If you have a wedding scheduled to take place during the remainder of 2020, there’s a good chance you’ve had to alter your plans.

During this time of pandemic restrictions, some couples have decided to put their marriage plans on the back burner for now while others are simply going ahead with a simple backyard ceremony for two, waiting until a later date to throw a big party and celebrate.

However, many couples are simply reducing the size of their party plans according to local restrictions and opting for a small, intimate affair that will allow them to get on with their lives while still enjoying a day that is special and memorable. A small wedding, even at this strange and often surreal time, can create lifelong memories for the couple and their families and can provide a welcome respite for the attendees in a world that has become wrought with changes and cancellations.

Those who opt for a smaller celebration will no doubt need to make changes to their guest list and maybe even to the location of the wedding ceremony and reception/dinner, but they can still provide their guests with an amazing catered party complete with delectable food that will taste delicious and leave their guests oohing and aahing when it’s over.

A smaller guest list provides more flexibility

When you host a large wedding, catering options must be able to accommodate large numbers of people. As such, the selections tend to be fewer. While the meal can still be creative, serving 200 comes with many more limitations than preparing a meal for perhaps 10-20 guests.

It’s quite easy, for example, to do an elaborate sit-down meal for your small guest list, whether it be brunch, lunch, or an opulent dinner. Your caterer can work with you to formulate a meal that will have your guests licking their lips and waiting eagerly for the next course, all served at a beautifully set table that matches your theme and colors.

If you want to go a little bit less formal, your caterer might suggest an outdoor picnic-type meal with your favorite grilled meats, summer salads, and more. Picnic meals are fun and light-hearted and truly speak of summer, ideal for an outdoor gathering, which is the most logical choice for weddings as we still worry about the spread of Covid-19.

If you prefer to maintain some degree of physical distancing, however, you may decide that a sit-down dinner or even a buffet or picnic is simply not the right thing at this time. For this reason, you might dispense with tables and seating and instead choose options such as hors d’oeuvres stations or perhaps a simple cocktail party with small bites and desserts on tables set up apart from each other in an outdoor space. These seem to be working well for wedding couples and their guests these days because some people are uncomfortable sitting down to enjoy a meal with others who are not from their household.

Before you call your caterer to make changes or to set up something new, don’t hesitate to talk to your guests first. Explain your plans and ask them what makes them comfortable in such a setting. You may find that some guests will opt not to attend because of health risks or you may discover that they are a little more flexible than you had thought.

Everyone is at a different degree of comfort with the virus still in our midst, so you will likely have to plan according to the level of comfort of those whom you really want to have present for your special day. For example, you may need to avoid scenarios where people share dishes and serving utensils in favor of individually-packaged meals for each guest, which many caterers are doing these days.

Truly, with the right caterer, the possibilities are endless.

Discussing options with your caterer

Once you’ve determined what’s going to work best for you and your guests, take your ideas to your caterer and let him/her brainstorm with you to come up with the best solutions for your small wedding.

Remember, the main goal is to keep the spirit of the day upbeat and happy and to reduce the fear many individuals have about gathering in groups, even small ones. Though it’s likely that a 2020 wedding will be one to be talked about for years to come – “Remember when Joe and Jill got married during the pandemic?” – you still want the emphasis to be directed away from Covid and towards the joy of this special day.


For more ideas about catering for small weddings during Covid-19, talk to our attentive and caring staff at Catering Visions by calling 604-657-8373.