Engaged Wedding Library operates under one major belief: The key to having a great wedding is hiring a great vendor team. From their wedding planning studio in Homewood (or appointments via Zoom), the planners at Engaged educate brides on the wedding planning process, guide them through the stages of planning, and help them build an excellent vendor team. Unlike traditional wedding planners, Engaged is financially supported by 100+ vetted Birmingham wedding venues and vendors, representing all styles, locations and budgets. And they now offer wedding day coordination as an added service.

StyleBlueprint welcomes Enaged’s Marketing Manager, Summer Tate, as she provides advice to 2020 brides on what they can expect as they plan their big day during the pandemic. Welcome, Summer!

It’s no secret COVID-19 has put a damper on large gatherings, and when it comes to weddings, brides are navigating through a new reality. Incorporating social distancing, having masks and sanitizer on the guest book table, and no longer offering a buffet-style dinner are just a few of the changes brides are making to ensure their guests feel comfortable and stay safe. Many Birmingham vendors have also implemented precautions to ensure the safety of their employees and the guests they serve.

At Engaged, we meet with 300+ brides a year, carefully assisting them in choosing their vendor team, while staying on budget and considering their unique preferences. In 2019, we added wedding day coordination to our bridal services and were booked to serve over 60 brides this year. After assisting with several weddings this past June, we put together a list of what you can expect when planning a wedding during the current pandemic. Your event can still be just as beautiful, meaningful and fun, but you will need to make some adjustments.

Bride planning 2020 wedding at Engaged Wedding Library

After helping plan several weddings in the wake of the current pandemic, Engaged Wedding Library is here to give advice on how brides can still have their big day. Image: Katie & Alec Photography

VENUE: Your venue will be following serious guidelines and regulations, one being requiring your guest count to be at half capacity. At a more serious extent, some are taking temperatures, requiring signed waivers and asking guests to wear masks while social distancing. Make it fun! Order some monogrammed or custom masks to match your wedding aesthetic while also ensuring the safety of your guests, venue and vendors.

RELATED: Wedding Postponement Advice from Southern Professionals

FOOD AND BEVERAGE: It’s no secret the food and drinks are a fan favorite at a wedding. The most cost-effective way to feed your guests has always been buffet-style, but most caterers require hosts to pick between a seated dinner or attended stations. Both of these services will raise your catering cost, requiring more labor. Also, skip those passed appetizers. Guests grabbing their own food results in the unnecessary transfer of germs. Expect to see plexiglass at both your dinner buffet and bar. Vendors working with food and beverage are required to wear a mask. Although this has always been proper etiquette, make sure guests are also grabbing fresh plates and cups each trip to the bar or food stations. Go ahead and inquire with your caterer about extra plates and your stationer about extra monogrammed cups.

DRESS SHOPPING: Plan ahead. If you are looking at a six-month engagement, it may be best to be on the lookout for a sample gown. Communicate with your consultant about the expectations on the arrival of your gown when ordering. Bridal gown shops and alterations aren’t allowing as many people in the store. Get your appointment on the books so you don’t have to sweat it. And of course, don’t forget your mask!

Ivory & White wedding dresses

The team at Ivory & White can help you find your dream dress. Image: Photos By The Heart

ENTERTAINMENT: You can still have the thrilling band or DJ you booked. Most entertainment vendors require guests to maintain a six-foot distance from them, allowing the party to continue, while also keeping themselves safe. Also, guests are expected to social distance on the dance floor.

RELATED: “I Had a Quarantine Wedding”: 4 Brides Share Their Wedding Day Stories

HONEYMOON: Sadly, your seven-day vacation out of the country may not be happening any time soon. Consider a Plan B for your trip or rebook it for your one-year anniversary. We recommend taking a “mini-moon” in the states instead.

No matter what your wedding planning season looks like, we wish you endless joy and happiness. Congratulations, brides-to-be!

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For wedding inspiration, check out our archive of beautiful Southern weddings HERE.

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