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Wedding season safety: what to expect on someone’s big day during the pandemic

Industry professionals talk about the trials and trends of the 2020 Fall Wedding season.
Published: Sep. 30, 2020 at 9:48 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - If you’ve got weddings coming up on your calendar, you may be wondering what present to get the newlyweds, or what to wear. This year, that may including adding a mask to your ensemble and social distancing on the dancefloor.

From the venue to the party favors, soon to be married couples hosting and planning weddings in the age of COVID-19 are saying “I do," differently.

“It’s been an entire rollercoaster,” says Brooke Lauber-Cobb, owner of Bee for the Day Wedding Consulting and Event Planning in Toledo. “A lot of adaptability, a lot of flexibility, and a lot of patience and kindness and grace.”

The fall wedding season is in full swing for industry professionals and couples planning their big day.

However, thanks to COVID-19, there still aren’t as many events planned for 2020.

“At this point, our calendars should have over 90 weddings on the books. We’ve actually done 27 weddings," says Lauber-Cobb, whose been planning weddings for over 27 years.

Nowadays, she says her clients are booking more backyard weddings, or bigger venues to be able to have their desired amount of guests while following capacity restrictions.

But not as many guests are RSVP-ing.

“Now with COVID and the restrictions and people being nervous about attending events, out of 100% of your guest list, 60% of people are attending events rather than the original 80%," explains Lauber-Cobb.

Venues like the Renaissance Toledo Downtown Hotel are making sure families and guests know the rules, with couples making the best of mask-wearing.

Laurie Perry, a sales manager, and event booker at the Renaissance tells us they’re booking many out-of-state brides and grooms from Michigan as well.

“I have seen a ton of customized masks and hand sanitizers as favors, so it’ll say something cute on it, and it’s at each place setting," tells Perry.

With socially distanced ceremonies come socially distanced receptions, and wedding DJs like Jason Kelley, owner of Book That DJ, are getting creative to get the party started.

“We’ve created something called the digital dash. The bride and groom have signs made up with their Venmo and Cash App, and instead of running around, one of our DJ’s will announce ‘Donations to the bride and groom, for this purpose, it’s a competition,'" explains Kelley. “A lot of people going to weddings typically are expecting a dollar event to happen, because it’s kind of a tradition, and so it still adds fun to it while maintaining the social distancing.”

If you’re a newly engaged couple just now starting to plan, professionals advise planning with the current rules and regulations in mind. Even if you are planning a year ahead.

“Have your list of what you know that you want, and what you know you have to have. So if you know you’re planning to have 300 people, plan your event for 300 people next year in a venue that will allow you to have 300 people," says Lauber-Cobb. “Then, move forward with sending your Save the Dates, move forward with your invitations, move forward with putting the plans into place as if it were all gone, and that we could actually have your wedding as you want it then.”

Copyright 2020 WTVG. All rights reserved.

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