Credit Hillary Leah Photography
The COVID-19 crisis this year has forced many engaged couples to drastically change their wedding plans, or postpone altogether. With no indication of the virus’s spread slowing down, it can be easy to get discouraged about any future wedding plans you may have. The good news is that with the help of our Charleston wedding planners and a bit of practical reworking, you can still host a memorable and safe wedding celebration.
Familiarize Yourself With All COVID-19 Guidelines
Before making any wedding plans, make sure to consult all local and national COVID-19 regulations. Researching the rules in your state is imperative to making sure you and your guests stay safe and avoid potential fines. For the most reliable information regarding the coronavirus, check official resources such as the SCDHEC and CDC websites. If you plan on booking a local wedding venue in South Carolina, the Town of Seabrook Island will continue to post official updates regarding COVID-19 policies on their website, Twitter, and Facebook.
Research Local Vendors & Your Wedding Venue in South Carolina
Once you have done your research on relevant guidelines, the next step is to connect with your vendors. Make sure to discuss what safety protocols they have in place and how they plan to implement them at your wedding venue in South Carolina. Take the time to explore how you and your partner can play an active role in smoothly executing these measures. Ensuring a safe wedding means all hands on deck!
Your wedding venue is another vendor that plays an important part in coordinating these precautions and putting them into action. You will want to closely communicate with any relevant event coordinators so that you can clearly relay important information to your guests. Seabrook Island Weddings continues to diligently monitor and adhere to all local and national guidelines. With an extensive background and a creative frame of mind, our Charleston wedding planners can help you come up with safe solutions that are tailored to your wedding goals. We are currently implementing several precautionary initiatives, including:
- Keeping tables to less than 8 guests each and spaced 6ft apart
- Event staff wearing masks & gloves
- Limiting buffet style service
- Masks & hand sanitizer stations for guests
- Additional air filtration systems added to event spaces
- Use of outdoor spaces as much as possible
- Electrostatic sprayers for restrooms, door handles & handrails
- Temperature checks for all staff members before starting a shift
Take it Outside
One of the safest (and already trending) ways to gather during the pandemic is by hosting an outdoor wedding and reception. Though the outdoors is preferable, the World Health Organization (WHO) says at the very least, choose a well-ventilated space. We offer multiple open indoor and outdoor wedding and reception venues at the Seabrook Island Club that provide guests with plenty of space and airflow. If you want an oceanfront wedding in South Carolina, then our spacious outdoor Ocean Terrace is for you.
Our Atlantic Ballroom features a spacious 6,000 square foot room with a wrap-around veranda and three sides of windows for better airflow. Adjacent to the Atlantic Ballroom is the Carolina Room, which has a well-ventilated indoor/outdoor space that can accommodate up to 50 guests. On the upper level of the Seabrook Island Club, the Deveaux Room can also seat a small gathering and has a private balcony for a breath of fresh air.
Shorten Your Guest List
Trust us, we understand how difficult it can be to shorten a guest list, especially if you already had your heart set on a larger gathering. However, narrowing attendees down to your closest friends and family will help ensure a much safer experience for all. Remember, if any of your invitees are hesitant to attend, don’t take it personally! Coronavirus is a very serious concern, and those who have pre-existing health conditions must be extremely cautious. Rather than putting the pressure on, go out of your way to make sure guests know it’s okay if they can’t make it. Celebrating together at a later date will be safer for both parties, and it will give you something to look forward to!
As you are working through your list, make sure to review any capacity restrictions that your wedding venue in South Carolina may have in place. The Seabrook Island Club prohibits any gathering that exceeds 50% of the event space occupancy limit, or 150 people. Make sure to communicate with your guests before and during your wedding, reminding them to comply with all safety measures being implemented. Better yet, place signage and reminders around your Charleston wedding venue to convey exactly what is expected of guests.
Make Your Wedding Available Online
Just because you may have shortened your guest list for the in-person event that doesn’t mean that everyone can’t still participate. Though it may be difficult to host an online reception, guests can certainly attend your wedding ceremony. Consider hiring a videographer to record your wedding, or ask a guest to live stream it on their phone. Make sure they turn the sound off, of course! You can invite guests unable to attend to join with a link through virtual video services such as Google Meet and Zoom. This will allow anyone who may not feel comfortable attending your wedding to still take part in your special day.
Provide the Proper Prevention Supplies
There are various ways that you can help stop the potential spread of the coronavirus at your wedding. Provide all guests with a custom, reusable mask with your names or wedding hashtag upon entering your Charleston wedding venue. In addition to requiring masks, trusted organizations recommend taking the following safety precautions:
- Request all guests to take a COVID-19 test and quarantine for an appropriate amount of time before arrival.
- Ask that any guests displaying symptoms or feeling generally unwell to remain at home.
- Set a limit on how many people may enter one space at a time, such as in the restroom.
- Reduce overcrowding by staggering arrivals and departures and using multiple entrances and exits.
- Provide physical guides so that guests can distance themselves at least 6 feet apart.
Limit the Dancing
Everyone loves a good dance floor, but it’s important to consider alternative options for entertainment at your wedding during COVID-19. Dance floors typically consist of many people gathered in close proximity, and social distancing is an important part of keeping everyone safe. Consider marking small radiuses at least six feet apart from each other for 2 to 3 people from the same household to dance in. You may want to eliminate the dance floor altogether, barring the traditional and first dances. Singing and chanting can also increase the risk of infection, so it may be best to forgo a live band and opt instead for a DJ.
Consider Table Service
Though a buffet-style meal can be convenient, a safer dining option for your reception is a plated meal. This eliminates an excessive amount of touching and breathing on food that will be consumed by other guests. Plus, it reduces the long, overcrowded line as guests eagerly await the meal. It is also a good idea to give guests designated seating, dividing tables up by those who live in the same household or already have contact with each other regularly. This will help reduce the potential for cross-contamination between guests who haven’t been in close proximity to each other throughout the pandemic.
It may feel like you are making endless sacrifices to make your wedding safer during this uncertain time, but you don’t have to give up your optimistic perspective! There may be masks and hand sanitizer involved, but try to find joy throughout the process and look for the positive takeaways. No matter what, you are still able to celebrate your marriage with the person that you love most and your relationship will be stronger from navigating this situation together.
Planning your special day can be an already difficult and often overwhelming feat. Not to mention, many soon-to-weds are now facing a whole new set of challenges as a result of COVID-19. If you are looking at outdoor wedding venues in South Carolina, Seabrook Island Weddings has the perfect one for you. Contact our Charleston wedding planners today – we are here to help you every step of the way!