Lots of wedding plans that have been a year or even two years in the making, are having to shift and adapt this week as we, as a society in earnest, adjust our behavior to flattening the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are 7 things you can do to prepare for marriage in the time of a global pandemic.

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Pat Robinson Photography

Lots of wedding plans that have been a year or even two years in the making, are having to shift and adapt this week as we, as a society in earnest, adjust our behavior to flattening the curve of the COVID-19 outbreak. Here are 7 things you can do to prepare for marriage in the time of a global pandemic.  

1) VOWS
Use this opportunity to look for ways that you can show up for your partner in the life ahead, let these real-world daily things and acts of kindness inform your vows. Check out my how-to on Vows here.

2) MICROWEDDINGS NOW, BIG CELEBRATION LATER
Consider having a microwedding ceremony, with group size following the current CDC guidelines. At the time of this post, the CDC guideline is groups of 10 or less. Hire a professional officiant and photographer for this pared down ceremony, so that it will feel special and real when you think back on it.

3) MAKE IT OUTDOORS

As a celebrant, I personally feel safer officiating an elopement or microwedding ceremony in an outdoor ceremony space so that I can maintain my distance from the couple and their family during the ceremony. Everybody’s health and safety is top priority.

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Emily Wren Photography

4) ADJUST BEHAVIOR
As an officiant, I’ve already adjusted the types of ceremony elements we might include in a ceremony for couples in the foreseeable future, for example Passing the Sign of Peace (where people greet each other with a handshake, hug or a kiss) or a Ring Blessing (where the rings are passed around and everyone has a chance to infuse them with their best wishes before the couple exchanges them) are not going to be in any of the ceremonies I conduct until we’re through this pandemic.

Kelly Rich passing the rings. Terrain at Styers. Alisa Tongg Celebrant. Joyeuse Photography

5) SELF-IMPROVEMENT DURING QUARANTINE
No one knows how long we’re going to have to be mindful about crowd size, and if these restrictions continue through the summer, couples may want to prioritize a close friend or family member being at their microwedding ceremony instead of an outside professional officiant. The good news, is that my new online class is designed to help lay officiants do a good job at this task.

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The Wedding Ceremony Master Class is online, can be completed in less than two hours (and with social distancing!!!) and includes my tried and true questionnaire (so the uncle officiant has a lot of APPROPRIATE material to pull from), a starter ceremony (so the friend officiant doesn’t waste time cobbling together awkward scripts from the internet) and my primer on VOWS for the couple.

www.weddingceremonymasterclass.com

6) BE FLEXIBLE
I think the best thing we can all do right now is stay home, keep making plans for the future and have a flexible attitude if something needs to change — whether that’s date, venue, a particular vendor, or if Gran can attend.

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7) REMEMBER WHAT MATTERS
And we’re book-ending this post by focusing again on what matters the most—honoring your relationships. When things get crazy and everything around us is uncertain, I hope that you can draw strength from remembering that marriage commitments traditionally include a basic premise, ‘for better or for worse, good times and difficult, sickness and health.’ If you’re reading this, my wish for you is that you have someone or a handful of people in your life that you are “in it with”, people who you trust and who provide some stability during these unstable times. Do whatever you need to do today to be that someone, that shelter in the storm, for the people you love too.

Shower of Blessings Alisa Tongg Celebrant AlexisJuneWeddings
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