So here we are…on the other side of this crazy pandemic, and now we are left wondering what we do moving forward. On top of that we are dealing with the divide of vaccinated vs. unvaccinated and how that plays into our planning journey as well. We knew that the world wasn’t coming out of this unharmed, we knew there were definitely going to be some changes and we would need to adapt…but the good thing is that the light keeps shining brighter as we reach the end of this very long, sometimes hard and extremely lonely tunnel!
First things first…not everyone feels comfortable with the vaccine, so you cannot plan your wedding based on the idea that every guest is on the safer side of getting sick. We also have to remember that although you may ask your guests if they are vaccinated in order to determine seating options, and whether or not masks will be required..it is still a private decision that a person must make on their own terms. So if turning the unvaccinated away is your intention…we suggest this is something you make public very early on in your planning…we would never want anyone to have hurt feelings and bonus maybe they will have time to think it over and decide that missing your wedding is not an option and roll up their sleeve. Alas, this is a discussion for another time….today let’s talk about the dance floor!!
Once upon a time it was suggested that dancing should be left to the bride and groom and a few other special dances. A formal dinner party with soft, ambient music that sets the mood for class and sophistication; guests stayed seated and friendly conversation was the driving force of the evening. While this is certainly still an option (and the safest one at best), restrictions are lifted which allows for more normalcy. Over the past few months, as we were met with more leniency, it was suggested that dancing should be done within marked areas of the dance floor. Each marked area was reserved for dancing with the other guests seated at your table, with a strong emphasis on not entering other zones. This too is still an option if safety is still an issue and you are inviting your guests whether they are vaccinated or not.
As I write this, all restrictions are lifted and weddings are resembling what they once looked like. Family and friends gather together to celebrate the union of two very important people that they love. Smiles out, people embracing and that feeling of being together that we all yearned for is back. So while it feels good to be able to celebrate how we always dreamed, for some there is an uncertainty somewhere in the back of their minds that perhaps this is not 100% safe. Crowded dance floors, close dancing, hand holding, hugging and loud and boisterous singing are going to ensue…all of these factors are reminiscent of what we once shielded ourselves from on a daily basis! How can we possibly stay safe?
Setting the Ground Rules
Let your guests know early on what your expectations are for your wedding…yes, you want your day to go down in history…but because it was the party of the year not a super spreader! If you want all guests attending to be vaccinated this is something they have to know well in advance, for the guests that are going to pass, offering a virtual component to your wedding is a great way to express how much you still want them to be a part of your day. If you are allowing the unvaccinated to attend, ask them to wear masks while dancing and mingling. Provide masks for those that forgot or are feeling a little nervous about the closeness of the dance floor and continue to have sanitizing stations throughout. Also telling your guests that it is extremely important to stay home if they are not feeling 100% regardless of the RSVP they sent earlier (another great reason to have a virtual component) is totally acceptable and often recommended by the venue.
Unique Entertainment Options that Help Clear Up the Dance Floor
While requesting a larger space to dance may be an option with your venue so that more distance can be between your guests, the bottom line is that a less crowded dance floor is the safest and best option when you have a risk of transmission.
Dinner Party Vibe
As we know, loud music invites close contact and aerobic activity. So perhaps we want to ditch the loud music and adopt some other forms of entertainment that will still have your guests enjoying themselves. Playing slow music will invite couples to dance with one another and keep distance between guests. This option is great coupled with a very formal dinner party. Not only is it safe but sets the tone for a very sophisticated and classy event. Your fancy dinner party atmosphere will focus on toasts and speeches, special dances and a more unique type of celebration.
Themed Music Rooms
Different themed music areas throughout your reception clear up the dance floor making social distancing a little more possible. Instead of one packed dance floor, guests can simply choose the type of music they would like to hear and spend time in that area of the reception…less crowded, fewer people and a decreased risk. Offer jazz music in a lounge setting or a string quartet for listening and slow dancing. Carrying this idea inside and outside of your venue space is another great option and of course lowers the risk of transmission.
This is perhaps my favorite option. The silent disco is an event where people dance to music that they hear through wireless headphones. A silent disco allows for several different types of music channels that can suit anyone from young kids to grandparents. Everyone wears a pair of headphones rather than the music playing in one spot which makes social distancing possible. Picture this…instead of everyone on one central dance floor, guests can dance anywhere in the reception room to the music of their choice. Super fun and super safe! And an added bonus is there is no loud singing or shouting…another great way to lessen the risk of transmission.
There is no question that we still want weddings to be joyful and romantic, but now it is important that we add a safety component to the mix. Whether you fancy a bigger dance floor or a slower mix of music, keeping those you love healthy should be a top priority in your planning journey. We have come a long way from weddings being cancelled and postponed; we have downsized, cut guest lists, invented micro-weddings and had virtual celebrations, and while we are lucky to be able to gather again, we certainly don’t want to start heading in the wrong direction. Keeping your dance floor safe is a surefire way to stay on track.