Theknot: Your Loved Ones and Wedding Guests Refuse to Get Vaccinated. Now What?
Updated: Mar 23
Here are basic tips for how to respond, according to experts.
The postponements have waged on and it's finally time for you to put together your seating arrangements, among other wedding day considerations. There is, however, one glaring issue: the unvaccinated wedding guest. Arguably and currently one of the most contentious topics in weddings, some couples marrying in 2021 will have to address this new type of guest directly.
After all, you've extended an invitation because they're presumably a loved one, whether it be your dad, aunt, best friend from high school, a colleague's husband, you name it. You could have guests who firmly believe vaccinations are essential to saving lives or you might have loved ones who are vaccine-hesitant. It's an especially tricky scenario if you've invited guests who are immunocompromised or under the age of 12. In short, how do you avoid a possible wedding day calamity ahead?
"These differences can be a huge source of stress for couples," notes Dr. Natasha Bhuyan, Regional Director at One Medical. "Especially because their own health and the health of their guests is at stake. It's important to be able to take a step back from wedding planning and focus on self-care." If and when you're ready to have some conversations, here's how to graciously respond to loved ones before your wedding day.
Open Up a Dialogue With Your Loved Ones
The first question to ask in any conflict is why. "For many couples, they have to consider their elderly relatives or immunocompromised family members. At the same time, there are many reasons why someone may be reluctant to get the vaccine," says Dr. Bhuyan. "The first step I advise is to simply listen. Are there fears your family or friends are grappling with regarding the vaccines? Is there misinformation or myths they believe?"
"Whatever you do, you are speaking to people you love about celebrating your day of love," says event planner Vanessa Ohayon of Vanessa Events & Hospitality. "Move forward graciously from a place filled with love." Opening up the dialogue, without imposing your beliefs immediately, will help you work towards a solution together.