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Wedding Tips from a Backyard Covid Bride


@christiegrahamphotography


I got married October 10th, 2020, right in the middle of what we thought was "only 2 weeks of quarantine" and here we are, April 2021, over a year after that initial lockdown, and still navigating this pandemic. Like myself, a few of my couples decided to go ahead with smaller, intimate weddings last year and here are a few similarities I want to pass along for all of you couples that are saying "Screw It" to the Big C and still going ahead with their wedding days! I have complied a list of tips and advice from my own wedding day plans as well as my couples' days to help you make the most of your Covid wedding!





Tip One

Be flexible.





Shit WILL go wrong, it always does and on my own wedding day - and the days leading up to - it felt like almost everything went differently than I had planned but on the day of, I wouldn't have changed a thing. It was the perfect wedding day. To be honest, there were people I wish could have been there (but couldn't make the trip), but now I just have an excuse to have a big party once this crap is all over. Seriously, the best advice I can give is just make the best of it and remember it’s your freaking wedding day. All that matters is how you choose to enjoy the day, spending it whole-heartedly, with your best friend.





Tip Two

Choose your vendors wisely.






Sit down over a glass of wine or fun drink of sorts and chat with your partner about what is most important to you on your wedding day. Whether you're planning an elopement, intimate or regular sized wedding, this is important to do. However, look at it from the point of an intimate wedding, for example, do you need as much entertainment or decoration as you normally would for a bigger wedding? Individually, decide what your top 3 "Must Haves" on your wedding day are, then compare with your partner. If your top 3 "Must Haves" are Photography, Florals and Food, and your partner's are Food, DJ and Photography, you've now figured out where most of your budget should be used - Photography (wink, wink) and Food. Decide on a reasonable budget for the remaining "Must Haves" and start from there.





Tip Three

Choose your guest list wisely.





With the current government restrictions (as of April 2021), weddings and celebrations outdoors are limited to 10 people but fortunately over the last Summer, weddings were allowed up to 50 guests. Don't get me wrong, large weddings are a DAMN. GOOD. TIME. but personally for myself and for a lot of my couples last year, this was the perfect reason to choose the *most* important people in your life. I say this lightly because I totally get having bigger families or friend groups but for my husband and I, we have a pretty tight circle, so this was perfect for us. We had no additional guests to worry about - no partners, no long lost relatives, or out of control guests - just the people that we will have a relationship with still, hopefully 10+ years from now.





Tip Four

Be safe & kind.



@christiegrahamphotography


Everyone's comfort level with this pandemic is different and having an open mind to how comfortable people may or may not be is important. Having options like hand sanitizer (We used personal sizes as favours), optional masks (with our custom initials) and we even took safety to the next level and did temperature checks of all our guests/vendors as they entered the yard to give our guests peace of mind. It worked because NO ONE got sick and everyone had a great time.





Tip Five/Six/Seven

Short but important tidbits of advice. Get Creative.





- My husband and I are big charcuterie people and wanted our guests to experience that during our cocktail hour but because of Covid, it wasn't the most sanitary idea. SO, we made individual charcuterie boxes for each of our guests, filled with meats, cheese and veggie options, it was so perfect.






- Be prepared for the weather if you're having a backyard wedding. Almost everyone of my couples this year had an undercover option incase the weather turned for their backyard weddings. I personally had a clear top, clear sided tent and it was the perfect way to let in natural light but also stay warm and dry because it was October.





- Have a socially distanced drive-by reception. One of my couples actually had a SURPRISE drive-by reception and it was the best experience for them. The groom's dad organized about 20 cars filled with friends and family to line up in their back field and while I was "posing" the couple for a group photo, the first car drove thru and the bride's reaction says it all, it's a great option if you can't have that big party style reception.








Lastly, capture it. This is shameless plug but now more than ever, hire a photographer AND videographer that you love. These memories only happen once and you want it captured forever.