Good communication is essential for a successful marriage. It’s also essential for most wedding guests as COVID-19 continues to spread.
More than 70% of wedding guests said they want to receive health and safety details before they RSVP, according to wedding planning website The Knot.
The Knot released the findings Tuesday as part of its 2020 Wedding Guest Study. The website found that 35% of couples with weddings scheduled between September 2020 and January 2021 had postponed their reception, while 58% were not changing their date but were adding health precautions. In October alone, more than 104,000 weddings with 14.1 million guests were scheduled in the U.S.
Kristen Maxwell Cooper, editor-in-chief of The Knot, said that couples “have been incredibly creative” in the ways they’ve communicated with guests about health, such as by making social media videos and offering color-coded bracelets for guests to show their comfort levels with in-person interaction.
“The guest experience has long been a top priority for couples throughout wedding planning, though in 2020 this focus has included increased health measures in order to create the most celebratory, comfortable and above all, safe, celebrations,” Maxwell Cooper said in a press release.
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In order to avoid catching or spreading COVID-19, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends precautions like staying home, frequent hand washing, avoiding close contact with people who don’t live together, wearing a mask that covers the mouth and nose, covering coughs and sneezes and frequently disinfecting common surfaces.
About half of wedding guests told The Knot that they felt comfortable with a guest count as high as 75 people, if the wedding is held outside. Some 66% said they preferred that masks be required, half wanted assigned seating and 64% felt most comfortable with plated dinners.
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Also, 69% of guests said they feel it’s essential for staff to wear masks, 67% said they want hand sanitizer readily available at the venue and 64% said spaced seating is necessary.
The more people at a gathering like a wedding and the longer it lasts, the higher the risk for transmitting the coronavirus becomes, according to the CDC. People can carry the coronavirus while displaying no or only minor symptoms.
Still, nearly half of the people who had planned to attend at least one wedding this year said they wouldn’t attend in person. Most of those people – 72% — said it was because the wedding had been postponed or the guest count had been cut down. About a quarter said they chose to not attend in person because of the coronavirus pandemic, such as concerns about health precautions.
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More than a quarter of people who had planned to attend a wedding this year have instead celebrated via a streaming video service, according to the report. Most “virtual” wedding guests called the experience very good or excellent. Nearly half of couples with upcoming weddings – 43% — said they plan to include a virtual element for guests who can’t attend in person.