by Jennifer Borgh, WPICC, owner of Borghinvilla Wedding Venue
Covid has added a lot of pressure and stress to couples who were planning their special day. Some couples have opted to wait until this pandemic is over and others have chosen to go ahead.
Here are some tips on how to proceed with caution in order to help keep everyone attending as safe as possible:
1. Get guests pre-tested. Both Antigen and PCR tests are available country wide.
2. Keep a trackable guest list for contact tracing with phone numbers and email addresses. (this is great to use for your thank you cards as well!)
3. Check all staff and all guests temperature upon entrance to venue (anything over 100.04 F or 38 C is considered a fever)
4. Hire a Wedding Planner to coordinate your wedding and make sure they have a team to take care of the additional safety protocols.
5. Use outdoor open air wedding venues (if possible)
6. Wear facemasks during transportation and all other times (except when eating/drinking)
7. Ensure that your wedding venue has hand sanitizing stations and hand washing stations throughout the venue
8. Use single use paper towels and napkins
9. Make sure all garbage bins are hands free
10. Make sure your wedding venue has a designate a cleaning team to clean restrooms between each use
11. Sanitize all public touchpoints on a rotating basis throughout the operating hours with each surface being cleaned at a minimum every two hours. This includes door handles, flat surfaces, etc.
12. Seat guests at ceremony and reception in couples or families with 6 feet between the next couple.
13. Inform guests about symptoms that should prevent them from attending the wedding.
14. Ensure your venue is Covid safe and staff is trained on all protocols.
15. Wash all laundry and reusable items in water at 60 °C or above. The Catering team should wash all food service items (plates, cutlery, cups, glassware, serving trays etc.) in water at 80°C or above
16. Wedding Venue should perform routine maintenance of air conditioning vents or filters to promote indoor air quality and limit exposure.
17. Follow the Government restrictions including number of guests allowed.
18. Keep doors open (if possible) or have doors manned by one person to mitigate excessive contact of one surface by multiple individuals.
19. Mark the ground with 6 ft. of physical distance line spacing for queues and enforce physical distancing both inside and outside of an establishment.
20. Include signage in clear and visible areas throughout the property.
21. Remove shared, self-service refreshments e.g. water, coffee, tea etc. from reception areas.
22. Remove shared, self-service items such as toothpicks, mints, matches or any other guest amenity to take.
23. Remove shared condiments such as ketchup, mustard, hot sauce and salt/pepper shakers.
24. Choose guests that are either vaccinated or guests who avoid a lot of crowded situations leading up to the wedding.
25. Print individual menus, ceremony programs and ensure no sharing of any papery.
26. Instruct employees on how to remind guests of protocols with a smile in a polite and respectful manner if they make a request that is unallowable given the new protocols. Remember that everyone is learning together, and the rules are intended to protect all parties.
27. Arrange furniture in the cocktail area to allow for physical distancing
28. Determine the new capacity of reception seating based on physical distancing guidelines and the recommendation of approximately 50- 70% capacity.
29. Couples should have seating chart ahead of time, telling each guest where to sit and try and group them by family. Tables should be at 50-70% of usual occupancy.
30. Eliminate guest self-service on all buffet and bar operations. Require that all stations be manned by a dedicated staff member handling utensils, serving food etc.
We hope this list will help you and your guests stay safe and allow us to get back to celebrating love and marriage.