Wedding season is upon us! With restrictions easing up, weddings which were postponed last year are now more important than ever. But with guidelines varying from area to area, wedding planning can be tricky. We know that many retail florists are also event planners, so we wanted to give you some tips to share with engaged couples to help them plan their big day in the safest, most stress-free way.
- Check reviews of venues
If a customer hasn’t booked (or re-booked) their venue, have them check reviews and cancellation policies first. Many locations have done a great job of catering to restrictions brought on by the pandemic, yet some have not. If their reviews have dropped, it’s best to find out why before booking with them.
- Be flexible on days and times
With so many people booking 2021 weddings to make up for their missed 2020 wedding, most Saturday dates are likely gone. Advise your customers to think of alternate days, like Fridays, Sundays, or weekdays. They may also want to consider alternate times, such as brunch or lunch weddings, to get the venue they want.
- Trim down guest lists
Yes, many people love big weddings, but it’s unlikely that most venues will accept a wedding with hundreds of guests, at least not yet. Suggest that your wedding clients trim their lists to include only their closest friends and relatives. If that’s too difficult, suggest creating two lists: Mail out invitations to list A, then if there are any declines, start mailing to list B.
- Opt for outdoor venues
Whenever possible, suggest outdoor venues, not just for the wedding itself but also for events like bridal showers or bachelor parties. Being outdoors can help guests feel more comfortable and willing to attend.
- Use wedding websites
Wedding websites were already popular pre-COVID, but now they are almost a necessity. Have your customers update their website frequently and include a layout of the wedding setup at the venue. That way, guests will know in advance that safety precautions have been taken.
- Optimize seating layouts
Work with your clients and the venue to create seating layouts that segment guests by household, family, or friend group. This grouped seating is different than the traditional aisle arrangement but can be beautiful when arranged correctly.
- Make internet access a priority
These days, everything can be done virtually, and weddings are no exception. Ensure the venue has high-speed internet capability, strong enough that guests can livestream the wedding to other friends and family members who could not attend.
- Offer themed masks
Even with many ordinances lifted, masks will continue to be necessary at larger gatherings like weddings. Offering themed masks at the entrance to the venue is a great way to make this necessity both fun and memorable.
- Make safety fun with rewards
Another way to make being safe something memorable is to offer “rewards” for those who follow safety protocols. For example, if you have a temperature check set up at a welcome table, offer a drink ticket or photo booth access as a reward.
- Provide pre-wedding time with grandparents
To make wedding attendance both safe and meaningful for grandparents, suggest a prewedding “first look” with family ahead of the wedding itself. This pre-wedding time can mean so much for those grandparents who prefer not to attend the reception but want to share that special day.
- Be creative with social distancing
Encourage guests to distance themselves by incorporating flowers at the ceremony in unusual ways. For instance, you can incorporate planters into the overall design and place them between seating arrangements; this will keep guests distanced without drawing their attention to partitions.
- Offer multicolored wristbands
Another way to help guests feel comfortable is with a multicolored wristband system. Each color could signify the person’s level of comfort with being around others. For example, use green for hugs, yellow for talking but no touching, and red for keeping a safe distance.
- Have virtual place cards
Instead of having people milling about finding their seats at a reception, create virtual place cards. Most wedding websites have this capability, as do certain apps. In this way, you can text or email each guest a digital version of their seat assignment and a floor map.
- Skip the shared food
In place of the traditional passed appetizers or buffets, it’s a better idea to have a way for guests to enjoy their food and drinks without having too many other people touching the same tray or dish. Try creating tableside experiences, such as pre-portioned “signature wedding drink” kits so guests can create their cocktails right at their seats.
- Offer hand sanitizer favors
Hand sanitizer continues to be one of the most popular favors for weddings, and with good reason. Suggest that your clients personalize small hand sanitizers with customizable stickers that include their names and a wedding hashtag, for a fun and useful keepsake.
Keep these tips handy and use them the next time you’re planning a wedding. Your customers will appreciate your knowledge and concern!