Best Health Practices for Weddings & Events During Coronavirus

Hooray! It’s wedding season! Or is it?…

Typically, springtime brings beautiful outdoor weddings, fun destination honeymoons, and other long-awaited big events. But this year, spring is turning out to be a bit of a bummer with the uncertainty surrounding Coronavirus (COVID-19). You were looking forward to a 2-week long adventure around Europe for your honeymoon, but now it looks like that may be out of the question. Please read below for ideas and advice on best health practices for weddings & events during coronavirus pandemics.

Weddings & Big Events During Coronavirus

What You Really Want to Know about Coronavirus & Your Wedding Day

Although I’d love to continue posting about past wedding shoots, I feel like what you really want to know right now – especially those of you with upcoming weddings and events – is what to do now. Some of your questions probably include:

  • Should I still keep my event as scheduled?
  • Should I cancel our honeymoon if it requires travel?
  • How can I keep myself & guests safe?
  • What adjustments can I make to keep everyone healthy while enjoying my wedding & honeymoon?
  • What are the best health practices to include in my wedding day?

Honestly, this is an unprecedented circumstance, and we’re all grappling with how to handle it. We’ll do our best to help answer some questions you might have as well as how to stay safe and healthy during this pandemic.

Why All the Sudden Closures & Cancellations of Events?

First, I want to acknowledge state and local officials for doing the best they can to keep us all safe. While closing big events like the  Rodeo, SXSW, and professional sporting events may seem unnecessary and frustrating at the moment, their goal is to keep the virus under control and prevent healthcare systems from going over capacity in the event of an outbreak. It’s very important that we do our best to install safe and abundant health practices for weddings & events during Coronavirus.

I certainly do not think people should panic, but I do believe it’s important to strive for prevention and work toward preparedness. (And that’s coming from someone who makes a career out of photographing large events – I am personally right there with YOU in the frustration and heartbreak of it all.)

Check out how and why officials are working to “flatten the curve” [HERE].

“An outbreak anywhere can go everywhere. We all need to pitch in to try to prevent cases both within ourselves and in our communities.”

Howard Markel, M.D., Ph.D.

“Canceling, postponing or moving online for our work, education and recreation may be inconvenient, annoying and disappointing. But hospitals need to have enough room, supplies and staff to care for those who need hospital-level care – whether it’s for coronavirus, a heart attack, car crash, broken bone or birth. That’s why it’s important to listen to public health authorities and leaders if and when they say it’s time to change how we live our lives temporarily.”

Kara Gavin, Michigan Health

At the same time, your wedding is not as risky as the rodeo or SXSW, so keep reading to see how you can most likely carry on with a magical wedding day safely.

Best Health Practices for Weddings & Events | How to Stay Safe in Public Places

 Mostly, use common sense. The CDC recommends the following:

  • Keep about 6 feet between you and others, when possible.
  • Avoid shaking hands or hugging. This is a tough one, especially for family photos.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds after going to public places, using the restroom, coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
  • When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • If you are sick, stay home. If you have to go out, wear a mask and avoid proximity to others.
  • Cover your mouth AND nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Throw used tissue in the trash.
  • Use bleach-based, alcohol-based, or EPA-registered disinfectants to clean surfaces. View effective products [HERE].
    *Note: Do NOT mix bleach with other cleaners.

I would add: Avoid heavily populated places when possible. Consider ordering products and supplies instead of going out to get them.

Best Health Practices for Weddings & Big Events During Coronavirus

How to Celebrate Your Wedding Day or Big Event Mindfully During Coronavirus

Your wedding gathering probably doesn’t quite constitute as a “public gathering.” These are your closest friends and family, and hopefully you can count on them to be truthful and cognizant of their health statuses. These aren’t complete strangers, and most likely, the risk for spreading a disease is quite low. That is a very personal decision that YOU, and only YOU, can make. If you are comfortable with it, consider continuing on with your wedding day as planned with some big adjustments.

Here are a few adjustments you might make for a safe event:

  • Encourage those who are high-risk, had recent illness exposure, traveled out of the country recently, or feel ill for any reason to attend your event via livestream.
  • Celebrate outdoors in the fresh air with more space.
  • Serve plated food and cake instead of buffet style.
  • Limit guest count (if possible or far enough in advance to do so).
  • Set up sanitizing stations.
  • Skip the photo booth and opt for fun photo backdrop.
  • Skip the receiving line.
  • Arrange for seating with more space between each chair.

Honeymoon & Destination Weddings | Best Practices for Airline Travel 

While the recommendation is to defer most non-essential international travel (especially to high-risk areas), traveling within the US and to unaffected countries is still relatively safe (as of March 2020). However, the situation is ever-evolving, so check [HERE] for travel updates by the CDC.

If you do plan to travel for your honeymoon, here are a few things to consider:

  • Is your own community low-risk? If not, it’s best to stay put to prevent the spread.
  • Is your destination low-risk? If there is community spread where you’re going, consider rescheduling.
  • Avoid congregating in highly-populated areas of the airport.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with warm soap and water for at least 20 seconds often after touching surfaces.
  • When soap and water are not available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your mouth, nose, and eyes.
  • Do you have a chronic condition or anything that puts you at risk?
  • Do you have a plan in place for taking off work or school if you are exposed or become sick during travel, or get quarantined on your return to your home country?

If you have a travel agent, talk to them about their recommendations. They may be able to help you find a safer destination or adjust the timeline for you. And if you do indeed have to cancel, take a mini-moon in the US, and plan your international honeymoon at a later date. You’ll probably enjoy it more without the fear factor, anyway.

For more questions, concerns, or wedding bookings, feel free to email me at cory@coryryan.com. Or visit coryryan.com. Stay safe and healthy, friends!

If you’ve  read all these best health practices for weddings & events during Coronavirus, and are still convinced you need to cancel or reschedule your wedding, make sure to check out our blog post on wedding adjustments, rescheduling, and cancellations during Coronavirus!

Best Health Practices for Weddings During Coronavirus

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