Updated: Sep 6

The NACE Covid-19 Task Force, has created a summary of the Illinois and Chicago reopening guidelines for events in Phase 4. See below.

This document is taking into consideration guidelines from both the City of Chicago and the State of Illinois.  We have highlighted and simplified the guidelines for an easy one page, but you are encouraged to check out the city of Chicago's Hotel/Accomodations guidelines and Food Service Guidelines

Hotels and Accommodations

Food Service and Bars

Also, see the state of Illinois' meeting and event guideline

Meetings and Social Events

Workplace/offices should follow guidelines as presented for those business environments and Food and Beverage providers should follow the guidelines provided under "Food Service" or "Restaurants/Bars" for both city and state.

The initial 50 person maximum is a starting point for Phase 4.  Both city and state have agreed to review the guidelines for "Gathering Sizes" two weeks after entering Phase 4, along with case numbers in city and state.

I encourage each business to consider all the guidelines presented and incorporate them into a Covid-19 Phase 4 plan for reopening and providing services.  We understand that everyone will have slightly different interpretations of the guidelines, but overall the goal is to create safe environments for events, in Illinois and Chicago, so that vendors and guests can feel comfortable working and attending events and that proper precautions and communication have been provided.

On May 7th, 2020, NACE Chicago Chapter and the Illinois events community sent this letter to Governor J.B. Pritzker, about the Covid-19 pandemic. We are currently gathering leaders, in the Illinois events community, to create guidelines to host safe events. We hope that these efforts will encourage government to allow events to happen sooner and in a safe manner. Below is the letter sent. Please contact if you want your business listed as a supporter of the NACE Covid-19 Response Committee and to take part in creating guidelines for safe events.

Photo by Kristin La Voie Photography

In these uncertain times, it can be difficult to think about taking action when staying in place. Planning a wedding during the Covid-19 pandemic is a challenge, but is one that you are capable of tackling. Now more than ever we need to look to the future and see these events as the light at the end of this tunnel. It’s a time to take action by continuing to plan your dream wedding.

The wedding industry certainly recognizes that you may have concerns with taking additional steps and making commitments at this time. However, this period of uncertainty will be temporary. Our future is full of celebrations and weddings are still moving forward and booking every day. With postponements from spring and summer 2020 taking up late 2020 and 2021 dates, you need to stay motivated and moving forward with decisions regarding your wedding. Therefore, I want to share some suggestions on how to make those commitments with your wedding vendor partners and feel confident about those decisions. Remember that we are all in this together and all want to see celebrations of life continue.

First Right Holds

Wedding planning requires lots of decision making. Lining up dates, people and services can take some time and wedding vendors understand that. When considering a vendor for your wedding ask them about their hold process. Most vendors will gladly hold a date for you with a first right of refusal. They will note your event for the specified date and provide you a time period to make that decision. If another couple wants to secure them for the same date, they will contact you to give you first right to the date. This enables you to look at all the options and know when you will likely need to make a decision.

Concessions and Incentives

Decision making can be difficult in the best times and uncertain times can bring additional burden, but look at this as an opportunity. Ask your vendors if they are providing any concessions or incentives for bookings within this time period. We are all motivated to see your wedding day be the best day ever. Maybe the caterer will throw in some late night snacks. The photographer might add some pages to your album as a signing bonus. The band might offer you some additional performance time. It doesn’t hurt to ask how they help make this decision easier for you.

Deposit Schedules

In order to secure a vendor they will ask for a deposit with the contract. We understand that during this stressful time, couples may be concerned with making those deposits and how they could be impacted in the future. Many vendors are open to breaking up their deposit schedule. For example, they may typically require a 50% deposit at contract signing, but with the current situation, they may be willing to reduce that to 25%. Have open and honest discussions with the vendor about deposits and their postponement and cancellation policies. The more information you have the better you will feel about making the decision to move forward.

I encourage you to FEEL EXCITED! It is ok to be happy and hopeful about the future and, in fact, it is a wonderful thing to focus on during this time. Make decisions based on Joy and not fear. This period of isolation will end and we will all be able to come together soon. In the meantime, happy planning to all of our happy couples.

Megan Estrada

North Shore Weddings & Events

North Shore Weddings & Events
990 Green Bay Rd, Suite 2
Winnetka, IL 60093
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