I cannot even fathom what you are going through having to navigate this pandemic and I want to help support you through this however I can!
My goal for this page is to provide current restrictions laid out by our specific state of Washington for Weddings as well as the CDC's guidelines specifically relating to wedding photography.
I also hope to provide tips and tricks for navigating still having your event or what it would look like to postpone. And also our policies for a rescheduled event due to COVID are listed below.
Note: all resource links will be listed at the bottom of this page.
- Rebecca Anne
Will you still photograph our wedding?
Of course!! But it most definitely needs to be legal and follow the government guidelines. For the safety of you, your guests, my future brides and my family it is in all of our best interests to abide by the rules laid out by the government and CDC.
What if we have to postpone?
Rebecca herself started a group for Washington Wedding Photographers in case of an emergency to help support photographers who come down sick and still have events to photograph. We also currently have a team of 5 associate photographers who work under our brand that are here to support each other. Our first priority if one of our photographers gets sick is to keep you within the Rebecca Anne Photography team and assign another associate (or myself) to photograph your day. If that is not possible, then we would reach out to the photographers we know well who have similar shooting styles and ask them to shoot the day while we still finish the editing and delivery process.
How will our wedding photos look different because of COVID?
Your wedding photos are going to look different. They just are. Your guests will be masked except for when they are eating. We cannot enter the dance floor. There is a no-touch policy so it will be harder to fix your hair...etc.
I will be social distancing and wearing a mask throughout your event. This means I will be using a longer lens to capture moments that I normally would have been able to be closer to. I have to maintain a 6 feet distance at all times. This may have an effect on the type of moments that I am able to capture. Photographing your dance floor from the perimeter is going to look much different than being on the dance floor interacting with your guests. If your tables are close together then I may not be able to maneuver through your tables to photograph your toasts. The list goes on and on and so if you are concerned, let's chat about how we can still get you the best images possible.
What happens if you or the associate photographer gets sick?
If I am personally not available on your date or the associate photographer you originally had assigned is not available, we have a total team of 6 photographers who work under our brand and we would try to find a good fit with someone else on our team. If no one is available then per your contract your retainer is unfortunately non-refundable.
Can we re-arrange our package to elope this year and have a reception next year?
Absolutely! We can re-arrange your coverage and either split it up between an elopement this year and a reception next year or simply add on more coverage for an elopement. We want to be as flexible as possible to work with you to have the best day ever! Please do note with current restrictions in Washington it is not allowed to have a ceremony separate from a reception. They must be done in the same place on the same day. Ideally those restrictions won’t move to next year but do be aware that the exception the Governor has made for weddings is literally just for the act of getting married and will not accommodate a separate party.
What if you aren’t available for the date we want to postpone to?
If you are considering rescheduling, we are asking you would only reschedule about 60-90 days or less before your original date as it might be too early to determine anything about the situation as it might get better. Also please, please, please consider rescheduling to a non-peak date in 2021. By picking an off season, Friday or Sunday date you are enabling your vendors to make sure they still get to book a 2022 season and ensure they are still open for business by the time your wedding actually does roll around.
Rebecca Anne Photography’s contract states that your retainer is non-refundable but transferable to another date 12 months from your original date if rescheduled 30 days or more before your wedding date. If it is less than 30 days before your wedding date then your final balance will still be due but still transferrable to a new date through the following calendar year if we are available. If the new date does not fall within the following calendar year, then a new retainer of 50% the packaged price will be due to secure the new date. Please see your contract for full details.
Below is a summary of the rules based off of the Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements, the Washington State Weddings & Events Association. the June 19 2020 Memorandum, and the CDCs recommendations and guidelines as of September 16th 2020. All resource links can be found at the bottom of this page.
Wedding services are defined as the wedding ceremony and receptions that are co-located or adjacent to the ceremony. Wedding services do not include engagement parties, bridal/groom/couples’ showers, bachelorette/bachelor parties, or rehearsal dinners. These rules apply to both religious and non-religious weddings.
Weddings may occur if:
- The wedding planners, venue and vendors can meet and maintain all requirements needed to comply with the guidance for Phase 2 and 3 Wedding Receptions and Funerals COVID-19 Requirements.
- If food is served at a reception for a wedding, funeral, or memorial service, the venue must comply with the guidance for Dine-in Restaurants and Taverns.
-The wedding reception is limited to no more than 3 hours.
- Alcohol service, delivery, and consumption, including beer, wine, and spirits, must end at 10:00 p.m.
- All vendors who are a part of wedding services or funerals must specifically ensure that the main L&I COVID-19 requirements are followed to protect their employees.
Indoor and outdoor occupancy is limited to 30 guests or 25% of maximum building capacity whichever is less, excluding vendors and their staff working at the wedding service.
All vendors, employees and persons in attendance shall wear face coverings before, during, and after the wedding service (whether indoor or outdoor). The face covering requirement does apply to individual(s) leading the service and others who speak during any live service. The wedding couple is exempted from the face covering and six feet physical distancing requirement from each other during the ceremony so long as they maintain six feet of physical distance from all other persons.
Ceremony: ceremony seats to adhere to physical distancing requirements and have six feet of space between the seats, pews, and benches or have physical barriers between them. Members of the same household may be seated together as a single unit. Indoor dining is limited to members of the same household. Outdoor seating does not have this same limitation but still limited to 5 people. Standing to mingle is prohibited; however, the wedding couple and/or the host is permitted to stand to greet guests so long as they strictly comply with the six feet physical distance and face covering requirements.
The couple getting married may be considered the same household so they do not need to wear masks with each other. The wedding party (assuming they are not also part of the couple’s household) does need to wear masks if they are within 6ft of non-household persons. It would be prudent for the wedding couple and party to arrange photo opportunities in a way to minimize being within 6ft of each other. In addition, making sure that if anyone experiencing symptoms consistent with COVID remains home. The same is applicable to family photos and groupings should be arranged via household.
One-hour wedding ceremony rehearsals are permitted in advance of the wedding day to practice the ceremony as well as to practice and review the COVID-19 safety plans of the venue and other vendors. Rehearsals shall be limited to the couple and their wedding party, the couple’s parents, the officiant, and any necessary vendors. Face coverings are required at all times during the rehearsal. Rehearsal dinners are prohibited.
No choir shall perform during the wedding ceremony or funeral service. Singing by the guests or by a performer is permitted, but individuals must not remove their face coverings to sing. Soloists and duets (whether accompanied or unaccompanied), as well as other small groups of musicians such as string quartets are permitted so long as the performers wear a face covering. In the event a performer is playing a woodwind or brass instrument, the performer may remove their face covering only during the performance. A vendor, the venue or the host is permitted to provide pre-recorded music for the ceremony and reception as background music, to provide AV assistance to amplify voices during the ceremony and reception, for toasts and other aspects of the wedding and reception, and to perform the role of emcee.
Dancing is prohibited with the following exceptions: the couple’s first dance and parent dances. For these specifically allowed dances, only one pair may dance at a time, both must be wearing masks (unless they are part of the same household) and must remain six feet away from other persons.
Phase 1: Ceremonies are limited to a total of no more than 30 people. Indoor receptions, wakes or similar gatherings in conjunction with such ceremonies are prohibited.
As of January 8th 2021
Once we can enter phase 2 by regions receptions will be allowed and new restrictions will be released.
Source: Governors medium page.
1. Larger tables = more space! Putting fewer people at larger tables not only spaces out guests sitting around a table, but also puts more distance between tables at a reception!
2. Hand Sanitizing Stations are your best friend. These inconspicuous stations can be placed around a ceremony or reception area to make sure germs stay at bay!
3. Keep guests away from others by limiting communal areas! For example, renting water pitchers for each table rather than beverage dispensers where guests can gather.
4. Keep your caterers and bar staff safe by renting protective shields! These plexiglass stands can sit on top of a bar or table and allow service as normal, without the spread of. disease.
5. Have multiple parties and keep the celebration going! We have seen lots of couples decide to still get married this year with fewer people and then wait to have their large wedding next year on their first anniversary. Renting a tent for a backyard dinner party, no matter how small, is always a great way to celebrate!
Here are 5 special COVID makeup/hair tips
1. Don't wear any! INVEST in SKIN CARE. Exfoliating, face wash, sunscreen, moisturizer, face masks, do all the things. RIGHT now is the time to really focus on clearing up any issues, trying new products and taking better care of your skin. Here is a link to my favorite products and I'll gladly help people with what their skin might need.
2. Drink water! LOTS OF IT. Water is one of the best things for your face. You want your makeup to look incredible? Drink water and take care of your skin. There is no makeup that can hide dehydrated, textured skin. DRINK IT
3. Get an amazing brow pencil and mascara, since your eyes are pretty much the only thing showing, might as well decorate them a wee bit.
4. Lay off the dry shampoo and invest in a professional shampoo and conditioner regime. Dry shampoo will eventually contribute to serious buildup which will restrict new hair growth and can potentially cause hair to snap... wash yo hair!
5. Wash or change your masks daily. I have about 8 that I move around between wearing and washing. just like anything fabric, it gets dirty and having it pressed against your face all day isn't going to help your skin out at all!
1. Movin’ & Groovin’ – During the private photo/video session we’re trying to stay a little more distant than we usually would. This means wider shots and a few less close ups. For video-purposes we like to incorporate some movement into those shots, just to keep them interesting! We’ve been having couples walk, dance, twirl, etc. to get some fun shots that look awesome from afar.
2. Mic Check, 1…2… – We still need that beautiful audio to tell your story, so COVID or not, we’ve got to mic you up! However, we are adapting our processes to stay safe during these times. This means that we are completely sanitizing our microphones after each use, and may also ask that couples/speakers mic themselves (unless they request our assistance).
3. Time is On Your Side – Many couples have chosen to carry on with much smaller, more intimate weddings in order to comply with the new restrictions. This is awesome! We LOVE intimate weddings & elopements. Something that we tell our couples is to leave plenty of time for the private portrait session. With our intimate wedding & elopement films, we’ve found that the cinematic shots from our time alone with the couple are so important! With a smaller guest count and smaller wedding, the day becomes much more personal so we like to mirror that in the video. And we can’t do that if we don’t get to spend some quality time with the newlyweds!
4. Zoom Zoom Zoom – For photographers and videographers, 2020 is the year of the Zoom Lens. We’ve been riding the zoom lens train for awhile now and we’re totally ready to tackle this socially distant wedding season. During times of the day when people are gathered closely together (ceremony, toasts, spotlight dances), it’s important that we can stay out of the way. Really, this is true all the time – not just during a
pandemic! We primarily use our zoom lenses for these parts of the day for that reason.
5. “It’s a Love Story…” – Not trying to promote Taylor Swift here… but she has a point! It’s all about the story when it comes to videography. We’ve found that with more intimate weddings, some major components of a wedding get nixed from the timeline – no one needs to do a “grand entrance” when it’s just them and their immediate family! However, it’s important to think of other ways you can add to the story of the day.
We’ve been encouraging couples to exchange personal letters before the ceremony/first look, to write personal vows, and to have a few family members still give a toast or speech during dinner. If you can’t think of anything, just plagiarize T Swift! This way we still have the words and images needed to creatively tell your story.
Catering Protocols & recommendations:
- Staff will buss each table once, and ask that guests stack their plates in our buss tubs as we come around.
- All beverages including non-alcoholic beverages will be served from the bar by a bartender.
- Bartenders will not handle any used glassware. Guests will discard themselves and get a new glass.
- Food and beverage surfaces will be wiped down and sanitized regularly.
- Your health and safety will remain our priority.
- ACT 3 staff members are required to wear face masks and gloves at all times.
- Staff are required to maintain 6ft distance from each other and your guests.
- Food will be served buffet style and will be plated by an ACT 3 staff member.
- Guests are required to wear a mask when going through the buffet line.
- We suggest having your DJ/MC dismiss tables one at a time to avoid a crowded line.
Updated Wedding Reception Restrictions
July 23rd 2020 update for weddings
Religious and Faith-based Organization COVID-19 Requirements
Weddings June 19, 2020 Memorandum
Washington State Wedding & Event Association FAQ about June 19 Memorandum
WIPA Roundtable Discussion Video
General workplace requirements
Professional photography guidelines (phase2)
CDC considerations for gatherings & events
Washington Department of Health Cloth Masks Guidance
Washington Statewide Face Coverings
COVID-19 Blog Series: What Safety Measures You Need to Incorporate at Your 2020 Wedding from New Creations Wedding Design & Coordination
Here’s How Covid-19 Impacts Your Wedding and What to Do
What Will Weddings Look Like in the Age of Social Distancing?
Here’s Why You Should Consider a Weekday Wedding
Wedding Planning During COVID-19: Advice for Couples
The Knot Official Guidebook for COVID-19 Wedding Help
Cameron Zegers Action Plan Resource Guide