How to Make Your Houston Wedding Covid Friendly

How to Make Your Houston Wedding Covid Friendly

The virus COVID-19 has not gone away since its appearance in Houston in March. In fact it is more pervasive in Houston than we thought it would be, and by now it has affected our daily lives and potentially the health of those we love. It is also affecting how weddings are being planned, from number of guests, whether to mask up and how to serve food in the safest way possible. I touched on a bit of this previously in this post about five tips on planning your wedding during this time. Today I am going to directly tackle ways to navigate ways of making your Houston wedding Covid friendly.

Lower your Guest Count

One of the things that could happen is that has a high probability of happening is your guest list is going to have to be brought down. I know, it sucks. But right now wedding venues can only have a 50% capacity. For some venues this isn’t too bad, as they have a high capacities, but you might have a higher guest than what is allowed. You also might be having your wedding at a lower capacity venue. Either way, you might need to cut your guest list down to ensure people who are not in the same household are six feet apart.

Masks are Complicated

I get it, wearing a mask and asking your guests to wear a mask is the exact opposite of what you want at your wedding. Most couples I have talked to don’t want to see people in masks in their photos or to have someone enforcing it at what should be a celebration.

The thing is, is that even if your guest is feeling fine, they could have COVID-19 and be spreading it if they don’t wear a mask. 40% of people infected with the virus may have no symptoms. Thus, having your guests wear a mask when they are within 6 feet of others will ensure your wedding isn’t one that winds up being a super spreader of the virus. I know all the couples I work with would be devastated if someone who attended their wedding wound up getting sick or dying.

I also want to add to this what I have seen since converting weddings after things opened back up. When people know each other and don’t live in the same household have a natural tendency to get within 6 feet of each other and catch up. Some of them hug. And most of them aren’t wearing masks. As well, when the dance floor opens, it is natural for people to group close together and jump and dance. And that is a situation for anyone carrying the virus unknowingly to spread it like crazy. And dancing in a mask is like working out in a mask, next to impossible.

So what can you do? I have talked to my couples about having a designated person to hand out masks as guests arrive, not just having them on a table for people to grab if they feel like it. You can also message all your guests in advance and let them know masks are required to be worn when they are within 6 feet of others and indoors. I also love the idea of making the masks fun, by getting them themed to your wedding, so your images look awesome! I know that when I attend a wedding, my masks are super fun and I try to match the wedding colors because I am extra like that! Cause I am all about making your Houston wedding Covid friendly and attractive!

bride and groom first look at Balmorhea Events in Conroe Texas by Swish and Click photography

Serve Plated Food

Buffet style food and family style service aren’t allowed right now, which means you are limited to a few options in serving food that is safe for your guests. The safest is doing plated meals for your guests and having serving staff bring it out to your guests. I also recognize that doing that will incur extra costs because you will need extra staff for delivery and clean up.

Another option is having guests line up (6 feet apart) for food that staff will dish for them. With this, I highly recommend the food being 6 feet away from the guests, so they aren’t breathing on it. As well, the servers are wearing masks and gloves.

I will note that I was at a wedding where you went to get the food and the person serving the food touched both her face and multiple door handles as she served the food. She grabbed a bun without changing her gloves, so I didn’t eat the bun because I couldn’t be sure her gloves hadn’t touched the virus. If I were to choose between the two methods of food delivery, I lean towards plated meals.

Being Safe While Getting Ready

Getting ready for women is tricky at best if you are getting hair and makeup done professionally. Having an artist touching your hair and face, while close to you when you can’t cover your face is tough. Most of the professional hair and makeup artists I know wear not only masks, but face shields. Making the process as safe as they can.

Where things go sideways is the other people in the room, your best friends and family. They are usually sitting close together, chatting, a few of them also getting their hair and makeup on. The same thing with the men. All the weddings I have covered since reopening have had no one has worn a mask in this situation.

After talking to a bride about her upcoming wedding, she had a plan that is inspired: she is going to have the women in the room who haven’t had hair and makeup done yet wear masks. And once the hair and makeup is done? She’s going to have the women who stay in the room wear face shields and social distance. Is it ideal? Of course not. Is it making sure people are as safe as they can be? Absolutely.

Another thing that can be done, is to have less people in those smaller spaces when photographers and videographers are in the space. That way social distancing can be achieved. Or getting ready can happen outdoors as much as possible.

bride and groom kissing at The Bell Tower on 34th in Houston Texas by Swish and Click photography

What Steps I am Taking

Having captured 3 weddings since things opening back up, I have fine tuned my processes for weddings. Here are the things I will do to ensure your safety, as well as my own:

  • Wearing a mask when indoors, even if I am not close to others.
  • Wearing a mask outdoors if I am within 6 feet of others.
  • Bringing hand sanitizer and use it frequently throughout the day.
  • Requesting others not get within 6 feet of myself and my second photographer unless we initiate it.
  • Using longer lenses to ensure I can be more than 6 feet from everyone, as much as possible. There are certain time when this will not be possible, for example getting ready photos.

In the end, my goal as your photographer, is to get you images you love, while ensuring I am healthy for your wedding. With numerous fall weddings coming up, having couples who embrace safety precautions like the ones mentioned above will help not only myself be healthy for my next wedding, but keep those you love healthy. Tell me in the comments if you have more ideas on how to keep your Houston wedding Covid friendly.

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Christine Wright Swish + Click PhotographyLove my work? Want me to capture you and yours? Let's talk!! It's easy, my email address is Christine@swishnclick.com. Let's have a heart-to-heart, get excited about the possibilities of your wedding or session and come up with a plan that is uniquely you! I want to hear from you!

bride and groom dancing at a Covid wedding at Astin Mansion in Bryan Texas by Swish and Click photography

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