Getting Married in 2021: Celebrate Outdoors

It is not easy to get married during a pandemic, and that is an understatement. While some weddings postponed in 2020 rescheduled to 2021, new developments worldwide are further affecting these. New plans for weddings in 2021 are also affected.

The State of the Pandemic Globally

According to Our World in Data, as of July 26, 2021, only 13.8 percent of the global population or 1.08 billion people are fully vaccinated against Covid-19, while 27.3 percent are partially vaccinated. In low-income countries, however, only 1.1 percent of the population is partially vaccinated.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO) Coronavirus Dashboard, as of July 26, there were 194.08 million confirmed cases of Covid-19 worldwide, with 4.16 million deaths. In the last 24 hours leading to July 26, there were 422,294 new cases reported and 7,644 newly reported deaths.

As of July 27, according to Statista, the cases of the Delta variant of Covid-19 were highest in the United Kingdom at 167,856 cases, followed by the United States at 24,635 cases, India at 15,474 cases, and Denmark at 10,510 cases. Seventeen countries had below 5,000 but above 1,000 cases. Twenty-three countries had below 1,000 but above 100 cases. Thirty-three countries had below 100 but above 10 cases. Thirty-four countries had one to 10 cases.

The responses vary widely between countries, though. For instance, in Australia, with 847 Delta cases, the government imposed a lockdown for more than half of the population starting June 26, according to CNBC. It has been extended up to July 27 in Victoria and South Australia and up to July 30 in Sydney.

In contrast, according to BBC, in the UK with 167,856 cases, only in the 12 areas of England with the highest Delta cases are people required to wear a face mask in busy places and keep six feet away from those who do not live with them. Most restrictions were lifted for the rest of England on July 19, with even nightclubs and cinemas open to full capacity. Certain restrictions remain in Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales.\

How to Plan a Wedding in These Conditions

The global situation proves that wherever you are, you must prepare for sudden changes in government policies. You must also consider the percentage of fully vaccinated people in your area.

If your locality is currently allowing weddings, it is advisable to take advantage and immediately do it. You never know when a lockdown will happen. This is not the time to plan for a grand wedding. Focus on making it meaningful for you and your partner. Limit attendees to your closest family and friends. Be prepared if a sudden rule is passed that limits people to as few as 10.

It is safer to hold your wedding in an open venue like a garden, a rooftop, or a private boat hire. Even if you, your partner, and all your guests are fully vaccinated, it is still better to be more cautious. Dr. Christopher Garofalo, a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) Organized Medical Staff Section and Private Practice Physicians Section, states that it is always best to gather outdoors and maintain distance. Also, take note that there have been breakthrough cases of fully vaccinated people getting infected with the Delta virus, and fully vaccinated can be carriers, as well.

Make sure that you know the vaccination status of all your guests. If you have unvaccinated guests, make sure that the seating arrangement provides six feet of space between people, both for the ceremony and dining.

Arrange for all the wedding preparations online or by mobile phone. Ensure that all your wedding vendors are following health and safety rules, especially your caterer. It is best if you can limit the number of vendors you are engaging with. For instance, if you get an event planner who takes care of the catering, the decorations, wedding photography and videography, and live streaming of the event, you may be able to get a better price than if you have separate suppliers for all of these.

Furthermore, it will be easier to negotiate contracts with fewer suppliers, especially since you must include the possibility of rescheduling, postponing, changing the number of guests, or other changes. Make sure you agree to the deposit. If it is non-refundable in case of a cancellation, ensure that you can afford to lose that amount.

Live streaming your wedding to family and friends you cannot invite to come in person is completely acceptable in the pandemic. It can even further widen the number of people who can share the event, compared with the number of people you can afford to invite if there were no restrictions.

Pushing through with your wedding despite the pandemic gives your marriage a solid foundation of working through any crisis against all odds. This is a good start to a lifetime together, preparing both of you for all the challenges to come.

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