Updated November 1, 2021
This is hard.
Holding a wedding during a pandemic is just plain hard. But if you’ve decided to go through with it, there are some important rules to follow to keep people safe. And since not everyone agrees on the rules issued by the CDC, state and local governments, it might feel like stepping over some line to dictate how your guests should behave on your big day. Here we walk you through all the big considerations so you can feel confident you’re doing the right thing.
Asking guests to get vaccinated.
As of November 1, 2021, about 80% of US adults have had at least one Covid shot. Therefore, if you’re planning a 2021 or 2022 wedding, it’s reasonable to ask guests if they have been vaccinated. You might even consider arranging vaccination for your most vulnerable loved ones, about a month before the big day. As of November 8, 2021, everyone age 5+ will be eligible for a vaccine, so it could be as simple as making an appointment at your local drug store or free clinic.
Ask unvaccinated guests to get tested.
It might feel like a sticky subject, but there’s no shame in asking your unvaccinated guests to get tested before attending your wedding. Many drugstores are now offering in store or at-home testing, free of charge with or without any health insurance. Or they can call their local pharmacy, doctor or insurance company for information on getting tested.
Before you put out the word, you’ll just need to decide how you want to handle guests that don’t get tested. Your wedding venue may have requirements and protocols to share, so start by asking. If they are leaving it up to you, you essentially have two choices: require the test results to enter the venue, or label folks that have a negative test so others know who’s safe to approach. More about that in the next section.
Tell guests what to expect.
Regardless of whether or not you ask guests to get tested beforehand, there are some vital protocols to follow to keep everyone attending your event safe. Make sure you’ve consulted your venue about their rules, and then add any that you’d like in addition. Print the rules for your guests and send them with your invitations. Here’s some example Covid wording for an invitation.
We are so excited to see you on our big day! In order to keep everyone safe, we’re required by the venue and local laws to follow these health and safety rules:
- If you have been vaccinated, please bring your records and provide them to the host. They will give you a sticker so others know you’re safe.
- If you haven’t been vaccinated, please have a Covid test done within 48 hours before the wedding. Bring your results with you. We’ll give you a sticker so others know you’re safe.
- Everyone will be temperature checked on arrival.
- Hand sanitizing stations will be provided, please use them liberally!
- Maintain 6-foot social distancing with attendees that aren’t members of your household or who aren’t wearing a Covid-safe sticker.
- Stay home if you aren’t feeling well in any way (especially fever, chills, sore throat, cough, stomach ache). We’ll celebrate with you another time!
Thank you for making our day so special for us, in spite of these unusual circumstances.
What if you don’t feel well?
We know it’s unthinkable to cancel your wedding. However, if you haven’t been vaccinated and are having any symptoms at all, you’ll need to stay home to keep your loved ones safe. Postpone your big day by at least two months.