Among the flower arrangements and cake tastings, it can be easy to forget about your guests when you’re prepping for your dream wedding.
Keeping your guests safe and happy on your big day is key, especially if you are lucky enough to have your grandparents, or even great grandparents, celebrating with you.
Now, with ever-changing regulations and guidelines relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, keeping your older guests safe is of even higher priority. Before you start thinking about postponing your wedding date, however, here are some creative ways to make sure you and your older guests can have fun while being safe.
Explore Other Types of Weddings
While having a big, in-person wedding with hundreds of guests may not be the safest option right now, there are many other ways you can safely include your loved ones that will make your big day just as special. Some examples include:
Minimony or Microwedding
Have a mini-wedding with an intimate group of your closest friends and family members instead! You can still have a beautiful ceremony, a champagne toast, and a first dance, followed by an all-out reception with everyone on your original guest list at a later date.
This is a great option for couples who still want to celebrate with all their guests, but keep everyone safe. A shift wedding is when your guests come to the wedding banquet hall or venue in shifts so that the crowd number is kept low. This might feel like a strange concept at first, but this way, you can still keep your festivities as planned and spend more quality time with each guest.
Similar to a shift wedding, you can spread your guest list over different events across multiple days to minimize contact. From your bridal shower and rehearsal dinner to a next-day brunch, this ensures that you can still celebrate with everyone.
A virtual wedding, or including a livestream component to your wedding, is a great way to keep your guest numbers low while still celebrating with all your loved ones.
Check out our recent blog post about how to plan a beautiful virtual wedding!
Change the Catering Style
Buffets and family-style sharing are high-population wedding catering options. However, they’re no longer the safest way to serve food, especially to older guests who are more susceptible to illnesses. Instead, have plated meals or a served buffet at your wedding so that your guests will not be sharing cutlery or getting too close to the food.
For cocktail hour, you can reduce contact by having pre-plated hors d’oeuvres or individually wrapped nibbles instead of food stations and communal bowls of snacks and dips.
Be Creative With Seating Arrangements
You can keep your older wedding guests safe by being a little creative with the ceremony and reception seating arrangements. Try having a circular or semi-circular chair seating with you and your partner in the middle, so that everyone can still have a good view of the ceremony while socially distant.
You can also have assigned ceremony seating to keep social bubbles together. This will make it easier to separate at-risk guests, like your grandparents, from someone who may work in a higher-risk role.
If you want your grandparents to have the best time possible at your wedding, then you will need to think about how you can accommodate their needs during your planning process.
For example, older people tend to feel cold and have more trouble regulating their body temperature. Consider preparing some blankets and shawls that match your wedding colours so they can stay comfortable during the ceremony.
If you know that some of your older guests have more trouble hearing or seeing, arrange for them to sit near the front or close to a speaker so they won’t miss anything. It’s also a good idea to seat them near the end of the row so they can get in and out of their seats easily.
Your elderly guests may also need some help with getting to and from your ceremony. Remember to ask beforehand if they need help with transportation so you can make plans and sort out lifts accordingly.
Consider Venue Accessibility
Unfortunately, most of us lose our mobility and strength as we get older. If you have older guests on your wedding list, you should think about the accessibility of your potential wedding venue before making a decision.
Most venues have good access for persons with disabilities, which would be helpful for the elderly even if they’re not in wheelchairs. At Château Le Jardin, our wedding banquet halls are highly accessible with complimentary ground-level parking to cater to all your guests’ needs.
If your guests have to wait outside before entering the venue, or if you’re having a cocktail hour, make sure that there is plenty of seating available for your older guests to sit and relax.
Assign a Caretaker
To avoid worrying about your older guests on the day of your wedding, assign a bridesmaid or a family member to take good care of them. Choose someone who is considerate and can check on them regularly to make sure that everything is attended to.
It’s also a good idea to seat the older guests together so they can keep each other company if they would like to relax or need to take breaks from the dance floor.
At Château Le Jardin, the success of your wedding and the safety of your guests are our top priorities. To learn more about our exquisite wedding banquet halls in Toronto, call us at 289-236-2572 or send us a message here. We can’t wait to be part of your big day!