If you have your wedding date set for the end of 2020 or early 2021, you’re likely experiencing a good deal of uncertainty. While many couples with summer weddings affected by the COVID-19 pandemic moved their ceremonies outdoors, you won’t have that option if you live in a cold climate. So what now?
Thankfully, technology can come to your aid. You can celebrate safely with your closest loved ones in person, if they feel comfortable, while streaming your ceremony to everyone else.
Though a virtual wedding may not be what you envisioned for your big day, you can still enjoy the love and support from your friends and family without putting them at risk for virus transmission. If you aren’t sure the coast will be clear by the time your wedding date comes around, having a virtual contingency plan will ensure you still have the wedding day of your dreams.
You can get started planning the virtual side of your wedding with these tips:
Pick the Right Platform and Equipment
A virtual wedding will depend heavily on technology, so you should spend some time carefully reviewing each of the platforms available. There are several different platforms to consider, such as Zoom, Facebook Live, Instagram Live, Google Hangout, Skype, etc. If you can, choose a platform that the majority of your guests already know how to operate.
You should also have a plan for what equipment you’ll use on the big day. Know which device you’ll record from, where in the room you’ll position it, and who will keep an eye on it to deal with any technical difficulties. You may also want to use microphones to enhance the sound quality for out-home viewers.
Provide Clear Instructions
When you send out your invitations (or send an updated version now that you’ve decided to go virtual), you should provide step-by-step instructions for watching the wedding live. Include the instructions and a streaming link on your website as well.
The Waiting Room and Wedding Protocols
Most online platforms have waiting rooms, so the host has to accept them into the video conference room. Ensure you have someone (apart from the bride and the groom) who can manage the waiting room and admit the guests when the time is right, and mute them when needed. While you will want any in-person guests to arrive early, you may want the virtual ones to stay in the waiting room until the ceremony begins.
Online Wedding Aesthetics
Dress the Part
Since the beginning of the pandemic, brides all around the world have had to make hard decisions about their wedding dresses. Some have opted to wear more minimalist ensembles at their ceremony and plan to wear their dream dress at their postponed reception. Others have decided to go with their original plans and buy the dress they always intended to wear, regardless of how many people attend the wedding.
Whatever you decide, make sure you have a dress that makes you feel beautiful and comfortable. Your virtual viewers likely won’t be able to see the finer details on your gown, so make sure your photographer knows to capture those intricacies.
Don’t Forget to Set the Scene
When planning a virtual wedding, you want to make sure the setting looks right to both in-person and virtual guests. For video viewers, it’s all about framing. Go ahead and decorate the space however you want your in-person guests to experience it. Then, set up the camera and focus it on the wedding arch or alter. Does it look right? If not, make readjustments until the scene looks good for all guests. Just be sure to mark how you positioned the camera so you can copy it on the day of the wedding.
Virtual Doesn’t Mean Impersonal
With a little extra time and effort, you can make sure everyone feels included on your wedding day. More importantly, inviting people to watch your wedding online will make you feel the presence of your loved ones, no matter how far away.
If you want to host an unforgettable virtual wedding, don’t be afraid to experiment. All weddings during this pandemic are unconventional, so go ahead and break the “rules.” Above all else, let your personalities shine through, even if via a computer screen.