With many weddings and large events postponed or canceled entirely amid the coronavirus pandemic, many are wondering if the summer months will bring new opportunities to hold and attend these events. What does that mean for weddings in particular?
ABC News Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Jen Ashton talked to Good Morning America about what attending summer weddings might look like for guests, and what the happy couples should be preparing for.
"There is no official CDC recommendation on what to do with respect to weddings during the COVID pandemic. However, there are some ways that you can modify your wedding that may make it slightly safer," Ashton begins.
"The CDC is recommending that no more than 10 people gather in enclosed spaces or close proximity, but you have to weigh the pros and cons, the risks versus benefits," she continues.
The first recommendation Ashton has for couples is to consider who will be in attendance at the wedding. If there are high-risk individuals who are traveling to be there, the last thing you would want is someone getting sick at the actual event.
Additionally, it's important to keep in mind that high-risk individuals in attendance at the wedding could be infected by other guests. So when is it safe to postpone your wedding for?
"No one has a crystal ball. No one knows what September will be like. No one knows what July will be like," Ashton explains. "But, according to infectious disease specialists, public health officials, there is the thinking that this will not be a measurably safer environment until a vaccine is out."
Luckily, there are a few steps you can take to make the actual event a little safer in the absence of a coronavirus vaccine.
"You can change seating arrangements. You could not have a receiving line. You could not dance as closely together," Ashton suggests.
"In terms of eating and dining options, instead of having a buffet, you could have something where everyone is served their meal, potentially making it less risky by handling the same types of food utensils," she continues.
All of that said, one thing couples should keep in mind is that the CDC is recommending that all people wear some sort of face covering when social distancing is not possible. This would include weddings, so you may need to prepare for masks as part of your attire.
"Masks would be absolutely recommended," Ashton explains.
And while it is certainly heartbreaking to have to postpone, cancel, or replan your wedding, couples should have the wellbeing of their guests at the forefront of their minds. "It is appropriate that we put health and people's lives and safety at the top of our priorities list," Ashton says.
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