5 Tips for Making a Virtual Wedding *Still* Your Best Day Ever
Weddings look a lot different these days but that's not keeping couples from walking down the aisle with their core group and virtually with extended family and friends. We're feeling the love 'round the world as couples make the best of a less-than-stellar year for big events and travel.
Stoop wedding, anyone? Micro weddings (where you invite just a handful of people), social distancing at the altar, sequined mask-wearing, and celebrating ceremonies/receptions through technology has turned weddings #2020 into the best day ever with a twist. Here's some inspo if you're ready to tie the knot this or next year (or who knows until when) and some tips for having your dream wedding despite COVID.
Plan Your Big Day the Same But Small, and Virtually. The good news is that planning a micro wedding can relieve a lot of stress associated with planning a big event and make for a more intimate affair. And the location, the flowers, the photog, the invites, the dress (!) don't necessarily need to change. Sure, backyard weddings make more sense right now and could be super charming but some hotels have cooked up packages and experiences catering to the downsized wedding. These range from elaborate elopements, like the all-inclusive Escape and Elope Package at Las Ventanas al Paraíso, A Rosewood Resort to intimate romance experiences, like Gurney's Newport Resort & Marina's new "Little Lighthouse Gatherings," which range from a small ceremony up to 15 people in front of the iconic Goat Island Lighthouse to a little clambake on the North Lawn or an intimate dinner in Scarpetta. If you had a venue in mind see how they might be pivoting in response to COVID and it might turn out better than your original plan.
You can also work with vendors, like florists (Venus Et Fleur offers bridal bouquets that last nearly a year...amazing) and planners, virtually. You can also DIY since it will be a more doable affair. Check out Brit + Co's Cake Decorating Class or Flower Arranging Class before the big/small event!
Choose Your Preferred Platform. Whether you prefer Google Hangout, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, YouTube Live or Zoom, decide how you want to live stream your wedding. Apps like WebWed Mobile offer private live streaming too, plus the option to get your marriage license and an officiant through the app. Consider less tech-savvy guests too and make sure to offer a how-to (perhaps in your invite) on how they can easily "be there."
Rehearse Your Tech. Make sure whatever location you choose has good Internet speed and WIFI connection. If you're going to be outdoors, consider audio equipment. Put someone else in charge, a friend or family member, who knows what they're doing here. Definitely go through a rehearsal so you can be sure your tech and devices are all working properly and you can get hitched without a hitch.;) This is a good time to check your lighting, sound, and camera angles. Pro tip: Zoom allows you to record the ceremony and has a "Switch Camera" option that lets you have multiple views on different devices.
Keep the Rituals. Your first dance, Champagne toasts, the cake cutting, your signature cocktail (give guests the recipe in advance!) can all still happen — and will make your virtual wedding even more special. Decorate the scene as you would to personalize the event and put on some music to set the mood.
Or...Get Married Now, Celebrate Later. Many couples are choosing to stream the ceremonies now and host the party post-pandemic. So there's no pressure to do it all now. You can still have your dream wedding someday, honeymoon too when it's a safer time to travel. Bonus: you'll have two anniversaries to celebrate!
Have you attended a virtual wedding? Share with us @BritandCo!
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Theresa Gonzalez is a content creator based in San Francisco and the author of Sunday Sews. She's a lover of all things design and spends most of her days momming her little one Matilda.