The events of this past year have fundamentally changed the way people live their lives, particularly their social lives, with many local governments imposing a limit on public gatherings. That means parties, dinners, holiday festivities, and weddings are postponed for the meantime. Even without these government mandates in place, the safety of a social get-together is still uncertain, and it’ll remain that way for the foreseeable future.
If the current healthcare crisis has thrown a wrench into your wedding plans this year, there’s no need to worry. Thanks to technology, you have the option of throwing a virtual wedding. Here’s how you can safely push through with your big day and still plan a celebration to remember.
Getting your wedding look in order
- Picking out your dress or suit. Throwing a remote wedding doesn’t mean you have to skimp on looking great. In fact, since you’ll be booking fewer vendors for this smaller event, you have more money to spend on perfecting your wedding look. If you don’t already have a wedding dress or a suit, you can easily get one online from your favorite fashion boutique’s e-commerce site, or you could even get one off Amazon.
- Styling your hair and make-up. While it’s quite risky to have a hairstylist and makeup artist do your hair and make-up in person, you can still call them up to ask for guidance. They can help you figure out which styles work best for you and how to achieve it. You can also rely on online makeup and hairstyling tutorials if you want to save even more money. There are also hair cutting tutorials you can watch if you’ve grown out your hair during quarantine and need a bit of a trim. All you need is a pair of thinning shears, a spray bottle, and some hair ties. Keep it simple, and don’t be too adventurous.
Making your wedding is legal
- Apply for a marriage license. Obtaining a marriage license allows you and your spouse to legally get married. You’ll have to make sure that the state you reside in allows you to get married through a virtual wedding before you acquire one though, so be sure to call the county clerk office to check. You can apply for the license in person, but in some cases, some local governments may allow you to apply for it online.
- Book an officiant. The next step you need to take is to book your officiant to oversee the legalities of your ceremony. You can have them either be physically present in the venue or they can officiate the wedding virtually. In the latter case, you have to make sure that the officiant you choose is willing to officiate a virtual wedding.
Preparing for the ceremony and securing equipment
- Purchase your equipment. You’re going to need the proper equipment to be able to live stream your event. This includes a stable internet connection, high-quality cameras, a laptop, a microphone, and a tripod.
- Choose the right video streaming platform. There several video streaming programs for you to choose from, from Instagram Live to Zoom. Instagram Live is an example of a live streaming platform, while Zoom is a video conference tool. Video conferencing tools allow you to see your attendees’ faces during the ceremony, while live streams give your guests the opportunity to send comments and reactions in real time.
- Get your space ready. Decide whether you want your ceremony to happen in a standard wedding venue, at home, or in a nontraditional area. When you find the right venue, make sure to book it as quickly as possible. Make sure the venue looks great on video, as well as in real life.
- Acquire everything for the ceremony. Since you’ll be throwing a more intimate ceremony, you probably won’t need vendors for catering, entertainment, decorations, and floral arrangements. All of this can be done purchased by yourself with the help of your friends and family. You may book a photographer and videographer, but if you’re good with a camera, this can also be handled by someone from your small entourage.
- Inviting guests. Finalize a guest list, and send out digital invitations through email. You can hire a graphic designer to help design one for you, or you could use a website like Canva to design your own. Don’t forget to have people RSVP. Once they respond, you can follow up with a code or link to where the ceremony will be live-streamed. Make sure to include clear instructions explaining how the ceremony will proceed.
When everything is in order, all you have to do is rehearse the order of your program, test your equipment, and finally get married. An intimate, digital ceremony will likely be the norm going forward, so these steps will make sure that your big day remains special, despite the circumstances.