Let’s start by saying that it’s important to follow local and federal guidelines about gathering during the COVID-19 pandemic. We know this is challenging, but as a team, we’ve dedicated ourselves to implementing recommended precautions and offering solutions to our clients over the last few months, and we’re thankful we did. With that said, here in Austin, Texas, gatherings aren’t expressly prohibited, so keeping or canceling a wedding date is a personal decision for most of our catering clients. We’ve had successful, safe events over the last few months. So, we decided we’d share some tips for your wedding plans.
Create Household Seating
If you weren’t planning to do a seating chart, this may be the time to implement one. Ensuring that guests are seated with other members of their households can minimize everyone’s overall exposure, especially while eating. This also allows guests to choose their interactions with others, allowing everyone to participate at a level they feel comfortable with. The state of Texas currently limits tables to no more than 10 people, so be sure to check your local guidelines for any further considerations.
Supply Health-Promoting Wedding Favors
As quickly as the hand sanitizer and face mask businesses have scaled up to society’s new demands, suppliers have started offering customized versions of these products. Whether you have your names printed on them, or something cute like, “Spread Love, Not Germs,” you can make health precautions serve a dual purpose as adorable take-home favors.
Make Sure Your Venue Size and Guest Count Fit
CDC guidelines recommend that guests remain at least six feet apart, and Texas is currently limiting indoor wedding reception venues to 75 percent capacity. While organizing seating by households helps maximize space, it’s very likely that your vendors will work with you on your guest count to keep your wedding on the calendar. We know it was probably hard to get your guest count down in the first place, but reducing the crowd size isn’t nearly as daunting, for some people, as canceling the whole event.
Hire Companies That Keep You Safe
We’ve made the Caterer’s Promise to ensure that we protect our clients as much as possible during events. This not only means that our staff is following strict safety, sanitization, and serving procedures, but also that we’ve made a variety of barriers and hand sanitizer stations available to clients. Simply hiring safe vendors will do a lot of the work of keeping guests safe for you.
Require Guests to Wear Masks
Mask wearing may have become a hotly debated political topic, but your wedding is still your special day! Requiring guests to wear masks at your event ensures that everyone can attend without feeling uncomfortable or anxious. As a caterer, we require that at a minimum guests are wearing masks as they approach food and beverage areas.
Minimize Shared Objects
Providing a plated meal service or individually portioned food items for your guests is a great way to minimize contact. The fewer shared surfaces guests touch, the lower the chance that germs will spread widely through your crowd.
Provide a Virtual Attendance Option
No matter how safe you try to make your event, there may be people who aren’t comfortable attending. Organize a Facebook Live or some other video stream of your big day for those who can’t join for whatever reason.
Ask Guests to Take Precautions Ahead of Time
If infection rates are getting out of hand in your area, and/or you want an extra measure of safety, request that guests take special precautions before attending. You can ask that they avoid excessive contact with others for 7-10 days or that they request a COVID-19 test from their doctor. Either way, if you have reason to be especially cautious about your big day, it’s okay to ask guests to help you make your celebration safe.
Having been a top Austin wedding caterer for over 10 years, we know these are especially crazy times for having a wedding. If you’re a bit bewildered by all of your options, reach out to us so that we can help guide you to the solutions that will work best for your big day.