What can you do to best protect yourself and your guests as we begin to have events (post Covid-19)…
A wedding colleague of ours spoke with their family Physician, who happened an epidemiologist in his younger days, as well as a representative from the state department of health The following are a few of his recommendations for “wedding reception /event settings”…when asked some measures that the host/coordinator could take to help reduce the average guests risk of contracting the virus?”
Here they are:
Reach Out To Your Guests In Advance
First, inform the bride that she should contact all invited guests and forgive their absence in advance if they are not feeling well on the day of, or days leading up to the event, as many people feel obligated to attend a wedding for which they received an invitation.
Along with this The representative from the department of health with whom I spoke also recommended that greeters could be set up at the entrance to the venue, using non-contact infrared thermometers to test arriving guests for fever. Or likewise inform the bride that she should ask all guests to voluntarily check their temperature one hour or less before arriving at the venue then either write their temperature down, or take a picture with their phone of their thermometer and have greeters verify as they enter. This is more of an honor system way of going about it, but she did say that most people will try their best to comply and be honest, given the situation.
For Those Who Can Not Attend In Person
Second, and this dovetails with the first, the couple could offer a method of live casting the event for guests who either weren’t feeling well, or are at-risk or immunodeficient. Facebook live usually works great, as long as the device that is casting the stream is not so close to a speaker that it can very clearly hear the music, then you risk shutdown by the copyright enforcers.
Regarding The Meal
Third, if the dinner is to be buffet style, recommend to the bride that she inquire to the catering company, or venue manager about employing servers to man all the buffet stations, thereby eliminating the guests need to put their hands on communal utensils used to plate their food, this will practically eliminate any hand to item to hand transmission.
Fourth, recommend to the bride that instead of having reusable crystal or glass stemware, to instead invest in plastic disposable champagne flutes or wine glasses, and inform the bartender that there is a one serving per one glass policy. Once a guest has finished their glass they must throw it away, and on return trips to the bar the bartender will furnish a new disposable glass. This will greatly reduce the chances of the mouth of a wine bottle or champagne bottle coming into contact with the lip of a guest’s glass during pouring, possibly contaminating a communal wine vessel.
Fifth, inform the bride that she should ask the venue that when setting up seating for the ceremony, that they should use about 15 to 20% fewer chairs than they typically do, but still cover the same area with those fewer chairs to provide buffer between seats.
Regarding Toasts and Speeches
Sixth, regards any toasts / speeches that require the use of a microphone. Multiple people should not be touching the same mic. Place one mic on a stand and let everyone speak into it rather than hold it. (and djs wash your hands after!)
If You’re Having A Photoboth…
Seventh, following this same line of thought…those who have a photobooth at their wedding should refrain from having everyone touch the screen. Have one photobooth attendant hit all buttons. Furthermore, props, hats, etc.. should not be used even if disinfected before the event.
Regular Reminders During The Event
And lastly, ask your bride if she would be okay with you making periodic announcements to guests reminding them about proper hygiene, IE hand washing, as well as cover-to-cough, and a temporary stay on hugs and handshakes(and there are plenty of ways to make those announcements using a bit of humor, without dampening the mood or alarming guests)
I hope these tidbits help everyone out, and I hope that all of you are safe and healthy. I know times are lean for the most of us right now, especially full-time DJs such as myself. But there is light at the end of the tunnel, I just hope it’s not another freight train barreling down on us.