Only a month after restrictions over indoor celebrations began to loosen in our organization’s home state of Washington, wedding receptions and ceremonies are once again facing new limitations. Washington State Gov. Jay Inslee announced late Sunday morning that wedding receptions will be prohibited for a minimum of four weeks, until at least December 14th, and in-person ceremonies will be limited to 30 people or fewer.
These preventative steps are necessary to best protect our friends and neighbors, and as a Seattle-based organization, we’re eager to work together to reduce the spread of infection in our area. But like most people around the country, watching the rise in COVID-19 cases and the resulting impact on individuals, families, and small businesses is hard. These new restrictions, similar to those being put in place in many other states, serve as an important reminder that we’ve still got a long way to go before things fully return to normal.
(Until then, we have a lot of suggestions for ways to keep weddings joyful and intimate in the meantime... Find a few of our favorite recommendations linked at the end of this article!)
We miss a good party as much as the rest of you! But a cautious approach now means a quicker return to the carefree hugging, dancing, and large-table feasting that so many of us associate with weddings.
With that in mind, here’s a summary of the changes going into effect at midnight on November 16th that will most impact wedding parties and celebrations:
As announced earlier in the pandemic, guests at outdoor gatherings that can’t ensure physical distancing, or that take place in a public setting, are required to wear masks. We encourage couples to check the rules closely if they’re hoping to have indoor singing, musicians, or choirs perform as part of their ceremony, as this may also be prohibited.
For a closer look at the updated restrictions in Washington State, head here.
While these changes, like those happening across the country, will certainly complicate wedding planning over the next few weeks, we’ve seen firsthand how resilient, creative (and lovingly stubborn) couples can be. Officiants are refining new ways to connect and serve, families are finding inventive ways to come together, and couples are embracing increasingly unconventional ceremonies and venues that keep their families and friends safe.
Here are a few tools to help you adjust, along with some of our favorite examples of how love and weddings are adapting to the times: