With more people getting the COVID-19 vaccine, the CDC issued new guidelines regarding everything from basic daily living to large events. What does that mean in terms of planning your same-sex wedding (or any event, for that matter)? Read on to find out.
Planning a Same-Sex Wedding? Here’s What the New CDC Guidelines Say About Large Gatherings
The CDC issued new guidance this week regarding the best practices for containing COVID-19, even as more and more Americans are getting vaccinated. Among them are recommendations for both large events and smaller gatherings (such as minimonies).
Let’s break down their recommendations and find out exactly how it impacts your overall wedding planning. Just one note- this is not medical advice, but rather an informational interpretation of the new guidelines.
Can you plan that large wedding of your dreams yet?
Given how many couples had to abandon their grand wedding plans at the last moment in 2020, it’s natural to be apprehensive about sinking a ton of cash into planning one this year.
As of right now, hold onto that apprehension. The CDC is still recommending against large gatherings, “particularly those in which [social] distancing cannot be maintained between people who live in different households.”
They specifically called out weddings in that guidance (along with festivals, sporting events, and parades). So, consider holding off on planning that grand ceremony with 50+ guests in attendance.
What about smaller microweddings and minimonies?
While minimonies (aka microweddings) rose in popularity throughout 2020, the CDC still recommends that you avoid visiting or gathering with anyone outside your family. So technically, those are still off the table too.
Per their website:
COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are extremely high across the United States. To decrease your chance of getting and spreading COVID-19, CDC recommends that you do not visit with people who do not live with you at this time. Attending events and gatherings increases your risk of getting and spreading COVID-19. Stay home to protect yourself and others from COVID-19.-Centers for Disease Control & Prevention
Now, even at the height of the pandemic, most states allowed gatherings of up to 10 people (some even up to 25-50), so legally speaking, it depends on your area. However, if you want to go strictly by what the CDC says is safe, though, right now virtual weddings are still your best bet.
How does the vaccine affect wedding planning?
According to the new guidelines, people who are fully vaccinated can visit with unvaccinated people from other households, even without masks or social distancing.
However, there are caveats. First, that guideline only applies to low-risk people. So, if you’re thinking of inviting unvaccinated great-great-aunt Sally to your wedding, she’ll still be at risk even if everyone else in attendance is fully vaccinated.
Also, these guidelines don’t overrule those that refer to gatherings in general. In other words, it’s one thing for you to visit your healthy young unvaccinated friend after getting your shot. It’s another thing entirely to invite 50 vaccinated people to an indoor event with 50 vulnerable guests.
So again, stick with CDC recommendations and avoid gatherings until told otherwise. The news story from NBC below explains why pretty well.
What if I still want to go ahead with my wedding in 2021?
With more and more Americans getting vaccinated, it’s easy to think, “It’s all over, I can go back to my normal life now.” Yes, according to President Biden, we’re on track to vaccinate the entire adult population of the US by the end of May.
However, even that doesn’t assure a “return to normal” in time for that June wedding. There are just too many factor to consider, from whether enough people take the vaccine to how well current shots protect against new strains.
That said, if you want to risk it (and we don’t condone that at all), the CDC does offer some basic guidelines for making your event a bit safer. Just keep in mind that “safer” doesn’t mean “safe.”
Some additional tips:
- Keep your guest list as small as possible.
- Wear masks, and make sure all of your guests do, too. We shared a ton of cute wedding mask ideas to help you out.
- Space your guests 6 feet apart, especially indoors (but outdoors as well).
- Better yet, stick with an outdoor venue AND socially distance your guests.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces before and during the wedding (obviously, you’ll hire someone to do this, as you’re not going to walk around in your wedding attire with handy wipes).
- Skip the buffet and just serve a sit-down dinner. Seat guests at tables with members of their own households.
Once again, LoveYouWedding does not condone going ahead with any sort of gathering at this time. We advise following CDC guidelines down to the last letter.
Remember the superspreader Maine wedding that led to more than 170 COVID cases and seven deaths and ask yourself if you could live with that. (If you don’t remember that, check out the video below).
Can I start planning my 2022 wedding?
So, you’ve decided to hold off on planning a 2021 wedding- at least until the CDC says it’s okay. What about next year, though? Can you start planning for 2022?
Unfortunately, there’s no quick and definitive answer because there are so many factors in play.
Right now, it depends on how many people get vaccinated and how well those vaccines fight off current new and potential future strains of COVID-19.
The best advice we can give you (and again, it’s non-medical advice) is to tentatively start planning.
Look at venues, start working on your guest lists, choose your color scheme, your theme, your invitations (put don’t have them printed up yet), even your dresses or suits.
However, don’t start putting non-refundable deposits down just yet. Hold off on those a bit longer and see what summer brings.
Life will eventually return to normal- whatever that means. If you’re dreaming of a big wedding, you may have to hold off a little longer.
In the meantime, there’s always eloping!