In response to the increased uncertainty that COVID-19 is causing our community and the world, I wanted to be proactive in touching base with you. It's aways my goal to avoid anything that may cause additional stress during the wedding planning process, but feel it is my obligation as one of your hired vendors to address how COVID-19 may impact your wedding. I'm hopeful that the phased re-opening of Washington State moves forward without any delays, however, in the event that the phased reopening of the state is delayed, it's possible that large gatherings of more than 50 people might not yet be allowed.
At this point, please know that I am happy to continue forward as usual and am committed to providing my photography services for your wedding if events of that scale are permitted on your scheduled wedding date. (To maintain my business license, I must work within the confines of our phased reopening plans!) However, if you feel like you need to reschedule due to governmental or personal health restrictions and concerns, I am also more than happy to honor our contract and make specific rescheduling accommodations that will ensure you can confidently move forward with your decision.
1. Maintain 6 feet between photographer and subjects.
2. Mask to be worn by photographer at all times.
3. Clients may choose whether or not they wear masks themselves between photos ops if a 6 feet distance is maintained.
4. For bridal party and family photos, masks and 6 feet distances are recommended for guests to wear in accordance with the State Health Department,
5. Photographers are not liable for the health choices made by couple or guests if they choose not to social distance or wear a mask.
6. Photographers will not be on the dance floor for open floor dancing (which is not allowed until the county of the wedding is in Phase 4) but will photograph from a safe distance with a long lens.
7. Vendor teams are to be included in the guest count for overall event attendance.
The June 19th Memorandum for Weddings and Funerals in phase 1, 2, and 3 allows weddings to proceed as long as:
1. They follow the Phase 1, 2, and 3 Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements
2. If food is served, the wedding complies with the guidance for Dine-in Restaurants and Taverns (this is the phase two guidance. In later phases, you’ll still need to follow this guidance document from phase 2, but check the WA state Coronavirus website to see if any requirements have been relaxed as a result of your county moving to a higher phase.)
3. Weddings conduct only those activities that are allowed under their county’s phase status.
Below is a basic summary of these rules as they apply to different aspects of a wedding as well as some clarification given by Washington State Wedding and Event Association, the State Department of Health, and the Washington Hospitality Association:
GENERAL WEDDING RULES AND DEFINITIONS
- Wedding services are defined as the wedding ceremony and receptions that are at the same location and on the same day.
- Wedding services do not include engagement parties, bridal/groom/couples’ showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, or rehearsal dinners. These other gatherings are not permitted beyond what is outlined for each Phase.
- Ceremony and reception must be at the same location.
- Ceremony and reception must be on the same day.
-If you are already married, you cannot have a wedding/reception event under these wedding rules. The spirit of these guidelines is to make special exceptions for important life events (wedding ceremonies and funerals), so if you're already married you can't have other events like receptions, vow renewals, etc. under this guidance (you'll need to follow the regular phase guidance for gatherings).
- These rules apply to both religious and non-religious weddings.
This guidance for weddings supersedes the general gathering rules for each phase, so if you're having a wedding, you still need to follow the wedding rules no matter the phase (even if those wedding rules are more strict). This is because the state is making a special exception for you to have a wedding right now, but that means you have to follow the extra guidelines.
WEDDINGS ON PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Privately run events on private properties are still considered wedding venues and all of the wedding guidelines must still be followed.
- The hosts of the wedding are responsible for making sure these rules are followed.
- The caterer and the venue will be responsible for following the restaurant regulations for anything related to food service.
- The host will be responsible for ensuring the venue (private property) is set up following the wedding guidelines.
CAPACITY OUTDOORS AND INDOORS
- Phase 1 allows outdoor weddings only and has a capacity of 100 (with 6' distancing).
- Phase 2 allows for 25% capacity up to 200, as long as the 6’ distancing restriction can be met (including room flip situations).
- Phase 3 allows for 50% capacity up to 400, as long as the 6’ distancing restriction can be met (including room flip situations).
- In case of rain, the 6’ distancing restriction must still be met.
- Tents with sides are considered indoors
- Tents without side curtains are still considered outdoors, but physical distancing must still be maintained.
- Outdoor wedding capacity is determined by being able to maintain 6’ physical distancing between each household. This will require measuring the space to make sure everything and everyone fits with distancing.
- Vendors are included in this count toward the total capacity.
- Capacity of outdoor events is limited by how many people can be there while maintaining 6’ distance between each household.
- Rain plans also need to allow for distancing.
- Physical distancing must be maintained for the duration of the event (if the space needs to be flipped from ceremony to reception, the space where the guests go in the meantime also needs to be large enough to accommodate them while maintaining distance.
- Face masks are required both indoors and outdoors during the ceremony and reception. During dinner, while seated, a face mask may be removed.
- From the wedding guidelines: Masks must be worn by everyone before, during, and after the ceremony. The only times masks may be off is while actively eating/drinking at your table.
- From the new order stating masks must be worn in public: Per the health order, a private event is considered public when it is accessible to businesses (photographers, caterers, DJs, etc). So masks are still required even on private property.
- Masks must be worn by vendors and guests if physical distancing won't be possible for the entirety of the event.