Engaged couples are making several big changes to their wedding celebrations amid pandemic: survey

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Some couples whose wedding celebrations had been upended by the coronavirus pandemic are now proceeding with plans that reflect the current health crisis.

Out of a survey of 10,000 "to-be-weds” conducted by The Knot Worldwide, around 50% of the participating engaged couples from around the globe had said they decided to postpone their wedding day. Meanwhile, in the U.S., that number drops slightly, with only 42% of couples indicating they postponed plans due to COVID-19.

Furthermore, 56% of U.S. couples who said they would postpone the big day have already married legally, but intend to celebrate with a reception at a later date to keep their attendees safe.

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When it comes down to planning a wedding in late 2020 or early 2021, The Knot found that 56% of engaged couples from around the world have decided on cutting their guest list by at least one-quarter, on average.

Additionally, the wedding resource determined 41% of couples have been maintaining coronavirus-related FAQ sections on either their wedding invitations or website, or, they've sent emails to keep guests informed about health and safety protocols.

Couples around the globe are adjusting their wedding plans due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to The Knot Worldwide. (iStock)

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Of those who intend to get married in the U.S., 94% told The Knot they would implement measures such as complimentary hand sanitizer and face masks for guests, or that they would be modifying food service, seating arrangements and entertainment options to comply with social distancing guidelines.

As an alternative, some couples are reportedly “hosting several small events in one day instead of one large gathering.”

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Technology is also being considered for guests who cannot make it to the in-person celebrations, but would still like to be included in festivities.

In the U.S., 43% of U.S. couples are planning to incorporate streaming video, so guests can watch them get married virtually. That number is slightly higher in Canada, with 49% of engaged Canadian couples indicating the same.

Streaming a wedding was found to be substantially less popular in western Europe with 6% of engaged couples from Italy showing openness to it, while 9% from Spain, 10% from Portugal and 18% in France showed openness to virtual weddings.

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On a global scale, more than 44.2 million people have been infected with the novel coronavirus, according to data from the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Dashboard. The U.S. in particular has the highest number of cases at this time, with more than 8.8 million confirmed infections.

Due to the severity of the pandemic, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a thorough list of risk factors guests may want to consider before attending an event or gathering. The agency notes that chances of contracting coronavirus go up when there are a higher number of attendees.

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Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, recently told panelists at the Harvard Medical Grand Rounds, "We need to hunker down and get through this fall and winter."

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