Socially Distanced Wedding Reception DIY

Getting married during a worldwide pandemic is tricky, but we made it work for my Sister-in-Law’s reception. I hope that by sharing, what we did, you can have your own wedding reception in this tough time and not feel like you’re missing out on the wedding experience.

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Wedding planning is my jam. Like really, I can list everything you need for a wedding at the drop of the hat. It’s a skill that I have perfected over the years of helping my friends and family plan their weddings. I pretty much just told my sister-in-law that I’d plan it for her! Here is how I made her reception perfect for social distancing, but still special!

How to Throw a Socially Distanced Wedding Reception

First, we specifically mentioned in the announcement that the reception would be a drive through! All of the guests were expecting to stay in their car and almost all of them came with masks on! The general set up was they would drive up, get their photo taken for the guest book, then pull forward to greet the couple and their parents. They would talk for a few minutes, then the car would pull forward and drop off the gift and grab a cookie that was individually wrapped at a local cookie store.

Details and Special Touches

DIY Social Distanced Wedding Reception

The first thing you’d pull up and see is this chalk board and canvas. The canvas she will hang in her house later and the huge chalk board came from my house.

I made the chalkboard years ago, so I just pulled it off my wall and wrote the letters on. The quick cheater way to do chalk lettering, is to print off the letters on paper, put chalk on the back of the paper, tape it where you want it on the chalk board, then use a pencil to write the outline. The pencil pushes chalk from the back of the paper to the chalk board and then you can use a chalk marker to fill it in.


One special touch, was they had a DJ that offered a radio station! It was so amazing! People could tune in and they recorded a special thank you message for their guests and listen to their wedding play list.

Guest Book

We did polaroid photos for the guest book! I wish I got a photo of it all together, but I missed it! I was busy taking photos with my phone and using a bluetooth connection with a polaroid printer (this one here and it’s amazing!). Then I would pass it to the guests to sign if they felt comfortable. I was totally in charge of this, so I wore a mask the whole time and sanitized my hands and pens a lot! I save all the photos in my pocket and then used double sided tape to tape them into an album at the end.

DIY Social Distanced Wedding Reception
Me taking a mask break


This is my favorite! My Father-in-law made an arch!

DIY Social Distanced Wedding Reception

It was a very simple arch, but made a big impact!

I got the lights from Amazon and they are so cute! I put them all over the bushes and on the arch. You can get those here.

There are some round lights too that I put on the arch. Here are some that are similar. Mine were from Walmart, but they are sold out here.

We got the tulle on Amazon as well. It was a little more flowy than tulle that I’m used to, so it was nice for draping over the arch. Here is the link for the tulle

I made the flower bunches on the arch. You need to get some flowers that you like, and some floral foam. The floral foam will hold the flowers where you want them to be and you can just stick them in. I like to do the greenery first, then add statement flowers, then filler flowers, then add the last bits of greenery. Greenery- Eucalyptus

White Roses

Baby Breath

Sorry, this is the best photo I have of my shepherds hooks and lights (below)! I had a pack of 12 shepherd’s hooks from Amazon (here they are). I used the same tulle and lights and strung them across the whole yard. Then I hooked the lanterns on! Here are some similar lanterns and similar candle sets. This part made a huge impact and I would definitely recommend it!

Social Distanced Wedding Reception

The last piece, was we added a table at the end of our driveway for people to drop off gifts and get a cookie that had been individually wrapped by a local cookie shop.

I am really happy with how everything went! It was a nice, simple reception but the couple still felt celebrated!

This is their picture and they are seriously the cutest couple!

If you have any questions about our drive through reception, I’d be happy to answer them!

but please don’t mention how my grass is dead (haha), I live where it’s really hot and basically everyone has dead grass this time of year!

2 thoughts on “Socially Distanced Wedding Reception DIY”

  1. This is an absolute lifesaver. As an event planner myself, it has been a hassle for me to create intimate micro weddings. Thank you for sharing these tips, definitely including them in my next blueprint.

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