admitted to the venue. You can hire COVID-19 compliance officers to help you enforce COVID precautions at your wedding. These will ensure that only vaccinated people and unvaccinated people that tested negative are allowed to your wedding venue.
To make this easy for guests, you can ask them to take mail-in tests or organize with a COVID-testing center in South Florida e.g. IVConcierge to the samples of your guests. The samples will be collected at your guest locations anywhere in South Florida, and you will have a list of those that tested negative.
Same day RT PCR COVID testing is $299 while next day result is about $199. Group testing from five and above attracts a 25% discount. If your wedding budget can support it, you can shoulder COVID testing for your guests or have them take responsibility for their own testing.
If you are testing guests on-site, you want to make sure that everything is properly organized so that the guests will feel safe. Also, have a plan to safely evacuate patients who might test positive so they don’t come in contact with other guests.
Advice guests on safe travel
Advise your traveling guests on how they can travel safely to avoid getting infected with COVID-19 on the way to your wedding. Guest traveling by air should take their hand sanitizers and clean the surfaces around them. They should avoid ride-sharing services and try to stay in a hotel instead of staying with a family.
You might request that they quarantine after their travel and then test and be certified negative before making their way to your event.
Space out guest arrival times
Stagger the arrival times of guests so you don’t have a cluttered event entrance, especially during COVID checks and protocols.
Implement additional COVID protocols
Other COVID protocols can be implemented in addition to certifying vaccination and negative tests. Ask guests to mask up and provide hand washing stands or provide hand sanitizers. You can have fully vaccinated people seated around the area and unvaccinated people on another side. You can also allocate members of the same household to the same table. Generally, people should be spaced at six feet apart. You also want to ensure that you don’t keep people for too long at a venue to further reduce risks.
Work with local health officials
Although there are currently no COVID restrictions in South Florida, you can keep in touch with local public health officials to know if restrictions on gathering are being contemplated. Also, pay attention to the number of infected persons in your community and the daily figures to guide your safety decisions.
Communicate with guests regularly
Ensure that you publish the COVID-19 guidelines on your wedding website so that your guest can know what is expected of them and can be assured of their safety. You can include the safety guidelines in your save-the-date or wedding invitation, and can also send emails to your guests to provide updates.
We know how important your wedding is and how you will like to celebrate it with your family and loved ones. IVConcierge can help you reduce the risk and allay the fears of your guest by providing rapid PCR testing to your guests at their locations in South Florida, and deliver results within 10 hours. Call us today on 855 965 0416 to get things started.