We kept everything very COVID friendly. It was an outdoor ceremony and reception with masks and sanitizer gel/wipes everywhere. People work masks through the buffet line and the servers were obviously masked and wore gloves. We did not ask people to be tested or show proof of vaccinations. Everything went perfectly and no one is sick!
Circumstances may be very different by next August. We aren’t requiring testing or proof of vaccination but ask that all guests eligible be vaccinated. We will have masks and sanitizer readily available. Still nervous as the reception is indoors.
We got married prior to vaccinations, but did a lot of strategic things to minimize risk such as: no group transportation, no receiving line, seating at reception by household, silverware was wrapped in napkin and already at the plate setting, the only children invited were those in the wedding. I seated autoimmune or vulnerable guests on the edges and far from traveling households.
You’re smart to plan these things now. I was scrambling last year and it was so stressful! ❤️
We reached out to each guest individually 2 weeks before the wedding to ask their vaccination status. Since it’s all people we love and care about no one responded in a way that they were mad that we had asked. The few people that told us they were not vaccinated have agreed to get tested the week of the wedding. We are not asking for card or negative test proof. Our ceremony is inside a church and masks are required for all guests regardless of vaccination status, our cocktail hour is outside but dinner and reception is inside. No masks will be required.
Overall we feel good about it, 98% of our 136 guests are vaccinated.
The situation could look vastly different by next year, but it's great that you are thinking ahead. That will make it easier to adapt as your date approaches. We didn't require vax, ask for proof or do testing. However, a lot of people, like my mom, voluntarily sent photos of themselves getting vaxxed or voluntarily told us they'd taken the shot. Some things we did: -Outdoor ceremony and reception. -No children.
-Created a health & safety precaution page on our website, with a photo of us in masks. We shared the steps we were taking (those listed here). About a week prior, we updated the page with links to the state dept of health's covid testing resources for every state our guests represented. -Asked the DJ to provide mic covers. -Had "comfort stations" of sanitizer and individually wrapped masks for those who didn't have one (masks can also break!). We placed the programs in a basket, with the masks and sanitizer and bug spray on the tables. We had one of these tables 1) on the way to the ceremony seating area, 2) outside of the restrooms. Also placed sanitizer at the beginning of the buffet line. -Had an announcement made at the top of the reception reminding guests that "we ask that you mask" while not eating or drinking, and especially on your way to the buffet.
-We did to-go boxes for cake, and provided individually wrapped forks to go with them.
The only precaution we wanted to take but had to eliminate, was seating by household because the spacing required wound up being larger than the sq ft. available.
Definitely know where you're coming from, since our wedding is August 2022 as well. We got most of our wedding planning done over this summer because we didn't want to deal with any hassle from COVID (shortages, postponed shipping, etc.)
It's hard to predict what it'll be like next fall. One of my cousins (got married last fall) sent out periodic e-mails to guests updating them about COVID protocol (masking in certain situations, reminder about being mindful of your health, the current situation in his state, etc.) COVID can change things suddenly, so receiving those e-mails as an out-of-state guest was helpful as we approached his wedding date.
Thankfully, our state mandates are fairly comprehensive compared to the US, and the majority of our guests are vaxxed (here in my state, we were in lockdown until we reached about 70-80% vaccination rate, so there was a definite incentive to being vaccinated) so we weren't going to ask for proof, but are still debating putting something on our wedding website.
We have several guests who are immuocompromised or otherwise vulnerable, including my fiance's 89 year old grandmother, my own mother and one of his aunts who are recovering from breast cancer, etc, so we are still trying to work out the wording, but are thinking something like
'Please help us to protect our immunocompromised and vulnerable guests - we appreciate your choice to be vaccinated where medically able in order to attend. If you are unvaccinated without a medical exemption or are suffering from covid-symptoms, we encourage you to join us via our live stream of the ceremony instead, and look forward to catching up with you in person in safer times.'