A guide to planning a socially distanced wedding

Tips & Tricks


With the uncertainty surrounding social gatherings for what might be the foreseeable future, planners and couples alike are being forced to make decisions: postpone the celebration or accept what is and marry in a new, socially distant way. But rest assured that although your vision for your wedding day might change, that it will still be full of love, loads of laughter and cake. We're here to help!


Let your suppliers guide you

Before you make any official plans, check your city’s regulations about the number of people that can gather. Keep those lines of communication open with your suppliers, particularly your venue. By having these conversations, you’re giving yourself and your venue the opportunity to make the best out of your day. And why not make the most of your venue’s space and spread out? So, you may need to make adjustments to the menu, the way drinks are served, entertainment and even to your group photos. But your day will still be so special! Your wedding planner will talk you through the options so you shouldn’t have to compromise too much on your day.


Embrace the outdoors

Have we ever enjoyed being outdoors this much? We think not! With a smaller guest list, be intentional with your seating arrangements. Place households together at smaller, tables which keep your groupings socially distanced. This way families are also amongst their loved ones and more comfortable on the day. If the weather is a concern, a marquee without the floor or walls will give you sufficient shelter.


Help guests, help you!

We are expecting to see loads more handwashing facilities and sanitizing stations around venues. Do we sense cute mask and sanitizer favours for the guests? Yes! When it comes to social distancing and Covid-19 precautions, everyone has their limit and what they are comfortable with. Establishing these boundaries can be difficult, especially where guests do not know one another well. So, before the wedding, purchase different colour wrist bands or pins, something easy for guests to use from Woman Street at Canal Walk, and assign a meaning to each colour. For instance:

  • Red: Yay! I’m so excited to be here, but please keep your distance.
  • Orange: I am happy to stand together for group photos but would rather not hug.
  • Green: I’m planning to head into iso after the wedding, so I am ready to hug!

These visual aids will help avoid any uncomfortable situations and give your guests the best experience possible. Style Tip: Match these to your wedding colour palette – the options are limitless!


Image Credit:  Coldiron Photography


Involving those that are unable to attend

With travel restrictions still in place, the most significant change to weddings is reducing the guest list. However, just because all your family and friends cannot physically attend your special day, doesn’t mean they can’t be part of your wedding. After months of virtual get-togethers, we are used to taking part in virtual events. Encourage them to dress up for the occasion and set aside some time to chat to them so they feel as included as possible. There are so many ways to engage your guests. Your planner can help you achieve this goal and make sure that everyone feels a part of the moment.

Pro Tip: Remember to visit Canal Walk and try out the hardware from Computer Mania and video call platform beforehand and assign someone to be in charge of this on your wedding day.


Alternatives rather than compromises

While traditions exist for a reason, it’s important to keep an open mind when deciding what is (and what isn’t!) safe in the current climate. Cut traditions that encourage close personal contact and will make distancing more difficult. Instead of a photobooth (which we all love!), why not get a live caricaturist or artist to entertain guests from a distance?


Changing the order of the day

If your drinks reception is outdoors, could you have the cake cutting and speeches outside too before heading inside for the reception? Perhaps have your first dance between courses so your guests are less likely to get up and join you. Very importantly, communicate with your guests in advance and at the wedding. Let them know how the day will run and what to expect to set their minds at ease and avoid any confusion on the day.


Let love win

You have both been through a lot to get to this point. The worry, the stress, the anxiety and even all the uncertainty. We are sure there have been tears, many late-night talks, and maybe even some arguments. But somehow, you have managed it. And that’s something to be proud of and celebrated. Most importantly, be ready to go with the flow. If plans need to change, do not let it affect your enjoyment of the day. Remember, you get to say ‘I do’ to the love of your life and start your journey as a married couple!


The Wedding Show and enter to win a wedding

Save the date for The Wedding Show at Canal Walk, from 26-28 March 2021. Plus, we're giving away R155 000 worth of prizes toward one lucky couple's wedding, with prizes from Moments2 Media, Joie de Vivre Country House, Robyn Roberts, Visual Creations and The Devon Valley Hotel - enter now!

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OTHER TRENDS


With the uncertainty surrounding social gatherings for what might be the foreseeable future, planners and couples alike are being forced to make decisions: postpone the celebration or accept what is and marry in a new, socially distant way. But rest assured that although your vision for your wedding day might change, that it will still be full of love, loads of laughter and cake. We're here to help!


Let your suppliers guide you

Before you make any official plans, check your city’s regulations about the number of people that can gather. Keep those lines of communication open with your suppliers, particularly your venue. By having these conversations, you’re giving yourself and your venue the opportunity to make the best out of your day. And why not make the most of your venue’s space and spread out? So, you may need to make adjustments to the menu, the way drinks are served, entertainment and even to your group photos. But your day will still be so special! Your wedding planner will talk you through the options so you shouldn’t have to compromise too much on your day.


Embrace the outdoors

Have we ever enjoyed being outdoors this much? We think not! With a smaller guest list, be intentional with your seating arrangements. Place households together at smaller, tables which keep your groupings socially distanced. This way families are also amongst their loved ones and more comfortable on the day. If the weather is a concern, a marquee without the floor or walls will give you sufficient shelter.


Help guests, help you!

We are expecting to see loads more handwashing facilities and sanitizing stations around venues. Do we sense cute mask and sanitizer favours for the guests? Yes! When it comes to social distancing and Covid-19 precautions, everyone has their limit and what they are comfortable with. Establishing these boundaries can be difficult, especially where guests do not know one another well. So, before the wedding, purchase different colour wrist bands or pins, something easy for guests to use from Woman Street at Canal Walk, and assign a meaning to each colour. For instance:

These visual aids will help avoid any uncomfortable situations and give your guests the best experience possible. Style Tip: Match these to your wedding colour palette – the options are limitless!


Image Credit:  Coldiron Photography


Involving those that are unable to attend

With travel restrictions still in place, the most significant change to weddings is reducing the guest list. However, just because all your family and friends cannot physically attend your special day, doesn’t mean they can’t be part of your wedding. After months of virtual get-togethers, we are used to taking part in virtual events. Encourage them to dress up for the occasion and set aside some time to chat to them so they feel as included as possible. There are so many ways to engage your guests. Your planner can help you achieve this goal and make sure that everyone feels a part of the moment.

Pro Tip: Remember to visit Canal Walk and try out the hardware from Computer Mania and video call platform beforehand and assign someone to be in charge of this on your wedding day.


Alternatives rather than compromises

While traditions exist for a reason, it’s important to keep an open mind when deciding what is (and what isn’t!) safe in the current climate. Cut traditions that encourage close personal contact and will make distancing more difficult. Instead of a photobooth (which we all love!), why not get a live caricaturist or artist to entertain guests from a distance?


Changing the order of the day

If your drinks reception is outdoors, could you have the cake cutting and speeches outside too before heading inside for the reception? Perhaps have your first dance between courses so your guests are less likely to get up and join you. Very importantly, communicate with your guests in advance and at the wedding. Let them know how the day will run and what to expect to set their minds at ease and avoid any confusion on the day.


Let love win

You have both been through a lot to get to this point. The worry, the stress, the anxiety and even all the uncertainty. We are sure there have been tears, many late-night talks, and maybe even some arguments. But somehow, you have managed it. And that’s something to be proud of and celebrated. Most importantly, be ready to go with the flow. If plans need to change, do not let it affect your enjoyment of the day. Remember, you get to say ‘I do’ to the love of your life and start your journey as a married couple!


The Wedding Show and enter to win a wedding

Save the date for The Wedding Show at Canal Walk, from 26-28 March 2021. Plus, we're giving away R155 000 worth of prizes toward one lucky couple's wedding, with prizes from Moments2 Media, Joie de Vivre Country House, Robyn Roberts, Visual Creations and The Devon Valley Hotel - enter now!

Posted in Tips & Tricks on Mar 03, 2021