Photography by Robyn Icks Photography
COVID-19, The Uninvited Wedding Guest.
Coronavirus has been international news but last night, it hit home…..hard. From the recent local NBA game confirmed case to a Presidential order postponing all flight from Europe; all you can think about now is how it might affect your wedding. You aren’t alone, here at Borrowed Charm, we are too.
First, STAY CALM, grab some hand sanitizer and for now, keep planning. There isn’t a “one size fits all” approach to this situation but rest assure WE are preparing. Here at BCHQ, we’re checking in with critical vendor partners, client venues, reading through client contracts again, and considering all information put out by the CDC as it’s being provided. This is new territory for all of us, so we have compiled a list of things to consider as you continue to plan your Big Day!
1. The reality is guest counts might be lower this wedding season than normal, however, in most instances the party will go on. We recommend updating your wedding website, utilizing social media platforms and word of mouth encouraging guests who might be traveling to invest in travel insurance. Additionally, encourage anyone who might be feeling sick or experiencing symptoms similar to those of the coronavirus to STAY HOME. Be understanding when “Regretfully Declines” come in, especially by the RSVP due date. While it may be an unusual extra step, be prepared to confirm every RSVP yes reply, two weeks up to a few days before your wedding day to make any last-minute adjustments. While it’s likely food, flowers, etc. might have already been ordered, there could be other cost-cutting or space-saving arrangements that can be made.
2. According to the EPA, Lysol, Clorox, and Purell are cleaning disinfectants that possibly kill coronavirus. Consider purchasing extra of these products to have in the bride and groom suites, catering kitchen, bathrooms, bars and at strategic places throughout your venue. Miniature hand sanitizers might be the perfect “wedding favor” this season, but at the very least consider having hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, or some type of disinfectant accessible in high usage areas like the guest book area, bar, gift tables, etc.
3. In the event, you are using benches, or pews for ceremony seating, consider adding additional seating to allow for more personal space between guests. You can also consider restructuring your ceremony seating to individual chairs to allow for fewer chairs per row, creating more space between chairs than normal.
4. For reception seating, venue space allowing, consider adding a few additional tables to allow for fewer guests per table. Rather than 10 people at a 60″ round, seat 8 guests, or even better 6 guests giving ample room between guests, dinner plates, their utensils, drinking glasses, even napkins.
5. Consider tucking individual guests’ utensils INSIDE their napkin at each place setting with their plate, rather than at a buffet or station. This could help prevent hundreds of “touches” across utensils or dinnerware when guests reach to grab their own fork, spoon or knife for dinner.
6. We highly encourage that you consider a plated or single-sided “Served” buffet. Rather than allowing guests to self-serve, where all of your guests share and handle the serving utensils themselves; having a single-sided and served buffet allows licensed and trained catering staff in gloves to plate food for your guests. A single sided “served” buffet, in most instances, can be an easy changed, at small increase in cost to cover additional staff if necessary, however changing to a plated dinner adds different logistics and may require a menu adjustment. We’re happy to discuss both options with Borrowed Charm planning clients. Make sure your catering company has all the state food handling licenses, as well as appropriate insurance coverage. Most catering companies have a staff that they can rely on, rather than Aunt Susie, who wouldn’t think of not showing up to help you and fulfill her duty on your wedding day, even if she is ill.
7. If you are considering international, or even a Staycation for your honeymoon, you might consider researching and investment in travel insurance. Look for flexibility in your honeymoon plans, and check the US Center for Disease Control and Prevention Travel Health and Travel Health Notices both prior and after booking.
8. If you have wedding & event insurance, contact your provider to learn more about your coverage and how COVID-19 affects your policy coverage. Consider researching policies outside of the standard event insurances, for example, home insurance riders, special agencies, etc. to review all options available to you.
In closing, communicate your concerns and don’t let your fears fester, we’re in this together! We recommend gathering information straight from the CDC, the CDC’s Risk Assessment Page and reviewing all the facts, so you can ultimately use your best judgment, and make educated decisions based on FACTS and not on Fear.
At Borrowed Charm, we believe the phrase one size fits all should never apply when it comes to Weddings & Special Events. Through our passion for planning & design, and realizing our client’s personalities, we have created a completely unique and intentional approach of servicing our clients that allows us to deliver a personalized, stress-free & enjoyable wedding experience. We maintain a curated collection of unique furniture and décor to create emotional spaces for you and your guests to make life long memories. Borrowed Charm is a team of exceptional women & men. Professional celebrators at heart, we believe in transparency, our core values as a business and integrity, as well as having one helluva of a good time.