Getting married in Covid times | 10 practical tips for your wedding

Latest news corona wedding: the update was on November 29, 2021 (nice and updated). Note: this is based on Dutch rules!

Overview of a ceremony during Corona.Getting married during corona and the rules, can marriage still be fun?

The short answer? Yes, if you are flexible! We know this because we are very much involved in this. Not only did we photograph quite a few (around 50 to be exact) weddings during covid times, we also got to collaborate with a fine group of wedding professionals (all their names are at the bottom of this blog post) on a covid inspiration shoot. Read more about the tips and ideas below.

church blessing during CoronaRules Wedding Covid (according to the RIVM)

I’m going to try to update this blog post once a month. Especially now that we get to photograph weddings again from time to time. The blog post was last updated on November 29, 2021. In terms of source, I am going by the corona measures indicated by RIVM (since the last press conference). The RIVM now indicates that there is no maximum in terms of the number of guests. Even spacing is not necessary now. Something that for a very long time was what stopped people from getting married now!

  1. A maximum of 100% of the “one-half meter” capacity is used. This often equates to 1/3rd of the normal number of visitors that can fit in the space.
  2. The corona access card is not legally required for the wedding ceremony, not during a municipal ceremony, nor during any religious ceremony.
  3. People should stay one and a half meters away from each other, unless they belong to the same family.
  4. After 17:00 you have to take into account the closing time in the catering industry.
  5. Is your wedding an event? Then a permanent seat is required. Mask on when moving.
  6. Event wedding? Then you need a corona access card.
  7. Bottom line: ask your wedding venue what the rules are and if they are an event venue or hospitality.

Corona and wedding parties?

Well, a wedding day or reception at a event venue is possible ( until 17:00), if you use corona access cards. Also, one must stay one and a half meters away from each other. And so the place closes at 17:00….

mouth mask wedding and hand gel corona as a gift for a wedding

What about the home test?

Many couples still choose to ask all guests to take a home test, even if they have been vaccinated. This is due to the Delta variant (and also the Omikron variant is coming), which is unfortunately very contagious. I would personally, totally unsolicited tip, try to ensure good ventilation in every room anyway. So are you home with several people in preparation? Windows open. During dinner or a lunch nice all together in a room? Windows open. Afternoon party? Then totally open a window.

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Inspiration for an alternative corona wedding around November or December

You may choose not to work with QR checks. In any case, then, do keep that 1.5 meters in mind, as well as washing hands and staying home in case of health problems.

The best tip for now? Turn your dinner into lunch. I know: this was not meant to be! But it does ensure that you can still be together, still get married and still have a beautiful wedding day, with catering. So skip your reception and advance your dinner. Possibly with the wedding ceremony in between. Or see if you can bring the ceremony forward.

The photos you see here don’t show everything by a long shot. A complete inspiration document has been prepared with a comprehensive checklist, so you can think of everything later! The document is at the bottom of the blog post and is free to download.

Tip: I’d also like to share these three covid weddings. For example:

Mask for a bride

Corona wedding photographer: “Getting married at Corona” photo shoot

Help! We noticed pretty quickly, when covid broke out in the Netherlands, that couples immediately decided to reschedule the wedding. Not only to this the fall of 2021, but sometimes right away to 2022. Or even worse, the wedding didn’t happen at all! That’s something we really didn’t anticipate.

The Perfect Wedding(source) recently conducted a survey of brides and grooms and it also showed that a large portion of brides and grooms cancelled their 2020 wedding or want to get married in 2021. I suspect that by now some of the couples surveyed have chosen 2022. The main reasons are that one and a half meters distance and concerns for the health of guests.

It is very understandable that you want to postpone your wedding day with all those unpleasant prospects, but we also want to show that much is possible. That people are now very happy to have a small party, safe and all.

Now why would you marry during corona?

And at the same time, we saw that many couples also decided that they really did want to get married now. You can never be sure and it could be that you have very special reasons for getting married now. Perhaps you are expecting a child or have a desire to have one. And it would then have to be postponed (if you want to get married first).

Or you are religious and would like your marriage to be sealed in church. Whatever your reason, take advantage of these tips and inspiration. Because getting married can be both a very big day, with party and all, but it can also be a small intimate wedding.

Corona Styled Shoot 022

1. Preparations: consult as much as possible

In terms of make-up, fortunately, a lot is allowed again. We heard that many brides decided to do their own makeup and hair, but now the hairdressers are open again and makeup artists are allowed to work again. Very nice!

Maximum number of people (currently 4 adults)

Do think about how many people will be present at your place in the morning, as it is still necessary to keep one and a half feet away from each other. Does it feel too crowded to be with X number of people? Then consider making conscious choices. We also recently experienced the groom changing clothes outside in the backyard. Outside you often have beautiful light, there is enough space and you have fresh air.

Also, it could be that photographer and videographer alternate and still come to take pictures with bride and groom. Then team one starts at one location and team two starts at the second location. It is helpful to schedule a little extra time then.

Disinfecting hands during a wedding. Hand sanitizer for hygiene.

2. The photo shoot in times of covid

This is actually the point that excites me the most. Because in a nutshell, almost anything is possible here! And what’s even better…. because certain parts of the day are not as they were before, there’s a chance you’ll have a little more time to spare. More time for wedding photos possibly!

Help each other

During the photo shoot, you can help each other. Is there a drag to straighten, a veil to do right, or a bit of hair that’s just a bit goofy: arrange it together. Your photographer or videographer will be watching, but will stay neatly at a distance. I secretly think this can make a photo shoot even more intimate because you are together in your own bubble!

We stay at a distance

At least know that our telephoto lenses make it easy for us to stay at a distance. It is not a problem to capture you at a safe distance and still get great pictures. And if you like us to wear a mouth mask, especially during this moment: say so and we’ll arrange it.

Bride and groom, romantically together.

3. Wedding ceremony during your one-and-a-half meter wedding

Currently, many places allow the ceremony with an unlimited number of guests (at one and a half meter distance between households). In any case, check with your municipality or wedding venue what is allowed. Unfortunately, this is because it is very different from each other, as each room has a different size and therefore maximum number of people. Your wedding officiant can probably help you further in terms of rules.

Be creative

If necessary, discuss whether it is possible for the usher to remain outside the room so that you can ask for one additional guest. This is possible in some cases. For example, we had a November wedding where exactly all the guests could attend because the usher wanted to wait outside the venue.

Ceremony arrangement of chairs during corona wedding.

Own experience with arrival corona wedding

Ramon recently experienced that all guests were seated neatly at a distance and that the aisle was also extra wide. The bride and groom arrived in the wedding car, got out and walked in front towards the ceremony site. All the guests followed in pairs, a meter and a half away from the other pair. Families walked together. In this way, a merry procession walked from A to B.

Don’t want such a wide aisle? Then consider placing the chairs, per household, 1.5 meters apart, without an aisle. Then come yourself through the side or through “front” towards your wedding ceremony site. That way, the whole thing already looks a little cozier.

Livestream or Zoomcall during corona ceremony

Church ceremony during Corona

Again, of course, there are several things to consider. For example, that there is an aisle that you can safely walk along. For example, you can have guests stand aside a bit when entering. Or you can provide clear running lines. The walking down the isle moment remains tricky, this is a choice you have to make for yourself (the bride was still living at home in the photo we show below).

Fortunately, churches are often quite large and so you have plenty of room for people to sit at a safe distance from each other. And if you look at the picture below…. do you think it looks bare and unsociable? No right?

Good: singing is now allowed. We notice ourselves that brides and grooms have professional singers (choir) sing at a safe distance (this is allowed). The other guests are then silent, but can, for example, clap along. Precisely because live music is scarce now, the music comes in extra well.

Coronaproof wedding during church wedding.

Additional wedding tips for the ceremony

When you have the opportunity to get married outside, it is very easy to set up the ceremony site. After all, you have plenty of room. Use flowers or styling if necessary to give everything 1 unit and dress it up.

Arrange a live stream

And if you’d like to share your wedding ceremony with people who can’t attend, arrange for a live stream. Do check to see if the official wants to speak into a microphone, as you will have better sound for the people at home. That live stream can be through a professional videographer, who will arrange everything for you, but we have also experienced Zoomcalls or live connections via Facetime by now.

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Indoor wedding during Corona

It is also definitely possible to get married inside, during Corona. Then make sure all guests have an assigned spot. Couples together, families together and some spots for people who come alone.

Overview of a wedding hall with all guests seated at 1.5m distance.

4. Signing.

Joanne Littooij, wedding officiant, showed how it is possible to sign your autographs. Pointing, of the place where your signature should be, can be done by a pointing flower, a stick or, for example, by sticking up colorful post-its. Make something festive out of it. When you know these one-and-a-half meter things in advance, you can deal with them in an elegant or playful way.

Wedding officiant points bride where to sign with flower.

5. Help each other

Where normally the groom usually gets help from a family member or friend, that corsage will now have to be pinned by himself So help each other: the corsage should be on his left side, flower up (for ladies down). I’m sure it will work out, because you guys are getting married for a reason ;)

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6. Getting married during covid and wedding venues

What I was very curious about myself is what is possible in terms of hospitality at the time when the hospitality industry is allowed to reopen. Marlies from Heerlijk & Hecht shows how to serve it here. When you use drop-off tables, the staff can place drinks boards on them, for example. Next, you grab that shelf from the table and take it to your seating area.

Drinking during Covid-19

In the same way, it will be in terms of drinks. You let them know what you want to drink, it is poured and you then take it to your table yourself. Or there are places here and there with ice cubes and your favorite drinks in a bottle. There are more tips in the document.

In any case, you will be fine with a festival setting. Because then you have food trucks anyway, places to get drinks and seating everywhere. When you dress this up nicely in terms of styling, you have a very nice and relaxed atmosphere.

Tip: click on the link if you are planning a festival wedding.

Getting married during Corona can be done with the help of drop-off tables. The hospitality industry is creative.

7. Reception, drinks and time for cake!

The cake can be cut by you just like in the past. Then the waiter takes care of the rest. Exactly what is allowed can vary from week to week, so it is good to check with your location anyway to see what is possible. And “if all fails”, arrange a small carving cake for yourselves and pre-packaged mini cakes for your guests. Or everyone has their own snacks. Great!

Tip from 1 of our brides: ” before I got married I knew I wanted cupcakes at our wedding. So I wanted vegan cupcakes, because this is important to us”. All guests bring homemade (vegan) cupcakes, so that way everyone can enjoy something delicious.

Another wedding tip: by creating nice seating areas throughout, your guests can enjoy each other’s company and your wedding day. If necessary, arrange tables where it is also made visible (implicitly) that you are supposed to stay at a distance. You can also place round carpet tiles on the floor to subtly indicate where people might stand.

Raising a toast during Covid-19.

8. Alternative to toasting and congratulating during corona?

Again, several fun ideas have been created for this. For example, the waiter can offer you two a glass by means of a special stick. Or you grab it yourself from a table. That toast to each other can be done anyway. And with guests possibly by raising your glass to each other (if your arm’s distance is not sufficient). Update: It is more convenient to take glasses yourself from a specific point.

Alternative to congratulations

You can also congratulate each other by giving a flower. All the guests have a flower and each of them comes to you. The flower is given and this is then the moment to congratulate. What matters here is that you are creative with this “must-have wedding moment.” That people can do “something”, for congratulations. A hand on the heart is also possible, but again is a little less festive. Do you have any great ideas? It is also an option to just not congratulate, but to sprinkle confetti to the bride and groom. Do what suits you.

Arrangement of dinner tables for a corona wedding.

9. Dinner and lunch during Corona

I’m secretly hoping immensely that brides and grooms will opt for full-length dinners (once the hospitality industry is allowed to open longer again) and backyard weddings (once the weather permits) in the coming months. Nice outside on the grass, delicious food, candlelight and lots of space. You may sit together per couple and in the way you see above (with that table with chairs at the corners) you are still really sitting together at the table. Even with people who don’t live in your household.

Diner during Corona at long tables.
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Ribbons indicate the place where many people can gather (for example, around a table). In this way, people are aware in a playful and creative way that they need to pay extra attention.

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You can grab your own food from a trolley. How beautiful is this one huh?

Overview of dinner tables on a large lawn for an outdoor wedding.

Additional staff

Catering is happy to think with you when you get married during Corona. If you think carefully in advance about the routes everyone will take, for example between the tables and the toilet or kitchen, you can safely keep your distance. There is a chance, however, that you will need to hire additional staff for the extra cleaning times in the restrooms, for example. Or so there are “mandatory walkways”. But that’s and small “meh” for a big party.

Hospitality can stay at a distance during a wedding.

10. Wedding Party and Corona

Are you having a party? Then consult with the wedding venue about what is and is not allowed. This literally varies from one wedding venue to another and depends on the municipality in which you are getting married, the capabilities of the venue and the number of guests.

Creative Solutions

Nice solution: a seated party: arrange all the cozy seats inside, get a band that is fantastic and enjoy this unique moment. Because chances are very good that you haven’t heard much live music, in the past few months and so this moment comes in extra. This part, oddly enough, is not allowed for the time being, because people are afraid that it will be danced on… I do expect an adjustment here soon, but of course that will not help you in the short term.

Help: my wedding venue does not have a license for an outdoor party due to loud noise

Solution? Opt for a silent disco! A DJ plays music that can be heard through headphones. We have even experienced a live musician playing along “digitally” as well. Oh and guaranteed your guests will go wild, because it’s a really cool experience.

Gift for your guests

We saw in the past that some couples would bring their guests a gift. Now of course that could be a bottle of hand sanitizer or hand clean gel . Totally up to date and with a big nod to today’s hygiene measures. You could also give this at the beginning of your wedding day. Can everyone keep their hands extra clean ;)

The entrance to The Hazelhof in three detail photos.

11. Be flexible and make your wedding Corona-proof

It seems terrible to have to adjust your plans like this. One minute you had a wedding planned for 100+ guests, complete with a banging party and now the day is going to be totally different. Now if you are getting married in 2022 or 2023 and want the wedding to go ahead anyway, think of at least two versions of your wedding day.

Wedding with party

The first weddings are being planned again. All with QR checks: consult with your wedding venue about what is possible and allowed.

Should you wish to have a party with dancing possibility this is possible provided you have the party outside.

Wedding without party (if Corona stays for a long time anyway)

What I think is incredibly cool to see is that there are couples who are getting married in 2022 and are already considering two scenarios. Brides and grooms who either want a complete wedding day or choose a wedding day with full evening dinner and also keep the option open to have a big party a year later. I think flexibility will go a long way at the moment.

Gift for guests: hand sanitizers to keep you safe and sanitized.

12. Oops, we had already cancelled the wedding

There is another option… you guys cancelled the wedding because of covid and now want to go ahead with it anyway. You have decided, “we are going to get married after all”! And I understand that very well. After all, you may have deliberately chosen this season. You love spring or summer and wanted an outdoor wedding anyway. But because of all the uncertainty, you were going to cancel the wedding.

For us, 2022 is going to be another exciting year

Please know that there are many initiatives starting at this time to still allow the wedding to go ahead. You’ve already spent last winter picking out awesome vendors and know who you’d like to work with. Chances are that many calendars will be empty and so wedding vendors may also be flexible in terms of taking dates. For example: you still want to get married in the fall or winter of 2022, even though the wedding was first scheduled for June, but are not sure if you can continue to meet with 50 people (for a wedding). Solution: see if it is possible for vendors to be flexible with finding a new date.

Should things go as they are now in terms of corona, you will not have to cancel the wedding. If things do suddenly get worse: you have a flexible contract. This won’t be possible for all vendors, but I’m sure wedding vendors in 2022 will be happy to think with you.

Keeping your wedding going

Do you feel that going through with the wedding is extra stressful, because a lot has to be arranged again: make use of our network. We have worked with many fine wedding planners and stylists. We know awesome wedding officiants, florists and music acts. In short: we are happy to help make sure your wedding goes ahead after all.

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I want to postpone my wedding anyway because of Corona

You will definitely have given this extensive thought. So I can’t convince you to wait anyway and I totally get it: this was not the plan for your wedding. Again, I have a few tips.

  1. Check for a date when all vendors will be available. Start with your wedding venue, wedding officiant, any wedding planner / master of ceremonies / stylist and your wedding photographer. Next, check that all other suppliers can move with you to the new date. This loyalty is important to all of us, as many of us are self-employed and thus need a certain amount of commissions to be able to devote all of our time to your wedding.
  2. In any case, choose a Mon-Day-Weday date then, because in 2022 or 2023 many popular Fridays and Saturdays are already booked.
  3. Again, think of a Plan B – just to be sure. Because that’s going to give you peace of mind in the coming months, I promise you. For example, consider that almost everything can go on, but that party night can be tricky. So think of an alternative to this.
  4. Check carefully what is in the contracts you signed. After all, it could also be that you are now three months before the wedding and have to pay part of it anyway. Whether it’s three months or two months before the wedding, you might fall into the same rate. And so you have a little longer to wait, think and make new plans.
  5. You can also assume that you will have to pay extra. Not all vendors will require this of you, but many have already done the work. Consult with everyone about what can be done and what is needed.

13. Consider a wedding planner

Postponing or rescheduling your wedding is also going to be quite a project. You may want to arrange this with a wedding planner or maybe you can arrange this all by yourself. As with anything, communication is a useful tool here. Want to read more about postponing your wedding because of Corona? Then be sure to read this American blog post.

Tip: Would you like to get in touch with a wedding planner who has a lot of experience with corona weddings? Take a look at this wedding planner‘s website.

Bruiloft Landgoed Staverden 026

6 more tips for when you get married in corona time

  1. Have you rented a wedding car? Then take a good look at what is possible in terms of transportation, especially in terms of any mouth guards and drivers. If you use your own car, think about a nice flower arrangement on the car (or not hey, is also good ; ).
  2. Call all your suppliers to check how they handle these circumstances. Who knows, they may have some tips you can use. Think ahead of time if you have any situations where you have questions, so you can discuss them directly.
  3. If you would like a guest book, you may want to ask your guests to prepare something at home. This can then be combined during your wedding day. Or arrange a photobooth with someone to clean everything up in between photos.
  4. One of our wedding couples made, totally DIY, their own mouthguards. There are times when it’s very handy to have a mouthguard with you and what’s more fun than a completely unique, even reusable, version? Super cool as a keepsake for your guests too and totally sustainable!
  5. The Perfect Wedding, a pretty well-known wedding platform has also written extensively about Getting Married at Corona. Be sure to read their blog with up-to-date information.
  6. Choose to have two wedding photographers, because then you are even more flexible on the day itself (less travel).

Corona can't cancel our love.

In conclusion: a summary

Okay, so a whole bunch of tips for when you get married during corona. But those tips don’t make it to the wonderful inspiration document below. This contains all the tips we have been able to collect recently. And by “we” I mean the think tank that Vivian from The Bridesmaid founded. All cooperating parties are also listed in the document.

And while it may be too short notice to get married in May or June, should you not have had plans before, you can always opt for a fall wedding or winter wedding. Anyway, I personally suspect that it’s going to be a more intimate wedding, because a party as we knew it (i.e., not at five and a half feet) is still some time away. Should you be music lovers, there is a lot you can do. So again: check out that document with all the tips and tricks and inspiration. It’s 33 pages packed with info!

>> Download the Inspiration Document <<

Who collaborated on this styled shoot with inspiration to get married during Corona?

In conclusion, these vendors rose together to inspire you. All of them fine professionals with a positive attitude and the hope that this year is going to be YOUR year.

Planning & Organization: Best Day Ever Events | Het Bruidsmeisje | Frederiek Klop
Photography: Mon et Mine
Floral stylist: Bloemenservice Nederland
Wedding Cake & Sweets: Sugarlips Cakes
Printed matter: Maxcript
Hair Stylist & Beautician: Bruid en Beauty Nederland
Tailor-made suit: Rietbergh
Models: Wesley Nuis & Linda Hastrich
Mouthguards: Voila Make it Personal
Musical entertainment agency: www.love-sound.nl | Swinging
Overnight location for preparations: Het Raathuisje
Rings: Rings of Love
Catering: www.heerlijk-hecht.nl
Stylist: www.bestdayeverevents.nl
Wedding Official: www.trouwambtenaarjoanne.nl
Wedding Dress: www.trouwenmetdonna.nl
Wedding venue: www.dehazelhof.nl
T-shirts: For Your Wedding