Thoughts about weddings?

Wondering what folk have done/thought about regarding weddings or other larger get-togethers. One of my nephews sent a “save the date” for next April. I’m pretty comfortable with various smaller gatherings - especially outdoors, but i’m not at all sure about various aspects of a wedding. I’d appreciate any thoughts/experiences. I’d imagine funerals and some other gatherings would pose similar issues (tho, perhaps, less dancing!)

Not sure how you could sufficiently distance at a wedding. Wondering if I would wish to attend a wedding, even if it were held outdoors, with everyone masked, everyone distanced, no touching, etc.

Sorry if this is more appropriate for IMHO or another forum.

April seems too soon. Maybe we’ll get a vaccine and lots of people vaccinated by then so we’ve begun to return to normal life. Maybe. But also maybe not until a few months after that.

If I were the prospective guest, I’d want to know that the bride and groom are committed to masks if in the at least halfway likelihood that we’re still in the grip of this freakin’ pandemic. If, when asked, they’re all “I’m sure it will be fine by then” I’d commit to sending them a gift and my regrets.

My daughter and her fiancé are figuring it out right now. Her big goal is to get married before her grandmother dies (my mom, 83, minor stoke, heart attack, stents and mental decline). So she would like something really small next year. Ten to twenty people tops all together. Then have a big party in 2022.

His family, though. In his culture, weddings last at least three days and everyone attends.

Her close family, including aunt/uncle/cousins/siblings = 14
His close family, including aunts/uncles/cousins/siblings = over 100

In relation to COVID, there are a few idiots in our family. In his family there are full out conspiracy theorists - some that work at the Mayo.

I keep offering to pay for a Vegas trip.

That’s the approach that my buddy’s daughter and her fiancee took. Back in 2019, they had planned and scheduled their wedding for August 2020. When that became unfeasible owing to the virus and limits on gatherings, they made the decision to go ahead with the minimum number of people at the ceremony. So, the ceremony was performed last month with only five people–the bride, the groom, two witnesses, and the officiant (not even the B and G’s parents, btw) present–and we’ve all been informed that the party will occur sometime in the summer of 2021, though no guarantees.

They went with the absolute minimum number required, but I see no reason why your daughter couldn’t have the same sort of thing for close family only, including Grandmother, to not exceed ten or twenty people in all. The groom’s extended family (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc.) may not like it, but may be placated by the promise of a big party at some point in the future.

Still, Vegas may be the best idea.

I’m using COVID-19 as my excuse to never attend another wedding.

Extreme, but defensible.

I think April is too soon, barring a vaccine.

Don’t you have any restrictions on large gatherings where you are? Even in the heady heights of June/July when the first wave had dipped, our government maintained a limit on 30 people gathering (just been reduced back down to 6).

My niece postponed her August wedding to August next year. Hoping things will look brighter then.

If I were planning on getting married now, I’d either delay it, or have a tiny wedding now - perhaps broadcast it on zoom - and then plan a bigger party more people can come to next summer. It’s what a couple of people I knew did before (not with zoom, but something similar) when they wanted to marry abroad and didn’t want to ask people to pay loads to attend.

One of the problems with even a tiny wedding now, though, is cost. A bloke I know is intending to get married; he has cancer, and might not last another year. But the costs for even ten people (I think that’s immediate family; he’s older and they both have kids, so they’d be people he sees sometimes anyway, reducing the risk) have increased astronomically.

Obviously he and his partner are the only ones who really count, but it’s understandable to want a small number of people there too.

I wouldn’t commit now to attending a wedding in April, but I’d keep an open mind. I think it’s possible I could get vaccinated by then. I know no vaccine is 100% effective, so there would still be some risk, especially if a lot of unvaccinated people were in attendance. But given that I’m not in any of the high-risk groups, I think that’s a risk I might be willing to take for someone I cared about.

This is what my nephew and his new wife did last Saturday. They had planned to have a big wedding on May 2. They still had it in the church and she wore her beautiful dress but there were only immediate family present (15 people). I watched on Zoom. The emailed invitation said “Party to follow in September 2021”.

That sounds like a good way to do it.

I also think that for some people, the restrictions are a godsend. Although some people really do want a big wedding, an awful lot of people don’t, really. They might want a big party at some point, but the wedding itself is different.

Though in reality whittling it down to 15 people might also mean excluding some people you really would want to include and know will be hurt.

Sometimes I’m glad that I’ve never wanted to get married and everyone knows that, so if it ever happened for some reason it would be as small as legally possible anyway.

Thanks all.

I’m fortunate that I don’t have to worry about committing now. The location is only a 5-hr drive for me, so I don’t need to make plane reservations; I can plan my work who schedule to allow time off IF I decide to go; I’ve got enough money that I don’t need to worry about specific hotel options…

But I’ve been asked questions by my kids, who aren’t as flexible and flush as I, and would need to travel from a greater distance.

Other than receiving the “save the date”, I’ve received no further info. One interesting datapoint - the mother of the groom (my sister) has been the most cautious person I could imagine re: COVID - so it will be interesting to see what, if anything, she would be comfortable with.

Last summer, 3 of my nieces/nephews got married, and large numbers of family travelled to get together for days of celebration and togetherness. Really weird to contrast then to now.

Right now, I would be uncomfortable attending just about any ceremony/celebration - not only re: the proximity to people outside of my “bubble”, but also hotel/AirBnB/restaurant-hall. As I’ve decided and revised what I’m comfortable with, eschewing restaurants and hotels has been an easy way to keep me from what perceive as some of the most “dangerous” exposures.

I assume I will not make any decision until I learn exactly what is planned, and see the lay of the land in the coming year.

That’s about the smartest way I can think to handle it.

As to expense, IMO the large-scale travel industry will need to keep their curent COVID-inspired very flexible cancellation policies in effect until the need for mass cancellations goes away entirely. So “committing” to a hotel or air travel or rental car now is really no commitment at all. Small-time operators like individual AirBnBs are a different story.


Next item: I see a bunch of folks upthread confusing a wedding and a party.

The wedding only need involve the two people to be married & the judge or court clerk. And need cost no more than the license fee, nor take more than 5 minutes signing papers in an office.

All the rest is a just a party. That can be large or small, in one place or 10, last hours or days, happen around the wedding time or years later, etc.

Keeping these two ideas separate is important. I’d argue the best way to avoid hard feelings when COVID limits you to a too-short guest list is to reduce the guest list to zero. Then have the unlimited party when / where you can.

But ideally before announcing the trial separation :wink: Honestly many people spend more time planning their wedding than they do planning their marriage. That’s not a recipe for success.

Didn’t we recently see some ‘evidence’ of that ?

There was a segment on NPR yesterday, talking about wedding professionals, with DJs and such commenting on the lack of distancing and precautions at events.

The extra interesting thing is cheap weddings = long lasting marriages, but large headcount weddings = long lasting marriages.

Which are probably themselves artifacts of other parameters they didn’t address, perhaps from lack of data. Also probably lots of bimodal distribution effects.

I have been to several weddings since mid-summer. From the packed church to the small backyard thing. I have noticed fewer elderly in attendance. Maybe a masked grandma makes a brief appearance but none of her siblings nor the elderly neighbors or parents of the wedding party. The weddings that don’t make the news due to Covid outbreaks are more likely than the handful you’ve heard about. All have had at least a handful of people masked. The ones that had a large dinner had plenty of space at the table and between the tables. The dining halls were maybe at 50-60% typical wedding capacity. Looks like they opened and seated people in the overflow areas that would not have normally been used.

Just curious, what lifestyle do you lead that means you would have been to several weddings since midsummer even in a normal year? It’s just over two months. Are you a photographer or caterer, maybe? (I’m assuming “been to” precludes you being a minister or celebrant of some kind).

Though I kinda would have expected most weddings not to have paid-for photographers or caterers actually there at the wedding in preference to a loved one. Does your region have no legal restrictions?

Sorry, I really am simply curious about how this came about.

Oldest son is getting married Saturday.

They’ve whittled the list down from +/- 100 to something in the 70 range. Bride is actually very Covid-aware but really wants to get married, and is very conflicted. My son is mostly worried about keeping her sane and if his 90 year-old grandmother (who wouldn’t miss this for the world) will survive.

Actually ceremony on a rooftop (weather permitting) and (masked) reception after in a space that should be at around 40% capacity.

Fingers crossed.

I’ve been reading this headline in the news for the last couple weeks.

Day after day, I’d see another headline about someone else having died from this wedding. There was another death after this headline.

A couple things ran through my mind.

That’s a really sad way to start a marriage, knowing that 176 people got infected and 8 people died as a result of the wedding.

And someone must hate this couple for there to be this much coverage of the people who got infected at their wedding. I would think this can’t be the only wedding that has spread infection, but it sure got a lot of headline coverage.

I had to postpone mine. I was supposed to get married this summer, and we had to move it to next year. “Save the dates” went out in January. “Change the dates” went out in June. Maybe we’ll hire a bouncer to check IDs and only allow people in under 40.