During these strange times, a socially-distant wedding is an option for some, but for others, a virtual wedding is the best option. So how exactly can you make your virtual wedding a success? Here are a few tips to help you put this unique wedding experience together.
Update Your Guests
First things first – if you initially planned for a “normal” wedding with a large guest list, you’ll need to make sure guests are aware of the adjustments you’re making to your wedding. Since guests may have made travel arrangements, it’s best to let them know sooner rather than later so that they can cancel. With that in mind, an email inviting your guests to your virtual wedding will be the best choice.
Create Your New Wedding Day Schedule
Some typical wedding activities will need to be left out of your virtual wedding day, but there is still a lot you can do! After the ceremony, schedule in time for a first dance, cake cutting, toasts (be sure to let guests who are toasting know ahead of time), time to mingle with your virtual guests, and whatever else you deem as important! Keep in mind that guests will get pretty tired staring at a screen, so your virtual wedding will be shorter than a typical wedding celebration. Don’t worry – you can keep the celebration going with a meal and drinks with whoever is in your quarantine bubble!
Put Login Info on Your Wedding Website and Send Email Reminders a Few Days Out
Once guests are updated, put all pertinent login and wedding day schedule information in an easily accessible place on your wedding website. Lay a few ground rules, such as muting their mics during the ceremony (at the actual ceremony, you may want to give whoever is running the tech the task of muting people who forget). Be sure to also clarify what time zone you’re in so that guests around the world log on at the correct time. Make everything as clear and detailed as possible so that guests are easily able to join in! If you’d like, you can also encourage guests to celebrate with their drink of choice and appropriate attire. A few days before the celebration, send out a reminder email with this information so that guests are ready to join in on the fun!
Research the Legal Requirements in Your Area
You’re going to need to do a bit of digging into laws in your area to make sure your ceremony actually results in a legally recognized marriage! Of course, you’ll need to make sure you get your marriage license through your county clerk. In some areas, the officiant needs to actually be present for the marriage to be legal. If your officiant is unable to attend in-person, you may want to have a family member who will be present get ordained online. Be sure you’re also aware of how many witnesses need to be in attendance.
Get the Tech Sorted Out and Do a Test Run
Don’t wait until the day of your wedding to get your tech figured out. Get everything you need to make the virtual wedding happen together, and do a test run with all equipment a few days before. If possible, you may want to do this test run in the actual venue, especially considering internet speeds can differ from place to place. In addition to a laptop, you may want to get an ethernet cable so that you don’t have to worry about a lag in the streaming or poor video quality from spotty Wifi. It’s a good idea to get a sturdy laptop tripod so that you can adjust it to the perfect height. If you don’t get a lot of natural light in your ceremony or reception space, you may also wish to order a few studio lights so that guests can clearly see the celebration.
Determine Your Photo Situation
Your wedding photographer may not be able to join you inside your ceremony or reception venue, but they may be able to work with you outside either before or after the celebration to get some gorgeous shots. Look at your area’s rules and talk to your photographer to see what they can do.
If you’re not able to bring in your photographer for the entire celebration, make some plans to get some special shots of your day. Assign one of your creatively-minded in-person guests with the task of taking photos. A tripod (either for a camera or your phone) is the perfect tool to have on hand – it will allow you to get a shot with everyone who is in your quarantine wedding bubble!
Make it Special for You
While your wedding may look a little different than initially planned, you can still make it special and unique. Pick up a bottle of nice champagne, or ingredients to mix together you and your partner’s favorite cocktail to enjoy during the reception. Pick up floral arrangements from your florist to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces (even if it’s on a smaller scale). Ask your wedding cake baker to make a smaller version of your cake so that you, your partner, and your quarantine bubble guests can enjoy it. Get take-out from your favorite restaurant (or enjoy a dine-in meal if your area’s restrictions allow for it) to celebrate your marriage. There are plenty of ways to make your wedding feel special – you just might need to make a few adjustments.
If you are in the process of planning your wedding, come to the next Georgia Bridal Show near you. You will have the chance to meet with wedding professionals from Georgia and the Southeast who can help bring your vision to life!