How to host a safe, socially distant wedding


It’s likely that few people heard of “social distancing” prior to 2020. That changed as the novel coronavirus spread rapidly across the globe and the world found itself in the midst of a deadly pandemic.

Though much of the world hit the proverbial pause button, life went on during the pandemic. Perhaps nowhere was that more evident than at the altar, where many couples still tied the knot, albeit in scaled back ceremonies that adhered to social distancing guidelines in their communities. 

Engaged couples who have yet to tie the knot no doubt recognize that planning a socially distant wedding will not be the same as organizing more traditional ceremonies and receptions. While planning a socially distant wedding presents some unique challenges, couples can take certain steps to ensure their big day is memorable and safe.

Spread the socially distant word

Let guests know what they’re in for should they decide to take part in the festivities. Many people have strictly followed social distancing guidelines, while others have been reluctant to do so.

Couples intent on keeping themselves and their guests safe should emphasize that their weddings will be socially distant affairs so there’s no confusion come the big day.

Keep guests up-to-date

It helps to keep your guests up to date about any changes in your safety precautions plan. One way to do that is to include detailed information on your wedding website.

You can also insert a card detailing this information into your invitation envelopes so all guests know what to expect when they accept the invitation.

Stream the wedding online

Stream the wedding online for those guests who won’t be in attendance. By the end of 2020, millions of people had already “attended” weddings using platforms such as Zoom, so loved ones may be experienced virtual guests by the time couples walk down the aisle in 2021.

Couples who may need some help planning virtual affairs can visit the virtual wedding coordinators at, who recently partnered with Zoom to help couples bring their ceremonies online. can help coordinate guests on as many as 1,000 devices.

The online resource Simply was initially created to provide couples with an alternative to traditional weddings, and all the stress and difficulty that comes with planning such affairs.

The service offers advice on everything to planning ceremonies featuring 20 guests or less to coordinating photography, videography and floral arrangements.

Pare down the guest list

Couples who planned large weddings prior to the pandemic can still invite all of their loved ones to witness the festivities online, but pare down the in-person guest list. Limit in-person guests to immediate family and those people who are part of your social distancing bubble.

Be sure to check on current public health restrictions on gatherings.

Plan a party for down the road

Couples can still celebrate their nuptials with family and friends down the road. Plan a post-pandemic reception and let guests know you will fill them in on the details once social distancing restrictions have been lifted.

Socially distanced weddings may require couples to take some unusal steps as they try to tie the knot while keeping themselves and their loved ones safe. It can be done, however, with careful planning and consideration.(MC) 

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