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Invitation Etiquette for Pandemic Weddings

If your loved ones send regrets, please don’t take it personally. It’s the pandemic, it’s not you.

Dear Brides and Grooms,

Congratulations and best wishes. We are thrilled that you have found the love of your life. Every time you share or talk about your upcoming wedding, it lifts our spirits to see our friends celebrating life. #LoveWins indeed!

Now that we’ve all realized that life has indeed changed and a lot of things look different because we’re living amid a global pandemic, we hope you don’t mind this reminder that invitation etiquette has shifted as well.

Here are a few things to think of as you create and most likely, keep editing your guest list:

1. It is your day but everyone’s safety must come first.

Yes, it’s your big day. And yes, this is a once in a lifetime event. But safety protocols will take precedence in every occasion and at all times now. Ensuring the safety of your guests, which is following the minimum precaution of face masks and face shields, social distancing, staying home if sick, and hand washing, does not take a break. Most especially in physical gatherings. Communicate to your guests that this is required at your wedding. This is your responsibility as host and it can also put your guests at ease to know that safety protocols will strictly be observed. Safety protocols cannot be overcommunicated during a pandemic.

2. Please be considerate of your loved ones’ quarantine practices.

Pre-pandemic, it was common to hear of friends or loved ones with hurt feelings because they were not invited to your wedding. These days, that may no longer be the case. Maryanne Parker, founder of Manor of Manners, said to New York Times, “Before Covid, people got offended if they weren’t included. If something is out of control, you don’t have to apologize. Right now, many people are going to be relieved rather than feel left out.”

If your loved ones send regrets, please don’t take it personally. It’s the pandemic, it’s not you. Of course without the risk of a virus, your loved ones will make it a point to be at your wedding. But if they express that they are not comfortable with the idea of going to a public gathering, please remember that we are living in unique times. Their love and support for you does not change based on their physical presence.

3. Consider different ways of including friends and family whom you cannot invite to your physical gathering.

Privately livestreaming one’s wedding is now becoming normal because couples are finding ways to include guests who can’t be at their wedding, whether it’s because of government guidelines or their own preference. Offering a livestream link on your actual wedding day is just one of the many ways you can allow loved ones to share in your joy.

You may also set up small virtual parties as pre-celebrations if you prefer to talk to your barkada, officemates, or extended relatives who can’t be part of your wedding. Lovingly send them an email with the link to the highlight reel of your photo or video supplier after the wedding to thank them for their well wishes.

There are many ways you can include your would-have-been guest list, be creative!

4. Reach out your guests before sending a formal invite—and be flexible.

We previously sent invitations out to guests and waited for their RSVP to know whether or not they could make it. Again because these are unprecented times, practices may be different. This couple did the reverse, they set up a website for their guests and used it to take a survey of who would be willing to attend their wedding physically. From there, they sorted out who was invited and who was invited to the livestream. They respected the preferences of their family and friends and reminded other couples to be flexible. Some guests may RSVP to your wedding but be unable to go (say, what if they were exposed just days before your wedding date) or change their minds last minunte. Watch what Dappy Reyes and Kyna Pasamba Reyes’ tips on your guest list here.

Remember, prioritizing safety is now how we communicate love and care and we hope these reminders help you sort out your guest list.




Figuring out your guest list? Share this with a couple who might be doing the same!