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Emma Scaramozzino - July 15, 2020

Pandemic Wedding Etiquette: Shahla Karimi's Complete Guide

Photo: Anna Turner, courtesy of Alyx Gorman via Vogue

Covid-19 has impacted us all in many different ways. When the U.S. began to see a spike in early March, we all wondered how the virus would effect each of us. With springtime being the start of wedding season, couples were forced to make a decision on whether or not they would move forward with their weddings. Despite the changes that had to be made, many brides and grooms decided to tie the knot anyway. Although our health, civil rights, and economy have all been tested, it is important that we capture this moment in time.

Over the last few months, we’ve seen weddings in all forms; over zoom, on front porches, and even in cars. But, does etiquette exist at these weddings the way it normally would? This wedding Wednesday, we answer all of your questions about pandemic wedding formalities.

Pandemic Wedding ZoomPandemic Wedding ZoomPandemic Wedding Zoom

Courtesy of Christie and Jeff via SF Gate


Many couples have considered having a ceremony (or even a reception) over Zoom. If a couple is eager to tie the knot, this is definitely an efficient way to do so. However, we think that there are much better alternatives that still incorporate your loved ones. Some options to think about are front porch ceremonies or car parades. This way all of your family members can safely be present for your special moment. As far as receptions go, the best part about them is the dancing, heartfelt speeches, and hugs from all of your guests — we would suggest postponing it.

Pandemic Wedding Guest List

Courtesy of Melia Lucida via Ruffed


Now that you’ve had to alter your ceremony arrangements, you probably won’t be able to have everyone on your original guest list attend. The best way to handle this situation (without hurting any guest’s feelings) is only inviting immediate family. This way no one feels left out and you can look forward to celebrating with everyone else at a later date.

Pandemic Wedding AttirePandemic Wedding AttirePandemic Wedding Attire

Courtesy of Lovely Bride


Another common question people have is whether or not you should still dress up for a Zoom or socially distanced ceremony. Unless the couple is also dressing down, you definitely should. Obviously you shouldn’t show up to a car parade in a gown, but you shouldn’t be wearing sweatpants either.

Pandemic Wedding Gifting

Photo: Elisa Watkins, courtesy of Hope & Alexander via A and Be Bridal Shop


Let's say you do end up attending a Zoom wedding — should you send a gift? The answer is yes, but it doesn't have to break the bank. Since the couple avoided the cost of a venue, food, and decor, it isn't necessary to give what you typically would. However, it’s still important to celebrate the couple’s life milestone, so we suggest you get them at least one gift off their registry.

Pandemic Wedding SavingPandemic Wedding Saving

Courtesy of Shahla Karimi and 100 Layer Cake


There are only two things that last past your wedding day; your rings and the photos. Since we’re in a pandemic, this is even more true. Use the circumstances to your advantage! Have a ceremony on your front porch and use the greenery as you decor, or a car parade where your guests deck out their vehicles – the possibilities are endless and they allow you spend where it really makes a difference.

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