Unveiling the Green Phase: How to Get Married in a Pandemic

Here is what the current safety guidelines mean for your wedding.


Shifting into the green phase has Pittsburgh couples eager to get back on track toward the altar. While it’s a step forward, the owner and director of Olive and Rose Events, Kimberly Allera, is still coordinating with vendors to ensure a safe event. 

“Even though we are in the green phase, there is still a lot of confusion,” Allera says. “There’s still a lot of restrictions in place.” 

These takeaways are how the green phase guidelines will affect your wedding.


Your venue is responsible for enforcing the guidelines.
It is all about continuing to practice social distancing. Whether in a field or hotel ballroom, the amount of space matters when determining guest count and distance between seats and tables. Many venues are requiring that guests wear masks when entering or leaving an event. 

Recommendations suggest no more than 250 people in a gathering.
The number of people at a wedding actually depends on where you are. Restaurants are operating at 50 percent capacity, and it is unlikely that 250 people can maintain social distance in a small, enclosed area. Another tricky aspect of this guideline is that it accounts for everyone at the event. “That 250 is also including your vendors and catering staff,” says Allera. “So, it’s not 250 straight guests.”

Talk to your caterer about how best to serve your meal.
“You’re probably not going to be doing a family-style dinner right now,” Allera says, as many venues recommend having no more than five to six people at a table, with tables spaced 6 feet apart. Most guidelines are targeted at safely serving food, such as the mandatory wearing of masks by staffers and frequently sanitizing high-touch areas. However, there is no statement as to whether buffet-style or sit-down is safer. It’s important to have frequent conversations with your caterer to see what works best.


Controlling the crowd might involve some big changes.
Cocktail hour, the cookie table and dance floors are opportunities for people to stand a little too close for comfort. But Allera says there are ways to maintain some sense of normalcy. Instead of having a cookie table, couples can box them as party favors. More bars cut down on lines. Although some venues have banned dance floors altogether, that doesn’t mean guests won’t dance. “You can say no dance floor, but when you have 200 people together, there’s only so much you can do to keep people from dancing,” Allera says.  

Communication is key.
As the regulations are left to be interpreted, it’s necessary to stay in contact with your planner and vendors. If you haven’t already done so, consider creating a website to update your guests along the way. The rules are constantly changing, so effective communication will help. 

Categories: Beyond the Cookie Table