Life’s opened back up and events are starting to happen again. Yes!

So, what can we expect with events? Well…expect them to be done differently – and for a long time to come. Expect ongoing changes depending on what’s happening. States and regions will be different [like we need more confusion with this], something to keep in mind if you’re traveling to an event. Some changes will be short term and others long term. Some will be subtle and some will have a big impact on your event. Start preparing now to make it easier on you later.

Think about these as you plan your event:

Your Guests: The biggest topic and question mark right now

  • Note well = the max # of people allowed at events includes all staff
  • Plan on trimming your guest list significantly:
    • may not be easy so be prepared to make some tough decisions
    • have a small list for less than 50 and a larger one when more are allowed
      • include immediate family & close friends 1st – this may fill up your list
    • don’t worry about hurting feelings by cutting out people, they [should] understand
  • Less people = more money you save [see, there’s some good news]
    • frees up more money to splurge on something you might never have had
      • maybe an extra feature from one of your wedding pros
        • video
        • extra photographer to make sure nothing’s missed
        • better entertainment – so your guests don’t rush for the exits early
        • extra hour of open bar
        • menu upgrade
      • stash the extra cash away for your honeymoon, downpayment for a house, vaca, car, yacht, whatever
  • Expect people to wear masks – even if they’re aren’t required
    • makes for fun pics
    • make a game out of this:
      • maybe give away prizes for most creative/original
    • you may want to supply the masks:
      • great in place of seating cards = all the same for each table or color coded based on their food order, etc
      • personalize them = teams, movie characters, favorite food/drink, funny, be creative
  • Be ready for people to now have to say they can’t come:
    • health reasons, work status, travel restrictions, out of fear
    • it may be from someone you were really excited about seeing and sharing your day with
    • there are ways to include those that can’t make it:
      • have a camera set up in your room with a video feed people can log into
        • fun for people attending to watch, too
        • project onto a nice big screen or a blank wall
        • equipment needed = projector, stand, the right camera, screen, audio [if you want people watching or attending to say something – toast, blessing, messages of love, etc]
  • If you’re still keeping your original date, make sure your guests know
    • don’t assume people will know this
  • It’s super important to make everyone comfortable at your event
    • when they’re comfy, they relax and have fun which causes them to stay around for the fun
    • this may be the 1st public event for some
    • if it’s a wedding: use your wedding party, ushers, friends, and family to help with this
    • for other events: use your planning team, friends, and co-workers
    • great music and an inviting atmosphere will be a big help
  • Remember – people need your event
    • this is something for people to look forward to and take their mind off life
    • your event may be just the thing they need and you may not know how much someone needs your event

Your Layout:

  • You may have to be creative with this
    • start thinking about ideas
      • seating arrangements: more tables needed due to people spaced out more
      • have your venue help with any suggestions and have them send you a map of your new layout. Send this to all your team members
    • make sure your entertainment [band, DJ, MC] knows about all changes – they can help you
    • be prepared to use other areas of your venue for people
      • hallways, area by the bar, common areas, outside [be sure to have cover and heat if needed]

Your Venue:

  • Know what changes your venue has made
    • some may be minor and some major
    • know what their staffing will be – more or less than before
      • this will impact speed of service – food/drinks
      • your day-of coordinator may have changed
    • there may be more than 1 event at a time, which may be the case if places are backed up
      • especially outdoor ceremonies – you may have been the only one before but now you may have another one going on nearby
    • build in extra time if needed
    • be creative where you have events: backyards [yours or someone else’s, open areas such as fields]

Your Date’s Changing?

  • contact your event pros [entertainment, photographer, caterer, everyone] and make sure they’re still available on your new date
    • list out who is & isn’t
    • have plans to reserve other options
  • review all contracts to see what their cancellation/postponement policies are:
    • plan accordingly if there are fees
  • re-design save-the-dates and invites and send them out asap
    • keep a detailed master list of rsvp’s
    • don’t assume everyone knows your new date
    • use your original guest list to make sure everyone got a new updated one

With proper planning, coordination and execution, your event will still be a huge success. Sure you may have to make sacrifices along the way and it may not be your original dream event, but it’ll still be amazing. You can do this – I know you can. If you need help along the way, I’m only an email away –

About the Author, JP Lacey

MCrochester finger lakes wedding dj new york mc wedding planner

Your frequent hand washing Master of Ceremonies; DJ; and Lighting Designer

All weddings and events are performed by me. I help you play the rhythm of YOUR night. You get exclusive access to my expertise and creative mind.