COVID Wedding Era Lessons Learned

April 9, 2022

Event Safety For Post COVID Wedding Planning

In a post-COVID wedding world we aim to set and maintain the standard as leaders for professional event safety throughout New England. As we finally return to normal, event professionals have a continued duty to promote and ensure the well-being of every single staff member and guest.

Kevin White, CSEP, President of XPL Events, and past president of the International Live Events Association said it best; it is our job “to make sure every single person gets home safely. That’s MY responsibility as an event professional. That’s OUR responsibility as an event industry.”

COVID-19 mitigation measures robbed all of us of those moments of joy and celebration that live events bring. After a verygovernor charlie baker wedding guest long two weeks to slow the spread, we can finally look forward to our friend’s 300 guest elegant wedding, cheering on the Patriots at Gillette Stadium, dancing to your favorite band at Big Night Live or catching the Emerson Colonial Theatre’s production of ‘Moulin Rouge’. Each of these components of the live events industry make up the social and cultural fabric of cities around the world. And until very recently, each one of them had been on an indefinite hold bearing an uncertain future.

With events returning (and with a Wedding BOOM not seen in 40 years) I find now is a great opportunity to pause and reflect on the lessons learned from pandemic era COVID weddings and events in this blog article.

Let the Professionals be Professionals

So how did we bring people back together safely? How can we be sure the event industry’s trained career event professionals come back to work responsibly? We do it by tasking those already responsible to ensure large gathering safety and that crucial responsibility lies with every single person with a career in live events. Safety is paramount.

Professionally produced events are not an inherent threat when executed properly. The Massachusetts Live Events Coalition and a team of Boston’s elite wedding professionals and safety experts came together create the nationally recognized award winning “Empty Wedding: The Marriage of Love & Safety”. With pandemic protocols set by health officials as our foundation we planned, designed and executed a mock 180 seat indoor wedding and embedded those strict protocols within the event design. Key event safety features were fused with the event theme. We offered gentle yet ample safety reminders. We made use of modern technology to reinforce awareness and cooperation without being obtrusive.

COVID Wedding Safety by Design

1) Rethinking catering and food service handling:

2) Multiple elegant and highly visible healthy welcome stations:

wedding sanitization station

3) QR codes & touch-less tech for table assignments, food/beverage menus, transportation info, music requests, contact tracing:

wedding seating chart QR code

4) Eye-catching graphic design with clear protocol reminders in higher-trafficked areas:

5) Ample spacing between tables and chairs to ensure guests are socially distanced:

wedding ballroom lighting design

6) Double or triple common crowding area widths such as aisles to allow for more space between guests:

wedding ballroom stage design

7) Encouraging plated meals and served drinks to avoid buffet and bar lines:

simple wedding centerpieces

8) Multiple spaced-out “SaniStations” in higher-trafficked areas:

event sanitizer station

9) Trained staff frequently sanitizing high touch or high use objects such as microphones:

wedding ballroom lighting design

10) Frequent updates, reminders and temperature checks of all event staff with mask requirements:

masked wedding guests

11) Use of appealing and theme-inspired staff/guest barriers such as this DJ booth/service bar by Boston Event Furniture in place of unwelcoming and unsightly plastics :

pink heart dj booth

12) Filling empty spaces with decor that naturally promote physical distancing such as these marquee letters by Your Love In Lights:

marquee light letters

Final Toast

When it comes to event safety, leave it to the creative Massachusetts event professionals who take their careers in the live events industry and their absolute duty to safety seriously. Certainly some of the more extreme protocols will fade, and some will become safety commonplace. We’re humbled to have our work for this advocacy event be nationally recognized by receiving the 2021 ILEA Esprit International Best Event for a Non-Profit & 2021 NACE Boston Event Production of the Year awards! Use these ideas as inspiration for blending safety typically seen as eyesores (looking at you, circles and arrows on the ground!) into the design of your post covid wedding or event.

We’ve missed you. Welcome back. Cheers!

Photos courtesy of Black Thumb Studio. Safety protocols and planning by Thomas Whelan and Mercedes Roman-Manson. Event planning and design by MLEC members and MA live event professionals Jennifer Bertolino, Jodi Gold and Blair Mitcham. Production by David Buono of Spinner Music Productions.

David Buono is a Boston-based professional wedding MC and DJ named BizBash magazine’s “2021 Most Influential Event Professionals in the United States”.

FIND A BOSTON WEDDING DJ

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"Spinner Music Productions was one of the best decisions I made for my wedding! I am in the wedding industry myself so finding professional and exceptional vendors was a must - and SMP was nothing short of that! I gave them practically no direction and they somehow knew exactly what I wanted and delivered it perfectly. My dance floor was packed from the moment my reception began until the moment it ended. My guests still tell me that my wedding was the most fun wedding they’ve ever been to and I totally credit that to DJ Buono and his staff. I would recommend them a million times over! Book them ASAP!!!"

- Olivia & Christos 09/04/21

"I’m not even sure where to begin. Your generosity kindness, organization, and willingness to work with our other vendors and wedding planner was amazing! Not only was David so fun to get to know (by the end he had spent hours talking to us to get our vibe just right), but he was also incredibly professional. He went above and beyond to accommodate every request we had. Not only that but he chose us as a couple to receive an extra service due to the generosity and donation of a previous couple that could not use the services paid for! We will be forever grateful for ALL of the extra miles he went for us. The music was enjoyed by everyone and our guests were on the dance floor the entire night. He also struck the perfect balance between getting everyone on the floor and ready to dance it not being overly excited or cheesy! I’m not sure we can say enough about how amazing our experience was with Spinner Music Productions. Please book them if they are available it is worth every cent!"

- Becca & Matt 08/16/2021

Glen Manor House

"As the mother of the groom I reached out to David to help me create the most spectacular evening for my son and his beautiful bride. I assure you that he and Tim created just that for us. He had the dance floor overflowing from introductions to last call. From the 3 year olds to the 89 years young EVERYONE had an amazing time. We never sat down and guests were raving about how much fun they were having. Do yourself a favor and HIRE Spinner Music. I promise you will thank me!!!"

- Dana, Mother of the Groom August 2021

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