From complete event shutdown to the surge in virtual events to the slow return of in-person events, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted events and event planning in so many ways.

As in-person events come back in (almost) full swing, figuring out how to plan your next big event may be more confusing than you imagined. Over the last few years event trends have shifted in favour of smaller, more intimate gatherings with a strong focus on health and safety. When it comes to weddings, many components have gone virtual – from wedding websites to electronic save-the-dates.

Here are a few important things to consider when planning and booking your next event:

Have a few dates in mind
Given the wedding boom that’s occurring as a result of most weddings being postponed for the last few years, we recommend having a few dates in mind when looking to book venues and vendors. The wedding boom is expected to last a couple more years, possibly into 2024, so keep this in mind as you think about your dates. This will give you a lot of flexibility when it comes to scoring your dream venue or must-have vendors such as photographers or caterers.

Dates to consider avoiding when planning a wedding or other large gathering:

Include health and safety measures
Yes, this is still important! Even with lifted restrictions and COVID-19 vaccinations, health and safety measures should remain a top priority as we begin to plan larger gatherings. This can include accessible sanitizer stations, masks for guests, and layouts that allow for social distancing. Larger event spaces or outdoor venues can allow for more spaced-out table arrangements and more room for guests to walk around without worrying about breaking social distancing protocols.

On top of standard event precautions, some event planners and couples are taking things up a notch by requiring that guests get tested before attending their events. This is becoming a more common practice as testing has become more available, so it might be an option worth considering. The venue you select for your event should follow safety protocols very strictly. When checking out different venues, consider asking questions about their cleaning protocols such as how frequently they clean, what areas are cleaned, and how many staff they have on hand for cleaning.

Add a virtual component
Even as in-person events have started back up again in 2020, 12% of couples still hosted fully virtual weddings! As the pandemic winds down, virtual and hybrid events will remain common for some time. The benefit of offering a virtual component to your in-person event is that it can be a great way for those out-of-town guests to still attend – while keeping in-person numbers low! This way everyone wins!

Book your events sooner rather than later
As we mentioned above, the next couple of years will see a wedding boom, making venue booking more challenging than it was before. Once you have your list of date options finalized, start booking the venues and vendors you’ll need. If you’re planning a wedding, this means booking all pre-wedding venues as soon as you can as well! Whether it’s a bachelor/bachelorette party, bridal shower, or rehearsal dinner, the longer you wait to book, the more challenging it may to hold on to your preferred dates.

Get excited!
While there’s certainly a lot more to consider when it comes to event planning in a post-covid world, that shouldn’t take away from your excitement to finally be able to host an in-person event! Enjoy every minute of event planning and time spent with loved ones, since these are the moments you’ll cherish years later.

This is the time to relish in the excitement of getting your closest family and friends back together again – enjoy it!