by DJ Ben Boylan
OK so your area just opened up and you’re planning to put on your own wedding. Maybe you're having a small wedding of 30 to 50 people. Or maybe you’re having a bigger one. It could be in the backyard of somebody’s home, outside a wedding venue, or the normal way, inside one.
How to have a Covid wedding
Use a mic stand
Guests should not be passing around a mic at the ceremony, or for speeches during dinner. That's not a good look during Covid. Your guests can stand a foot away from the stand so there isn’t any spreading of germs. If you are using a DJ they can bring it, or you can get one from Amazon for about $20.
Dancing not allowed? Change the music
If dancing is not allowed, play songs your guests don’t know. In some areas, weddings are allowed but dancing is not. The number one way to get people to dance is to play songs they know. So if you were intentionally trying to get them not to dance, you would play songs they didn’t know. I guarantee this will work although your guests may not like it, so maybe make an announcement explaining what's going on.
You don’t have to be the dancing police
If people aren't allowed to dance, let them know. Make an announcement at the start of the event (or have your DJ say) that there will be music, but dancing is not allowed. And play songs that aren’t the biggest hits. If people still choose to dance then there’s not much you can do. It’s your wedding, but you aren't a dance cop. Try to have fun and don’t worry about it.
Your guests won't wear their masks
Or social distance... but provide some supplies anyway. I have not DJed an event since February 2020 but I know many DJs who live in different areas than I do who have. They have told me that one thing has been consistent at all the weddings they have worked: Guests do not wear masks or social distance. Once again, you aren't the Covid police. I would suggest getting some masks and gloves and putting them out, along with hand sanitizer and wipes. For the few people who do want to use them they will be thankful you did.
Don’t do it if it’s not allowed in your area
Please, don't have an outlaw wedding! A neighbor calling the cops on you could ruin your wedding. I heard a DJ tell a story where there was state mandated shelter in place and a wedding venue opened and hosted a 150 person wedding. From what I heard, they got away with it. But let’s say there had been a noise complaint or someone called the police on them. The police could come and shut the wedding down and make everyone leave in the middle of the reception. This actually happened to weddings in Brooklyn and I saw it on the news. How would that make you feel to remember that? You can always postpone to next year and that’s what I would suggest.
Here is the equipment you should rent
If you are having a small wedding in your backyard and you don’t want to hire a DJ, here is what you should rent or buy
A wired mic Don't get a wireless mic. They are difficult to operate and you can get loud screeching feedback if you don't know how to use it.
A speaker The speaker you get should have a 1/4 inch input for the mic, and an RCA input so you can connect a device to it like a laptop or a phone. For 30 to 50 people, one speaker is more than enough.
An RCA to headphone cable
A mic stand. You can get one on Amazon for about $20. During your ceremony, your officiant can use the mic and mic stand and your guests can use it during dinner for speeches.
What music should you play?
While guests are being seated for the ceremony, play soft songs at a low volume. Indie songs, acoustic guitar and love songs are great for this time. People used to play classical music at this time but that’s not so popular anymore.
Pick songs for walking in and out of the ceremony
During cocktail hour or when people are having drinks, play light happy music of any genre you like.
First dance and parent dances
Pick these too
After dinner, if you are allowed to dance, then you are going to want to pick songs that most of your guests will know. Start off with ones your older guests will know and move up to songs that you and your friends like best.
The theme of the song doesn't matter
Don’t worry about picking songs that have a wedding theme or are about love. As long as your guests know the songs and like them they will dance.
If possible, have someone man the laptop or phone and forward songs that are a little too long. Most people like to dance to each song for 2 to 3 minutes. Some great songs go on for 5 to 7 minutes and that’s really too long for most people's attention span.
Your health is more important
To wrap it up, it's great to have a wedding, but if you're taking chances with your health, or that of your loved ones, you should postpone to next year. I've had about three dozen couples postpone to next year. They aren't happy about it, but they are looking forward to the wedding they have dreamed of. Follow your conscience and do the right thing! Good luck