Hot Topic — Vaccine Etiquette for WeddingsTuesday, August 17, 2021
In today's 'Planning Your Happily Ever After' wedding consultant Shikima Hinds spotlights vaccine etiquette for weddings.
The question top of mind for many of my brides-to-be is — “Shikima, how do I tell people I don't want them at my wedding if they didn't get a COVID-19 vaccine?” or “How should I ask my wedding guests and vendors if they have gotten the COVID vaccine?”
It's a touchy subject! Prior to 2020, the idea of inquiring about someone's vaccination status would be unimaginable. Today, however, it might be deemed an essential ask. But, is it a fair question? And if so, what's the proper etiquette for telling your relatives and guests that they will not be welcomed to your wedding celebrations if they haven't been vaccinated?
Requiring vaccination for your guests is called setting your “vaccine boundary” and yes, it's OK to do so if you approach it with the right etiquette.
It's a discussion that could explode into a lot of emotional feelings. Indeed, the hard part is deciding your boundaries and communicating same.
The better question is: how to broach the topic?
Set the ground rules for your own event by adding this request to the RSVP page:
1. Convey your wish in a kind and respectful manner.
2. Don't judge someone's vaccination decision.
3. Avoid confrontation.
4. Emphasise that the current COVID-19 situations are (hopefully) temporary and that you look forward to seeing them in the future.
5. Convey how important it is, to you, on your special day that they do this for you, and how much it would reduce your mental stress.
Your guests may ask you why you require them to be vaccinated. Explain why it is important to you and share your concerns about potentially exposing other wedding guests to COVID-19, especially those who may be at a higher risk than others or the spread of other emerging COVID variants.
Know that you're not alone in making this request of your guests. Requesting vaccination information or proof of a negative COVID-19 test from guests has become a part of the wedding invitation process.
Once you set your COVID-19 safety policy, communicate same to both your guests and vendors. Here is my suggested verbiage:
As we're sure you can imagine, we are closely monitoring COVID and how it will impact our wedding plans. We are thrilled that we are one step closer to celebrating with you, and your health and safety continue to be our priority.
At the time of our wedding, we will hopefully be living in a post-pandemic world, and we are committed to keeping it that way. You are one of many loved ones joining us. As such, we are asking all guests who are attending our wedding in person to please be fully vaccinated prior to the wedding. Thank you for making our wedding safe, carefree, and unrestricted for everyone by being fully vaccinated.
If you are not vaccinated, please RSVP “I am not coming”. If you are choosing to not be vaccinated, please plan to celebrate our wedding in a different capacity (insert other options here — like a virtual link). We apologise for any convenience this may cause, as we respectfully note that no guest will be admitted to our wedding celebrations without full vaccination.
Having everyone safely vaccinated is very important to us. Stay safe, and we are so excited to have you join our celebrations.
Remember that you're doing this in order to feel the joy of your wedding day. The most important thing is deciding what's going to make you feel the safest, most joyful, most responsible, and most inclusive on your wedding day.