BLOGS Battling the Heat During Your Summer Wedding

August 30, 2021
Battling the Heat During Your Summer Wedding

When we think about a summer wedding, absolute beauty comes to mind. From lush outdoor venues to the beautiful summer hues of coral, green, and pale pink, summer weddings offer elegant seasonal possibilities that will make your special day that much more incredible. 

Another thing that comes to mind with a summertime weddings? The heat.

Are you planning a wedding this summer? If so, you’ve got an important task ahead of you—ensuring you and your guests battle the heat and stay cool throughout the duration of the ceremony, the reception, and well into the remainder of your beautiful (as opposed to blistering) special day.

Provide Ample Shelter and Shade

One of the simplest ways to ensure your guests stay out of the heat of the sun is to ensure ample shelter and shade throughout the venue. If you’re planning an outdoor summer wedding, consider small pop-up tents with lounge seating or umbrellas available beneath the sun-blocking fabric.

Get Strategic with Element Placement

If you’re still in the earlier stages of planning your summer wedding, now is the perfect time to narrow down your venue options. Choose an outdoor location with plenty of mingling spaces for your guests, being sure to incorporate beautiful elements that are also practical in shielding guests from the heat. Consider investing in portable A/C units for added comfort! 

Marrying Practicality and Personality

One of the most iconic summer wedding staples is that of the personalized hand fan. With customized embroidered hand fans to keep as a keepsake, your guests will hold the memories they made during your special day for years to come.

Add a Delicious Shock of Cold 

Keep your guests cool by incorporating frozen components into your dessert selection! Guests will appreciate the refreshing shock of cold favorites such as summer themed gelato or granita. Attendees with sweet teeth will thank you for these icy additions! 

Keep the Refreshments Flowing

Never underestimate the power of refreshments to appease a warm and sweaty crowd. Icy drinks are an easy yet effective way to cool down your guests for the duration of your summer wedding ceremony.

Booking Your Summer Wedding with Everlasting Productions

Unfortunately, we can’t control the weather on your special day… but we CAN ensure you and your guests have the summer wedding experience of a lifetime. Contact us over at Everlasting Productions to book your event today! 


BLOGS What Did We Learn From All These Pandemic Weddings?

April 30, 2021
What Did We Learn From All These Pandemic Weddings?

What Did We Learn From All These Pandemic Weddings?

By Jamie Lee

Source: Vanity Fair

With postvaccination wedding season around the corner, writer and The Wedding Coach host Jamie Lee wonders if there are some things about pandemic weddings we’ll keep—just maybe not the lace KN95s.

“It’s not canceled, it’s postponed.”

It’s a statement that rings true for many engaged couples. A wedding date moved from April 2020 to April 2022. It was an initially disappointing, but relatively seamless shift. Because, hey, now there’s more time to ruminate! Whoops, I mean “plan.”

These days weddings look a lot different, happening on Zoom, or in a spaced-out field with the bride wearing a lace KN95 that makes her look like a Handmaid. Or, hell, depending on who you voted for, perhaps they look exactly like they did 13 months ago, minus family members who have “put up a boundary” by no longer speaking to you.

But with our vaccinated summer approaching, a lot more “normal” weddings are approaching.

And, if you’re among the lucky few who not only stayed together over the hellscape that was last year, but are still going through with a wedding on the other side of it—honestly, congrats. The pandemic tested your love and you passed! Because either (a) your love is just that strong, or (b) you have a new variant strain of COVID and being a hopeless romantic is one of the symptoms. Awww so sweet/Eeek!

I myself am writing this from a plane back to New York from Los Angeles, where I lived before my husband and I separated back in December. Some people in my life tried to attribute this to the pandemic. “You were cooped up like two sad little chickens who ended up pecking away at each other’s eyes out of sheer boredom.” But, actually, no, that wasn’t us. We didn’t really fail the pandemic love test, per se. No, we just decided maybe it was time to stop taking the test, put our pencils down, and give the proctor the finger. But, as two comedians and best friends who inherently trust each other’s sensibilities, did we still collaborate on a show all about weddings and what’s actually important about them? You bet we did. It’s called The Wedding Coach, and it’s now streaming on Netflix (always be plugging).

There’s a lot to detest about modern wedding culture, and there’s a lot that the pandemic is going to make worse about it. Your uncle’s going to pull his mask down to unleash his guttural smoker’s cough. Your caterer will no-show because no one remembered to tell them the big day was pushed back a year. And, frankly, some guests who you’d always expected to be in attendance are now overbooked—if there’s one thing this supposed post-COVID boom is going to have, it’s going to be wall-to-wall wedding weekends.

But honestly? None of this is actually new. I mean, yes, hopefully there’s more emphasis now on, say, your wedding party being vaccinated versus worrying about them all wearing the same shade of rose gold. But I know I prioritized the wrong things when I got married. I became quite skilled at distracting myself with “the fun stuff” during my planning process—shopping for a wedding dress? I didn’t want it to end. Designing a tablescape with a bunch of candles and, like, gourds or whatever the fuck? A dream. Cake tasting? I love cake, and tasting it? Baby, that’s the best part! And of course, none of that kept me and my husband/producing partner on The Wedding Coach (now streaming on Netflix) from getting separated. Now I want to make sure that couples who choose a big wedding, or a small wedding, or a divorce, do so because it makes them happy, and because it comes from what they really want.

If there’s one thing we learn from these pandemic-altered weddings, it’s that a wedding can be a pageant or a no-frills (eh, some frills) chance to say how you feel about the love of your life in front of the other loves of your lives. If you lean pageant, cool! But might I suggest taking a second to ask yourself: “Am I flipping out about whether to rent 18 outdoor heaters or 19 outdoor heaters because it is actually so important, or am I deflecting because something more significant and scary is lurking beneath the surface of my soul, like an anaconda waiting to bite J.Lo?”

Or, in my case, J.Lee.

Read the Full Article Here

BLOGS The Rise of the Minimony and the Micro-Wedding

October 15, 2020
The Rise of the Minimony and the Micro-Wedding

The Rise of the Minimony and the Postpone Micro-Wedding

By Anna Russell

Source: The New Yorker

Planning a postpone wedding is a faff at the best of times; during a pandemic, it resembles purgatory. You’ve booked the venue, the flowers, the dance floor, and the d.j., only to be told that the venue will not open this year, the florist is out of business, and dancing is illegal. You rebook at a smaller venue—someone’s back yard, maybe—pick your own flowers (“Farmhouse chic!”), and install, at key entry points, hand-sanitizing stations with tasteful signs (“Spread love, not germs”), only to learn that a quarantine has been imposed on out-of-state visitors. Your parents and siblings will no longer be able to attend. They are upset; you will need to postpone. And so it goes.

For a year and a half, my partner and I had been planning a wedding in Crete, where he grew up. We were already legally married—town-hall ceremony—but we wanted the big shebang: the long train, the complicated seating plan, loved ones from all over the world spilling wine as they danced the sirtaki. We chose a date in June and then watched anxiously as the virus spread through January, and then February. Some time into my own pandemic-wedding purgatory, I began having dreams about my dress fitting in strange and otherworldly ways. The sleeves would inexplicably droop to the floor at the elbows, cartoon-like, or extend past my hands and behind me, like white lines on a highway. One day, in late March, after a relentlessly upbeat weekend at home—quarantinis! CrossFit by Zoom!—I sat down to postpone our wedding. I knew how to write the e-mail because I had already received several, from friends in the same boat. They were always warm, and gracious, and not too self-pitying; “What’s a wedding in all this?” they seemed to say. After I sent the note, I received a flurry of messages of relief and consolation. One friend, who had moved her own wedding twice, wrote simply, “Coronavirus is an asshole.”

All through the spring and summer—which is to say, all through wedding season—the virus wreaked havoc on the wedding industry. “It was bedlam,” Laura Krueger, of Kleinfeld Hotel Blocks, which helps couples book accommodations for their guests, told me. “There were no protocols in place.” On March 13th, the wedding-planning Web sites the Knot and WeddingWire set up an emergency hotline for panicked brides and grooms. “We had hundreds of calls per day for two months following that,” Jeffra Trumpower, at WeddingWire, told me recently. As lockdowns and travel restrictions came into force around the country, “couples started to call and say, ‘What do I do? I’m supposed to get married next weekend.’”

At first, people postponed, thinking the pandemic couldn’t last longer than a few weeks. Then they postponed again. “There were stages where it didn’t seem like people fully understood the scope or magnitude,” Andrea Freeman, an event planner in New York, told me. Slowly, two options, both of them buzzkills, emerged: you could postpone indefinitely or hold the wedding right away, with the appropriate safety guidelines in place (festive!). “The conversations I was having with my clients were very much about, ‘What is the focus, really? Why are you really having a wedding?’ ” If the goal was to throw a big party, that wasn’t going to happen. (Although, last month, New York City’s sheriff tweeted about breaking up an indoor wedding of nearly three hundred, in Queens.) “But if the focus was really to be married, to share that with the most important people in their lives—if they were saying stuff like that to me, then we started a conversation about, O.K., here’s what that could look like in this time.”

The wedding industry, floundering through waves of postponements, has developed a suite of options—and a vocabulary—for couples wanting to still splash out on their nuptials, global crisis notwithstanding. There’s now the “micro-wedding,” a small ceremony with fifty guests or fewer. You are encouraged to follow this up with a “sequel wedding,” a larger reception, at a later date. But when even fifty guests seems optimistic (or, depending on your location, illegal), there’s a smaller option, touted enthusiastically by the industry, available: the “minimony.” A minimony might have ten guests: parents, siblings, an officiant standing at a distance. It has all the components of a normal wedding—ceremony, reception, three-tiered cake—shrunk to pandemic proportions.

This is a significant shift. In a survey conducted by Zola, the wedding-planning and registry company, of more than two thousand engaged couples planning their wedding during the pandemic, half were planning a minimony. “Smaller guest lists are definitely a trend we see into the future for some time,” Emily Forrest, Zola’s director of communications, told me. In another survey, by the Knot and WeddingWire, of six hundred and eighty-four couples in the U.S. with weddings between September and January, fifty-eight per cent planned to keep their original date, with many opting for a pared-down guest list, and just seven per cent were pulling the plug altogether. “People are not cancelling,” Trumpower said.

All that rejiggering can take a toll on the bride- and groom-to-be, Freeman, the planner, told me: “People are starting to get fatigued, and they’re going through different phases of excitement and enthusiasm, and then resignation and upset.” I recognized the symptoms. She offers her clients guided meditations and advises them to stay present. “At a certain point in time, you can’t talk about the flowers and the music anymore, or the flavor of the cake,” she said. “It’s about so much more than that. How we get through this is how we handle anything in life.”

Six months after we sent our first wedding postponement e-mail, we had another decision to make. Pandemic-wise, nothing had changed. There was still no vaccine, and cases were rising. Should we postpone again? Cancel altogether? Slash our guest list? I scrolled past images of a socially distanced wedding in which the couple had used giant Teddy bears to separate guests. Where did they get the bears? I wondered. At a certain point, I came across a podcast called “Corona Brides,” in which the host, Jordie Shepherd, a coronavirus bride herself, interviews women (and sometimes couples) navigating the wedding-planning process during the pandemic.

Shepherd launched “Corona Brides” in April, around the same time she decided to postpone her own wedding, which was supposed to take place in May. “The Las Vegas desert was my dream,” she told me. She eventually married closer to her home, in San Antonio, Texas, outdoors, under sprawling oak trees, with an indoor reception in an industrial-chic space filled to half capacity. (“People were able to go inside and sit with their quarantine family,” she said.) But she still has the occasional pang; she told her husband, “Next time we go to Vegas, I’m taking my wedding dress and getting a photo in the desert!” Since starting the podcast, she has interviewed two dozen pandemic brides. Some have postpone their weddings three times; others have married in their back yard or at their original venue, meant for ten times as many guests. Several brides held the ceremony in their kitchen. “It is a roller coaster of emotions,” she said. “You’re almost mourning the loss of a wedding you don’t know if you can have or not.”

Shepherd connected me with Kelli and Omar Brown, who got engaged in November and planned to tie the knot quickly. “I was, like, Six-month engagement, let’s do this!” Kelli, a bridal-hair stylist, told me. They booked a whitewashed photography studio and invited around a hundred guests. But, in late March, Detroit went into lockdown and Omar’s bachelor party in Las Vegas was cancelled. Kelli threw him one at home, with a makeshift bar and slot machines purchased on Amazon. A few weeks later, Kelli’s bachelorette party was cancelled, and Omar surprised her with mimosas and a D.I.Y. nail bar. At that point, Kelli thought, We only have two months left. Still, they decided not to postpone. “We were, like, even if we have to get married in hazmat suits at the courthouse, we’ll get married on that day.”

Kelli had three contingency plans, depending on the state of the pandemic. Wedding A, she told me, “was, like, best-case scenario, a hundred people.” Wedding B would be small and socially distanced, with just family and a few friends. “Plan C was literally my husband and I going to the courthouse.” In the end, Wedding B postpone. They cut their guest list to fewer than twenty and seated households on vintage furniture nine feet apart (“Very cozy, and also very safe”). Omar’s brother, a pastor, drove in from Philadelphia to marry them, and they streamed the ceremony on Zoom. Afterward, they held a drive-through reception. They handed out individually wrapped cupcakes; friends decorated their cars and shot confetti out their windows. One guest texted them to ask, “What car should I wear?” “It was wonderful,” Kelli said.

That evening, they drove to Grand Rapids for a wedding-night getaway. They arrived late, to find a police barricade blocking the road. George Floyd had been killed just five days earlier; a protest had gathered and was being dispersed by officers in protective gear. Then the car filled with a cloud of eye-watering smoke. “My husband was, like, ‘Oh, that’s tear gas,’ ” Kelli recalled. She covered her face with the train of her dress. Omar, who is Black, briefly went outside, and Kelli, who is white, worried for his safety. Eventually, they were allowed to pass and returned home to their family.

Melissa Brown, who founded Sweet Petite Celebrations, which caters to small weddings, in May, told me minimonies can feel more intimate than larger weddings. “You can really dig in deep to each guest that’s coming and make them personally feel special,” she said. They don’t necessarily postpone come cheaper than larger weddings, though; Brown told me her minimony clients spend, on average, between ten thousand and thirty thousand dollars. One couple sent their loved ones a survey asking them to name their favorite dessert and then served each selection in individual portions. “Very Marie Antoinette,” Brown said. “Very let them eat cake.” Food takes center stage out of necessity, she added. “You’re sitting at a table having a beautiful, upscale dinner party,” she said. “You can’t get up, you can’t mingle, you can’t dance.”

Read the Full Article Here

BLOGS How to Transform Your Place for an Intimate Wedding

September 21, 2020
How to Transform Your Place for an Intimate Wedding

By Mekita Rivas

Source: The New York Times

The night before her wedding, Maya Posey-Pierre crouched on the living room floor of her Brooklyn apartment watching YouTube tutorials on floral design. She neatly laid out rows of orange and white roses, which she bought in bulk from Trader Joe’s. Armed with floral shears and sheer determination, she got to work.

“We wanted to go to an actual florist,” Mrs. Posey-Pierre, 29, an actress, said. “The only reason we didn’t go — timing. I believed I could do it, so I told myself, ‘I’m going to make it work.’”

“Make it work” is the unofficial mantra for many couples who planned their dream weddings for 2020, only to have the coronavirus pandemic turn everything upside down. While some postponed their nuptials to 2021 or beyond, others decided to plow through, emboldened by the “love is not canceled” philosophy that’s become somewhat of a rallying cry on social media.

Instead of lavish affairs, 2020 weddings are distinctly low key and intimate, yet very technologically advanced. But when your home becomes your venue and your main audience is a webcam, how does this affect your design decisions? We asked newlyweds and industry experts to share their best advice on beautifying any space — no matter how big or small — for a virtual wedding.

“The only thing I had my heart set on was using light on a stairwell,” Mrs. Posey-Pierre said. “The camera can’t see everything, so it doesn’t matter if the entire space isn’t beautifully decorated, but whatever the camera can see, you want it to look nice.”

However, she and her husband, Marc Pierre, a high school teacher, live in a 400-square-foot Bedford-Stuyvesant apartment without stairs. So they reached out to the couple who owns a renovated barn in the nearby South Midwood neighborhood, where Pierre, 28, had proposed on Valentine’s Day this year. The owners, who operate the barn as an Airbnb rental, practically insisted that they host their virtual wedding there instead.

Mrs. Posey-Pierre would get her dramatic, bride-coming-down-the-stairs moment. But not without a few headaches.

“It turned out to be the most difficult thing because the wires kept getting tangled,” she said. “Then literally at the last minute while I was making all these flower arrangements, I remember thinking, ‘Flowers on the stairs would be nice.’”

BLOGS The Pandemic Wedding Redefines What’s Beautiful

September 8, 2020
The Pandemic Wedding Redefines What’s Beautiful

The Pandemic Wedding Redefines What’s Beautiful

By Brittany Chaffee

Source: Wit and Delight

The weddings of our past glorified closeness; intimacy in large numbers. They valued sharing cake and side hugging cousins after six tap beers in the early twilight hour of 6:00 p.m. Weddings have always been an expensive reminder that we can celebrate with the ones we’ve loved for life and fuse families together with sparklers, champagne flutes, and silverware tapping on china. They are the embodiment of extravagant gestures and travel. Weddings of yesteryear taught us how to be monumental, practiced, and traditional.

These are the weddings of our past because, of course, a pandemic came into play.

Before writing this, I stared at a blinking cursor for a long time. Planning a wedding, and writing about it, feels insensitive in this new world. I recognize the deep privilege I have to be readily able to plan a wedding during a pandemic. My life hasn’t changed too dramatically since March, when this all started shifting the narrative. I’m a writer, so I was able to freelance and make do after I lost my corporate job. My fiancé is in finance, a job not affected by the blow of this change. Our wedding, scheduled for late September, has experienced a facelift, but I don’t want this post to be about how we’re complaining about the changes we’ve had to make. We’re lucky. The present of our lives could certainly, certainly be heavier. Our experiences are different, and through all of it, I have this undeniable craving to document every minute of the struggle because I have to find out what I don’t want to know, especially as it pertains to the “seemingly selfish” desire to celebrate love in a world that is hurting. Weddings are still happening. Discussions with family are heavy and tough. Expectations are high and low. Fear is imminent. And we’re all experiencing the new.

Our experiences are different, and through all of it, I have this undeniable craving to document every minute of the struggle because I have to find out what I don’t want to know, especially as it pertains to the “seemingly selfish” desire to celebrate love in a world that is hurting.

Marriage has slowly become a more unlikely and unequal institution, due to the pandemic itself and unemployment and eviction and the general desire for couples to have a more intimate celebration. I mean, weddings are expensive. Oftentimes they’re more than a down payment on a home—and most certainly a decision that feels sporadic and moderately forced, depending on expectations from family. For Jake and I, we both decided we’d invest a little money in the celebration and make a bash out of it. We set a long engagement to save the money, stuck to it, and set the date almost three years out.

Then, life happened. And no one knows how to plan a wedding in a pandemic. First of all, CDC guidelines to have a wedding are loose and confusing. Vendors are adding “pandemic” clauses in contracts. Venues in some locations are allowed to host up to 150 people, while states are recommending gatherings of only up to 20.  Recently, I saw a wedding invite that separated their invites into three groups: Group A, Group B, and Group C—and whoever RSVP’d first would get the invite, Group A getting first dibs and so on. I’ve heard horror stories about vendor cancellations. On the other side of the spectrum, I’ve heard beautiful stories about couples hiking up mountains and eloping in boots and high altitudes. Couples have given back to their communities and filmed uplifting, heartfelt videos for family and friends. I think perhaps the lesson here is this: Weddings are still managing to be epic, gorgeous chaos-sandwiches. The new world has simply changed how they’re dealt to us.

Our wedding has been just that. A delightful chaos-sandwich. We sent out our Save the Dates last year, when days were nothing but another 24-hour bundle that ended in “y.” When we decided in June that we were going to have a small, safer version of the wedding, we had to send out 100 letters to the people we couldn’t invite explaining our reasoning. Everyone was incredibly understanding. It was heartbreaking to tell close friends we’d be celebrating with them virtually instead, but at the end of the day, safety was our top priority. Selfishness couldn’t steer the ship for us.

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BLOGS How to plan a wedding: the ultimate checklist for brides-to-be

May 3, 2020
How to plan a wedding: the ultimate checklist for brides-to-be

By Chloe Best

Source: HelloMagazine

So you’ve just got engaged? Congratulations! Now is an incredibly exciting time, and the coronavirus lockdown means you have plenty of time to plan. Here, our wedding timeline will give you advice on everything from setting the date to finding the perfect wedding venue and deciding on a theme – starting 12 months in advance. (We will assume that you will host your nuptials once the coronavirus pandemic has passed and you are able to invite guests, but of course there is always the option to have a virtual ceremony if you’d rather not wait.)

Budget is a huge factor when wedding planning, and should be one of the first things you think about, so you know roughly how much you can allocate to everything from the venue to the dress and the catering.


Follow our handy wedding planning timeline in the countdown to your big day

Once you’ve found and booked your ceremony and reception venues, you can start booking suppliers, including your DJ or band, photographers, and caterer if there isn’t one at your venue. Writing your guest list and starting to notify invitees about your wedding date should also be high on your agenda, so everybody knows to keep the date free. This will also give your guests something major to look forward to after the isolation period.

After the main things are booked, you can start thinking about wedding outfits for yourselves and the rest of the wedding party. Then enjoy a break from wedding planning by browsing for honeymoon inspiration and decide where you can go to unwind once it’s all over, and once travel restrictions are lifted following the coronavirus pandemic. From hair and makeuptrials to the seating plan and wedding breakfast menu, there will be lots to sort out as your wedding day approaches, but our handy printable checklist will help you to stay organised and prioritise what needs to be done when. Good luck!

12 months to go

  • Announce your engagement!
  • Book the church or civil ceremony venue
  • Book reception venue
  • Book registrar if civil ceremony
  • Start looking around for gown inspirations
  • Think about possible venues and themes

11 months to go

  • Work out your wedding budget
  • Compose your guest list
  • Visit bridal stores to look at and try on gowns
  • Book caterer
  • Book DJ or band
  • Book photographer
  • Book lighting and sound (we recommend Luminaire Events)

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BLOGS Event planning during COVID-19: Remember 4 keys to success

May 3, 2020
Event planning during COVID-19: Remember 4 keys to success

By Anita Feiner

Source: roi-nj

Pivot! A few weeks ago, the only thing the word “pivot” evoked in my mind was a scene from the “Friends” episode where Ross, Chandler and Rachel were moving a couch up a too-tight stairwell.

Today, under cloud of the coronavirus, the term takes on a whole new meaning. In business, as well as our personal lives, we all find ourselves in a series of pivots to a new normal. But, just as Ross learned that his well-laid-out plan wasn’t working as well as he thought it should, so, too, are our business plans and, particularly, our plans for events.

One thing that binds all event planners together is that we are organizers. I don’t know any event planner who doesn’t live by the five P’s — “Proper Planning Prevents Poor Performance.” Maybe that is why we are so stymied right now. We are simultaneously planning for every scenario. Maybe we should add that other “P”: pivot.

That’s what many of us who had spring events on the calendar found ourselves doing. It was March 12 when I needed to pivot on an April 4 gala I managed. There was a contract with the venue, invitations were mailed and sponsorships were received. While I couldn’t go forward with an in-person event, I could and did negotiate a credit for 2021 with the venue, I called each contributor to explain the situation and request that they allow my agency to retain the contribution and I went online with a portion of the event.

Planners of summer events are faced with the decision to cancel, reschedule for later in the year … or, many of those with in-person galas, award banquets, marathons and other events will attempt to find ways to maintain the spirit of the event by conducting virtual events via Zoom or other platforms.

In our current environment, planners of fall and winter events may choose to move forward with scheduling, under the assumption that restrictions will be lifted. In the spring, we didn’t have a choice about moving forward once “stay at home” orders went into effect. One thing is certain: These planners will have to get creative to adapt portions of their event to attendance limits, social distancing requirements and whatever other guidelines that may be a part of our future for quite some time to come.

Regardless of the path event planners ultimately take under the veil of COVID-19, be sure to incorporate these four steps in the process:

  1. Develop a plan

Set a timetable of action items to achieve by certain deadlines. Assuming you already have contracts in place, pay close attention to when deposits are due and be hypervigilant of changes in the COVID-19 landscape as they relate to those due dates. If you haven’t entered into contracts yet, consult legal counsel about language to include to protect your organization in case of cancellation. In these changing times, it would be wise to prepare for Plan B and possibly Plan C, as well.

  1. Overcommunicate

Communicate with attendees, prospects, sponsors, stakeholders and community. We are a generation accustomed to the 24-hour news cycle where transparency is expected. Utilize social media, email and even snail mail if that is your traditional means of communication to spread the word about how you are moving forward with your event. While news releases may not be advisable at this time, there are self-publish sites available that are growing in popularity, which may be useful for these efforts.

  1. Define health and safety measures

Regardless of how many events you have planned before, your next one is certain to be different. The health and safety of your guests, staff, constituency and the greater community depend upon getting this right. Events that never utilized preregistration may need to require it to minimize crowds at registration kiosks. The room that comfortably holds 500 at tables of 10 may not be adequate for tables of six, and what about buffets? Will there ever be buffets again?

  1. Demonstrate the importance of your objective

There are reasons why events are held. If you decide to move forward with yours, remind and demonstrate to your constituency why they are there. If you decide to go in another direction, demonstrate why not holding the event is of benefit.

Whatever road you take, it is imperative to move forward with great flexibility. Another often-heard word these days is “fluid.” Let’s face it, none of us can truly predict future stay-at-home guidelines, social distancing pronouncements or the direction of the curve in the coming months. Add to that the even more unpredictable confidence of prospective attendees to venture out and join large groups even when the all-clear is given. Fluidity in planning will be crucial to achieving the goals of any event, because, in the end, the goal is the final destination and the event is only the vehicle by which to reach that destination.

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BLOGS Got Questions About Social Distancing? These Experts Have Answers

March 22, 2020
Got Questions About Social Distancing? These Experts Have Answers

Source: Healthline

As the United States experiences widespread school closures and governmental orders to close public places that attract crowds, you’re likely to hear the term “social distancing” several times a day.

Social distancing includes several measures that can slow down the spread of COVID-19 to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed with sick individuals. If the novel coronavirus is allowed to spread, unchecked by social distancing, there might not be enough beds in intensive care units for all the people that need them.

“Social distancing is a complicated way of saying stay away from people, and the microbial residue that people might have accidentally left behind,” said Malia Jones, a social epidemiologist at the University of Wisconsin in Madison who studies how people’s behaviors contribute to outbreaks of infectious disease.

“Since the virus that causes COVID-19 is spread from person to person through physically close social contacts, the best approach to prevention we have right now is to keep people from being in close contact as much as possible,” she explained.

“I’ve been calling social distancing ‘cocooning’ to promote the idea that you should be at home in a safe harbor with your family,” Jones said.

It’s critical that everyone practices social distancing, not just those who are sick, Jones told Healthline. This can help vulnerable populations, like older adults, from getting the virus. Due to delays in testing and the ability for someone to have and spread COVID-19, even if they appear healthy, it’s currently impossible to know who has it.

“Social distancing is a responsibility that individuals take on to make sure they’re not the vector of disease and to break the chain of transmission,” said ​May Chu, PhD, a clinical professor in the department of epidemiology at the Colorado School of Public Health in Aurora, Colorado.

Stay home

“In a nutshell, stay at home except for essential errands,” Jones stated.

This goes for those who feel healthy, too. “Many cases are very mild or asymptomatic. But you can still give it to someone else even if you don’t feel sick yet,” she said.

Avoid all crowded places or events

Cancel any gatherings that involve members outside your household or “cocoon.” It’s possible that another household, such as that of immediate family, are also part of your small circle. If so, everyone in the cocoon needs to avoid social contact outside this circle and maintain a high level of personal hygiene.

Stay 3 to 6 feet away from people outside of your own family

“The recommendation is to be 3 to 6 feet away from other people, and to preferably be outside,” where transmission risk is lower, said Thomas Jaenisch, PhD, an infectious disease epidemiologist and associate professor at the Colorado School of Public Health. While 3 to 6 feet is distant enough if it’s for a minute or so, “If you’re in a closed room and have a meeting for an hour, that’s a different story” and should be avoided, Jaenisch said.

Wash your hands often for 20 seconds, and don’t share items with people outside your cocoon

“To avoid getting anything [such as the virus] that was sneezed onto a table or door handle onto your hands, and then ultimately into your mouth and nose, wash your hands often, especially before you eat and as soon as you get home from being outside,” Jones said.

Do I need to practice social distancing if I’m symptom-free?

We asked experts to clarify exactly how to practice social distancing in common scenarios to avoid spreading or contracting COVID-19. For some situations, experts have clear answers. But for others, the science isn’t yet available, so it’s responsible to err on the side of greater caution.

Overall, experts agreed the situations below were generally not essential. “All of these things, like going to the gym, riding public transportation — all of that fuels the epidemic,” Jaenisch said.

Can I schedule play dates for my kids?

Keep your children home from school, and don’t let them mix with other kids outside your cocoon. School closures are especially important because even though children aren’t at particularly high risk for getting sick from COVID-19, they can still be carriers [and spread illness],” Jones explained.

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BLOGS 5 common questions about social distancing, answered

March 22, 2020
5 common questions about social distancing, answered


Source: Vox

Well, we’ve made it through one week of aggressive social distancing. We could have many more to go, as Vox’s Brian Resnick has written.

With that in mind, I decided to concentrate on the reader questions that I seemed to be getting multiple versions of. These are the questions a lot of you have as we adjust to our new reality.

First up: What exactly are the dos and don’ts of social distancing?

Questions from Lisa D.:

And Deirdra M.

These two questions seemed of a piece: When we say social distancing, exactly how much distance are we supposed to be keeping?

First, we should remember that the novel coronavirus is very contagious (an infected person will infect 2 to 2.5 others on average, versus about 1.3 others with the flu), and there is evidence that people who have only mild symptoms or no symptoms at all are helping spread the disease. That makes it more difficult to contain and is partly why we are taking such aggressive social isolation tactics: We cannot always be sure who has the virus, and we don’t want to risk it being passed along unwittingly to a more vulnerable person.

That’s why the first, second, and third rules of social distancing are obviously: Keep your distance!

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BLOGS 7 Refreshing Spring Wedding Ideas

February 23, 2020
7 Refreshing Spring Wedding Ideas

Source: JuneBug Weddings

Raise your hand if you love springtime! As we’re all sitting in our living rooms with our hands raised, let’s take a second to appreciate this wonderful time of year. With the blooming flowers and vibrant colors that come after the cold winter months, it’s easy to tell why so many couples like to get married during this season. If you’re one of those couples and want to mix it up with a fresh take on your spring wedding, this blog post is for you!

Check out these refreshing spring wedding ideas:

1. Go sustainable with florals

If you’ve been following recent wedding trends, you know that sustainability has been a hot topic for months. We’re all about it! Since springtime is all about flowers and pretty things, it’s a great opportunity to practice eco-friendly decor options. Dried florals are an excellent way to still get that flower-y feeling without harming the environment.

We’re obsessed with these dried floral bouquets from Anthropologie you can use for your wedding and re-use in your home!

2. Rock a botanical braid

There’s no better time of year than spring to add some blooms to your bridal hair look! If you’re rocking a braid, ask your florist to save a few extra flowers to add the special springtime touch.

3. Keep it neutral

A spring doesn’t have to mean pastels and rose-y hues. Keep in on-trend with the all-white look or a neutral color palette, and let the natural colors of the season steal the show!

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