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Planning in a pandemic

By: The GrandWay
July 13, 2020
Event Planning, Weddings

Did you stumble upon the ring while doing your quarantine cleaning and end up engaged?! Perhaps you’ve had to postpone, re-plan, and postpone again as you navigated the ever changing unknown. Maybe you had a 2021 date booked prior to the pandemic, but are now unsure what that looks like.

COVID19 has changed the event industry and specifically the wedding industry drastically, and in ways that we don’t yet know about. Wedding plans everywhere are being postponed, canceled, and re-imagined. Guidelines, as they apply to weddings, are constantly changing and evolving and are filled with unknowns at this time, but we want to help you create a plan that you have confidence in. If we understand what your dream day looks like, you can allow us to monitor the changing guidelines and suggest adjustments to the plan when necessary.

Adjusting your catering

The way food is served is a relatively easy thing to address. Buffets may not be possible, but we can guide you through plated meal options and the ability to provide your guests with a choice, in a way that meets your existing budget. Served hors d’oeuvres may no longer be appropriate as typically this involves multiple guests touching one or more plates. A great alternative is individually portioned items, served from set stations.

Managing your guest list

Initially, it looks like venues will be able to operate at a certain capacity. For example, 30% of their maximum capacity may be the number of people permitted inside. We suggest starting with the best case scenario as you map out your plan. How many people are on the guest list, and what does your pre-COVID day of your dreams look like? Then let’s look at where that can go and what elements of that plan are possible.

If your guest list is around the 100 person mark, a venue that at maximum capacity fits 300, can likely accommodate your party. Not sure if guests will be comfortable in an indoor space for the day, possibly with masks required? Consider an outdoor backup plan that can come into play at a point where regulations haven’t changed to accommodate your ideal indoor situation.

Indoor vs. outdoor spaces

We know that there are varying rules as they apply to indoor versus outdoor spaces. It appears that by following COVID guidelines, outdoor spaces will be able to accommodate larger groups of people, and in a more relaxed manner. With large outdoor spaces available, we can accommodate physical distancing for large groups, allowing you to keep your guest list at a higher number.

You could also consider involving several different areas of the venue in the day’s plan. A cocktail reception that flows from the lounge to the outdoor patio. A dinner with tables throughout the ballroom and lounge, allowing more physical distancing and/or more tables. A large, tented, outdoor dance floor for the evening reception, to allow for lots of space. It might seem like this could create confusion, and a day spent answering, “where do we go now?”, but communication and signage along with support from the venue staff to direct your guests will go a long way! Set the guests’ expectations, explain your reasoning, and let them take their cues from a wedding party who are comfortable with the day’s plan.

Start planning at The GrandWay

What about the time of year and securing a date? Everyone has different pieces of their dream wedding that are not negotiable – for some, it’s the venue, for others, it’s a date that holds special significance. With the impact of the pandemic anticipated to extend beyond 2020, you may find yourself in a situation where your venue has limited 2021 dates that remain available. Here at The GrandWay, we offer you a new space with an open calendar, supported by a team of event professionals that have been operating together for years. Reach out, start the conversation, and let us help you fit your plan into an array of our spaces.

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