(Forgive me, Gabriel García Márquez, for I couldn’t resist one bit)
I debated with myself if the Coronavirus situation should have been the first post of the blog, and I decided that I didn’t want my opening on Bluebell’s Corner to be about something that, in the future, would not really be a good memory.
Thing is, though, we’ll have to live with the Covid-19 for a long time, and it doesn’t make sense to ignore it: it won’t go away by itself.
I prefer to face things as they come, anyway, especially difficult ones. And if this is not difficult, well, I don’t know what is.
Even just looking at the wedding field, we still don’t know what the rules will be for the future and we’re preparing for everything and anything.
Let’s see what we have to work with:
Weddings are, usually, a big gathering of people hugging and kissing each other. On the sanitary point of view, they’re a nightmare. Some nations (like some states in USA) allow small gatherings. Here in Italy, you can’t gather at all. Yet.
So, you can see how having a “traditionally celebrated” wedding might be a tad difficult here.
My first priority was securing new dates for my clients, I started calling left and right as soon as this all began, and by mid-March I had everything ready for them to move their dates, and eventually, everyone did. Basically, freeing my 2020, Yay, free time… yeah, right, d’oh!
Once those had been moved, I couldn’t help wondering what new rules we’d be bound to end with for social events. I mean, customized masks are already on the market (go and look over at Stardust Atelier! They make some wicked ones, I love them) and couldn’t they be the next tongue-in-cheek useful party favour?
The new Coronavirus regulations for restaurants will influence how we’ll organize the receptions. Maybe we’ll have to say goodbye to buffets, and go back to the seated dinner. Maybe we’ll have a different way to do those, in a way that makes sure that there’s no cross-contamination: we’ll probably invent something new. Humans are amazing at adapting! It will also depend on how long these new regulations will be in force for. If scientists find a vaccine, we may see the restrictions lift sooner rather than later. (Yes, I’m strongly pro-vaccine. Vaccines are awesome).
Sanitizer gel in customized bottles could be a new kind of placeholder for guests. At least the wind can’t blow them away!
Maybe we’ll have the same tables, but with five people instead of ten. Plenty of space around!
Still, not knowing exactly what we’ll be dealing with is kind of a bummer, because if I don’t know what the conditions are, I can’t invent a way to incorporate them and still deliver an unforgettable event.
What shall we expect, though?
Let’s give a look to the current regulations!
Fresh from the oven… well, the government… same thing.
- Gatherings of people who are not living together in public spaces or in spaces open to the public are still prohibited until July 31st (just in time for Harry Potter’s birthday, unless something new comes out). Masks are compulsory when inside a shop or any building open to the public, social distancing (1mt, 1.80 mt in Tuscany) is still ON.
- Outside, the mask is compulsory when social distancing isn’t guaranteed, but when going alone or only with people you live with or if you can definitely maintain social distancing, you can go without (but always have one with you). Please don’t wear masks with a valve, those aren’t ok because they don’t protect those around you.
- On May 18th, every commercial premise (included hairdressers, make-up artists and so on) was allowed to reopen provided that they follow the new regulations: limited people inside the shops depending on the walking surface, quick shopping (don’t dawdle!), booking in advance for appointments, and the tables at the restaurants have to be distant from one another or separated by physical barriers to guarantee the social distancing.
As of this date, you don’t need a self-compiled-certificate to go around inside the region anymore, but you’ll need it to go between regions, and in any case, only if you have a working, urgent or health reason.
- On June 3rd, the regional movement limitation will be called off, allowing people to go around Italy, unless the regional health authorities find that the contagion is spiking again: in that case they are allowed to reinstate any limitation they deem necessary.
- Holiday premises are reopening as well, and again, social distancing between people and hygiene will be the main things to be respected.
- June 3rd is also the date when people coming from EU member states, Schengen member states, United Kingdom and North Ireland, Andorra, Principality of Monaco, San Marino republic and Vatican City will be able to come to Italy without the compulsory 14-day quarantine.
Any people coming from nations other than the ones above-mentioned will be allowed only for serious working or urgent reasons, or for health reasons (and they’ll probably have to be quarantined for 14 days).
Still, ceremonies with guests etc are not mentioned anywhere in the current national laws and I’m not seeing any Coronavirus FAQ on the official channels about it, so I might come back on the topic if and when something more comes out.
The civil celebration of weddings is instead allowed. Only the spouses and the witnesses can go and they have to wear masks and keep the distances. This at least is allowing people not to re-do the whole bureaucratic procedure.
What to expect next?
In consequence of the regulations on restaurants and so, I feel like we should take into consideration:
- A reduction of the number of people any given venue can welcome;
- Obligations for sanitizer gel and probably masks and gloves, the latter at least for the staff;
- Maybe rules on temperature checking before entering the premises
But I suppose we’ll see about that in the next weeks, so don’t take these as confirmed!
Boring part over, let’s see what we can actually do!
- Travelling! If you’re planning to get married in Italy, and you’re from the above-listed countries, this summer or late 2020 could be a good moment to come, have some days here to explore venues and talk with vendors, because all of this can be done by respecting the social distancing. I still advise you to check the official communications in the future, or write to me and I’ll get you the information you need. I’ll be your protocol droid: I’m not golden and shiny, but I get shit done!
- Elopements (I love elopements)! You and your future spouse are going to be able to get civilly married. Yes, there will be masks and social distancing involved, but we can work around all this, maybe make it a bit cheeky, so that, in this objectively heavy moment in history, you still have a good memory.
The big party can be postponed to the future, but I see no reasons why you shouldn’t still enjoy a day for the two of you.
This is valid especially if you have already started the bureaucratic procedure: I understand anyone who doesn’t want to repeat that experience! (one day I’ll tell you when the town hall forgot my wedding).
You don’t exactly know what an Elopement is? Here you can satisfy your curiosity!
- Organizing long term! Nothing forbids you from getting your bearings for a future wedding in Italy, and as the vendors are definitely less busy than they expected, this is a good moment to get the conversation going!
I think I’ve been long enough, and I’ve given you the basics for now. Keep following the blog, because I’ll surely give you updates as we go. And feel free to contact me for any more in-depth question or doubt: I’ll be happy to help!
If you speak Italian, on the Gazzetta ufficiale you can find every single law or decree regarding the Coronavirus.
P.S. Fair warning: I might have sounded a bit like John Oliver in the Podcast: this was not on purpose; I can’t control my mimicking powers!