“The course of true love never did run smooth” proclaimed Lysander in William Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and unfortunately for many happy couples in 2020, the course of a true love’s wedding in 2020 definitely did not run smoothly.  Some couples decided to have a smaller micro wedding on their original date to stay within the government COVID-19 regulations while other couples opted to postpone their dream weddings until the levels of COVID-19 have reduced.  In a survey carried out by the wedding planner website Hitched in October 2021, 71% of couples with weddings scheduled before the end of January 2021 are choosing to postpone to later in the year or into 2022.  So if you are one of those couples hoping to tie the knot in 2021, we have drawn up some top tips to help you plan your wedding during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pick your date as soon as possible

With so many weddings postponed in 2020, 2021 could be a very busy year for weddings so select your wedding date as soon as you can but be realistic in choosing your date.  Even though you may not be able to visit a venue in person due to lockdown rules, you could have a video meeting with your venue to finalise arrangements.  Many wedding suppliers are offering video consultations and everything from fabric swatches to cake samples can be sent to your home.

Check the terms and conditions with your suppliers and venue

Check with each supplier what their policies just in case the wedding date has to be postponed or you have to reduce guest numbers due to a last minute change in government COVID-19 regulations.  Purchasing insurance for your wedding is a wise investment too.

Plan COVID-19 safety measures with your venue

Talk to your venue about the COVID-19 safety measures they will put in place.  Check the numbers of guests that can be accommodated safely and also see if they can put in place COVID-19 safety measures such as:

  • A sanitising station at the entrance
  • Small bottles of sanitiser on tables.
  • Anti-bacterial soap and disposable hand towels in the restrooms.

Remember that the safety of your guests is your number one priority and you want to make sure that your wedding isn’t remembered for the wrong reasons.

Prioritise your guest list

Work out who are the people who absolutely have to attend the wedding.  Then prioritise the rest of the guests.  There may be some hard decisions to make but most people will appreciate that wedding numbers are out of your hands.  Also find out about any family bubbles that exist.  It may be possible to invite different bubbles to different parts of the day so that more people can enjoy your wedding especially if you make use of outdoor space.

Keep your guests informed

Having your own wedding website is an excellent idea as it lets guests check up on any changes to your wedding plans.  You could also add information on your website about the current NHS hygiene guidelines which should be followed on your wedding day eg

  • Hands – Wash your hands regularly and for 20 seconds.
  • Face – Wear a face covering in indoor settings
  • Space – Stay two metres apart from people you do not live with

Create a database of your guests’ telephone numbers and email addresses too so that you can easily keep in touch with them.  Keep guests informed of any changes to your wedding.

Organise your virtual wedding

It is very possible that not all of your guests may be able to attend your wedding.  This may be due to local restrictions on guest numbers or travel restrictions in other parts of the world so it makes sense to make plans to attend the wedding virtually.  Check with your venue and/or photographer if they can help organise this.  Save an order of service, wedding favour and a slice of wedding cake for the virtual guests and make sure they are sent to them as soon as possible after the wedding day.  You could also have your own wedding hashtag and encourage guests to upload photos and videos throughout the day so that virtual guests can enjoy your wedding day too.

Be flexible

COVID-19 regulations are constantly changing in Northern Ireland so be prepared to be flexible with your plans and follow the regulations in place at the time of your wedding.

While COVID-19 may have meant that your wedding plans may be a little different to your original dreams but it doesn’t mean that you still can’t have an amazing wedding day and that “the course of true love could run more smoothly” in 2021.  At Brookhall, everything possible is done to make sure your dream wedding is COVID-19 safe and doesn’t turn into a COVID-19 nightmare.  To find out more, call our wedding co-ordinator Rosemary Girvan today on 07855 468483 or check out the wedding section on the website for more information.

Brookhall Farm Estate is a few miles from Lisburn City Centre.  With its own 12th century church building and onsite self-catering cottages, Brookhall is the perfect venue for couples looking for an idyllic rural setting for their special day.