Monday, May 10, 2021

What Guests Should Know About Attending A Wedding During A Pandemic

Now that we're a month removed, and everyone is and was healthy, I can tell you something. We recently traveled to an indoor wedding. A wedding that had been postponed twice before taking place on the couple's third wedding date. And while I was there, I thought of what guests should know about attending a wedding during a pandemic.

And I figured I would blog about it, in case you have been invited to a wedding during a pandemic and you're unsure of what to do.

If you're invited to a wedding right now, check out this What Guests Should Know About Attending A Wedding During A Pandemic post before you go.

What Guests Should Know About Attending A Wedding During A Pandemic

You can RSVP no

Let's start with this. If you're invited to a wedding during a pandemic, you can RSVP no. We're at the tail end of a pandemic, one that has claimed many lives and gotten even more people sick. We've all said no to many things during this time that we didn't feel comfortable attending.

So if you don't feel comfortable attending a wedding right now, RSVP no.

The couple will understand. And honestly, the couple might be happy to get your no.

See, many venues and states have capacity limits right now. And that 200 person guest list may have quickly turned into a 100 person max because of social distancing and capacity limits. So a no may feel painstakingly difficult for you to say, but it may actually do the couple a favor.

And, if you say no, don't feel guilty.

Don't, for one second, feel bad about not attending a wedding during a global pandemic.

Everyone is living this pandemic day by day and deciding on situations as they occur. We're all doing our best.

Case and point: We were invited to my very good friend from college's 2020 wedding. We wanted to be there for her and to see her special day, but the wedding was in New York and North Carolina was travel banned at that time. So if we wanted to attend, we would have had to fly to New York, fill out some paperwork on the plane, quarantine for two weeks in New York, then attend the wedding.

As much as we wanted to go, we couldn't under those restrictions. But now, there's no travel ban, so we were able to fly up north for the wedding last month.

And, even though we weren't able to go to that wedding in 2020, we didn't feel like we also had to skip this 2021 wedding. Everything at this time is a case by case basis. There's no standard.

My friend understood why we missed her wedding last year and didn't hold it against us. We're still friends.

Skip any unnecessary gatherings before the wedding

The world is starting to reopen. Last week, mask mandates outside were lifted here in North Carolina. Next month, capacity restrictions are ending.

Which is great. The world needs to open and businesses need to get back to business.

However, if you have a wedding to attend in the next two weeks, skip any unnecessary gatherings. Keep going to work because you need to, but skip happy hour after. Even if it's outside, and even if it feels safe. It's not worth the risk.

Plus, you know, at this point in the pandemic, we've all learned how to have happy hour at home, by ourselves, and with our pets. Pretend its March 2020 and just do that again for a couple weeks. You'll be fine.

If you're invited to a wedding right now, check out this What Guests Should Know About Attending A Wedding During A Pandemic post before you go.

You should wear a mask

The guidelines change so frequently, but one thing had been standard: You need to wear a mask when entering structures.

That's such a vague sentence, but the guidelines are so vague.

Some churches require you to wear a mask at all times, some only require you to wear it when you enter but not when you're in the pew.

Some venues require you to wear a mask at all times when you're not seated, some don't require it in the ballroom.

There are some states that still have a mask mandate, and some that don't. And some venues in those states require them even without a mask mandate, and some don't require them even in states that do have a mask mandate.

Honestly, it's confusing.

So your best bet is to just wear a mask. And then figure it out.

Better to wear a mask and be able to take it off than not wear a mask and not be able to attend.

And honestly, throwing a couple disposable masks in your purse might not be a bad idea too. You can lend them to people who forgot one or didn't think mask mandates were in place.

Keep your opinions to yourself

When you're at the wedding, try and keep conversations to anything but the pandemic and politics. Anything else is fine to chat about.

If you are pro-mask and see someone without one, just keep your opinion to yourself. If someone is having a conversation about vaccines, just walk away.

Pete and I like to say, "Right now, everyone knows everything and everyone knows nothing."

Guidelines, mandates, and restrictions are changing all the time. And they're different state by state, even city by city, we've realized. So whatever you think, just think it. Don't say it aloud.

A wedding is two people's happiest day of their lives. And the couples hosting weddings in 2021, they've had the extra stress of planning a wedding during a pandemic. Don't be the one to stress them out more and don't ruin their wedding by fighting over the pandemic or politics.

Make smart choices

You've gotten this far into the pandemic by making smart choices. Make those when it comes to attending a wedding too.

If you feel sick, stay home, even if you've RSVP'd yes and you're really looking forward to that filet mignon you ordered.

If you're really not feeling well, get tested. Don't just skip a test because you don't want to be positive and you don't want to miss out on the wedding. Better to stay home and keep everyone else safe rather than being selfish, attending the wedding, and get everyone else sick.

Know there are no right answers

When I was talking to my brother about attending this wedding recently, he told me that no matter what I do, people are going to have opinions.

But the thing with opinions is, they're just opinions. It doesn't make them the right decision or the wrong decision, it just makes them someone's opinion.

So keep that in mind. There are no right or wrong decisions here. You just have to make the best decision for you, stick to your convictions, and enjoy the wedding from the ballroom or from your couch via the livestream.

BRIDAL BABBLE: What else do you think guests should know about attending a wedding during a pandemic? Let us know in the comments.

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