Wedding Planning 101

How to Get Married in 2021

Congratulations on your engagement! You are on the cusp of two amazing, life changing adventures. The first, and most important, beginning your life together as a married couple; the second, and most overwhelming, the process of wedding planning... during a global pandemic no less.


While it is true we are still many months away from summer weddings, you're likely already beginning to wonder what your wedding will look like under the seemingly never ending restrictions of COVID-19 and whether you should stay the course in your planning or postpone and for some of you, postpone again.


Fact is, your wedding can absolutely still happen and will be so spectacular. All of the pictures you see here are amazing couples who got married in 2020. Look at them, pure bliss!


The government of Ontario has set out a handy colorful framework outlining rules for each color zone. Rather than focusing on what you can't do, let's really dive into what you CAN! As no one has a crystal ball, we can only plan based on the rules we know now. That way IF restrictions remain, you're ready for it and if they release a little, you will feel this to be a huge WIN! Here's how you can get married in 2021.


Your celebrations come in 2 parts: The Ceremony and The Reception. In the green, yellow and orange zones, 100 guests are permitted outdoors for both festivities. Finding a venue that can accommodate an outdoor celebration will be your best move if you're hoping to have a larger guest count. Indoor ceremonies can be up to 30% of the venue capacity and 50 guests are permitted indoors for a reception, so if you're booked at an indoor venue, make a list that will accommodate this guest count of 50 as your Plan A and one for Plan B for 100 in the case the world opens its doors later this summer. You never know what can happen, but the reality is that it's likely the framework that is in place now will not budge for over another year. So again, plan for what we know now and adjust as needed.


What about that backyard wedding you have planned? You can still get married! Your maximum guest list for a private residence festivity is 25 guests in the less restrictive color zones. Take your list now and begin a Plan A for 25, B for 50, C for 100. Guest invitations are traditionally sent out 6 to 12 weeks prior to the wedding so you have plenty of time to make the call to how you'll move forward. Fact is private parties cause some super virus spreaders last year which is why this enforcement exists and will also not likely budge for the foreseeable future. You still have time to change your venue to a monitored one if you want the peace of mind to have your guest list of 100!


But will everyone have to wear masks? Get yourself a fancy face covering! Regardless if you choose a monitored venue or your own backyard, masks are required, especially when social distancing is not possible. Being a part of the solution is way better than causing problems (super spreader events). Face coverings are required except when eating or drinking only, but for your cocktail reception in a green or yellow zone, guests will need to be distanced from one another in their cohorts whether standing or seated. Each color zone will determine the style of food service permitted, but guests can absolutely still be served in a plated fashion or food truck style stations!


At any point in your planning process, you can contact your local Public Health Unit to get a better understanding of the rules as they apply to your plans. Prior to your event, provide your local Public Health Unit with a COVID Safety Plan and ask them to provide any suggestions to the plan to improve it and approve it. This includes getting the details on face coverings and when they are mandatory, if guests must be seated when eating and drinking and what the permissions are around dancing. In green, yellow and orange zones, dancing is permitted with restrictions! Which part did you notice there? Dancing is PERMITTED! If you're working with a planner or venue, it's likely they've been through this in 2020 and can assist in guiding you through creating this plan. Having this plan and approval in place will give you peace of mind to keeping yourself and your guests safe.


There may be a bunch of things you 'can't do' that you were hoping for your wedding, but there are SO MANY things you still can do! Not one wedding in 2020 felt 'weird' or 'awkward' because of the rules or adjustments and because we were diligent with the precautions, we kept everyone's guests safe and healthy.


The Georgian Bay Wedding Society is filled with professional wedding vendors that experienced wedding events in 2020 and can help you make informed decisions about how your plans will move ahead for 2021. We're here for you and want to see you have the BEST DAY EVER!


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