How To Plan A Summer Backyard Wedding - Ideas for Your COVID-19 Wedding

In the wake of the Coronavirus, the wedding industry has changed dramatically. Venues, vendors and couples are feeling the weight of these difficult times. The pandemic took hold of our province in March, with a government enforced lockdown on March 18th. Kate and Bobby had planned a beautiful wedding at the Elora Mill in June 2020. Given the shutdown restrictions, they decided to postpone the wedding at the mill until 2021, but still have a small ceremony with immediate family on their original wedding date. Obviously, this was not the initial plan, but everyone made the best of the decision and planned an intimate outdoor wedding at Kate’s family home in Erin, Ontario.


Luckily, days before their ‘minimony’ on June 13th 2020 the Ontario government announced the increase of gathering limits at wedding and funeral ceremonies to up to 50 people which meant that events could legally be held outdoors with health measures in place - including physical distancing for those not in the same household or social circle.


They used the front lawn for the ceremony with the stone farmhouse as the backdrop. They had all the appropriate health and safety measures in place - including socially distanced chairs and dispensers of hand sanitizer everywhere! They had their immediate family (15 people in total) - including Kate’s grandma who was able to join for the day from her retirement home.


After the ceremony they had cocktails on the stone patio in the side garden - small backyard wedding reception


Given the fact that it was a summer wedding, we thought that the weather would be on our side - well that is never the case in Ontario - so of course in the middle of the ceremony it started to rain and just as we finished family photos it poured!!


Take a look at the photos from the day so you can get some inspiration for your own backyard coronavirus wedding


THE AWESOME VENDORS INVOLVED


Floral: Blooms & Flora

Dress: BHLDN

Catering: Foodies Anonymous

A QUICK COVID WEDDING CHECKLIST


Here are a few really important things to think about when planning your outdoor wedding:


HYGIENE - hand sanitization / guest contact

SEATING - think about households and seating guests according to their social circles or bubbles

RULES - be clear to your guests about the rules - like the fact that everyone MUST wear a mask except the couple during the ceremony

ELDERLY GUESTS - make this a priority! As the cohort that is disproportionately affected by the Coronavirus, it’s important that you think about their safety at all times during the day!


*Always refer to the Ontario COVID-19 response framework

WHAT ARE WE EVEN HAVING?


There are lots of terms being coined to describe the new wedding constellations - here are some of the common names used and their meanings!


MICROWEDDING - guest list of up to 50 which includes immediate family and close friends only


MINIMONY - a mini ceremony held with just your loved ones - it’s considered a commitment ceremony with you and your partner


ELOPEMENT - actually defined as ‘running away together in secret to marry’ - to this means it is just the couple, two witnesses and officiant


SEQUEL WEDDING - couples having two distinct weddings - this was previously used to describe weddings that had two separate celebrations for cultural reasons, but is now taking on a new meaning to be the ‘big party’ after the initial micro wedding ceremony


There are also some quirky names referring to this era like Pandemic Wedding and Corona Bride!