Wedding planning during the outbreak of COVID-19 presents some unique challenges. As we enter into late summer in the United States, the CDC is still recommending strict social distancing guidelines. Many non-essential businesses are either partially or fully shut down-- including pretty much all wedding vendors and venues. While couples planning their weddings this summer might normally be meeting up with their florists to see mock-up designs or trying out potential tasting menus, these typical wedding planning activities are off the table during the coronavirus pandemic.

Needless to say, the current situation in the world isn’t exactly ideal for couples who are planning their weddings. However, though planning an event is decidedly more difficult at the moment, your wedding planning doesn’t have to be put on hold due to the pandemic. Whether you’re planning a wedding that will take place at the end of the year, in 2021, or beyond, there are still numerous ways to plan for your future wedding while social distancing.

Many couples are wedding planning during COVID-19 and every couple is at a different stage in the planning process. So, below, we’re giving a wide variety of suggestions of ways you can plan your wedding during the pandemic. Read on to browse our list, then utilize the tips that work for where you are in your wedding planning journey.

1. Work on Your Guest List

If you’re in the early stages of the planning process, now is the perfect time to hone in on your ideal guest count and guest list. Times like these really make us think about connecting with the people we care about. Spend some time thoughtfully considering who you want to have at your wedding and how big or small you really want your wedding to be.

2. Triple Check Those Wedding Contracts

Whether you already have contracts with vendors and your venue or will soon be signing on the dotted line, triple check your wedding contracts. Right now, it’s best not to sign any new contracts if they don’t include wedding date postponement clauses and the potential costs associated with a postponement. Be sure you know exactly what you’re agreeing to when you sign a contract.

3. Send Out a Notice to Your Guests

If you’re planning a wedding on a new date because you had to postpone your wedding due to COVID-19, send out a notice to your guests. You can send out a notice via email or through a card sent in the mail. It’s best to do this as soon as you possibly can after you know you’ll be rescheduling since giving plenty of notice for a cancellation is good etiquette.

4. Collect Wedding Guest Addresses

Before you can send out your physical wedding invitations, you’ll need your guests’ addresses. Now is the perfect time to organize your address book so that you’ll have those on hand when it’s time to send out your invites. As an added bonus, reaching out to get the addresses of your friends and family members also offers a wonderful excuse to connect with your loved ones more during this time of social distancing.

5. Assess Your Aesthetics

If you have more free time during the coronavirus pandemic, why not spend some of that extra time really thinking through how your wedding will look? Research decor ideas and let yourself get inspired. As time goes by, start organizing your ideas and narrowing in on your perfect wedding colors, theme, and decor.

6. Think Through Your Wedding Day Schedule

Another thing you can think through right now is the flow of your wedding day schedule. How easy and enjoyable the flow your wedding day timeline is will have a big impact on how much fun you and your guests have at your wedding. So, consider putting on your wedding planner cap and thinking through how your wedding day events will be experienced as you make your wedding ceremony and reception schedule. Right now, you may also want to consider whether or not there are any thoughtful extras you could add to your nuptials that could make your guests’ experience even better (like personal handwritten notes on table settings, added comfort items at your wedding venue, hotel welcome bags, etc.).

7. Pick Out Your Vendors

If you didn’t lock down all your wedding vendors before the pandemic locked down your city, you can still work on this element of wedding planning while social distancing. You can research vendors like caterers, photographers, videographers, DJs, officiants, and florists online and can also ask your friends and family for recommendations. And since plenty of vendors are offering virtual consultations right now, you can still connect with potential vendors via Zoom or Facetime and move forward with your bookings.

8. Work On Your Wedding Website

Getting your wedding website set up is a crucial part of the modern wedding planning process. Your guests will look to your wedding website for all the important information about your big day, like your wedding location and date, information on hotel blocks, and your wedding registry. So, go ahead and get this ever-so-important part of the planning process crossed off your list by setting up your site now.

9. Research Marriage Licenses

Marriage laws and regulations are two things that most people don’t think about much. They’re also two things that vary from state-to-state. If you’re not sure how getting a legally binding marriage license works in your area, now’s a great time to do some research.

10. Register for Some Experiences

The age of COVID-19 is actually a great time to create a wedding registry since you can have fun at home daydreaming about what you want on your registry. When you make your registry, consider registering for some experiences in addition to gifts. Receiving experiences as gifts will help you make memories with your new spouse, while also giving you something to look forward to once the pandemic is in the past.