Call Icon -The Loft on King Street+416.363.8388

Top 12 Tips for Altering Your Wedding During COVID-19

The initial peak of the COVID-19 pandemic impacted the economy, businesses of all sizes, and had society itself at a standstill. We can only imagine how stressful it must have been for those who had to postpone or alter their wedding entirely to a virtual event during quarantine.

Thankfully, most of the world is slowly “reopening” with greater safety precautions to help continue to flatten the curve. Many hopeful engaged couples are now able to look forward to celebrating one of the most special milestones in their lives. If you are in the midst of planning your wedding but unsure where to start, there are a few COVID wedding restrictions that you need to keep in mind.

Without further ado (and before the I do’s) let’s talk about the top tips for altering your wedding during COVID-19. 

Bride and groom embracing each other while wearing facemasks

1. Check All Your Service Providers

In order to safely plan for a COVID wedding, one of the first things you would want to check is the amount of care that your service providers are taking to ensure precautions are being followed – this includes your florists, decor providers, catering staff, venue providers, etc.

You can ask them about their COVID-19-related safety practices. They should be able to give you a list of the precautions they are taking. This should include stricter protocols for their staff (e.g. mandatory PPE, periodic health checks, screening tests), securing safe supplier alternatives for their materials, and so on.

2. Look Into Event Insurance Options

The COVID-19 pandemic showed all of us just how quickly an unforeseen event can put things to a halt. Therefore, you would want to make sure that you are protected from the risk of losing your deposit or incurring steep fees in the event that you would be pushed to postpone or cancel the event. In addition to this, event insurance will also cover you for expenses if someone gets injured or property gets damaged during the event itself.

3. Have a Backup Plan With Alternative Dates

You can talk to your service providers if they give any special considerations regarding postponing to alternative dates should any unforeseen COVID wedding restrictions arise. You can also ask how early you would need to advise them to avoid any fees if the event would need to be moved. 

Make sure to document the answers that you get. If there is the possibility that there are any fees incurred or lost deposits, regardless of the cause of postponement, then you may want to consider getting event insurance to make sure that you are financially protected.

4. Aim For an Outdoor Ceremony and/or Reception

The City of Toronto has implemented specific COVID wedding restrictions to ensure everyone in attendance is protected and safe from spreading the virus. In adherence to their guidelines, the number of guests you can have depends on (1) the type of event and (2) whether it is indoors or outdoors. Gatherings for religious services, rites, or ceremonies can be up to 30% of the venue’s capacity if indoors. If outdoors, however, you can have 100 people or less. The numbers are even lower for special events, such as receptions. With an indoor reception, you will only be allowed to have 10 people or less; whereas with an outdoor reception, you can have up to 25 people

If you’re more interested in having a larger wedding, outdoor venues truly have the upper hand when it comes to guest count. If you opt for a smaller, more intimate wedding, choosing to have your ceremony/reception indoors could be perfect!

Close up of wedding rings on a facemask

5. Limit the Guest List for the Ceremony and Reception

As we’ve talked about in the previous section, there is a specific guest count to adhere to when planning a COVID wedding. Prioritizing who will be included in the reception is one of the things you need to do – and though this may be difficult, friends and loved ones would be very understanding, considering.

6. Consider Having a Virtual Component to Your Service

In case the guest capacity for the wedding ceremony is not enough and you want more people to be able to witness your special day, you can opt to have a virtual component added to your wedding ceremony. This will also be very convenient for any of your friends or family who may not be able to enter the country or travel to the venue itself. 

7. Communicate with Guests Before the Event

Communication is one of the most important aspects of safely arranging a wedding event during these times. Communicate with guests to ensure that they do their part. Whether you choose to say this verbally over a group call or include it in the invitations, here are some points you should cover:

  • Guest number limitations 
  • The availability of a virtual component (if applicable)
  • The safety precautions in the event itself regarding physical distancing, using hand sanitizers, when masks can be removed, and so on

8. Encourage Physical Distancing with Signage, Markers, and Seating Arrangements

Before the wedding, you can check if the following is set up properly:

  • For a COVID wedding in Toronto, seats must be spaced 2 metres apart and should be arranged by household
  • There must be signs to remind guests to stay 2 metres away from others that they do not share a household with
  • There must be floor markings for physical distancing for anywhere that guests would need to line up or gather together while standing
  • Guests must be reminded to refrain from hugging, kissing, and shaking hands

9. Have Hand Sanitizer Accessible

Ensure that you have hand sanitizers available in multiple locations so that your guests can conveniently get to them when needed. As a party favour, you can even provide your guests with mini hand sanitizers to encourage use throughout the event!

10. Know When the Mask Can Be Removed

Having a wedding with face masks is definitely something none of us is used to; the good news is there are mask breaks or exemptions. These include the following:

  • The couple to be wed are allowed to remove their masks during the wedding ceremony
  • Everyone is allowed to take off their mask while seated/eating
  • Children under two years of age or people with health issues that make wearing a mask difficult are exempted from wearing one 

11. Outdoor Patio Dining for The Reception

To date, Toronto’s bans on indoor dining are still in effect until further notice. Prior to the wedding, make sure to check with your service providers or wedding planner about any change in regulations or check the City of Toronto’s COVID-19 updates.

12. Be Aware of Restrictions on Live Entertainment, Dancing, Alcohol, Photo Booths and the Like

Live entertainment involving dancing, singing, and wind instruments are prohibited where food is served because these high-risk activities can project respiratory droplets further than two metres. If you really want live entertainment for your wedding, the only way to safely enjoy it is by securing a physical plexiglass barrier between the performers and the guests. Another precaution regarding live entertainment or music is that the volume levels need to be kept reasonably low – this way, guests and staff don’t need to speak loudly or lean too close to be able to communicate.

Dancing, photobooths, and any kind of activity that encourages guests to breach physical distancing is prohibited. Although the service of alcohol is allowed, it is recommended to limit consumption in order to prevent guests from relaxing physical distancing and other safety measures.

Finding the Perfect Wedding Venue in Toronto

The Loft on King is a versatile wedding venue space situated in one of the most timelessly beautiful, historic buildings in downtown Toronto. Whether you make use of our custom indoor venue or our rooftop dining space for your wedding ceremony and reception, you are sure to have a truly unique and memorable experience.

Looking to explore our wedding venue options? Contact us today for a quote or any additional COVID wedding event inquiries.