We get it. Having to make that decision of postponing or cancelling your wedding due to the Coronavirus pandemic can be difficult and emotional, and you’re likely feeling defeated and disappointed. It’s hard to face the idea of not being able to have a large wedding full of family and friends you’ve been dreaming of. The good news is that you can still have a beautiful wedding with everyone in attendance through a virtual wedding!
Until it’s safe for large groups of people to gather again, many couples are choosing to have smaller ceremonies that they can broadcast to their friends and family online. Some states have even made it legal to wed via video conferencing (we’re looking at you, New York and California!). A virtual wedding isn’t even close to the real thing, but it’s a great temporary placeholder until we no longer have to follow social distancing best practices.
We’ve compiled a list of tips to help you create the virtual wedding of your dreams!
Planning a Virtual Wedding
Check with Local Laws
Even before the pandemic hit, there were regulations couples would have to follow to be able to get married. It’s important to check with your local office to find out if there are any additional or adjusted regulations surrounding weddings in your area.
Pick a Platform
When it comes to virtual conferencing, there are a number of platforms that you can choose from. Zoom has become the top choice for many couples hosting virtual weddings, as you can host a lot of people in a room. Some other options to check out include Google Hangouts, Facebook or Instagram Live, or even Skype.
Invite Your Guests
How do you invite guests to a virtual wedding? Well, by e-vite or email, of course! The great thing with sending an online invitation means you can tailor it to any theme. Make sure to include all the important details such as date, time, and the link provided from whatever platform you chose.
Dress Up (or Down!)
Unless you’re standing in front of a white wall, your wedding dress will still look incredible and wow your guests virtually! If you don’t have your wedding dress yet, opt for a white outfit that will make you feel fabulous. Grooms can still look dapper in their tux or suit, so be sure that you’re both looking and feeling your best. As for your guests, advise them to avoid prints or stripes, which can be distracting on screen and opt for bright colours to symbolize that it’s a celebration!
Even though your hair and makeup artists won’t be able to provide in-person services for your big day (some places are changing guidelines, so you can always check with local artists), that doesn’t mean you should put these parts of your look on the back-burner. Some artists are offering virtual hair and makeup trials where they can chat with you about different styles and looks and even teach you how to create them yourself for your big day.
Create Your Dream Scene
Just because you’ve had to change up your plans doesn’t mean you need to throw away all your ideas. You can work with some of your vendors to create a more romantic scene for your virtual wedding backdrop. If you’ve been working with a florist, why not reach out to them and see if they can create something for you that you can pick-up on the day of your wedding? You can even get some rental items from a local décor company to create something more similar to your dream wedding venue.
What’s a party without music? Create a playlist for your big day and make sure to include songs for your walk down the aisle, your signing, and most importantly, your after party! Choose songs that can double as background music to be playing while your guests join the party, and until you’re ready to get the show started. Some DJ’s are even working with clients virtually to provide their services, so make sure you look into this. They can also double as an MC to introduce key people as they join the chat.
Check the Tech
It’s important to make sure that everyone is prepared and knows what they need to do prior to the day of your virtual wedding. Try to get everyone together the day before to do a dry run and ensure there are no technical kinks that need to be worked out. Check the timing between you and key people (such as your officiant or any readers, etc.) and make sure there’s no lag, which can affect your ceremony. Work with everyone leading up to the day so everyone has important times down pat. You can even create a timeline and email it out to everyone involved before your wedding!
It’s Ceremony Time!
The day is here! Here’s a sample flow of events to help make things go smoothly:
- The couple, officiant, witnesses and any other key players should sign on 10 minutes before the start time. All other guests are left in the waiting room until it’s time for the ceremony to begin.
- Let your guests in at the planned start time and keep them un-muted for a few minutes so they can greet each other.
- Once it seems like everyone is on the call, the officiant can let everyone know they will now be muted so that only the officiant and the couple can be heard.
- The officiant conducts the ceremony as discussed with the couple. We recommend that the officiant give a heads up to all the guests when they’re about to pronounce the couple as married and un-mute everyone so the cheering can be heard as the couple shares their first kiss.
After your ceremony is over, you can choose to follow other wedding traditions virtually as well, such as cake cutting, your first dance, and even speeches. Make sure to let your guests know what your plan is before they start signing off so that they can stick around and celebrate with you for a while. Just because you can’t all be together in person doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate together virtually!
Looking for ideas for how to plan virtual pre-wedding events? Check out our post here for some great ideas!