If your wedding was planned during the COVID-19 outbreak, then your special day will probably look different from your initial vision. And that’s okay! This is uncharted territory for all of us—brides, grooms, and vendors included. Many couples chose to postpone their nuptials, when friends and family can travel and gather. Still, others are opting for a virtual wedding over an in-person celebration.
For starters, a virtual wedding allows everyone to attend (online, that is). Friends and family from all over the world can celebrate with you, and you don’t have to change your wedding date. This is especially important if your wedding date has special significance to you. Plus, going through with your wedding as planned (sort of!) will give you something to look forward to in this state of uncertainty.
But before you charge ahead with your virtual wedding—consider these unique ways to involve your friends and family, and make the day even more special. And, of course, make sure whatever you choose to do is in-line with your specific state’s legislation around the outbreak.
1) Use Something Borrowed
You can still exchange vows with the family heirloom, or keep a part of Mom or Dad with you on your special day. Ask friends and family to mail sentimental items that you can incorporate into your attire. (Local friends can drop off the item, but leave it in your mailbox or on your porch.) That way, they can see the item while you live stream your wedding, and it will still be in the wedding pictures.
Of course, this will be difficult for clothing—like delicate veils or expensive jewelry. For those situations, we encourage you wear the item at your post-wedding party, or save it for a vow renewal ceremony. Personally, we think a one-year anniversary-party-turned-vow-renewal would be a great excuse to get all your friends and family together!
2) Get Ready Together
Your friends and family will still be getting dressed up for the occasion—at very least from the waist up! That means you can still get ready with your bridesmaids and groomsmen. Simply start a separate video chat with everyone, put on some music, and pour yourself a glass of bubbly. It isn’t the same as being there in person with everyone, but it still gives you time to see everyone.
Unless you were planning on doing your own hair and makeup, you’re probably not going to look the way you had expected, either. But videoing with your friends will put your mind at ease. They’ll be able to give you tips, confirm that your eyebrows are even, and help you choose the right lipstick shade.
3) Live Stream It
Of course, your virtual wedding has to be broadcast to friends and family. While some couples are recording the ceremony, and sharing after—you have options. While recording the ceremony is still a good idea (most couples do this, even for in-person weddings), live stream it, if you can.
You don’t need fancy equipment or a synchronized team of videographers. Simply set up your phone, tablet, or laptop on a table facing you, your fiance, and the officiant. Keep your wedding start time, per the invitations, and begin live streaming about 15 minutes before that time, so everyone knows they’re in the right place.
4) Hire a Photographer
If your state allows it, you can still hire a photographer to document special moments in your virtual wedding. In fact, local photographers are offering family portraits on doorsteps as a way to boost morale in their communities. You can still email, call, or video chat with your photographer and invite them to your special day. Just make sure they stay six feet away from everyone, and don’t shake their hands or ask to see any of the photos that day.
5) Throw a Party…Later
Just because you have a virtual wedding during a pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t still party! After the outbreak is under control, you can still host an in-person celebration and invite friends and family. You don’t have to recreate fancy centerpieces and lots of flowers—unless you want to, of course. Instead, you can plan a fun afternoon with a catered meal and a chance to socialize with friends.
Because no one knows when travel and event bans will be lifted, wait to pick a date. Let guests know that your wedding will still proceed, but your reception will be delayed until you can safely choose a date. Keep in mind, though, that other couples are postponing their events, too. So be open to an odd date or day of the week. Otherwise, you may have to wait a long time for vendors and venues to be available on a weekend.
There are many ways to make your virtual wedding feel more like the big, in-person celebration you were planning. And at the end of it all, you still get to marry the love of your life! And you can always postpone the entire day down the road and still tie the knot online now!
Are you going to reschedule your wedding, or host a virtual ceremony? Why or why not?