A Comprehensive Guide For Couples Who Are Getting Married During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Creative Weddings & Elopement Ideas Amidst Coronavirus Outbreak

Couple eloped during coronavirus pandemic

Who would have thought 2020 can be so wild. We are sure you are already aware how the Coronavirus Pandemic is affecting all of us in some way: physically, emotionally, financially.

Our hearts go out to each couple who’s been planning their dream wedding day and have to be stuck in the unknown because of the pandemic. As wedding and elopement photographers, we are here to offer some help and insights into what you can do to celebrate love because although the Covid-19 might have cancelled almost everything, one thing it cannot cancel is LOVE.

In this article, we’ve listed resources and tips so you can still have your LOVE celebrated and get married. One thing to keep in mind, with such an unprecedented time, laws and regulations can change quickly, and we strongly advise you keep up with the news as well as official guidelines from the CDC to still have an awesome wedding that will not put yourselves or anyone else at risk.

How To Get Married During the Pandemic

1) Got Engaged? Don’t Stop Planning!

2) Wedding Postponements and What You Need To Do!

3) Elope Today

4) Party Tomorrow

5) Q&A About Getting Married During Coronavirus Pandemic

Recently engaged? Plan on your wedding today

At this time, it is very hard to predict which direction our country might go. With some states opening up, some restrictions have been lifted. Although we are not epidemiologists, Henry’s background in Cardiac ICU Nursing does teach us that in order for things do get better, we have 2 options: Vaccine or Herd Immunity. Without a vaccine, can things get better? Are we going to build herd immunity fast enough? Are you going to be able to get married in the next couple of months? In order to be the best resource for our clients, we’ve been keeping up with the news everyday to predict what might happen in the near future.

2020 is full of uncertainties but with everything that’s going on, 2021 looks really promising.

So are you recently engaged? Are you planning on getting married sometimes in 2020 or 2021?

Our biggest advice is: Don’t Give Up, Don’t Be Discouraged, Plan On Your Wedding/Elopement Today. If you need help with planning your adventure elopement, we have resources available for you. Most importantly, reach out to your favorite vendors sooner rather than later to make sure they are available for your date. As many weddings being postponed to later 2020 or 2021, these weddings might take up the limited amount of Saturdays in the year for those who are interested with a traditional wedding that requires a venue.

If you are new to this whole world of wedding planning, here are some really awesome places you should look into:

  • Junebug Weddings: Online wedding magazine with lots of resources to help you with your weddings and elopements
  • Wandering Weddings: For all your adventure elopement needs, this is a great blog to answer all your questions and concerns as well as providing you with examples from real elopements.
  • Dancing With Her: A great LGBTQ wedding magazine. Make sure you check out the Real Story page on their website to see all the beautiful same sex weddings and elopements.
  • Our Elopement Resource Page: Right from our website, This page provides insights into what an elopement is like and all the secrets we’ve learned from years of photographing adventure elopements.
  • Pinterest: From weddings to elopements, Pinterest has a huge library of photos that can inspire the heck out of you. Create some secret boards on Pinterest, pin everything that speaks to your heart, then Pinterest will take over and show you more of what you love (color palettes, dresses, shoes, suits, floral arrangements and so much more)

For elopements, we also play the role of a planner since we do a lot of location scouting, timeline recommendation, as well as recommending the right vendors for the right couple. However, with the intimate to traditional weddings, you will need a professional wedding/event planner who is specialized in coordinating, planning, designing, and executing everything on your wishlist. For my Washington, Oregon, and PNW couple, here are some awesome wedding and elopement planners I’ve worked and constantly want to work with:

Explore The Most Beautiful Places To Elope In The U.S and The World

A comprehensive list of the best and most beautiful places to elope in the united states and the world

How to get married during Coronavirus Pandemic

Postponement and Rescheduling (clear communication with your vendors)

As mentioned above, although we are not experts or epidemiologists, we do like to keep ourselves educated so we can fully support you and our clients during this tough time.

Although with states opening back up, there are still restrictions on large group gatherings. Therefore, if you have a traditional wedding in April, May and June of 2020, there’s a high possibility that you will not be able to do so. If you are having an intimate elopement of up to 5 – 10 guests, it does look a bit more promising.

When can you get married in the State of Washington during COVID-19?

Let’s talk about the state of Washington as an example. In Washington, everything is re-opened according to phases (as of today May 6th, 2020)

  • Phase 1: Stay Home Order in place. No weddings or elopements
  • Phase 2: Gathering of up to 5 people is allowed. Professional services are allowed. Intimate elopements are allowed
  • Phase 3: Gathering of up to 50 people is allowed. Intimate weddings are allowed.
  • Phase 4: Back to Normal.

Each of these phases will last at least 3 weeks (21 days) and only when our number of cases are not spiking would we move to another phase. Therefore, with the current rate, we are hopeful Phase 2 will be ready by June 1st, 2020 and we might be stuck around Phase 2 for awhile before Phase 3 can be activated.

Therefore, unless you’re one of our elopement couples, if you are having a traditional wedding, you might need to look into rescheduling your wedding to another date

So we cannot get married this year, what should we do to postpone our wedding:


Back in March before states issued “Stay At Home” orders, we released our COVID-19 Action Plans for all our couples so they can navigate through our postponement policy. Your other vendors might have their policy available on their website or via email. If they don’t, reach out to your vendors sooner rather than later.

With couples actively booking for 2021 and others might also need to postpone, new dates are limited. The sooner you have a conversation with your vendors, the easier it is for them to accommodate.

Elope Today

Just because you cannot have wedding as planned, it doesn’t mean you cannot get married. Back in March, when the CDC started limiting group gatherings of less than 20 people, before all the “Stay At Home” orders, one of our couples had to postpone their wedding due to the group size. The couple called us the night before to discuss options to see what else they can do since they still want to get married. We took the couple on an adventurous elopement by the Oregon Coast. That elopement was the fastest elopement I’ve ever planned.

If you haven’t heard of what an adventure elopement is, head over to our Blog to read stories and to be prepared to get your mind blown over these gorgeous locations we take our couples to.

An elopement is a personal experience between just the two of you or even with family members and loved ones being present in this intimate experience. An elopement allows you to keep your focus back into what matters the most: Your love for one another. And that focus is more important now than ever.

Therefore, with so many states opening back up, chances are, you can safely and legally get married on the original wedding date you were planning on. Communicate with your vendors to see if they are able to accommodate. Chances are, most will be able to do that for you since they have already reserved your wedding date for you.

Being experts in adventure elopement photography, we are not just photographers. Besides photographing important moments for our couples, we have also helped multiple couples during the planning process. From finding the right vendors to location scoutings for your perfect ceremony and portrait photos, our role is to provide as much support as possible. These behind-the-scenes work might not be something you think of when it comes to the role of a photographer but they are the secret sauce to capturing organic and authentic moments for you, our couple. They are quite essential actually.

Check out some of these gorgeous elopements during the COVID-19 Pandemic (yes we followed all the guidelines and yes everything was super epic)

What is an elopement? What does an adventure elopement entail? How do we plan for one? Where can we elope? I have answers to all your questions here:

Party Tomorrow: Your Guests Will Be There To Dance Their Butts Off

From one of my couple’s words “Just too close to all this craziness and we certainly don’t want any masks and zero dance floor (what he hell kind of party is that??) so we’re going to play it safe and just postpone it a year”. This couple booked me for their adventure elopement in Washington and planned on having their reception party exactly a month after. With what’s going on, they still decided to have the adventure elopement happened but they are going to push back their party so they can truly have fun with their loved ones.

What this couple is doing is not uncommon. In fact, this is what a lot of my couples choose to do.

A wedding, especially a reception, is where you get to give your friends those long hugs, dance with your college roommates, spend quality time to reconnect with those you haven’t seen in a while. So I get it that to some, an elopement is enough, but to some, a reception is very important. Take it from the guy who danced till he ripped his pants at his vow renewal.

Therefore, you can still elope on your original date and save the party for later.

One of my couples actually decided to turn the party into their vow renewal in 2021. Yes 1 year vow renewal, not a crazy idea, just the cutest idea ever to reflect that love is not canceled because of this pandemic.

With early and clear communication with your vendors, especially wedding venues and caterers, you can transfer those deposits and retainer fees to a new date. Use the photos from your elopement to send out new Save The Date cards. Say New Vows at the Vow-Renewal party, reflect on what you guys have done together and how you support each other during the pandemic and how it helps strengthen your relationship. The possibility is endless 🙂

Creative way to get married during covid-19 elopement and wedding
Creative way to get married during covid-19 elopement and wedding

Q&A About Getting Married During Coronavirus Pandemic

Q: How Do We Legally Get Married During The Coronavirus Pandemic?

Besides checking to see whether your state is opening back up for group gatherings and communicate with your wedding photographers about whether they are allowed to operate yet since photography is considered non essential, you will also need to get paperwork to legally get married.

As many County Recorder’s Offices might still be closed, you will need to apply for marriage license online or snail mail instead of doing so in person. You are getting married in the state of Washington, apply here.

With that being said, make sure you pay attention to when you need to apply so you can get all of your paperwork on time.

Some county even offer virtual ceremony where a judge can legally marry you. Therefore, you can get the paperwork out of the way and focus on your adventure elopement if you choose to have one.

Q: How To Politely Disinvite Someone To Our Wedding Due to Social Distancing

Like Dr. Seuss once said “Those who mind don’t matter. Those who matter don’t mind”

Everyone already knows how stressful it is to plan a wedding and your loved ones of course will understand that it’s wild to plan a wedding and have a pandemic to cause all sort of issues. People will understand

The most important thing is for you and your fiance to sit down and talk about who needs to be there at your wedding/elopement. This conversation is more crucial than anything.

Once decided on a list, write an email or letter together and send it to everyone as an announcement email. Explain your heart and be transparent about everything.

You can still get these guests involved with a virtual Zoom call. Read more below.

Q: How To Include Your Family and Guests In Your Intimate Wedding or Elopement During The COVID-19 Pandemic

With apps like Zoom, Facebook, and even Instagram allowing conference calls, many of my couples decided to livestream parts of their wedding day with those who cannot make it to the wedding (whether it’s because of social distancing or because your guests cannot make it due to health concerns).

If you are having an adventure elopement where there will be no cell signal where you are at, you can connect with your guests during getting ready time. Livestream the time when you are getting ready together, or even during the first look at your Airbnb or Cabin. Your loved ones want to be there for you and this is one easy way for them to share this intimate experience with you

If you are getting married or eloping somewhere with good wifi or cell signal, you can even set up a little tripod to livestream your ceremony.

Here are steps to prepare yourself and your guests about the livestream:

  • Decide on an App (Zoom, Skype, Instagram Message, Google Hangout, etc…): At this rate, I strongly recommend Zoom due to its excellent service in allowing clear video and audio.
  • Decide on the amount of time you want to livestream: Do you want to livestream when you get ready only? Or would you want to do that as well as the ceremony as well? How long does it approximately take? Zoom’s free service is limited to a 40 min chat. If you need more than that, it’s worth it to pay $15 (or whatever their latest rate is) so you can have a better experience for everyone.
  • Send an email to everyone: Let your guests know what your plan is, when you would go live, and how long the livestream would be. Include all these info on your wedding website so if you have updates or changes, you don’t have to send multiple emails. Then send 1 email to your guests about where they can learn the latest updates from you

Q: There’s No Way We Can Livestream Our Wedding Due To Lack of Wifi or Weak Cell Signal Where We Are Getting Married. What Else Can We Do?

Besides all the beautiful photos you will receive from your photographer to share with your friends and family soon, one other way you can capture your thought process and reactions to where you go would be Vlogging. No, you don’t have to be an expert. No you don’t have to be an extrovert to do this. You can occasionally pull out your phone to capture the beautiful views of where you go. Maybe a quick clip of you sharing how you feel right before the first look moment or right after you said “I do”. Put them together using free apps like iMovie on your phone or computer and share with your loved ones after your wedding day.

What other questions do you have about getting married during this tough time? Do you have any other advice or tips you want to share with other couples? Share with us in the comment below

Elopement resources for you

Henry Tieu Photography is abiding by and following the White House’s, CDC’s, and local government’s guidelines closely to advocate and to provide services to our clients. Laws and regulations might change so please follow your Federal and State laws before anything written in this blog post.

how to get married during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Henry Tieu & Sergio - Elopement Photographers

Meet Your Intimate Wedding & Elopement Photographers

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *