It's a very scary and uncertain time right now. It is for us too! That's why we want to go above and beyond to help you through this.
We've put together resources for you to help you through this time. You can also stay on top of the state ordinances here. The big question on everyone's minds is when will weddings be allowed again. The truth is no one knows, and when they are allowed again, they'll probably look a lot different. We've been keeping up-to-date on the ordinances, and will update this page as new information becomes available.
So, it's been hard to keep track of where photoshoots and weddings can take place. We've done our best to find the answers you're looking for and put them on a handy-dandy map. Keep in mind, we are not experts on the ordinances (or county lines), so these are just based on our interpretation of the ordinances. Always double check with the county before setting up a shoot or wedding.
July 2, 2020
Cultural ceremonies, like weddings, are allowed in California per the California State COVID-19 website: "On May 25, 2020, in an effort to balance First Amendment interests with public health, the State Public Health Officer created an exception to the prohibition against mass gatherings for faith-based services and cultural ceremonies as well as protests. Those types of gatherings are now permitted indoors so long as they do not exceed 100 attendees or 25% of the capacity of the space in which the gathering is held, whichever is lower. State public health directives now do not prohibit in-person outdoor faith-based services or protests as long as face coverings are worn and physical distancing of 6 feet between persons or groups of persons from different households is maintained at all times."
As a person whose parents and child are at risk for this virus, I ask that you please do follow these rules. Keep people 6 feet apart and require that they wear masks. The last thing you want is to have an outbreak at your wedding. We will do our part to protect you, and we ask that you do your part to protect us. Together, we'll get through this!
June 16, 2020
From the official COVID-19 California State website, when it comes to cultural ceremonies (like weddings), the ordinances "now do not prohibit in-person outdoor faith-based services or protests as long as physical distancing of six feet between persons or groups of persons from different households is maintained at all times." So, weddings are allowed unless the county itself forbids it. However, for the health and safety of all your guests and vendors and yourself, they need to maintain social distance. Masks also protect others from the virus.
June 1, 2020
Santa Clara County's ordinance is changing effective June 5th. Ceremonies will be allowed with 25 people or less if social distancing of 6+ feet can be maintained, face coverings are worn by all, and anybody experiencing symptoms stays home.
Here is the updated ordinance: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/executive-summary-order-06-05-2020.pdf
And here are the Social Distancing Protocols: https://www.sccgov.org/sites/covid19/Documents/Appendix-A-Social-Distancing-Protocol.pdf
May 30th, 2020
So, it all depends on county, but some counties are allowed to open not only worship services, but "cultural ceremonies." That could mean a wedding ceremony. However, you'll want to contact your county to see if you can hold your ceremony. There are state restrictions that would apply to all counties such only allowing 25% capacity or 100 people, whichever is less. Receptions still appear to be a no-go though. The governor has mentioned that we can go further into Stage 3 in June. Weddings are included in that stage, but adaptations (such as social distancing and gathering size limitations) will be required.
May 20th, 2020
Though no date has been set for when gatherings can start taking place, it may be sometime in June. Governor Newsom has said that it's possible that within a month that more will be opening. This could mean small gatherings, but nothing has been confirmed.
May 4th, 2020
Phase 2 is scheduled to start on Friday. What does this mean for weddings? Well, one, things are ahead of schedule. Two, retail shops will be opening up in some capacity. This means being able to get a wedding dress or other attire for weddings. This may not mean much for those having a wedding reception, but for those having an elopement, this will be helpful.
April 30th, 2020
Governor Newsom announced a new executive order in effect for at least the next 60 days, which will allow you to be able to obtain a California marriage license and get married via video conferencing. Read more below under "Still Want to Get Legally Married?"
April 29th, 2020
Currently, Governor Newsom has announced a 4 step plan for opening up the state of California. We are currently in Stage 1. Stage 2 will begin in "weeks, not months." Stage 3 is the stage when wedding receptions will be allowed. That stage is currently "months, not weeks" away, according to the Governor. You can get married now though. Read on!
You can! Governor Newsom issued an executive order on April 30th (for 60 days) allowing you to obtain a marriage license via video conference and then get married via video conference. Angela is an ordained minister, so she can perform the ceremony, and James can act as a witness.
Once the Shelter-in-Place is lifted, we will be offering an elopement package with as little as 4 people (us and you), all while maintaining social distance (yay for telephoto lenses!). Next, we'll follow up your ceremony with a special photoshoot. Then, you can have your big ceremony and reception with friends and family later on when it's safe to have large gatherings. We'll capture it for you then too!
One of the benefits of an elopement is that you can get married someplace that wouldn't support a big wedding. Get married at a lighthouse or on the beach, or have your ceremony up on Glacier Point in Yosemite, or at the base of a waterfall! Get married at a theater or in a bookstore! We're assembling a list of options, and we'd love to hear your suggestions too!
As you can probably guess, the wedding industry has been hit hard by COVID-19. For many of us, it's our full-time job, and thus our only source of income. As such, vendors WANT to continue working with you. Just like you, we don't know what's going on, we're searching for answers, and we're worried about what they are. We all want to help you and still be a part of your special day.
First, talk to your venue. Get as many date change options as possible from them. Better yet, ask if they have a calendar of available dates for you to view. You can then reach out to each vendor with the date change options. You may need to work fairly quickly as several other brides and grooms will be doing the same. Keep the lines of communication open with your vendor family, so everyone can work together.
We've got you covered! We've teamed up with Mint.com to offer cute Change the Date stationary that you can send out.
Yes, it's not an easy change to make, but your guests will appreciate your decision to keep them safe by delaying the celebration. They want to be with you for your big day, and they'll understand the predicament that you're in.
One way weddings will most likely change has to do with gathering bans. If only 50 people are allowed in one spot, that means that the total count can only be 50. That means vendors plus the couple plus the guests. So, that will mean uninviting people. The best way to approach this is to remind your guests how much you love them and wish they could be there with you, but due to circumstances beyond everyone's control, you can't have a large reception in order to keep them safe. Most people will be glad that you are taking their health into consideration.