Weddings don’t have to wait, even during the pandemic. They just need a little extra planning, especially because social distancing guidelines are ever changing. To be safe, the best bet is to have your wedding ceremony outdoors. Yes, even during the winter months! To be successful, the trick is to think through potential contingencies.
Dress for the Day
There are no rules about wedding attire. Sure, formal-styled sleeveless dresses were in vogue, but this is 2020-2021. Let’s be practical. Select an outfit that goes with your theme and location.
- Wear long sleeves
- If you do go the formal wedding gown route, fur shawls provide warmth, and are stylin’.
- Shearling-lined boots protect from the elements, and they are so much more comfortable than heels.
- Tip your hat to your attendees, too, with dress code guidance.
Gift your guests
Make your guests comfortable with token gifts that serve two purposes. First, a memento of your special day. Second, something to help keep them toasty warm. Together these items can set the tone for your festivities.
- Embroidered wrap-around blankets or shawls to take away the chill: the wedding date or a favorite quote.
- Custom face masks decorated with hearts: Two functions! Protection from the coronavirus, and an added layer of warmth.
- Have a basket of hand-warmers available near the table with hand sanitizer.
- Hot drink stations. Coffee and tea are of course welcome, but hot cider with cinnamon sticks or hot chocolate with marshmallows are a treat!
- Make it easy for loved ones to participate from afar by live streaming the ceremony.
Create an Inviting Setting
As you consider your space, be intentional about the choices you make. Locations that embrace the winter climate will add an additional layer of delight. Think ski resorts or a bucolic B&B. Wherever you are, be sure to remember the importance of social distancing, and the comfort of everyone present.
- Outdoor space heaters can take on many styles. Chimineas give a rustic feeling, and the smell of the fire burning evokes an emotional warmth as well as a functional one. Propane heaters give off a lot of heat – especially if they are strategically placed.
- An awning helps keep the heat in, and keeps everyone dry if rain or snow occur. Most towns have a gazebo or other covered space available to rent that is both affordable and charming.
- Cluster seating (or standing) arrangements for guests in the same household. Explore different arrangements, rather than the typical rows of seats facing the ceremony. Maybe a circle around the couple and officiant, or parallel lines on either side of the action would work.
- Since people are spread apart, make sure that everyone can hear adequately, by using a sound system.
It is All About Love
All things considered, follow your priorities. When we remember our love for our partner, and our family and friends, the rest is easy. With this in mind, keeping everyone safe is a natural. Whether you are thinking about a destination wedding, marrying during the holidays, or just because – don’t let winter weather get in the way of your special day. Tap into your professional officiants as they will have the experience you need to make your outdoor winter wedding spectacular and safe.
Find your perfect JP at findaJP.com.
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Loretta Jay is the Managing Member of the Justice of the Peace Association. This is the membership organization for professional marriage officiants. All officiants’ profiles are searchable at findaJP.com, the place where Couples who Click can find their perfect JP.