The challenges of planning a party during a pandemic are constantly changing. Rules and regulations are modified often and depend on locations. One thing is clear that for the remainder of 2020, and possibly even beginning 2021, parties & events will continue to look and feel different from the norm. Here are some ways to encourage social distancing & safety at your party during the pandemic.
If you want to celebrate now or near future you need to accept this as a fact and adjust. You and your guests will have to be okay with this. Begin to plan with a more intimate and more personable event encounter in mind. Flexibility is key for couples for your party vision and guest list. Keep an open mind to change. This is the time to adjust whatever original party dreams you may have had into a version that will work with our current pandemic environment.
Provide Face Masks
First, a socially distant party begins with your guests wearing face masks. While some guests may choose to bring their own, you should make them readily available. This way no one has an excuse for not wearing one. If you are inviting guests beyond your close and immediate family, you should consider conducting temperature checks. Also, ordering custom masks for each guest to make all invitees feel comfortable.
Plan for Unique Seating Arrangements
Even with a smaller guest lists, be intentional with seating arrangements. For your cocktail hour, move to soft separated seating where families are on sofas. High tables that seat two to three people at a time of the same family. Doing this will keep the groupings socially distanced. For the reception, place households together with no more than 6-8 people at socially distant tables. This way, families are amongst their loved ones and will feel more comfortable during the celebrations.
Communication is important especially when encouraging guests to take specific precautions. Things like wearing a mask, sanitizing & washing their hands, and keeping socially distant. First through their invitations by explaining safety precautions in advance of the party. Establish clear signage at the celebration as well. Setting expectations in advance and during the reception for your guests is crucial to keeping all guests and vendors safe and comfortable.
Create Safe Spaces For Guests
It’s important to advise guests on any suggested safety measures. Just as important is to give them room to follow your guidance. Get creative and clearly define safe spaces for all your guests. One example is to hire a chalk artist to create decorative markers six feet apart. That will designate where guests could safely stand to be socially distant. Another idea is to set up socially distant lounge furniture area for small groups of guests. You can create individual care kits to encourage such practices for your guests. One example is to provide small bags with a note politely asking guests to sanitize their hands, wear masks, and respect social distancing rules. These bags can have custom masks, hand sanitizer, and a small measuring tape reminding guests that six feet should be maintained. Guests will probably have a laugh with measuring tape and actually use them.
Serve a Plated Menu
The way dinner is served can add to the overall atmosphere and pacing at the reception. It can also be adjusted to influence the behavior of guests. Plated meals are the simplest and most effective way to minimize guest and staff interaction issues when it comes to the party meals. This is opposed to a buffet where your guests have to get up, mingle, and line up. If you prefer family style platters or buffet-style services, ask for the help of catering staff. Self-service is no longer an option with pandemic low touch regulations. An example of new catering strategies is employing custom plating of hors d’oeuvres. They are served by masked and gloved chefs at custom-built counters. These are made extra safe by using plexiglass screens, to minimize food handling. Each guest feels special as a small plate is beautifully arranged. The server customizes them based on what each guest wants to taste.
Limit Trips to the Bar
Just as caterers & venues are reimagining dinner plating, they are reinventing how drinks are served. The bar is usually one of the most crowded spots at a party. Caterers are implementing table side beverage service. In order to reduce contact a masked attendant with gloves is assigned to service a single table. This means the staff can serve drinks directly at a table instead of guests approaching a bar and standing in line. Fresh glasses are used for each drink served which is a plus. If you don’t have the budget for extra beverage staff, serve sealed carafes in various shapes with different drinks at each table.
Mail Favors To Guests
To avoid the handling of party favors for instance, have your favor company mail you them directly to your guests who attend as well as to those who couldn’t attend. You can also send virtual guests an artifact so that they feel included in the wedding like a wedding program or a slice of cake or dessert.
Ways to Encourage Social Distancing & Safety at your Party during the Pandemic
While many traditions exist for party’s, it’s important to keep an open mind of ways to encourage social distancing & safety at your party during the pandemic. Cut traditions like receiving lines that encourage close personal contact. Since some social distancing practices may be unfamiliar—that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t welcome the new. Especially when gathering with your closest family & friends. This is the best time to be creative. We’re seeing a different style of celebration that we haven’t seen before. Don’t miss the opportunity to be creative during these times!