This pandemic has changed the course of celebrations. From weddings, to debuts and even just your simple house party: we are all required to limit the number of guests, make sure masks are worn at all times and social distancing is practiced.
In a country famous for laving and big weddings, how do we transition from large gatherings to intimate events? Here are some tips on how to make your intimate wedding grand and memorable.
1. The Budget
Many couples are under the impression that since they will invite fewer people, the budget will be lesser as well. This is not the case. In reality, the smaller your head count, the more expensive it will especially with the caterers. Even with a lesser headcount, your tables count will not be any different. A regular table of 10 seater, will be reduced to only a 5 seater table, since social distancing is required. This means that your previous 10 table count for 100 guests will remain at 10 tables for 50 guests.
Since your table count will not change, your venue rental will not change as well. Venues are allowed to operate at 50% of its capacity. Which means you are to still rent the same venue space at the same rate pre-Covid.
So do not expect your budget to go down even if you are reducing your headcount to less than 50%. You may get discounts from other suppliers, but it will not be as big as you expect it to be.
2. The Guest List
Invite only those people who are very close to you and who you know will stay until the end of the program. Do not waste your invite to the people you know who will only eat and run right after dinner. When there is limited seats available, make sure you invite those who count.
Some friends and relatives who will be crossed off the list will surely understand you. Remind them that they are no less special than those who are invited, but your limitations prioritises those people who are very close to you as a couple.
3. The Food
Experts and researchers have concluded that the spread of Covid-19 in buffet style restaurants are very rampant, which is why caterers do not allow, or highly suggest, that food is served plated style. We also highly suggest this to all our clients to make sure we lower down the risk of spreading the virus. Having a plated dinner also assures that social distancing is practiced at all times.
If you would still opt to have a buffet style dinner, please expect a longer dinner time. Because caterers and coordinators will only allow one table or 5 people at a time lined up at the buffet.
4. Swab Testing
Some venues require all guests and suppliers to have a RPT-PCR swab test a few days before the wedding. Big hotels in Manila or Pasay City are very strict about this.
If your venue requires this, it is just proper host etiquette for the Bride and Groom to shoulder the swab test of all their confirmed guests. As for the suppliers, it is in the contract of most, if not all, suppliers that any swab tests will be shouldered by the client.
5. Catholic Weddings
Catholic churches are very strict in implementing social distancing during weddings. They are also very strict when it come to children. Most churches do not allow kids as bearers and flower girls, which is why you should re-arrange your entourage list and assign adults as bearers instead.
Offertory during the ceremony proper are not encouraged or allowed by some churches. This is to avoid contact between guests and church personnel.
Communion. You can ask your church if you can opt to have no communion for the safety of everyone.
Entourage are allowed to remove their masks and face shields during the walk down the isle, but should immediately be worn once they are at their seat. Some churches also do not allow entourage to walk side by side, which means your entourage are to walk one by one, except for your parents.
The altar photoshoot after each ceremony are still allowed as long as all guests are wearing masks or socially distant.
6. The Program
Intimate weddings did not change they way we do our reception programs, except for the games. Reception games are adjusted to make sure social distance is practiced at all times. Which is why table games for all guests are highly encouraged.
Throwing of the garter and the bouquet is no longer suggested since social distancing cannot be practiced for those kind of games.
Other than that, all traditions are still executed and enjoyed during the reception.
7. Virtual Guests
The pandemic has made Zoom and Google Meet the most popular virtual meeting place for work and for virtual parties. You can make use of this as well for your wedding. Just purchase a premium Zoom account and 100 to 500 guests can virtually join you on your wedding day.
Most videographers already offer this service to brides and grooms. Just add the live feed service to your package, provide them with your premium zoom account login details, create a Facebook Group, and you are now live on Zoom with even more guests than the your venue can possibly handle.
Wedding and event hosts are now experienced in making your virtual guests very much part of the program by having activities that your virtual guests can participate and enjoy.
Nothing is ever impossible in this day and age.
8. The Suppliers
No matter how small or big your celebration is, you can still enjoy booking all the suppliers and vendors you want for your wedding day. All suppliers have their own protocols in place to make sure IATF rules are followed.
No matter how big or intimate your wedding will be, you can still make it as memorable as you want it: by inviting the right people and hiring the best suppliers.
If you want help in planning your wedding day, do not hesitate to reach out to us, MJ Weddings and Events. We will be more than willing to assist you in making your wedding day dreams come true!