Safety in Colors

Safety in Colors (Creative ways to help your guests feel comfortable while mingling at your wedding.)

This year’s wedding season has taken hits due to the pandemic. From restricted activities to guest counts, couples continue to replan intimate details of their day. Only to find themselves faced with another hurdle: The comfort level of their guests.

In order to address this, some couples have taken a creative approach by acknowledging the individual comfort of guests. They accomplish this through setting a table near the entrance of the event with a color-coded identifier. This lets other guests know someone’s comfort while mingling at a wedding in a pandemic. We would like to share some experiences and suggestions to help keep the show on the road by creating a safe and enjoyable event for all, below.

Event Planner Angela Lemke, the owner of Angela’s Premier Event Designs in Fairborn, Ohio coordinated two weddings using printed bracelets and color glow sticks to acknowledge guests’ comfort levels.

“The bride made gorgeous signs explaining what each color stood for and displayed them at the entrance with the bracelets in adorable crystal bowls. The glow sticks were a huge hit as well,” Lemke said. 

With both weddings having over 100 guests each, the bracelets were a great idea to help people keep their distance and participate in a special occasion. 

“It easily shows the concerned from the non-concerned guests. I think the concerned guests were assured that the vendors, venue, and other guests were able to follow the rules to prevent the spread of Covid-19. I think it allows them to feel safe in their bubble, while allowing other people to remain comfortable in theirs,” Lemke said. 

The bracelets can be monogrammed and color-coded to go along with the wedding theme. Lemke’s couple used their hashtag name. Their versatility makes them a desirable option for couples. 

Lanette Orebaugh decided to approach the issue differently when she married in Camby, Indiana on October 2, 2020, though her goal was the same as the other couples’.

“With social distancing changing the way events are done, I wanted to take out the awkward communication between guests, but still have them feel safe in their social distancing beliefs. I know a lot of people are using the rubber wristbands, but I wanted something that complimented my wedding and could easily be seen,” Orebaugh said. 

Orebaugh designed burlap bows with a little bling, which she displayed at a table that included a sign with instructions. So, the guests were aware of what everything meant: Red bows were for keeping distance, yellow for talking without touching, and green for hugs and high fives. 

The originality and simplicity in staging and design allowed Orebaugh’s guests to feel comfortable and look good while celebrating. Originally created for her wedding, Orebaugh realized the need of other brides. She made this into a business to design them for other brides getting married during the pandemic. 

Orebaugh opined, “I feel like the subject of social distancing is so sensitive and we all know someone on both sides. I don’t think it will change anytime soon, but in the meantime I am hoping to keep the awkward moments to a minimum at special occasions. It could even become an everyday accessory.”

Orebaugh customizes the color and style to match the wedding theme for each possible client. “I use satin, burlap, cotton blends. I can even replace the bling in the middle with a tiny flower, or remove it completely for a simpler look,” Orebaugh continued. (Orebaugh can be contacted through her instagram @SocialDBows.)

Kenny and Amanda Casperson were married in Marysville, Ohio on August 22, 2020. They wanted to make their guests feel safe enough to attend with something simple and easy to see. 

“We purchased red and white leis for the purpose of social distancing at each person’s own preference. If our guests chose to wear white leis, then they were comfortable with contact and if they wore red leis then it meant they would like to keep their distance from people. It helped take away the awkwardness of not knowing how people felt about attending a wedding during a pandemic,” Casperon said. 

They had the leis in wood crates on a table with signs explaining what it was and how it worked. It was set up by the entrance at the venue. The implementation of the leis was supported by the couple’s DJ, Michael C Herriott, owner of Owl at the Moon Entertainment. With almost 200 guests in attendance, it was important to make sure that each guest was aware. 

Herriott stated, “I made several announcements through the evening and if I saw someone not wearing one I politely pointed them to the table to get one. I felt like it made people feel more comfortable.” Having the DJ provide a reminder, takes the load off the couple and other guests.

Whether your event is small and intimate or a large gathering, it’s important to recognize the comfort levels of your guests. It can be hard to turn someone down for a hug or a conversation, so having a nonverbal way to communicate that message can alleviate the stress of how to interact at a joyous occasion during a pandemic. 

More importantly, while the gesture from each of these couples wasn’t requested by their guests; it was definitely appreciated, as it helped make a special event a comfortable one.

Author: Kameko MacPherson