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How to Navigate Weddings in Utah during COVID

The world has been turned upside down from Covid-19, especially weddings, receptions, and luncheons. Congratulations on finding that special someone! It's exciting and amazing. Yes, these are strange times but you are starting such a beautiful and fulfilling time of your life!

Here are some tips on how to navigate these usual times in Utah.

Happiness = Expectations + Reality

When we are most unhappy, it is normally when reality has changed yet our expectations have remained the same. Covid-19 is currently changing our reality so we have to adjust (not lower) our expectations. Most engaged couples are adjusting their expectations so that their wedding will be amazing considering the strange situation they find themselves in.

Down the road, these non-standard weddings will make for a great story to tell their friends and posterity. "We were married during COVID. Let me tell you..."

On the bright side, some couples like the lower pressure of smaller, more intimate groups. For those that don't want a big wedding/reception, these strange times are a godsend.

How to Keep People Safe

This biggest real-world challenge of COVID weddings is keeping the high-risk population safe. Grandma wants to come and she wants a huge hug, right?

A solid solution is to do a high-risk group time at your reception that is just the couple, their parents, and any high-risk individuals. Start with this group; don't end with them. Wear masks and take all precautions.

Will COVID Get Better or Worse?

The most common stressor with Utah weddings is not knowing if and when things will change. Will it get better or worse? What does that mean with regards to how many people can attend the wedding? Coming up with various plans is the best counter to these unknowns.

To find out Utah's COVID plans and the status of each region visit:

Most of Utah is in Yellow or Green. With Yellow, you can have groups of up to 50 people at a time. In green, there is not a limit to how many people can attend your wedding, luncheon, and reception. If an area goes to Orange the number drops to 20.

If you do want hundreds to attend your reception, technically you can do it in phases. You can have a group at 6 PM, then a group at 7 PM, etc. It takes coordination but you would have different invitations at different times. Obviously, you would start with the high-risk group first.

If your wedding is months away, there might be a possibility that your yellow area goes to green. Make sure the venue you use can accommodate a smaller or larger group of people.

Government and Organizations are Slow Movers

Government and organizations like churches are the slowest most conservative segment. Businesses are more aggressive. The reason is that large organizations normally have taxpayer funding or large coffers. Most businesses can go under if closed even temporarily.

In Utah, churches have been used for luncheons and receptions. With churches, there are huge liability and public relations considerations. It is safer to stay close to large group events at this time. Chances are they will remain closed longer than one would expect.

This means finding an affordable venue that will work regardless of weather conditions. With the hot summer here chances of rain are low but finding indoor or shaded locations can be a challenge. Many are using backyards, pavilions, and homes.

COVID Pricing at Event Centers

One of the major side effects of COVID is that many incomes have been affected. Some have lost jobs, others haven't been able to find summer work, etc. You are not alone if financially you and your family aren't where you thought you'd be.

The average cost of a wedding reception at a Utah reception center is $3300. With smaller groups of 50 or less, some event centers are offering discounted rates. It is wise to ask if they offer special pricing during COVID. If they are full, chances are no discounts are available. Look for newer less established event centers.

Stream the Wedding Event

In this day and age, if you can't have hundreds of attendees, streaming allows your friends and neighbors to participate in real-time. The key here is to stream the important segments such as when the mic is passed around to praise/tease the couple, cutting the cake, leaving to go on the honeymoon, etc.

These videos should be saved for posterity. Thank everyone for their support even if they attended virtually.

Amazon Wedding Wish Lists

We live in such a great technical age where you can share on social media your wedding registry wish list. Most are using Amazon. Make sure to send thank you notes to everyone who sends you a gift!


Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! While we might be in strange times you have found that special someone and that is really all that matters!