Guest List Guidelines During a Pandemic

Creating the Perfect Guest List

Covid is like that guest who’s overstayed their welcome…even though we gave it a year to get it together, it still lingers. Just like you might have given that guest more time, Covid’s going to need more time too. Until then, don’t let it deter you from your dreams any longer. If you’ve found safe ways to get married and are planning on altering the number of invitees, here are a few things to consider while shortening your list:

Talk to Your Vendor About Guest Restrictions

If you can afford a wedding planner, this professional can help you and your spouse-to-be navigate restrictions specific to your area. If not, here are a few questions to ask about your venue:

  • Do you offer any elopement packages?
  • How many guests can you safely accommodate? Include distance away from tables, number of guests per table, etc.
  • Do you assist with livestream or provide any technology?
  • Is it possible to have the entire event outside? If so, can we set up a tent?
  • How will food/drinks be prepared and served?
  • Some venues might tell your guests about the restrictions for you; or, you could relay the message yourself.

Talk With Family Members and Wedding Party to Narrow Down Choices

When finalizing your guest list, start with the simple question of “Who are the people I desperately want at my wedding and would regret leaving out?” Once you have designated your “must-have” guests, it is a good idea to talk to other close family members and friends to see who else will make the cut. When planning a smaller wedding, it is less about the obligatory invite and more about who you really want to be at the wedding.

Eliminate the Idea of a “Plus 1”

You may wonder, how can I prevent random people from showing up only for the hors d’oeuvres? Only allow immediate family to be able to bring a plus one. This can include parents, siblings, and grandparents. Maybe extend this to your bridal party members too. Make multiple lists: work backwards from the smallest number of guests allowed to the largest number based on how gathering restrictions may vary.

Give Guests the Option to Attend Virtually

Invite virtually anyone! Virtually, that is… Save everyone the trip and/or threat of health concerns and see them online. This way, you can invite an unlimited number of attendees and no one is left out! Covid has definitely changed our sense of normalcy, so it won’t be unheard of to utilize platforms like Zoom, Google Hangouts, Microsoft Teams, and so on. Ensure engagement by sending treats to your guests.

Send a Handwritten Letter to Those Who Didn’t Make the Cut

Let those who will be attending remotely know they matter by sending personalized letters. Here are a few key points to help you make the cuts:

  • Simplify and be straight to the point—but show compassion
  • Say it’s only the family who’s coming
  • Offer remote option

Set Realistic Expectations

Because you might not get to invite everyone you originally had in mind, you now have the opportunity to ensure quality invites. In this case, try to set realistic expectations and understand that not everyone will be able to attend your special wedding day. Try to avoid inviting vulnerable guests like the elderly or those with a compromised immune system. Possibly, consider an adults-only wedding! Other suggestions would be to

  • Omit inviting co-workers
  • Limit the number of guests that either you or your spouse haven’t met such as extended cousins or suggestions made by other family members
  • Invite individuals you have interacted with over the past 12 months (Zoom meetings count)
  • Think about inviting a certain amount of guests to the reception and throw a bigger celebration later once things clear up more (you can use your bigger list to celebrate your one-year anniversary).

    J&J Tent Has You Covered!

    Creating your guest during a pandemic is all about having a realistic idea of what your wedding will be like in the end. It is also about having the right support system. At J & J Tent, we have all the items needed to have an amazing wedding day no matter the circumstances. From wedding tents to heating lamps, we have you covered. Give us a call today at (919)-977-3691 to learn more about our selection of equipment.

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