What 2020 Weddings Look Like in Connecticut Because of Coronavirus

Updated: Jul 7

UPDATED - JULY 7, 2020

(If you're a Massachusetts wedding couple of mine this advice all still applies to you, with a special note for you at the bottom 😘)

It's no surprise that the wedding season for 2020 has been completely forked up for couples and wedding vendors alike. After an abrupt shutdown of pretty much everything in early March, it wasn't clear when weddings would be able to happen again. Then, the Connecticut State Government started teasing a phased reopening but was mum about any of the details past Phase 1.

Well, FINALLY, on May 20th we were released some details about what Phase 2 and 3 of the Connecticut Reopening might look like and how it might influence weddings. Now that Phase 1 is complete and we're easing into Phase 2, it's time for an update on what the guidelines look like and how they affect weddings.

First: what we know.

Each phase is going to be a minimum of one month, with implementation only being triggered by reaching key data metrics from testing & hospitalizations. The greater New York/New England area has been doing a good job keeping our Covid-19 recovery on track after what was definitely a pretty horrific pandemic for us, so we should all take a minute to appreciate that. We recently entered Phase 2 in two different stages and the numbers for gathering sizes has increased from what was originally projected, however Phase 3 has been put on hold with no definite start date.

These are the details for Phase 2 weddings/gatherings:

  • Indoor weddings: limited to 25 people

  • Outdoor weddings: limited to 100 people

  • Masks are being required for all retail customers and restaurant visitors when not eating and it's safe to say this is being extended to wedding guests

Phase 3 weddings/gatherings, start date unknown:

  • Indoor weddings: limited to 50 people

  • Outdoor weddings: limited to 250 people

  • Masks are being required for all retail customers and restaurant visitors when not eating and it's safe to say this is being extended to wedding guests

We still don't have any information for Phase 4 yet, so it's unclear how any of these guidelines will change for weddings that are in September of beyond. And I know how scary that can be considering the death spiral the rest of the country is in with their reopening plans and the current travel advisory in place for 1/3 of our country.

What 2020 couples can do to prepare

  1. Postponement. This is still a viable option for you and I'm willing to work with you. I know a lot of venues are still encouraging their couples to move their dates even for weddings into October because so much is still so unknown. Even though we're doing really well with our recovery efforts and there's the travel advisory, it's scary to think there might be a second wave and the future is uncertain. I don't blame anyone who wants to play it safe and postpone. The Governor has said that if there's a flare up he will shut things down again and we'll be back to square one, so it is a very real danger that we won't be into Phase 4 by late August/early September. If you need help figuring out how to postpone or when to make the decision, check out this blog post with some helpful tips.

  2. Adjust your guest count. If postponement is not an option for you, start making different lists of your guests that account for a head count of 50, 75, 100, etc. Be sure to include your vendors (like me, your catering staff, etc) in your headcount. You can also read this post from my wedding planner friend Chelsea at Pearl Weddings & Events about why micro-weddings are amazing. You could also elope which is wonderful too!

  3. Video (This is more like 2b). If you do reduce your guest count, use the money you're saving there to hire a videographer so you can share a highlight video with the guests who couldn't make it, or figure out how to do a livestream of the ceremony!

  4. Use your wedding website. Get the word out to guests about what's going on, let them know when they can expect to see an update about if your date is being moved, and let guests know if you have to make tough decisions about adjusting the guests count and how to find out if they're on there or not. Guests will be understanding in these circumstances and many of them are probably feeling apprehensive about attending a large event.

  5. Things are going to look different. If you choose to keep your 2020 date, there will be masks, dancing might be restricted, and your floor plans might have just gotten a bit more complicated. We still don't have details on all of this yet, but it's safe to say there's going to be some guidance on these things over the next few weeks.

Dear Massachusetts Couples,

The MA reopening plan at this stage is much more detailed and transparent. Weddings are listed under Phase 3 with the notation, "with moderate capacity," And as of July 2nd the state was in Phase 3. Outdoor weddings are limited to 100 people or 25% of the venue's capacity, and indoor venues are limited to 8 people per 1000 sq ft or a max of 25 people. There is also no bar service or dance floor permitted for weddings. Governor Baker has made it clear that this is as far as he's willing to go right now before a vaccine is made available, so weddings in Mass. are going to be looking quite different and with smaller guest counts for quite a long time.

If you're one of my couples, please do not hesitate to reach out and talk to me about your wedding. I want to be proactive with you and help you find the solution so you can have an amazing wedding day!