What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a wedding officiant during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The safest way to conduct a consultation during COVID-19 is virtually. Ask wedding officiants near you if they can have a phone call or a virtual appointment over video chat. If they can, make sure to ask them any questions you have about upcoming work. Discuss what precautions, if any, they have in place to ensure safety. You might consider asking if they accept digital payments or if they can complete the work remotely, without any in-person contact.
What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a photographer during the COVID-19 pandemic?
The best way to set up an appointment or a consultation with a photographer near you during the COVID-19 pandemic is by conducting an online search. Start by scheduling a call with the photographer. If possible, it may be better to use a video call service so that the photographer can get an idea of the site location. Take this opportunity to discuss safety measures you can take during this time, as well as whether it’s safe to complete the project now or simply postpone it.
If you decide to hire a photographer, see if the photographer can take photos outdoors or in a large space so all involved parties can maintain the recommended distance between themselves. You should also sanitize surfaces, avoid handshakes, don’t make any other physical contact and use digital platforms to complete payments. Speak with a local photographer in your area to put a strategy in place.
There are many situations in which a photographer does not need to enter your home. It’s not uncommon for people to prefer to have their pictures taken outdoors. If you're hiring a photographer, maintain safe distances, avoid being in the same room, sanitize all involved surfaces and conduct payment using digital platforms. You can discuss strategies as you complete your search for local photographers.
As digital forms of payment and money transfer are becoming more popular, wedding and event photographers are likely to use digital services. These include PayPal, Zelle, Google Pay, Venmo, Square Cash and more. As you search online for local wedding and event photographers, ask them if they accept digital payments and, if so, which ones you can use. And make sure to have a strategy in place for safe social distancing.
Reach out to wedding officiants in your area, and ask them if they can offer a remote or virtual ceremony. Some officiants may be willing to meet in person while maintaining 6 feet of distance, while others may prefer to conduct the entire service over the phone or a video call service such as Skype or Zoom.
Familiarize yourself with the social distancing rules in your community, city and state, and move forward only if both you and the officiant are comfortable with the arrangement.
Consult your city or state’s government websites, which typically have information on which services are deemed essential during the pandemic.
For national information, visit CISA’s page on Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. Here, you can find 16 different types of essential infrastructure sectors that can continue operating unimpeded during the pandemic. But some, not all, jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure.
Photography happens in person, but photographers may be able to offer other remote services safely during the COVID-19 pandemic. For example, they may be able to offer editing and other post-processing services.
If you see that a photographer is offering remote services in their profile, contact them and ask what those services include.
Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.
If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.
If you decide to hire a wedding officiant when social distancing, ask if the officiant can offer remote services. Some wedding officiants are choosing to conduct services virtually and/or stand more than 6 feet away from the parties. Discuss possible arrangements with your wedding officiant, and familiarize yourself with your local community guidelines, as well as the CDC’s guidelines for social distancing. Only move forward if you and the officiant both feel comfortable.
You may want to implement extra precautions, such as using digital payments instead of exchanging cash, sanitizing all involved spaces and waving instead of shaking hands.