wedding planning tips

Tips for Adjusting Your Guest List During COVID-19

Whether you just began the wedding planning process or you already have a wedding date set, a current reality you may be facing is needing to cut down on your guest list. This is an issue all couples looking to get married in 2020 and possibly 2021 must deal with.

If you’ve already planned your wedding, you may have found yourself in a position where you have to cut down and disinvite invited guests. Or, if you’re in the beginning stages of wedding planning the large wedding you had hoped for may not possible anymore. Regardless of which situation you’re in, here are some tips on making adjustments to your guest list and the basic etiquette in handling what can be an uncomfortable situation.

Acknowledge the Reality With Your Guests

Instead of avoiding the uncomfortable situation of having to leave people off your guest list, or having to disinvite guests who you previously sent a save-the-date to, address it head-on. Call them or write up a letter or email to send to those guests letting them know due to current state regulations you may not be able to invite them to your wedding as originally planned. Let them know you are taking everyone’s safety into consideration and that you hope to have their understanding. 

Talk to Family Members and Your Wedding Party

If you’re already knee-deep in the wedding planning process you may have already selected your wedding party and sent out save the dates. With travel restrictions however, this can pose a problem if you have friends who are living in different countries or are unable to or worried about traveling during this time.

You may need to consider the fact that some of your invited guests may not be able to attend and consider alternate ways to include those guests in your celebration. 

Alternatively, if you’re just beginning wedding planning and have long-distance friends and family you should quickly address your plans with them and give them ample time to plan and consider if they’ll be able to make travel arrangements to attent your wedding.   

Set Expectations With Yourself & Your Guests

It’s important to remember you’re dealing with the loss of what you had originally planned envisioned for your wedding day. This might be having to change your wedding date, altering your guest list, or having to change ceremony locations.

Once you’ve accepted that you had to change your plans you can begin to set new expectations for yourself so you can truly enjoy your wedding day.  From there, have conversations with your guests and set expectations about your wedding day. This might mean explaining mask protocols, social distancing rules, limitations, or rules you need to follow. 

Plan An Alternative Way to Include Guests

An alternative means of celebrating your wedding may be having a secondary celebration with friends you couldn’t have at your wedding day. Consider hosting a BBQ at your home or another type of celebration where you can include guests you had to leave off or cut from the guest list. 

Consider a Virtual Element

If a secondary celebration isn’t feasible or in your budget, consider adding a virtual element to your wedding celebration. Set up a live stream on Facebook or on Zoom and let friends and family across the country and world watch you exchange vows. 

Begin Your Plan Sooner Than Later

Regardless of what your plan is to deal with having to adjust your wedding guest list, the time to do it is now. Wedding planning is a lot of work and that’s without the added pressure of dealing with a pandemic and new restrictions.

Don’t want too long to deal with contacting your guests to let them know about your plans and how they can celebrate with you. This way your guests can prepare for an alteration in the wedding plans, whether that be a postponement, lessening the guest count, or making travel arrangements.

Decide How You’ll Prioritize Your Guest List

In order to successfully reduce the size of your guest list, you and your fiance need to decide how you’ll approach this task. For example, you may start with your immediate family, and then prioritize your guest list by closest friends, extended relatives, coworkers, and acquaintances. However, you decide to prioritize guests will help you make the hard decision to cut people from the list with fewer arguments.

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