Getting Married During COVID-19: How to Pare Down Your Guest List

It isn’t a reality any nearlywed wants to face, but the truth is many couples have been opting for smaller weddings due to provincial restrictions and overall safety. The good thing is- weddings are to celebrate YOU, and no amount of guests or lack thereof can change that.

If you’re here, you’re probably looking for ways to cut down that guest list, so here are my best tips:

  1. Prioritize your lists. It may seem harsh to have to categorize your loved ones, but chances are you already have a good idea of who you absolutely couldn’t have your event without. A good place to start is making a list of loved ones you Need To Attend (10 guests or less), Want to Attend (50 guests or less), and Wish Could Attend (50+ guests).
  2. From there, categorize each list further by how you know people. For example, you could have a list of work friends, school friends, immediate family, extended family, sports groups, and so on. This makes it easier to cut down your list if you need to without offending individual people, because it will make more sense to your co-workers if none of them are invited rather than if you just pick-and choose your favourites. There are exceptions to this, however, if you have very close friends in certain groups and it would make sense to others that they attend your event alone.
  3. Get rid of plus-ones. This is one of the easiest ways to pare down a guest list. Since your event will be more intimate, it is more likely that many of your loved ones will already know each other, which will curb some of that awkwardness of a guest not knowing anyone at your event.
  4. Opt for virtual invites. This can be decided from the beginning or guests can be invited to the in-person event with a caveat that if restrictions do not allow for enough guests, they will be able to view virtually. This can sound something like, “Pending local guidelines, we may have to reduce our in person guest count and offer virtual viewing instead”. This lets your loved ones be involved regardless of where they may be watching from.

Times are changing and it is leading more couples towards intimate celebrations. Remember, this isn’t permanent, and someday down the line we truly believe you can have the big wedding of your dreams. If you want to be married in the meantime, though, I hope this list helps you find a way to make it happen.

Boho Elopement

Part of being an event planner is working with other vendors on styled shoots to get to know them outside of real events! We had a wonderful time shooting this styled boho elopement at Cellar 52 in St. Jacobs, ON, and I can’t get over how beautiful it turned out!

Here are some of the beautiful shots we took:

Grateful for vendors that are so talented and flexible! If you are looking for vendors for your upcoming event in the Waterloo or surrounding area, check out the following!

Photographer: Honey Photography

Venue: Cellar 52

Catering: Little Mushroom Catering

Stationery: Sam Culham Creative

Bouquet: Heart and Sola Canada

Decor Rentals: Awe Event Rentals

Hair+ Makeup: BeautiMarkPro

Women’s Attire: David’s Bridal

Models: Adecia & Francois- Vogue Models and Talent

Planning Your Own Wedding: When Your Heart Is Too In It

Planning your own wedding IS possible.

I know, it is wild for me to say that as I run a planning business, but here’s the thing: I did it. I planned my own wedding, before I ventured into my event schooling, when I was as inexperienced as most people who try to plan their own event (not that that is the case for everyone planning their wedding).

So, I get it! You want your day to reflect your wishes and you are confident that you can make that happen yourself. Logistically, maybe you can (See: Should you hire a planner?). So, we’ve talked about the logistics before, but there is a whole other side to think about before you decide to plan your own wedding: Your emotions.

Even if you have the skillset to plan your own wedding, sometimes you need someone who is unbiased to help you focus and hone in on the practical, less-dreamy side of things.

In simpler terms:

You may not be the best person to plan your best day.

In my own experience, there are mistakes I made for my wedding that were not huge errors in planning, but rather errors in my own judgement because I was clouded by my vision for my “perfect day”.

I bought two wedding dresses- not because I wanted to do a dress switch, but because I didn’t think through my venue, my personality, and my comfort level before I purchased the first one.

Our wedding was freezing, and yet I went ahead with my fully outdoor ceremony with no heaters because I visually liked it better than my backup plan. I wanted to keep my reception outside, too, and we had to do a last minute switch indoors that was only made possible by SO many friends and family members that helped us literally move things around.

Those are the biggest ones, but there were mistakes here and there that also could have been avoided by having an impartial sounding board for my big decisions.

Now, I also realize that admitting these things probably doesn’t make me sound like the most competent planner. But again, we had backup plans and things set up to run perfectly in the first place, I just didn’t want to admit that my day couldn’t go how I had envisioned it and give the go ahead for the switched to be made, because my heart was too involved in the planning process to give up my vision.

At the end of the day, your wedding will be perfect for you. Mistakes and all, it will be a day that you remember going exactly how it was meant to go. My hope for you is that you will know that it is not a process meant to be done alone, whether that means you enlist someone for partial planning or full service planning.

You can see my services here, and I am always open to chatting through your plans to see if we are a good fit for each other. Your wedding should reflect YOU, my job is to make sure it does that without sacrificing any of the more practical details.