How to Social Distance for your wedding

How to Social Distance for your wedding

With new rules and regulations requiring six feet of distance between people, the intimate nature of weddings is changing.  Preventing person-to-person contact is a new challenge couples are facing today when the occasion is typically filled with laughs, hugs and kisses.  Weddings are gatherings that can contribute to the spread of the virus, so taking precautions is necessary. Here are some suggestions to consider.

Reduce Guest Count

Currently, gatherings of 50 people or more are not permitted.  While this will not be a permanent rule and may change in time for your event, consider reducing your guest count in order to provide enough space for guests to social distant naturally.

Change the Location

If your wedding plans do not currently include an outdoor venue, consider making a change to either or both the ceremony and reception sites.  Maximizing outdoor space allows people to be able to maintain a comfortable distance between one another without having to reduce your guest count.

Rearrange Ceremony Seating

Outdoor ceremony sites can accommodate unique seating configurations that allow members of households to sit together while others can maintain their six feet radius.  Consider grouping or clustering chairs instead of using rows or utilize a circle around the two of you at center.

Reception Setup

With a paired down guest list, keep the large round tables and seat fewer guests at each table.  Each table needs to be six feet from the other so consider a sweetheart table for the two of you.  Also, be sure to setup several hand sanitizing stations throughout the space.


While the trend over the last few years has been towards dessert stations, buffets and family style meals, this poses too many risks and challenges in the face of COVID-19.  Although festive and congenial, skip the group meal and serve plated dishes.  Also, make sure you have more than one bar and area for guests to order their drinks and mingle with one another (from a distance).  Also avoid passed hor devours and consider more courses during dinner.

Decor & Favors

With many states and indoor venues requiring mask wearing, consider including things like custom made masks that match your theme/color scheme.  And avoid implementing anything that requires sharing like a photobooth with props.  Keep the photobooth but skip the props.

Reconsider Your Timeline

Think about alternative ways to structure your wedding.  Now is the time to get creative!

• Shorten Your Ceremony

One way to reduce the overall length of your day is to keep your ceremony sweet and simple.  Try keeping it under 20 minutes.

• Cut the Cocktail Hour

While cocktail hour is a great time to take those formal photos, this puts your guests into a social distancing dance of awkwardness (and possibly without you there).  Consider a first look that lets you get the formal photos out of the way beforehand and go straight to your reception with your guests after the ceremony.

• It’s Not Just Dinner

No one said you have to get married and have dinner.  Think about different times of the day to host your wedding from first thing in the morning to anytime after dinner.  Just remember to avoid any food items that require sharing utensils or buffet style offerings.

• Have a Minimony

With all these rules and regulations, you could simply gather your friends and family for the ceremony and a short congratulatory toast afterwards.

• Elope Now, Party Later

If you are eager to be married now but don’t mind waiting, the two of you can always elope now and put the festivities on hold until the coronavirus pandemic has completely lifted.  It could be the perfect one year anniversary gift to yourselves.

• Host a Micro Wedding

If you really pare down your guest list, you could host an intimate dinner with 20 of your closest friends and family.

• Consider Shift Weddings or Multi Weddings

Can’t choose which people make the cut for a micro wedding?  Then host several!  Shift weddings allow you to stagger small groups of guests throughout your evening while multi weddings spread the event out over the course of several days.  The advantage of multi weddings is considering your guests comfort level with travel.  If there are many of them who live somewhere else and aren’t comfortable traveling yet, you can easily bring a micro wedding to them instead.

Our Little Wedding offers many alternatives to help you plan and capture your social distanced wedding from elopements to micro weddings.  Click here for more information.