It is indeed a strange time as we adjust to our new normal. Moments like these are much needed reminders of how fortunate we are to be surrounded by family and an amazing community.
The fast spread of Covid 19, coupled with stay at home orders across the globe, have modified wedding plans for our 2020 couples. We have successfully rescheduled all of our March – June couples to wedding dates much later in the year, as our contracts are designed to protect our clients, always accommodating crisis and postponements. Accepting a maximum of 15 weddings per year, the odds are that we will be able to accommodate a postponed Saturday wedding date.
There have been so many uncontrollable disasters I have had to work through during my past 13 years as a wedding photographer including hurricanes, couples’ passports and visas being revoked at the last minute and now Covid 19. Nothing will stop our couples from celebrating their love and getting married!
The big questions for couples thinking of booking late 2020 – 2021 is not whether to go through with their wedding plans, rather “when and how?”
Many want to know these answers and the wedding blog “Carats & Cake” recently asked me, and a few other wedding professionals, to weigh in as a “trusted industry expert” for their article “How to Protect Yourself & Your Wedding During a Crisis.”
As I mentioned in the article above, we are in unchartered territory and I recommend that couples who want to marry right away, but who still want a large celebration, instead schedule a small ceremony or elopement, with just close family, in an outdoor location. Working this way, I can photograph with a long lens that keeps me more than 10 feet from the ceremony, adhering to social distance guidelines. I will then follow the ceremony with a gorgeous outdoor “just married” portrait session for just the two of you.
It has always been my technique to photograph portraits with my 200 mm lens. I love the way I can optically bring you and the background closer together, creating beautiful compression to the background, while ensuring that your facial features are not distorted. I have to stand back, usually about 15 -20 feet when I work with this lens, and sometimes further, so not only is this my lens of choice for its pictorial refinement, but it is also perfect to work with when maintaining social distance.
I would recommend to wait several weeks to schedule your reception, as rules for working and traveling are changing rapidly still in April and perhaps for a few more months. Here are a few things to keep in mind for when you do schedule your reception plans.
Trimming down the guest list is a priority right now. Until there is a vaccine, (which could be 2021+) I don’t think older guests or guests with compromised immune systems would rsvp yes. Ensuring that you have a videographer to record some of the festivities would be a bonus for those uncomfortable traveling or being in large groups in the near future. You will have shared your beautiful ceremony & just married photos, so those guests not in attendance will have already had a chance to share in your joy through your elopement images.
When planning your reception, I recommend staying away from buffets and instead having only seated dinners. White glove service would be preferable with plenty of space at tables.
While this is not romantic, I think having personal hand sanitizers, customized with your wedding logo, would be a fun way to encourage guests to keep their hands clean. A sanitation station could match your wedding’s aesthetic cues.
Make sure that you continue to update your wedding site for your guests. You can create a new heading on your site for safety procedures. Explaining that you will be elbow pumping instead of hugging, encouraging cleanliness at sanitation stations, etc. are some of the ideas you can write in, so that your guests know that you are looking out for their health.