With the pandemic preventing in-person weddings until further notice, many couples have turned to virtual celebrations instead. This is a difficult and emotional decision, understandably so. We’re here with you. The good news: you can still have a beautiful and unique wedding, and save the larger party for a later date. Let’s keep the celebration going!
Here are 5 tips to help bring you peace of mind and get your creative ideas flowing for the virtual event of your dreams.
1. Choose Your Platform
This is one of the biggest days of your life and choosing a virtual platform from so many options may seem overwhelming; there’s Zoom, GoogleHangout, RunTheWorld, Facebook or Instagram Live—the key is to become comfortable with the platform you choose and envision how you want the audience to view and engage with your ceremony. Rehearsals exist for a reason. Get comfortable, or be sure someone onsite is comfortable with the platform in order to keep things running smooth. Test your internet connection, lighting, etc. Again, rehearsals are key for both in-person and virtual events.
In an article published by Brides.com, Zoom seems to be the most chosen platform for virtual weddings. Bride Julie Samuels, of New York City, decided to use Zoom for her nuptials. Here’s how she came to that decision:
“We thought about doing our vows as a webinar so that guests could simply click a link and view the wedding, although this meant that they wouldn’t be able to see each other. We decided that it was important to us to see our guests, and have them see us, so we decided on Zoom.” She set up two laptops—one with all of the guests facing them and the other with her rabbi behind them as he would have been in-person. “For the Zoom with all of our guests, we muted everyone and encouraged them to put their zoom on ‘Speaker View’ so they would be able to see everyone else, but mainly see us.”
2. Set Your Scene
Styling your virtual wedding backdrop isn’t just about tidying up, is all about staging the area with decor that is special for the occasion. This can be as simple as using plants, candles or string lights, and other items you already have at home. A pair of end tables is perfect for creating a makeshift altar—place one on each side of your backdrop and decorate accordingly. If you had already been in touch with a florist for your big day, consider reaching out to see how flexible they can be to make your virtual vision come to life. A Zoom tutorial and contact-less pick-up services are becoming common now!
3. Send Your Invitations
Since you're getting married virtually, consider the digital route with your wedding invitations too. This is especially helpful because you’ll be sending direct links to your guests in order for them to join the ceremony. With a printed invitation, you’ll be expecting guests to key in each character into their browser (which welcomes human error). Paperless Post and Greenvelope deliver elegant electronic invitations that emulate the experience of opening a traditional printed invitation.
4. Guest Engagement
How many people are attending? Who will be speaking? Is your officiant in the same location as you? Will your Maid of Honor be doing a speech? How about a few words from mom and dad? Think this through as you would an in-person wedding. Have an agenda and be sure to teach your speakers how to mute and unmute at the right times.
A fun, sweet (and dare we say traditional) way to engage with your guests is through a toast and and dancing! Encourage everyone to raise a glass (and consider sending a bottle to people beforehand or your favorite drink recipe). Share a playlist beforehand too and encourage everyone to DANCE. Imagine a big screen where you can see all your guests and can connect through dance moves and laughs. It’ll be hard to have conversations with a big crowd, so consider the option of allowing guests to send chats or schedule unmute times where guests each have 30 seconds to 2 minutes to say a few words to you and the party. Or, schedule separate times to connect with friends and family.
5. Virtual Favors
It’s important that you give your virtual guests the feel of being all together at a typical wedding. This can be accomplished by sending everyone a favor. We know what you are thinking, “sending party favors will cost too much!” First and foremost, make sure you choose party favors that coincide with the virtual wedding theme and consider flat rate shipments. Even better, if you’re able, have each item shipped from the store you are purchasing the items. Another option is to send virtual gift cards for the attendees to purchase the favors at their local stores. A really nice touch would have a small cake or cupcake delivered to all confirmed guests the day of the wedding.
Entyse Lyfe is here to keep you at ease and help you plan the virtual wedding of your dreams. Learn more about how to navigate this new Wedding Planning process by checking out our Wedding Workshops. And if you just want to chat a bit about what's on your mind, we have a handful of Live Streams scheduled for September! Visit our Events page on Facebook for more info.