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For engaged couples, social distancing during the coronavirus pandemic has definitely altered the wedding planning process. In-person tasks like vendor meetings, attire fittings, tastings, and hair and makeup trials are being put on hold for the time being, but couples are finding different ways to continue planning while staying safe at home. And since many couples are social distancing away from family members during the pandemic, loved ones may not be able to participate in the wedding planning process the way that they normally would, which can be difficult. But it turns out it’s totally possible to include your family members in wedding planning, even if you’re physically apart—you just have to be a bit creative! 

Whether you’ve just started planning or in the midst of putting together your big day, here are some ways to ensure your loved ones feel included in the process. 

Set up weekly virtual wedding-planning updates. 

You might find that your parents or other loved ones want to talk about your wedding more than ever right now—it’s a positive and exciting event to look forward to amid the current crisis. If you’re cool with that, go for it. But if you don’t want to spend every waking minute talking about your big day (which is totally normal, you have a lot going on!), create a weekly virtual “wedding update” meeting with your parents, future in-laws, and/or other close family members. In this Zoom hangout, FaceTime, WhatsApp, or virtual meeting service of your choice, you and your loved ones can share new information about the wedding, ask questions, or just be excited together. 

Let family members help with decision-making. 

Your parents will probably miss joining you for wedding-related meetings, and want to share their input with you. Whether you’re choosing invitations, selecting favors, or browsing bridesmaid dresses or groomsmen ties, asking your parents for advice will help them feel included in the process. Just don’t forget to narrow down the options to two or three favorites, rather than giving your parents hundreds of choices—too overwhelming. 

Give loved ones ownership of certain tasks. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, don’t be afraid to delegate wedding-related responsibilities to parents and other loved ones. Of course, it’s important to ask your folks if they're willing to take on, say, creating welcome bags for out-of-town guests or assembling favors, first. If they’re game, provide them with suggestions and a deadline, but trust them to handle the responsibility. 

Virtually tour venues. 

Couples in the early stages of wedding planning may be on the hunt for a wedding venue, but unable to tour in-person due to social distancing. Fortunately, sites like WeddingWire offer virtual tours of certain wedding venues. Why not ask your parents to join you as you “virtually” visit venues? They can take a look at the space and provide input. Sure, it may not be the same as visiting a site in person, but it’s a nice way to include your parents in your venue hunt. 

Introduce family members to wedding vendors. 

It’s a good idea for your family members, particularly your parents and future in-laws, to get to know the wedding vendors who will be on site on your wedding day, including your wedding planner, photographer, videographer, caterer, music pros, venue coordinator, and more. If your folks haven’t met your vendor team yet, try to set up a virtual meeting to introduce everyone (if schedules permit, of course). Both your vendors and your parents will be glad to put faces to names so they won’t meet for the first time on the big day. 

Choose special songs “together.” 

Music has a way of raising our spirits during difficult times. If you’re planning a father-daughter dance, mother-son dance, or other special dances with family members, why not exchange playlists of song ideas with your dance partner? Your loved ones will enjoy listening to your picks, and you can then narrow down the options and come up with the winning song via phone or video chat. 

Be flexible and avoid arguments. 

Emotions are running high right now, and you might find yourself getting frustrated or even angry with your parents about something wedding-related. Maybe they’ve added too many people to your guest list, or are expressing displeasure with some of your decision-making. Instead of silently seething, be upfront with your parents about your concerns in as polite a tone as possible. Especially since you’re not physically together, your parents may not be aware that they’re upsetting you. Try to avoid blowing up at your parents, especially during this stressful time. Take a deep breath, and try to compromise.