**Updated January 11, 2021**
Hi y'all, and happy 2021! This has already been a wild year, but I wanted y'all to know that the Ultimate Guide to COVID Weddings in Seattle is LIVE! I wrote this guide with the hope that it would make your life a little easier in 2021. If you are still planning your COVID wedding in Seattle, you have tons of options for making your day an unforgettable triumph. It is a big read, so I'm featuring a bite-sized section over here on the blog each week. This week, I would like to tell you all about COVID wedding guidance, where to find it, how to find it, and what to do if you have questions. Let's go!
First, you should know that the COVID wedding guidance for Washington state (and Seattle) changes regularly. If you just want to know when the rules are changing, you can always follow us on Instagram. We regularly post these changes for our clients, because locating the guidance can be difficult unless you are following the situation closely. As tired as we all are of quarantine life, it’s helpful to remember that these restrictions are intended to save lives. Our healthcare workers are burnt out, our health facilities are strained, and cases are continuing to rise. Keeping the big picture in mind might help you feel better about navigating all of this!
If you want to stay on top of this yourself, you should go directly to the source, which is the Governor’s office. You can find all of the new rules and COVID wedding guidance where the press releases are listed. Of course, they often do not mention “weddings” explicitly, so look for anything discussing restrictions or proclamations. The most recent Washington wedding guidance was released on January 11, 2021. Thankfully, this time, there is a table right in the press release where you can see the guidance on weddings and funerals! Of course, it doesn't give a ton of details, so let's dig in to those.
If you click on the "plan" link in the press release, you will reach a PDF that has more details on the "Healthy Washington - Roadmap to Recovery" plan. You can also check out the summarized Medium article that was put out last week. You'll notice that unlike before, we are now separated into regions, with Seattle being in the Puget Sound region. Here is where you will also see that we are all starting in Phase 1 as of January 11th. And they have listed out the metrics required to get us to Phase 2. In Phase 1, our existing guidance is being carried over - so effectively, the same rules are in effect.
The current guidance clearly states that wedding ceremonies are limited to 30 people, and indoor receptions are banned. But you might wonder, “What about outdoor receptions?” (Even though that is a risky play for our Seattle winter and spring!) Well, outdoor gatherings in Seattle and Washington are also limited to 10 people from outside your household, with a limit of 2 households. (Previously, this was only 5 people.) But, effectively, all receptions in Seattle are still banned.
We wedding pros have been reading between the lines like this for a year! So, if you ever have doubts, ask your wedding planner, or one of your vendor team. We are all trying our best to navigate these new rules, and have sought clarification from the governor’s office more than once. If we don’t know the answer, we will find out for you!
We want to highlight here that for the most part, wedding ceremonies have so far been unaffected by COVID-19 in Seattle. You can still get married to the love of your life! It’s just the receptions that have been restricted, due to large gatherings of people. In 2020, we have seen receptions banned outright, restrictions on catering setups, and scrambling to re-do seating charts and sanitization stations. Weddings this year have needed to evolve to include masked attendees, 6-foot spacing, plated dinners instead of buffets, extra hand sanitizer all around the venue, signage, and more. But if you are planning a small COVID wedding in Seattle, rest easy - you will still be able to marry the love of your life! You may have to trim your guest count or tweak your reception, but you can still tie the knot and celebrate wedded bliss.
So how do you get there? Next week, we will talk about the different types of COVID weddings in Seattle so you can weigh the best options for you and your loved ones! If you are ready to read more right now, you can head on over to the full COVID wedding guide for Seattle. You can also download a free PDF copy below.
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If you have other questions about COVID wedding guidance, or other ways we can help, let us know in the comments below! And we would love for you to share this free resource with others - we hope it helps!