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What To Say About COVID-19 on Your Wedding Invitations

by Hannah Huber

In a delicate dance between fluctuating COVID-19 restrictions and safety best practices, even wedding coordinators are stumped as to the best way to waltz around the relaxing pandemic restrictions. Sifting through the ever changing information surrounding the pandemic and new variants can make the already arduous planning process even harder. 

The first step is honest communication with your guests. As the Delta variant creates a new threat to at-risk groups, safety is paramount at any large gathering. While many people have gotten the vaccine, some guests may be uncomfortable with or unable to receive this treatment. Work with your partner to create a plan on how to accommodate everyone’s situation, even if it means that those guests celebrate with you virtually. This communication can be written on an invite card or accompanied by a lengthier explanation on your wedding website

Guilt is an inevitable emotion that accompanies planning a wedding during a national emergency. Releasing your guests (and yourself) from the stress of attending a high-risk event is the key to keeping expectations transparent and comfortable. Above all, include a line in your invitation stating that invitees should not attend if they are feeling ill, even if it’s a last minute cancelation. Your friends and family will be thankful for your understanding and for doing your part to stop the spread.

One common question lingering in the minds of engaged couples is how to ask for vaccination status or COVID-19 test results from their guests. Each of your guests is going to have a differing opinion about vaccines, the science behind the spread of COVID-19, and getting tested. As a couple, what you have to remember is that this day is about you. If you are more comfortable only allowing vaccinated individuals to attend your nuptials in person, that’s okay. If you want every attendee to bring a negative COVID test upon entry, no problem! Navigating the personal feelings of everyone in your lives is too much for two people to carry. Stay true to yourselves and embrace what makes you feel comfortable during this extremely tumultuous time. 

Building your guest list should be much easier now that restrictions on large gatherings have been lifted. Start your invite list by looking at your texts. Who do you communicate with the most? Is it your extended family, or immediate family and select close friends? Who has helped shape the support system for you and your partner? These were tough questions to answer even before the virus halted our lives, but the right words can smooth over any stray emotions. You might find that your list of attendees is organically smaller due to not having seen some acquaintances for a year or more. 

With the right wording, you can put the metaphorical ball in their court as to whether they will abide by your requests. We have teased out a few wedding scenarios that might require some serious wordsmithery to ensure that the people in your life  feel loved and included, no matter their vaccination status. 

Invitation Wording for a Virtual Wedding

If you are worried about the new Delta variant of COVID-19 coming in to crash your big day, you’re not alone and there is no shame in playing it safe. Children, the elderly, and unvaccinated individuals are at the highest risk for contracting the new strain of the virus. If your guest list is mostly composed of these groups, an online wedding may be your best option. A great way to make people that can’t be there physically feel included is by upping the ante on the invitation. Send your invite accompanied by a small bottle of champagne with your event details so they may virtually toast to your union. Feel free to use the below to get your guests in the wedding spirit, even from afar.

“With concern for the spread of the new Delta variant, my partner and I have chosen to do an intimate ceremony, but that doesn’t mean we aren’t ready to party! Please don your finest threads and enjoy a glass of champagne as you watch us take our vows from the comfort of your home. We can’t wait to see you there! Virtual event details for joining our special day are below.”

Invitation Wording for an Outdoor Wedding

As restrictions on large events continue to loosen, guest lists are growing, venues are booking up, and outdoor weddings are coveted. The event industry is experiencing a moment of limbo between wanting to celebrate in person with friends and family, but still worrying about the possibility of contracting the virus. According to the CDC, masks are not needed for large outdoor events, unless gathering in an extremely crowded area with rising COVID-19 cases and/or unvaccinated individuals. If you are nervous about the spread of the Delta variant, an outdoor wedding is the safest option for a sizable wedding.

While outside events are safer, they aren’t foolproof. If you want to take that extra step and require proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test upon entry, communicate this on your invitation. This is an extra step your guests will be happy you took to protect them.

“With the Delta variant becoming a growing concern, [NAMES OF THE COUPLE] have asked that all guests provide either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter the venue. We will all feel a little safer boogying down on the dance floor together virus-free! Information about where to get your vaccine and/or COVID test can be found on our wedding website. We can’t wait to see you IRL on our big day!

As much as we want everyone to be able to celebrate in person, we do ask that if you are feeling ill, receive a positive COVID-19 test, or have been exposed to COVID-19 within two weeks of the wedding to please stay home and toast us from afar.”

Invitation Wording for an Indoor Wedding 

Your first order of business when planning an indoor wedding is to check the protocol in your destination. As restrictions vary state to state and country to country, it’s important to keep up with changing guidelines as this may mean moving or even postponing your nuptials. Northstar Meetings Group has a regularly updated article that specifically addresses restrictions for the event industry by state.

The CDC recommends that all people, vaccinated or not, wear a mask in crowded indoor spaces. For those who are vaccinated, it is generally up to their discretion as to whether they would like to mask up. If face coverings are not part of your plan, pare down your guest list to a close knit crew who have been vaccinated. If your heart is set on the big indoor wedding of your dreams, set a few ground rules for your guests. Alleviate the stress of forgetting your mask by providing them at the door. If you want to limit mask wearing to just unvaccinated guests, make sure to address that in your invitation with language like the below.

“With the Delta variant becoming a growing concern, [NAMES OF THE COUPLE] have asked that all guests provide either proof of vaccination or a recent negative COVID test to enter the venue. For those who are unvaccinated, we ask that you please wear a mask while inside for your protection and that of our guests. Masks and sanitation stations will be provided throughout the event. We will all feel a little safer boogying down on the dance floor together virus-free! Information about where to get your vaccine and/or COVID-19 test can be found on our wedding website. We can’t wait to see you IRL on our big day!

As much as we want everyone to be able to celebrate in person, we do ask that if you are feeling ill, receive a positive COVID-19 test, or have been exposed to COVID-19 within two weeks of the wedding to please stay home and toast us from afar.”

What To Say If Your Guests Push Back


If you receive negative push back from guests who don’t want to get vaccinated or tested to attend your nuptials, stream your wedding live! They will have a front row seat to your I Do’s from the safety of their home. This pandemic is polarizing, but making accommodations for your guests that don’t go against your own comfort level will keep you and your guests safe. We recommend having a questionnaire for attendees on your wedding website that addresses any outstanding safety concerns. Above all, remember it’s your day!

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