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Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and Your Wedding Day

Everything You Need to Know About the Coronavirus and Your Wedding Day

In the midst of the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, many couples who were planning on getting married in the near future are wondering where exactly to turn to for help, and how the outbreak might affect their big day. There’s plenty to consider both logistically and financially, so if you’re getting married in the short term, we’re here to provide some helpful tips and advice so you can celebrate as safely as possible.

Before getting into this, we want to emphasize that the safest option and our recommended approach is to limit your guest size and follow safety precautions. For couples who choose to proceed, consider the options below for ways to minimize risk as much as possible. 

There’s also a summary of the steps we’re taking for Simply Eloped couples to ensure everybody’s safety amidst the outbreak, including working with couples to postpone ceremonies through the end of June. Click here to jump to those details. 

If you’re getting married in the next few months, avoid inviting a high guest count and consider alternative options, like live streaming your ceremony, instead.

If you’re continuing on with your wedding festivities, the safest option is to do your best to keep your guest count low, or have no guests at all. Avoiding large gatherings is key, so if possible, keep your ceremony minimized to as few loved ones as possible. Videotaping or live streaming your ceremony to your guest list is a great way to still include those you love, without any of the risk that would be involved by gathering a large crowd together. You have plenty of options here: Skype, Facebook Live, Google Hangouts, or FaceTime can allow your guests to tune in virtually and still witness your ceremony. If your heart is still set on celebrating with your entire guest list, consider hosting a big reception or vow renewal after the outbreak subsides or dissipates.

The safest way to get married is by celebrating your marriage with just you and your new spouse. The risk of contracting the virus increases in large gatherings, so choosing to elope alone brings those chances down significantly. If eloping feels like the right decision for you, consider choosing a location that’s local or doesn’t require traveling long distances or flying. Any couple who has booked Simply Eloped’s services and are uncomfortable with the idea of flying to their ceremony destination can reach out to switch to a market that may be closer to home at no additional cost.

Avoid shaking hands or hugging the couple, the wedding guests or vendors.

While we understand this is a time of celebration, it’s also a time where keeping distance is ultimately the safest way to be in a crowd of people. Save the hugging and hand-shaking for a later time — we can almost guarantee there will be no offense taken!

Keep yourself updated on the current status of wherever you’ll be traveling.

Quarantines and travel restrictions are becoming commonplace in the wake of the COVID-19 coronavirus, so if you’re planning a destination wedding, minimize any complications that may pop up by keeping tabs on what’s happening in the area you’ll be traveling to. 

If you’re the couple, a guest, or a vendor who feels symptoms, do not attend the celebration.

If you’re feeling symptoms of the COVID-19 coronavirus or feel that you have been exposed to it in any way, do not show up to the wedding — it’s as simple as that. For any Simply Eloped couples who are in a position where they feel at risk, please contact us immediately and we will gladly work to reschedule your wedding day. We will also line up a team of vendors in the event any vendor feels as though they are showing symptoms. 

Practice general safety, like washing your hands and carrying hand sanitizer around with you while outside the home.

Keeping your hands clean and avoiding touching your face is recommended,  and if you are going to be hosting a wedding with guests, provide hand sanitizer for your guests — you may even want to consider gifting travel-sized bottles to your guests in lieu of favors.

Stay up-to-date with the CDC recommendations and follow them.

The best thing you can do is educate yourself with everything we know so far. Continually checking in on the CDC guidelines and any updates they may have will keep you and those around you informed and educated on how you can best prevent yourself from the COVID-19 coronavirus.

Questions and Answers amidst the COVID-19 coronavirus and your wedding day

Is Simply Eloped booking or performing ceremonies right now?

We are following state & county guidelines, as well as following CDC recommendations for small group gatherings.

We have our wedding day planned with Simply Eloped, but we are now afraid to travel. What should I do? 

You have a few options if you’ve decided that traveling is out of the question for your big day. You can postpone your ceremony for a later date at no additional cost, or you can choose to swap markets to a location that’s closer to home or within driving distance. We have your back, and we will help you through this process!

We put a pause to our wedding planning with Simply Eloped because of the coronavirus, but have since decided to resume planning. How should I go about this?

If you’ve decided to continue your wedding day plans and you’ve postponed your ceremony with Simply Eloped, simply contact a representative and let them know of your decision. They will work to contact your team and check in on availability. Should your team be unable to perform a wedding, we will have other team members lined up in their place.

What do we tell our guests if we end up having to cancel or postpone due to the coronavirus?

Because the coronavirus has become prevalent on an international level, you might find that guests are relieved of your choice. Because the general public is advised to steer clear of large gatherings, postponing your wedding until there is less public risk is completely understandable.

Does Simply Eloped perform ceremonies in a non-public location, such as an Airbnb or private residence?

While it can vary market-by-market, Simply Eloped has always been more than happy to perform ceremonies at private residences if that’s what our couple wants! Get in touch with us, and we can chat about specifics of making it happen.

We had a traditional wedding planned out of the country within the next few weeks, but because of the outbreak, family and friends were banned from traveling and we had to cancel. Can you help us on such short notice?

In one word: Absolutely. We know that this is a difficult time for anyone planning a wedding, near or far, and we will make sure we do everything we can to give you the wedding of your dreams — even on short notice! We want your wedding day to be perfect and safe, so contact us with what it is you were thinking, and we’ll do what we can on our end to make it happen!

Steps We’re Taking For Simply Eloped Couples

Any couple who has booked Simply Eloped’s services can postpone their ceremony for a later time at no additional cost. Similarly, we’re offering free market swaps, so if there is a location that is in driving distance or does not require flying, you can switch to that market at no additional cost.

We have contacted all of our vendors, requesting that they let us know immediately if they have developed any symptoms, in which case, we will line up replacements to perform ceremonies. We are also requesting that our vendors do not shake hands or hug our couples or any of their guests.

In terms of our team, we are simply asking everyone to work from home, and to stay away from any location where there may be large crowd gatherings. The health and safety of our couples, vendors, and employees are a top priority, and we will be doing everything we can to do our part in practicing social distancing.

Here’s a state-by-state breakdown of market status of places Simply Eloped performs ceremony (updated 5/22):

CALIFORNIA (Big Sur, Lake Tahoe, San Diego, San Francisco & Wine Country)
CLOSED: California is currently discouraging gatherings state-wide.
VIRTUAL CEREMONY: Currently offering virtual legal ceremony for California residents

COLORADO
SLOWLY OPENING: Decisions are determined by county. Please check with Simply Eloped on which county you intend to marry.

FLORIDA
OPEN: Miami – open to groups gathering 10 or less; Orlando – open to groups gathering 10 or less; Key West: opens to tourists June 1

GEORGIA
OPEN: open to groups gathering 10 or less; 6′ social distancing highly encouraged

HAWAII
CLOSED: all visitors will be required to heed a 14-day quarantine upon landing

IDAHO (Boise, Sun Valley, Stanley)
OPEN: open to groups gathering 10 or less; 6′ social distancing highly encouraged

ILLINOIS (Chicago)
CLOSED: Illinois is currently closed until the end of May
VIRTUAL CEREMONY: Currently offering legal virtual ceremonies for Illinois Residents

LOUISIANA (NOLA)
SEMI-OPEN: Gatherings larger than household not permitted; when outdoors must wear masks and maintain 6′ social distancing

NEVADA (Las Vegas)
SEMI-OPEN: National Parks closed; private venues offering services

NEW YORK
CLOSED: No gatherings allowed
VIRTUAL CEREMONY: Currently offering virtual legal ceremonies for New York State Residents

NORTH CAROLINA (Asheville) 
OPEN: open to groups gathering 10 or less; 6′ social distancing highly encouraged

TENNESSEE (Gatlinburg & Nashville)
OPEN: open to groups gathering 10 or less; 6′ social distancing highly encouraged; masks are required for group gatherings

TEXAS (Houston)
OPEN: open to groups gathering 10 or less; 6′ social distancing highly encouraged; masks not required but encouraged

Article written by karen norian
Karen Norian is a writer, editor, and content strategist. Her work has been featured in many publications, including INSIDER, Travel & Leisure magazine, and Elite Daily. Her work as a wedding photographer has led her to Simply Eloped, where she has been working since early 2019.
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