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COVID VaccineNews about the COVID-19 vaccine rekindled some hope in early 2021. Governments and medical providers began executing rollout plans. Meanwhile, people consider how the vaccine will affect their lives. Some engaged couples celebrate, wishing for the dream weddings they’d envisioned before the pandemic hit. But does the vaccine herald a return to normal for American weddings? Here are a few things to consider as you plan your 2021 wedding.  

A Brief Overview About COVID Vaccines 

Two COVID-19 vaccines became available in early 2021. One came from Moderna, an American biotech company based in Massachusetts. The second resulted from joint efforts between American pharmaceutical giant Pfizer and BioNTech, a German biotech company. Both vaccines require two shots, but the Mayo Clinic reveals that they're around 95% effective.  

The CDC announced a vaccine rollout plan in January 2021. This plan first consisted of three phases. Healthcare workers and long-term care facility residents received priority in Phase 1a. Next came Phase 1b, with essential frontline workers and people 75 and older. Phase 1c included other essential workers, those aged 65 to 74, and people aged 16 to 64 with underlying medical conditions.  

The CDC added that its recommendations addressed limited vaccine supplies. Its plan offered vaccination to the most vulnerable populations first. The FDA authorized the release of these first two vaccines, but more are still in development.

Vaccines and Physical Distancing  

The Knot’s Esther Lee stresses that the new vaccines don’t make safety measures obsolete. Dr. Anthony Fauci hopes that up to 80% of Americans will get vaccinated. If this occurs during the first half of 2021, this protection plus herd immunity can protect the population. But no one can predict the future.  

Until we know more about transmission rates with the vaccine, we’ll still need masks and physical distancing. These aim to slow COVID-19's spread, helping prevent people from getting it in the first place. Hygiene is also key, including hand washing and sanitizer.

How the Vaccine Could Affect Wedding Plans 

Let's assume that Dr. Fauci’s hopes become reality and the vaccine rolls out smoothly. What can couples expect for their 2021 weddings? Mary Kate Miller offered some clues in a December 2020 Brides piece. Couples tying the knot during the first half of the year may want to reschedule, she says. Even if you’re in one of the priority groups, your guests may receive the vaccine during later deployments. You may not love the idea of postponing again, but you have your and your guests’ health to consider. 

But what if your event takes place later – say, September 2021?  You may have better odds of safely hosting an in-person wedding, but nothing’s certain. If you do go this route, you should keep your guest list small – the smaller the better. Plan your event at an outdoor venue where there is enough ventilation and room to keep at least six feet apart. And as recommended before, consider hosting a livestreamed wedding. Vaccine or no, your friends and loved ones can still celebrate with you.

Vaccines and Your Wedding Guests 

Couples mandating COVID-19 tests for wedding guests have heard some criticism. But what about vaccination? Portland wedding planner Elisabeth Kramer brings up some things to consider. How will guests prove that they’ve gotten the vaccine? What happens if vaccines aren’t available everywhere by your wedding date? Kramer emphasizes that couples must set the tone for their events. One possible solution is offering livestream access to those who can’t or won’t get vaccinated.

COVID-19 threw couples a major curveball. But we live in 2021, not 1421, and COVID vaccines offer some promise. Hosting a successful wedding includes planning wisely, watching current events, and developing strategies to keep you and your guests healthy.  

Category: Wedding Planning

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