As if wedding planning isn’t hard enough, let’s throw a pandemic in the mix to really complicate things. Couples are hoping to have a day that’s as “normal” as possible. In the state of Wisconsin (as of September 2021) 3.3M people are currently fully vaccinated (which equals 56%). If you’re considering an all-vaccinated event, you’re wishing that number was higher.
As you plan your event, you’ll be forced to deal with a new kind of etiquette, which means communicating with your guests in the most respectful way about their vaccine status. It’s important – and sometimes hard (speaking from experience) – to be mindful that not everyone shares your view on vaccines.
“Brides and grooms need to remember that there are a million variables that drive individual choice and decisions. So, continuing to offer flexibility and planning ahead is critical to ensure your big day is as special and meaningful as you’ve always dreamed it to be,” Robert Hess III, a public health expert and the CEO of Hess III Consulting says.Quote from Brides.com
We asked two of our clients to share their experience who required all guests to be vaccinated against COVID-19 so we’ll be highlighting a lot of their quotes below.
Start by making your own guidelines and stick to them! This isn’t the time to be submissive.
Are you requiring all guests to be fully vaccinated by your event? Or are you open to having non-vaccinated guests who have followed your precautions?
I have my guidelines. What’s next?
Put a blurb on your Save the Dates, formal invitations, and wedding website. Letting your guests know as early as the Save the Dates can eliminate confusion or stress.
“Set your expectations early!” We’d encourage you to be consistent too and not waver from your own set guidelines.Joanna & Cameron
Here are some examples of lines you can use starting with Save the Dates, invitations, and on wedding websites:
- Our wedding will be an All Vaccinated event. If you’re not vaccinated yet, please consider! We’d love to celebrate with you!
- If you’re unable to be fully vaccianted by the wedding, we kindly ask you to RSVP no
- Out of an abundance of caution, and because we love you all so much, we’re asking that all guests attending our wedding are fully vaccinated.
Be open and prepared for awkward and uncomfortable conversations. And know that you might hurt some feelings.
For the handful of folks we knew hadn’t gotten vaccinated by the time our invites went out, we reached out to them directly and kindly asked what their plan was to get vaccinated. Through these handful of conversations, we were able to articulate the importance of why we’re requesting all guests be vaccinated (vulnerable family members, etc.) and everyone ultimately was on board.Michelle & Chip
Okay, my invitations are out and the wedding is coming up!
Once you have expressed your feelings across several platforms, a level of trust is required. We don’t suggest having a checkpoint or having someone check vaccine cards at the entrance. You can expect your guests to honor your wishes.
But what if I have an important guest who will not be getting vaccinated?
- Require non-vaccinated guests to provide a negative COVID-19 test within 48-hours. Organize who the non-vaccinated guest will send the test to ahead of time to eliminate stress. Also, if you go this route, inform guests as early as possible – even adding this option to the invitation if you know you’re inviting people who have not been vaccinated already.
- Rapid testing has come a long way! BiNax tests can offer a peace of mind for about $15/person.
How do I handle this with vendors?
If you’re asking your most favorite people to be vaccinated or show proof of a negative covid test, we feel your vendors should abide by the same rules. It’s okay to ask your vendors! Be upfront on your events guidelines.