Easing into Wedding Parties Again

I think I speak for all of us when I say I’m glad 2020 is over. This past year and a half have been a true test of strength and endurance. As I reflect on the past year as an NYC wedding photographer, I am overcome with emotion. As the epicenter of America, life here a year ago was solemn. The once vibrant and boisterous city was quiet; I never thought I would see the day when NYC was asleep. 

But, with the dawn of a new season, we have begun our journey back to normalcy – whatever that may be. Spring is in the air, flowers are blooming, birds are singing, and people are hugging their loved ones again. Now, more than ever, we are trying to rekindle our human connection.  

Loosening Pandemic Restrictions

On April 28th, 2021, the governor announced the restrictions around catered events, including wedding parties, would be loosened. This news came as a surprise in the wedding industry, but I’m not exaggerating when I tell you I did a happy dance in my kitchen when I heard it.  

New York restrictions had limited weddings and events to 50 people, including guests and vendors. As a result, couples were left with the impossible task of deciding who was VIP enough to attend their wedding. Not surprisingly, many couples chose to opt out of their special days, leaving many of us wedding professionals out of work. 

A bride in a large white dress holding hands with her groom in the forest
A white wedding cake with ferns and foliage
A groom spins his bride on the dance floor

The new restrictions allow for up to 150 people or 50% of the capacity of the venue. For most, this is the news we’ve all been waiting for! Finally, we can celebrate, laugh, dance – all the things we’ve been waiting for for so long. But, although this should be delivered as good news – not everyone shares the same feelings. 

Understandably, there is still a certain measure of hesitancy accompanying the re-open; not everyone is ready. It’s been a long year and a half, and forgetting doesn’t come so quickly for some. Unfortunately, it looks like we won’t be rid of this virus for quite some time. So, in the meantime, how can we learn to live with it?

It’s against human nature to isolate ourselves from one another. We not only crave human connection, but I genuinely believe we need it to survive. With that being said, there are still ways we can celebrate love while remaining cautious of the world we find ourselves living in.

Ways to Ease into Wedding Parties Post-Pandemic

So as we ease into wedding parties again, we can do a few things to keep one another safe and at peace of mind. I was lucky enough to be a part of a few COVID weddings this past year, and when I tell you you can accessorize those masks, believe me! Wearing a mask not only keeps you and your guests safe but can make for some incredibly memorable wedding photos. So dress them up, customize them, add some glitter and sparkles! Although this has been a hard time, it has also been a time of self-reflection, strength, and communion. 

Wedding parties convene on the front lawn of a reception site
A bride has money thrown at her on at her wedding reception

Another safety measure you might want to incorporate is customized hand sanitizers. We all know we probably should have been washing our hands a lot more than we did, pre-pandemic. So what’s better than not only a keepsake for your guests but a gift that keeps them safe as well!

Lastly, let your guests know where you stand. Everyone will have a different outlook and comfort level themselves. If masks are to be worn when you’re not seated at your table, let them know beforehand! If you’re feeling ready to relax your precautions, let others know that if they’re not comfortable they’re still more than welcome to wear a mask. Making people feel safe and heard is the best you can do.

The year 2021 is sure to be one of reconnection, healing, and love. Life as we know it has not ended, and together we can handle anything that’s thrown our way. I cannot wait to see the wedding parties this summer will bring, and I also cannot wait to share them all with you!