Published: Tuesday, Dec. 8th, 2020
Our most recent survey of AMM ministers tells us that a large portion of officiants are still struggling to connect with couples this season. The cause, of course, is the necessary social distancing needed to slow the current Coronavirus spread.
44% of surveyed officiants said that the communication and ceremony creation process had been hindered by social distancing.
This makes sense, because even this far into the pandemic, we’re all still adjusting. With several vaccines on the horizon, things will eventually get easier, but we still have several months — and lots and lots of weddings — to go.
Thankfully, we can communicate, create, and connect with each other without throwing caution to the wind.
We know this because 56% of officiants say they’ve seen no negative impact, or no impact at all, in communication while social distancing with couples. This makes us happy to hear!
Location, timing, and access to technology may all make a difference in how officiants experience the impacts of social distancing.
Virtual meetings aren’t impersonal anymore. Business has long embraced video conferencing, but now the rest of the world has too. First dates, book clubs, happy hours, holiday dinners, even nights at the museum and concerts have moved online.
As we become more comfortable with the use of screens for our day to day conversations and hangouts, our connections grow more intimate, not less.
Recommend frequent virtual meetings, more frequent than you would in-person, and approach them just like your face-to-face meetings.
(Tip: If you have spouses, children, pets, or roommates that make it hard to concentrate, or if you’re worried about couples seeing a messy room in your home, find a quiet corner to talk, use headphones, and choose a virtual background for privacy.)
If you’re lucky enough to live in an area with temperate or sunny winters and springs, move all your in-person meetings outdoors. The increased airflow will help keep folks safer, and spending time in nature is guaranteed to improve everyone’s mood.
When meeting with couples planning an outdoor ceremony, you can even use this time to see the venue in advance.
If you find that communicating with couples is strained because you’re tired of talking about the pandemic, and don’t want to add to anyone’s anxieties, stress, or fatigue (including your own), we completely understand.
It’s safe to guess that most of the planet is tired of talking about COVID-19. This crisis has taken a kind of ongoing global attention and patience that few things in our modern world require. It’s not surprising that most people would like to talk about something (anything) else — especially when there’s a joyful wedding to plan. And thankfully, there is an end to social distancing projected in the not-so-distant future.
Still, we need to continue talking about the risks of COVID-19 until they’re gone. But we can keep our spirits and energy high by focusing on the positive, too — marriage!
To accomplish both, we recommend speaking candidly about risk, asking direct questions about couples’ safety and comfort levels, and then focusing on the love and community that marriage symbolizes. The good stuff!
Read How to talk about COVID-19 wedding ceremony safety without making it weird, for wedding officiants and couples, and then check out Safe Ceremony Planning -- How Wedding Officiants Can Still Get to Know a Couple While Social Distancing for more tips on how to meet up while planning a wedding.
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