At the time of this post, we’re three weeks into social distancing here in Canada, with high hopes of flattening the curve to save lives and the world as we know it. It feels a bit heavy to say that we simply don’t know right now what the “after” picture looks like, or when “after” will even arrive, and while I’m trying to stay positive for this season’s bride and grooms… the truth is that we don’t really know what weddings look like in the after, either. Even setting aside the rescheduling issue, which is beyond the scope of this blog post, we can make some predictions about guest lists (possible legal restrictions, possible travel restrictions) and budgets (likely feeling… restricted). But perhaps there is a silver lining to all of this.
In the relatively* short time we’ve been practicing social distancing, we are already seeing our planet heal herself, and having a smaller and slightly less lavish wedding will guarantee you cause less harm to the environment. So, even though I literally just wrote about making your wedding eco-friendly, I’m back with more sustainable tips – this time, focused on saving you money. (*Does anyone else feel like they’ve been in therapy about this quarantine for 18 months?)
1. Get ruthless with your guest list. Whether your budget is slashed because of the pandemic, or you’re simply no longer down with 300-person gatherings, you now have the perfect excuse to follow my simple guideline to choosing who stays and who goes: only people who love you are allowed in the room. You didn’t want to have to be fake-nice to people on your wedding day, and now you have the perfect excuse for saying, “I’m so sorry, but no” to unknown plus ones, kids, distant relatives, coworkers who always use your coffee cup… you get it.
2. Invite guests to get comfy: instead of buying 100 pairs of flip flops or 50 pashminas or infinity heelstoppers because they come in three sizes and we never end up with enough of the size needed (always different, WTF!), just remind your guests to dress for the various elements of the occasion:
“Ceremony will take place outdoors, so wear a wedge or flats!”
“Cocktails on the patio - we have heat lamps, but don’t forget your shawl!”
“We’re partying late into the night… pack yourself some comfy shoes so you can dance all night!” (Obviously, if it’s all three, that’s a little much… but the shorter your guest list, the less calls you’ll have to field to answer wardrobe questions.)
3. Go minimalist with your sweet table. Take it from someone who set up and tore down sweet tables for over 10 years… a lot of it goes in the garbage. If cutting the cake is a special moment you’ve been looking forward to, then do a small, beautiful, delicious one… because those fondant covered monstrosities do not get eaten. And then consider how many of your guests will stick around to go back to the sweet table for seconds (and whether you’re serving a midnight snack). Know that not everyone will want one of everything, and plan accordingly.
This is probably too much cake.
4. Your seating cards, your sweet table, or your flowers can double as your parting gift. If you feel like you don’t need a parting gift, I am not going to argue with that. The incredible meal, the photo booth, and the amazing time they had are gift enough. But this is a great way to make sure those flowers get a second life and, if you did splurge on miniature pies from Rustique for all, ensures that you won’t have to freeze them all and eat them for the next three years (not that I would mind). If you have compostable or reusable containers ready, you’ll be able to ensure that your wedding produces less waste, more take-home-happiness for your friends and family.
5. If you’re crafty, and you have a ton of free time, DIY something. Love doodling or lettering? The Happy Ever Crafter has a ton of free content on her YouTube channel to have you doing faux-calligraphy or drawing gorgeous peonies in no time. Are you the most patient person on the planet? Bedazzle your own kicks with Krazy Glue, a wax pencil, and dollar store stick-on rhinestones (I’ve done this, and that is why I’ve seen every season of iZombie).
It might feel hard to get excited about your wedding, especially if you’re not sure whether you’ll have to change your date, so I hope you take the time to feel your feels about all of this. I’m always down to chat if you need some advice about what to do next, or if you’re feeling like you’re living in limbo. It is a weird fucking time, and planning a wedding is, for most people, super stressful. But even if it is a particularly strange moment in history, I think it’s a pretty crazy story you’ll have to tell one day, and that you can still enjoy this journey! I really do.