Planning a COVID-safe wedding reception might look different, but that doesn’t mean it needs to be difficult or any less fun. You can still have the day of your dreams with all the people you love! Keep reading to see ideas on how to entertain your guests while still keeping them safe.
For crowds that aren’t big into dancing, or to follow COVID-19 safety protocols, yard games are super popular. You can get cornhole, ladder toss, or giant Jenga to set outside for your guests to play. I’ve even seen some couples use trash cans or buckets to make giant beer pong!
If you anticipate bad weather, or if you don’t want to risk it, you can plan to set up the games inside. If you want people to stay at their assigned tables but want entertainment, here’s an idea that is sure to blow your guests away.
I seriously recommend Felix and Fingers. Your wedding will be the talk of the town for years, if not DECADES to come. They took song suggestions from the crowd, sang things from all genres, and even brought their own colored lights. They encouraged people to sing along, so it was not only a great show, but super interactive! This is perfect for a socially distanced wedding.
Alicen & Brenton got married in November at the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic, so their guests’ safety was their number one priority. The dueling pianos entertained the guests after dinner at the Arterra Event Gallery in Lawrence.
Instead of the traditional buffet-style dinner, consider having pre-portioned food at various stations throughout the room. This prevents people from all touching the same serving utensils, and your ushers can direct a couple of tables at a time to prevent crowding.
Ask your caterer if they have servers that will bring plates to each guest at their tables.
Food trucks are gaining popularity in the wedding industry as well! This makes it easier for the caterer to distance from the guests.
If your venue has an outdoor option, see if you can make a few campfires. Set out a table with marshmallows, chocolate bars, & graham crackers. I’ve seen S’mores at a couple of weddings and they’re always a big hit.
You’ll definitely want assigned seats at a COVID-safe wedding reception. To avoid awkward silences or restlessness, offer some table games! I’ve seen tic-tac-toe, decks of cards or even question starters to spark conversation. If you’ll have lots of kids at your wedding, print out coloring pages!
Check out more Covid safe weddings here on the blog Dakota + Jake; How They Went From a Large Wedding to Intimate an Elopement or How to Downsize Your Wedding
The plan originally started with a big wedding in downtown Kansas City on the most popular wedding date of the year; October 10, 2020 (10/10/2020). As the coronavirus quickly made its way around the world Dakota and Jake decided to change plans; they went from a large wedding to an intimate elopement in their neighborhood.
The uncertainty of the pandemic definitely made for an interesting challenge when it came to trying to make wedding plans. On top of that Dakota and Jake found out they were pregnant with a beautiful baby girl due close to the end of the year.
They thought about keep all of their original plans of a big wedding the same but moving the date up earlier in the summer, but because COVID effected rates were starting to skyrocket they thought it would best to keep their original date but downsize their wedding as much as they could.
Dakota, Jake, and their boys moved into a new house in the most beautiful neighborhood surrounding a gorgeous lake. They knew outside by the water would be the perfect spot for their intimate fall elopement.
They downsized their wedding by cutting their guest list, only hiring the necessary vendors (me their wedding photographer, a videographer, and catering from Jack Stack BBQ). Everything else they did completely on their own. Their families helped with decor, ceremony seating, a beautiful cross as their backdrop, Dakota even made her own bouquet with flowers from Trader Joes.
They invited only their dearest friends and family to witness their sunset ceremony right by the water. Dakota and Jake promised to love each other, their boys, and their, soon to arrive, baby girl for all the years to come as the sun cast a golden light across the lake.
There wasn’t a dry eye in the crowd as they read their vows to each other. The joy was contagious as they shared stories of their favorite memories and joked with one another.
Their day was everything they hoped for; full of love, great weather, and an abundance of happiness. Dakota and Jack loved their decision of switching from a large wedding to an intimate elopement. It gave them the chance to focus on what was most important to them, their family.
Check out Dakota + Jake’s engagement photos with the Kansas City Skyline here.
Other tips on how to downsize you wedding here.
Planning a wedding throughout this past year has been so difficult for many couples. With the future of the pandemic still unknown it’s likely that most couples are having to choose between having a smaller wedding, postponing, or cancelling their wedding all together. I’ll share with you my best tips on how to downsize your wedding and still have an amazing celebration.
As a wedding photographer in Kansas City I had many couples in 2020 struggle with decisions on what to do with their wedding in the middle of a pandemic. Brides would turn to me for advice and we would brainstorm together the best way for them to still have the wedding day they always dreamed of, but still keeping all of their loved ones safe.
My biggest tip for downsizing your wedding is to cut your guest list. I know it can be hard to try to narrow it down but once you start it only gets easier. The simplest way to do it is to choose a deciding point – for example only inviting family, or cut it even more by only inviting immediate family. It stinks having to not invite some friends or people from work but they will all understand. Set up a zoom or facebook live so they can all tune in from the safety of their own home. You can always host a giant party later and invite EVERYONE!
Once you have a smaller guest list you can switch to a smaller venue. You can even host your wedding at a park or somewhere outside. Another great option for downsized weddings is renting an air b&b. These venue options help you save all the money you’d spend on a big wedding venue.
Intimate weddings are always just as special as big weddings. Smaller, micro weddings, give you the chance to actually spend time with all of your guests. It’s a more relaxed day focused only on you and your partner. You’ll be surrounded by the most important people in your lives and there wont be a million moving parts to keep track of.
If you’re faced with the hard decision of needing to have a smaller wedding, postponing your wedding, or cancelling I hope you choose to move forward with your wedding but just make it a little more intimate.
I hope these tips helped you decide on how to downsize your wedding, for more information on having a simple wedding check out my blog posts “How to have a simple wedding in Kansas City”, “Kansas City Courthouse Weddings”, and find more gorgeous photos at Loren and Dimitri’s elopement in “How to elope in Kansas City”
This blog features Randi + Ryan’s intimate wedding with their families.
Venue: The Vintage House
Florist: Chris Miller : The Flower Lady
Dress: Savvy Bridal
Suit: The Black Tux
Cake: Morgana’s Gluten Free Bakery
How they felt on their wedding day:
“So many emotions! So excited and happy, but also relieved that the people that we love were able to safely make it to our wedding.”
We all know the importance of continuing to “date” your partner, no matter how long you’ve been together. It helps keep the spark alive and strengthen your bond as a couple. 2020 has been one hell of a year and the need for connection is even greater now. Now that it is getting colder outside it’s becoming more difficult to find safe and socially distanced activities so here are 7 Winter date ideas for you to try out over these next few months.
You can NEVER go wrong with a movie marathon. Grab some blankets, put on your slippers, cuddle up, and relax.
I hadn’t built a ginger bread house in YEARS, but this year we got a kit from target and worked together to build it. It ended up falling apart at the end but we had a blast putting it together and the candy was pretty tasty too. Next year we’ll have a little more of a plan. (The key is once you put together the foundation let it fully dry before putting on the roof)
Have a cozy night in but sweeten it up a little. Put together a build-your-own hot chocolate bar. Marshmallows, Candy Canes, Caramel, you name it! If you want to step it up a notch you could even make some hot chocolate bombs that are trending on tiktok.
Head out to your favorite liquor store or grocery store (don’t forget to wear your mask) and both of you pick out a few new drinks you’ve never had before. Return home, pour yourself each a little tasting and compare. You may even find a new favorite drink.
Find a new recipe and start cooking. Trey and I love to cook together, it’s so fun putting in a little work and then sitting down to enjoy our meal together.
Get some hot chocolate to-go, crank up the Christmas tunes, and head out on a tour of the best Christmas lights in town. Drive through your neighborhood or a decorated park.
If you’re local to Kansas City check out
Powell Gardens Festival of Lights
Sar Ko Par Trails Park- Sar Ko Aglow
KC Wine Co’s Rockin Winter Wonderland
If you really need to get out of your house for some fresh air, bundle up and hit the rink. You won’t even mind wearing a mask when you’re skating because it’ll help keep your nose warm.
Even though it’s colder and darker outside you can still find ways to have fun with your significant over even during a pandemic. I hope these Winter date ideas help inspire you to get creative and bring in a little winter cheer.
If winter and the weight of the pandemic is getting you down here are some self care ideas while you’re quarantining Self Care During Self Quarantine.