Virtual Wedding Tips and Tricks
By Rina Chandarana, Zardozi Magazine
Everything seems to be online these days. Parent teacher meetings, happy hour, and even weddings. A lot of brides-to-be are left wondering what to do. To postpone or not. It’s a question I have asked myself too. But more and more, I hear of brides going ahead with their plans even if they can’t have everyone there, in person that is. And thanks to technology, it’s becoming easier to go ahead with your marriage, even if it’s not exactly the way you envisioned. Here’s some ways to plan and aspects to consider to have a smooth and stress-free virtual wedding.
Be sure to record your virtual wedding so you can look back on the event after. If you are getting married in a small venue with a tiny guestlist, chat with the event manager to find out if they already have the technology set-up to record a virtual wedding connecting to Zoom or Google Meet. Make sure their WiFi connection is solid. The last thing you want is your virtual wedding day getting cut. Even better, set aside part of your wedding budget for a professional videographer, who can not only live stream your wedding, but also worry about the nitty gritty like audio quality and the angle. Or if you are getting married in your living room, arrange for someone who will be responsible for live streaming the whole event. Let them know to hit mute when the ceremony starts so you don’t hear your cousin’s dog barking in the background or little ones asking for a snack while you are saying “I do.” Depending on your theme, you can even ask your guests to change their background on Zoom. Ask them to upload a picture relating to anything from a beach wedding to a ballroom. The whole point of a virtual wedding is to still feel like you are surrounded by your loved ones near and far. Just be sure to check your local and state regulations regarding how to make your marriage legally binding too. You will probably need an ordained officiant and a marriage license.
The idea of sitting in front of a computer screen watching your best friend get married sounds like quite the bummer right? And for a bride not to have her best friend with her on her big day sounds so sad. But thanks to technology, you can feel like everyone is there with you on your virtual wedding day. It’s not the ideal situation, but you can still make it fun!
- Schedule a DJ who can login to your wedding virtually to spin some fun tunes or even a live band that can do the same! Or even just have a friend arrange a list of songs on Spotify. Just watch, the party will pick-up quick! Arrange a dancing competition for the guests. The person with the craziest moves wins a virtual prize or you can even mail them one after your virtual wedding date! Provide a chance for everyone to break out in a sweat, getting a good chuckle from watching this impromptu dance performance.
- Or for a more romantic take, after the first dance, ask other couples to slow dance in their living rooms.
- Issue a romance challenge. Have someone ask questions like “Have you been married over five years” and “Did you meet online.” Depending on their answers, couples take seats, until there is one left standing. And that one wins a prize or even just gets crowned the title of cutest couple (aside from the bride and groom) on the virtual dance floor!
Just because your guests are logging in online, doesn’t mean they can just show up in their pajamas (unless you want that to be the dress code of course!)
- Pick a theme in advance, asking guests to get all dolled up Gatsby style or get your groove on with a cool hippie style. Virtual weddings throw all traditional rules out the window, so pick a theme that resonates with you and your partner and go with it. Or just make it a black tie event with elegant dresses and suits. It’s important to point out your dress code to your virtual wedding guests since it could be tempting for them to login in their regular clothes or even with their camera off. Encourage everyone to keep their cameras on so that your virtual wedding will feel more interactive and inclusive.
- Even though it may just be you, your groom and two sets of parents at your wedding, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go all out for your wedding day. You may have always envisioned wearing a traditional white dress with a veil, so you still should. But virtual weddings also give you the opportunity to think outside the box, picking brands that also carry wedding wear or even sourcing something completely different. Covid weddings mean there really are no rules to planning your virtual big day.
Friends may show up beer bottle in hand, sitting on the couch watching your virtual wedding reception, but encourage them to also have a champagne bottle ready to toast the new couple.
- Before your virtual wedding day, if your guestlist is small enough and budget allows for it, send each person a small package of confetti, champagne bottle, and maybe even a mini wedding desert in lieu of a cake so that they can feel like they are right there with you in person when you’re feeding each other a sweet treat or celebrating your nuptials. Contact your local bakeries to find out if they have some kind of delivery service for virtual wedding day guests.
- Marigold & Grey has customizable baskets to suit your virtual wedding day needs. Or if your wedding guestlist is small enough, you could even DIY your own care packages. Include a printed itinerary on pretty stationary so your guests understand when they will need to be doing what.
Say the Speech
They make you laugh. They make you cry. Speeches (with time limits) are a virtual wedding must to make everyone feel connected. Speeches give guests in each wedding party a chance to get to know the bride and groom more.
- Usually guests get a chance to get to know one another during cocktail hour, but since that’s not the case you could even break your guests up into groups. For the first hour while you’re getting ready for your big day, each pre-planned group logs in to a specific virtual link to chit chat and get to know one another. Then at a chosen time, they login to the virtual wedding. You never know, lifelong friendships may be formed from afar!
- Choose a best buddy or sibling to “host” the reception. They can arrange in advance who is going to do a speech, skit, dance performance, or toast. Since time won’t be spent mingling, you have more opportunity to have more friends and family speak, bringing everyone closer, despite the virtual distance.
- If there are dances, just be sure to give those involved ample time to practice their performances so that you can be equally surprised by how organized and special your virtual wedding day feels. This will make your virtual wedding all the more interactive for everyone involved near and far.
Pick a Time
If your family is scattered around the globe like mine, time zones could be an issue when planning a virtual wedding. Try to figure out some kind of time that isn’t in the wee early hours for some guests or very late night for others. You want all your guests wide-eyed and ready to party! If there are elderly relatives you definitely want present at your virtual wedding who may not have access to a computer, arrange for family members to be present with them on the day of your event, so that they can set granny up to watch your big day live.
Since you won’t have an actual photo booth at your virtual wedding, you can still combine wedding guest’s pictures in an album later. Have each participating guest take a snap shot on their phone or cameras and have them upload the pictures to Dropbox or OneDrive-any kind of shared space where you can gather all your wedding day pictures in one place. This way when you look back years from now, you will see all the smiling faces that made you feel so loved and special on your virtual wedding day.
Let’s look at the bright side of a virtual wedding. Life seems pretty unpredictable these days, so by having a wedding online, you don’t have to worry about guests’ flights being cancelled, social distancing, and lockdowns. You can still have a wedding day that will remain a happy memory for years to come.