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My last wedding for 2020 took me to Emerald Event Center in Avon, OH. It reaffirmed what I’ve believed all along: you can still have an awesome and safe wedding even during a pandemic.
What a year it has been
Everyone says it but it’s true: 2020 has felt like a lifetime. And for the couples who planned on getting married this year or had started planning their wedding for 2021, you have my ultimate respect.
My wife and I talk all the time about how fortunate we were to have wed in 2019. As I tell a lot of my clients, having recently gotten married myself has influenced many of the business-related decisions I’ve made this year and the client-friendly positions I’ve taken.
Ending 2020 the safe way
Melissa and John were my last clients of 2020. Their wedding the day after Christmas, in my opinion, was a model of safety, happiness and flexibility. What I took from their wedding and how they approached it from a public health standpoint could be valuable as you plan your wedding.
Here are my three keys.
1) A MASK ISN’T A BIG ASK
By now, we’ve all gotten used to wearing them. As someone who wears glasses a lot of the time, sure, the constant fogging on my frames does tend to drive me nuts but it’s a small concession in the grand scheme of things. What I truly appreciated about John and Melissa’s wedding was the willingness of the wedding party and guests to mask up. In fact, the only time the wedding party wasn’t masked was during the ceremony itself. Even then, everyone with the exception of the bride and groom were socially distanced.
Temperature checks were also taken and you could have filled an Olympic-sized swimming pool with the amount of sanatizer that was available. Chairs in the gallery were properly spaced out, as were the tables during the modified reception. Every precaution was taken.
To my knowledge, there were zero positive cases that came as a result of their wedding at Emerald Event Center.
2) REMEMBER THE REASON YOU’RE THERE
I will never, ever fault a couple that is upset for the impact that COVID-19 has had on their wedding. I can’t imagine. However, sometimes, what gets lost in all the hustle and bustle, decorations, timelines and vows is the reason why people get married in the first place: they can’t imagine their life without their husband or wife.
At the end of the day, your wedding is about two words: “I do.” It isn’t about, “I can’t,” or “how much?” It’s about a lifelong commitment. Simply put, it’s about love.
Sometimes, people get caught up in the wedding instead of focusing on getting married. Trust me, there’s a big difference. Something that Melissa told me continues to stick with me: “I just want to get married.”
Ladies and gentlemen, that’s what it’s all about.
3) SOCIALLY DISTANCED BUT NEVER DISTANT
For this Emerald Event Center wedding, Melissa and John had to make major changes to their reception. No dancing or congregating would be allowed under the state’s orders. They embraced the challenge and ran with it.
After dinner, the group played the ‘shoe game.’ The DJ also hosted a trivia contest for those that attended the reception. Then, the group sang some karaoke.
“We came up with categories that would be fun for our guests so it was very customized,” Melissa said. “Our reception would be what we made of it and it was a freaking blast. Everyone there was there to celebrate us and celebrate we did.”
Melissa’s reception highlighted that people can be together safely even in a pandemic.
Credit to Melissa’s DJ too for being able to roll with the changes and still made their night memorable. It goes to show that every vendor plays a vital role on the wedding day.