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To Attend Or Not: Weddings in the Covid Era

Photo by Dmitry Zvolskiy from Pexels

Hi Laura,

Recently I received an invitation to a wedding that’s being held in the spring. The RSVP’s are due in a couple of weeks; there’s no information about covid precautions in the materials that came in the mail. What should I do? I don’t want to go if the vaccine isn’t mandated, because the ceremony and reception are being held indoors. How can I find out about the wedding covid policy without being rude?

Name withheld


Name withheld,

This question is one that I think a lot of people can relate to now that the United States seems to be moving into yet another phase of the pandemic. Weddings present a number of etiquette challenges, especially because of the intersection of families and time-honored traditions that can exacerbate pre-existing tensions.

First, see if the wedding you were invited to has a website. Many couples opt to put details online, since they can be used as a resource should an invited guest misplace their printed copy of the wedding paperwork. The popular wedding resource The Knot encourages couples to offer an FAQ section on their wedding website that will inform potential guests of their plans to keep attendees safe.

From The Knot: “To-be-weds are highly encouraged to create a wedding website FAQ page that lists all pandemic-related concerns, including information about socially distanced layouts, hand sanitizing options, mask information, and mandatory testing and vaccination requirements.”

Because Covid guidance tends to change with local factors such as the rate of transmission in the community, it makes more sense to house information in an area that can be modified, such as a website.

Check your invitation to find the URL (address) of the couple’s wedding website. If you can’t find it, try searching the names of the people getting married on Google. You should be able to find the website that way.

It is the responsibility of the couple to make covid policy information easy to find, and to enforce the policy. Therefore if vaccinations are required for all guests, that requirement should be confirmed prior to the event. This policy may be spelled out in e-mail, calls from members of the bridal party, or text messages/direct messages depending on the age of guests and the couple.

If you will need to travel to attend the wedding, consider researching the statistics for infection and ICU capacity in the area where the event is being held. You can also look up the policy of ceremony and reception venues, respectively.

Ultimately it’s up to you to decide whether you will feel comfortable attending the event given the policies put in place by the couple and the venue.


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