Real Weddings: Planning Through a Pandemic
SHAWNTI + CHRIS’ WILLIAM AIKEN HOUSE WEDDING
Planning a wedding isn’t always easy. Planning a wedding during a pandemic is a whole other ballgame… but it CAN be done, and you CAN still have the most perfect day! That’s why we’re kicking off a new blog series called “Real Weddings: Planning During a Pandemic” where actual PPHG couples share their stories about planning a wedding in the time of COVID-19. Get first-hand accounts on how to celebrate your love safely with your nearest and dearest. Below, newlyweds Shawnti + Chris share their William Aiken House wedding planning experience, as well as the outcome of their big day!
“Pivot” is the word of 2020. In what ways, if any, did you have to “pivot” your wedding/planning to stay within COVID-19 regulations? And did this include moving your original wedding date and/or location?
PPHG and our planner did a great job of keeping us in the loop on any COVID precautions we had to take, which we were fully onboard with. Because we had always planned for a smaller guest list, and we were comfortable taking all the necessary precautions, we didn’t have to pivot much. We were able to keep our date the same and communicated to guests the precautions we were taking and encouraged them to make decisions based on their individual comfortability.
Is there any aspect of your original wedding day plan that was important to you to keep?
We wanted all elements of our wedding to be outside and a seated dinner, so this worked in our favor given COVID and the recommended precautions. The William Aiken House is a great space and can easily accommodate for guests to be seated outside for dinner, so we were able to keep both of these elements incorporated into our wedding plans.
Were there any positives that resulted from having to “pivot”?
While we definitely wanted each and every guest we invited to be there, we totally understood that not everyone was comfortable attending. Because of this, our guest count ended up being smaller than our original plan, but we had the best time, and it allowed for a more intimate weekend. Between our rehearsal dinner, welcome drinks, and wedding reception, we were able to chat with each guest and loved having that quality time with everyone.
What PPHG COVID-19 guideline(s) made you feel the safest?
PPHG took a lot of precautions, so it’s hard to narrow it down to one. But some that we were super appreciative of were:
- Staff wearing masks and gloves
- Provided hand sanitizer
- Fogging out the dinner space before guests arrived for sanitation purposes
- Appetizer trays with adorable glass domes over each item
Did you, your planner, and/or your vendors come up with any creative ways to incorporate COVID-19 requirements?
- We had nice masks on trays for guests when they arrived and encouraged them to wear them during the ceremony and throughout the evening
- We had plexiglass with greenery in front of the bars and dessert station
- We loved the cute glass domes PPHG provided for appetizers
What advice would you give couples planning a wedding during the pandemic?
We would recommend encouraging your guests to feel comfortable with whatever their decisions are in regards to attending your wedding. And keeping in mind that whatever decision they do make, to not take it personally. It’s been a wild year for everyone, and at the end of the day, you don’t want guests to be uncomfortable at your wedding. So being empathetic as they make their decisions really makes the RSVP process easier for everyone.
We also plan on sharing our video footage and pictures from our wedding with guests who couldn’t attend so that they still feel included in our special day.
Looking back, was your wedding still the special day you’ve always dreamed of?
Our wedding was hands down the best day of our entire lives. We have zero regrets from our wedding and wouldn’t change a single thing. Our planner, Eden Ellis, was the MVP, and we couldn’t have done it without her. And The William Aiken House was the perfect venue for us. The team at PPHG did an amazing job incorporating everything we asked for, the food was amazing (guests complimented us, saying it was the best food they ever had at a wedding), and the entire staff was so friendly and professional.
Thank you for sharing your experience, Shawnti + Chris, and congrats!
Venue, Bar, Catering + Cake: Patrick Properties Hospitality Group
Wedding Planner: Ellis Event Design
Rentals: Snyder Events
Photographer: Charlie Martin Photography
Florals: Fresh Weddings + Events
Lighting/Draping: Lowcountry Entertainment
Hair + Makeup: Lashes + Lace
Music: Wedding Music Charleston