This Is How Guests Actually Feel About Wearing a Mask to Your Wedding

The results may surprise you.
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
by Sarah Hanlon
sarah hanlon associate editor the knot
Sarah Hanlon
Associate Editor
  • Sarah is an Associate Digital Editor for The Knot, with special focuses in fashion, pop culture and wedding trends.
  • Before joining The Knot Worldwide, Sarah was a contributing writer for Bravo at NBC Universal.
  • Sarah has a degree in journalism and resides in New York City.
Updated Oct 08, 2020

Face masks are the norm in the time of COVID-19. Both the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization recommend the use of face masks when in close proximity to others, meaning they'll be integrated into weddings for the foreseeable future. If you're currently planning your nuptials, face masks should be included in your health and safety plan to keep loved ones and vendors safe. It's best to let guests know what health and safety precautions you're taking ahead of time. This will help them understand what to expect at your nuptials and prepare accordingly. But if you're curious about how guests actually feel about wearing face masks, we've got the scoop—and the results may surprise you.

According to The Knot 2020 Wedding Guest Study, which surveyed over 750 adults who planned to attend a wedding from April to December of 2020, masks were the most preferred safety measure. Roughly 66% of respondents said they think masks should be required at a wedding. Guests also think face coverings are essential for venue staff; 69% believe it's necessary for waiters and bartenders to wear them while working.

While most guests think face masks are necessary, they are willing to remove them periodically throughout the event. About 80% of guests said they would feel comfortable taking masks off at some point; 49% feel comfortable removing masks to eat, and one quarter say they'd take their masks off for a photo with the couple. Comfort with removing masks varies among age groups, though. About 19% of guests are never comfortable removing their mask. That number is slightly higher among guests aged 40 or over (23%) compared to 13% of guests ages 18-34.

Overall, masks are the most important safety precaution to guests, and they prefer to know all requirements ahead of time. In addition to the use of face coverings, 67% of guests expect hand sanitizer to be provided at the venue, and 64% want to sit at tables and chairs that are safely distanced. About 64% of guests prefer outdoor receptions and plated dinners since both help limit close contact with others.

Of note, though, is that 47% of guests think venue staff is responsible for enforcing health and safety rules. About 44% of respondents believe the couple and their family members should ensure all guidelines are followed. Based on these results, it's important to connect with your venue staff and immediate family members (like parents and siblings) before the wedding to determine expectations. Once everyone is clear on what guidelines are to be followed, it'll be easier to enforce rules on the day.

The measures you take to ensure safety will help guests make an informed decision about attending your nuptials. About 71% of respondents believe it's important to receive health and safety information prior to RSVPing. In the weeks leading up to your wedding date, plan to share specific details about your health and safety plan, including number of attendees, what activities will be outdoors, how meals will be served, and if you'll provide masks and hand sanitizer. Update your wedding website or reach out personally (via texts or email) to share this information.

Planning a wedding amid the coronavirus pandemic presents new challenges, but that doesn't mean you can't safely say "I do." It's imperative that you take strict precautions to protect yourself, guests and vendors. Keep an open line of communication on how you'll adapt your wedding plans. With plenty of creative ways to incorporate hand sanitizer or encourage social distancing, your wedding will still be a day of celebration and love. Plus, plenty of retailers specialize in custom masks, which you can offer guests as a wedding favor. In taking extra care to ensure the health of loved ones, you can still execute your dream wedding without sacrificing safety.

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