Covid-19 has really thrown a spanner in the works in regards to gathering. Not knowing how or at what point we can celebrate has put the brakes on many plans. It’s made me start brainstorming ways for our covid couples to intelligently and creatively plan their weddings.
What do weddings look like in light of covid? I don’t think we know. In all the unknown, and many great suggestions from vendors to elope or keep it small, I know that doesn’t suit all. I personally wouldn’t elope, or have an intimate wedding, which means other offerings need to exist for the couples who still want more than 20 guests. And those who still want a safe and sanitary party.
I keep coming back to one central idea: cocktail style. A cocktail style event is one that eliminates a sit-down meal. It encourages guests to mingle continually while choosing their spot to eat, sit, or stand. Why is this important in light of covid?
A cocktail style wedding offers guests the chance to move freely rather than sitting 30cm away from each other, guests are able to choose their distance, and while there is less people all in one space this provides the ability to have “areas” spread out more – maximising your venue. You can also pull budget from your sit down meal into food trucks or walk and fork (something No Biggie are VERY good at).
Offering guests the ability to move freely is vital. Asking certain people to attend a gathering of around 80-100 guests will be daunting for some. Regardless of safe practices put in place, there will be many that fear a gathering. A cocktail style party encourages those guests to attend, while practising their own style of safe distancing.
Another huge asset to a covid cocktail events are marquees!
Consider planning a marquee based event, or set up a marquee at a venue to allow for an indoor outdoor flow. Not only is this is ideal as a wet weather option, but you can still have a higher number of guests with more canopy space. A marquee has the ability to have all sides up, allowing for free flowing air.
The way you set up your event can also be covid friendly. Consider a few tables or lounges inside your venue or marquee for mature guests, with the outside area having some lounging spaces or bar leaners. This allows for guests to be both indoors and outdoors, more movement between guests, and less people indoors. Consider having an outdoor dance floor so that your d-floor is not packed into a small indoor area.
I’ve heard many clients express the lack of decoration at a cocktail-style party. This is simply false! Cocktail style weddings don’t have to be bare, or sparse. Take the floral budget from your tables and put it into a unique feature piece, or a more elaborate ceremony option. Think suspended florals, aisle arrangements that can be moved to around you marquee or around lounging areas. Maybe a more elaborate arch or pillar installation to highlight you both! Shuffle your tableware budget to lanterns, mood lighting, candles and decor on all bar leaners and lounge areas. Bring in a furniture company that has bar leaners, occasional furniture and lounge set ups. Your furniture is a key aspect in making your cocktail event both functional, and visually fantastic.
Instead of a plated meal, a buffet or a walk and fork/canapé style menu is ideal. Many caterers can make this change easily. Food Trucks are another fantastic idea for cocktail weddings, with guests able to choose 2/3 small plates per person.
No matter the style of event you are planning during covid, it’s important to make guests feel that you are doing your part. On your invites, think of including a little note, or a separate info sheet in their envelope letting them know that you are thinking of their well-being goes a long way.
If you need any suggestions or tips for your cocktail style event, we’d love to offer you vendor recommendations, suggestions, and helpful ways to rework your proposal into a new concept.