Cynthia Bailey has gone on record defending her 250-guest wedding to Mike Hill, but she wants to make clear that everyone is following COVID-19 precautions and safety guidelines.
Ahead of her Georgia wedding on Saturday, the Real Housewives of Atlanta star opens up to PEOPLE about the “strict” COVID-19 precautions she put in place in order to ensure the safety of their guests.
“Usually, my concern before the wedding would be more focused on a lot of the aesthetics of the wedding,” Bailey tells PEOPLE. “However, because we are getting married in a pandemic, the focus has turned to: Do we have the thermometers for the temperature checks? Do we have sanitizer stations?”
“We aren’t messing around,” she adds.
The couple is set to wed at the Governors Towne Club in Acworth, Georgia. The ceremony was originally set to take place outdoors to accommodate their 250-person guest list, but due to impending weather from Hurricane Delta, the ceremony was forced to be moved indoors.
“Luckily, it’s big enough to be inside and still social distance, ” she says of the venue.
But spreading out chairs isn’t all the couple is doing. Ahead of the wedding, Bailey, 53, and Hill, 50, hired a team from Saniture Facilities Maintenance Inc. to deep clean the venue with a professional cordless electrostatic handheld sprayer. And before entering the ceremony, guests will be required to sign a COVID-19 waiver, undergo temperature checks, and be asked to wash their hands.
“We will have hand sanitizing stations throughout the venue,” says the reality star. “And everyone must be wearing a mask at all times, it’s not optional.”
“We want to make people feel comfortable and not look irresponsible,” adds Hill. “We’ve been super transparent with everyone about what will be required. We’re doing everything we possibly can.”
And if a guest doesn’t have their own mask, not to worry: former Real Housewives of New York City star Jill Zarin sent her friend a supply of masks for the special day. They will also be passing out face shields as well.
“Jill made all of my masks,” says Bailey. “My wedding is going to look like a masquerade ball.”
As for the reception, social distancing dots will be placed throughout the venue to promote a safe environment for all guests.
“We’re not doing the traditional round tables, where everyone has a name tag and everyone sits together,” says Bailey. “We have food stations. This is a moving-around wedding. You can literally stand outside and drink and eat if you want to.”
“There’s no formality,” says Hill. “We want people to feel free and safe.”
250 people is a LOT — especially in a pandemic. Best of luck to everyone.