In the wake of Covid-19, couples planning events have had to make some tough decisions. Many couples are carrying on with their 2020 wedding date to protect their investment. However, with state restrictions on how many guests can attend events or occupancy restrictions at venues, this may mean cutting back on who can attend. Some couples are concerned about the potential peaks in Covid-19 cases and want to make sure their guests are safe and healthy, so they are trimming it down to those who meet state regulations for attending events. In either case, this is a tough process and not so easy to navigate, especially for those who have already sent out their invitations.
Making the Decision to Cut Your Guest List
It's a hard reality to face that some of the people you love and want to celebrate may not be plausible to invite, or that you may need to uninvite those who have already received an invitation. We recommend making the decision to cut the guest list at least 45 days out, so you still have time to plan accordingly and can update numbers with your vendors before final billing is determined. This also is considerate of your guests that you are uninviting so they can cancel hotels or travel plans if need be.
If you are cutting your guest list, we highly recommend a live-stream of your ceremony and/or reception so everyone can still be included. There are MANY options, from something as simple as using a phone to stream it live on a social media channel to companies that specialize in filming and streaming your ceremony so guests attending virtually can feel like they are truly there.
Who Do You Cut?
Look at the Covid-19 rules, as well as your venue, to see how many guests you are allowed to have in the space at once. You may not be in such a bad spot if the venue is large enough. Once you figure out your number you can start re-evaluating your guest list and which guests would be best to cut.
We recommend starting with the out of town guests. Crossing state and city lines facilitate the potential spread of the virus. Also, travelers may be required to quarantine for 14 days before attending your event, which is not really feasible for most. We also recommend uninviting your guests aged 65 years or older. We realize that these tend to be grandparents and truly important members of the family, but they are the most susceptible to Covid-19 and most states recommend they do not attend events or mass gatherings of any kind.
How to Let Your Guests Know
While uncomfortable, a phone call to explain to those who are being uninvited is the kindest action you can take. If you must, a text message may work, but a personal touch is needed here. There is no need for a formal announcement by mail. The words you use can be completely up to you depending on the guest you are talking to. We would suggest letting them know you had to cut your guest list due to Covid-19 guidelines and why they were chosen (i.e. travel, age.) and how important they are to you.
If you are doing a live stream of your ceremony and/or reception, let them know that you would love to have them as a virtual guest to celebrate with you. They can be included in the festivities but also in the safety of their own homes. You can then text or email them the information about the live stream after your call.
Cutting your guest list is never ideal, but you can still have your wedding and keep the people you love safe. Hopefully, this helps you have those conversations with friends and family so they understand and still feel loved. If you need help with your wedding and making hard decisions, please contact us!
Shawna Pilcher, Brand Ambassador