A wedding is a special event that unites family and friends in celebration of a couple’s love. During a time when staying at home is the new norm, having to postpone your nuptials is almost inconceivable. Going digital and utilising online platforms is a modern and innovative way to host your wedding and connect with the ones you love. Here, Olivia Morffew explores how you can digitalise your wedding so that no matter where you or your guests are, they can be with you and your spouse-to-be when you say, “I do”.
Preparation is key for any type of wedding, and no exception should be made even if it’s happening at home, at a venue, or via a streaming service. First and foremost, you should determine your virtual guest list. Some streaming platforms have a limited number of guests that can be online at any one time, while others can hold as many guests as you like. Due to such limitations, the number of attendees will dictate which streaming service you use on the day. Broach this discussion with your partner to decide if you both want a big ceremony that’s broadcasted to the wider world via YouTube Live, or if you want something more intimate with Zoom or Skype. Selecting the streaming service in advance will also allow guests to acquaint themselves with the platform and to learn how to use the software efficiently, especially for elderly guests that may not be as proficient with technology.
While selecting the application to host your online celebration is important, ensuring you’re equipped with the right tools is another integral element that couples should consider when planning their online matrimony. Thankfully nowadays, almost everyone has access to a device with an in-built camera. Be it a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, these devices are the perfect option for those who want to keep it simple and straightforward; add a tripod to steady the camera and you’ll be good to go! Making sure your guests are well equipped to stream and engage with the wedding is crucial too. You don’t want anyone feeling left out if they can’t ‘attend’ because they don’t have the right equipment on-hand, so work with them to find a compromise that’s easy for them to access and use. This forethought will allow your family and friends to stay in the moment at your wedding without being concerned about accessibility, or missing any of the magic.
To tie everything up in a virtual bow, ensure that you have a strong internet connection that can accommodate a lengthy livestream. There’s nothing worse than the thought of being in the middle of your vows and having the internet cut out, disrupting the flow of the ceremony. Rehearsals and testing your internet connection are key to combating this potential issue and will guarantee that your livestream will be seamless.
Never Go Out Of Style
Most weddings embrace a theme, colour palette, or certain aesthetics that reflect a couple’s tastes, and therefore having an at-home wedding should also be tailored to embody your joint style. For those choosing to adorn their homes with wedding décor, perhaps consult a wedding stylist for their expert opinion to ensure your home is picture perfect ready. If you had an initial aesthetic in mind for your big day, then chat with your stylist to determine the best ways to decorate your home in a way that embraces your initial wedding theme.
However, if you’re comfortable enough to personally style your home, there are plenty of décor options to choose from that can aid in achieving your dream look. Natural lighting can bolster video quality so if you’re having your
virtual wedding during the day, try setting up your equipment so that it is facing or adjacent to a large window. For those having an evening ceremony, then consider the inclusion of soft fairy lights, real or artificial candles, or salt lamps to create an intimate, romantic atmosphere. Regardless if your ceremony is illuminated naturally or artificially, be sure to have a test run or two to see how clearly you and your spouse-to-be show up on camera.
If it fits with your aesthetic, you can add a verdant touch to your ceremony with the inclusion of plants. The addition of greenery, be it a faux plant or a real one, can soften the space and create an eye-catching splash of colour. You can contact a florist to assist and create an arrangement that complements your overall look and style.
If the thought of planning a virtual wedding on your own is daunting, then opting to collaborate with an industry professional is a way to ease that pre-wedding anxiety. For instance, a photographer can still visit your home on the day of your wedding and capture your love from a distance, while the ceremony unfolds online. Hiring a photographer might also make the streaming process easier, as they are often trained in the art of videography and can aid in the live filming of your marriage.
Marriage officiants can also join this virtual event either in-person or remotely via their own devices to officiate the ceremony. As long as you and your partner comply with the local marriage laws to make your union official, then it is entirely up to you and your celebrant if they wish to be in the room with you or if they facilitate the wedding via a digital means.
You and your partner can also cut your cake and eat it too! Downsizing your wedding cake is an ideal option if it is only you and your spouse-to-be in the same room. For the guests who are
joining from their homes, consult your cake specialist and see if they can make and deliver cupcakes to your loved ones, so they can remain as present as possible, and enjoy a taste of your delicious cake too. If your guests are in various locations across the globe, then researching local patisseries and bakeries that deliver as an alternative. Going down this route ensures that everyone, regardless of locale, can fully experience your wedding day from their own home.
A Digital Celebration
Once the ceremony is done and dusted, a reception brimming with heartfelt speeches, delicious food, and a dance or two follows. To keep the digital festivities going well into the night, you can arrange to have a virtual after-party with your guests. For that extra touch, most bottle shops offer delivery, so you can organise a special distribution so everyone can raise a glass and toast to your love. Share a carefully curated playlist and dance the night away, all in the comfort of your home.
Remember to embrace what modern technology has to offer, as there is still much love, joy, and fun to be had, even if you cannot see your loved ones in person. Careful planning of equipment, décor, and little touches are key to a successful digital union. Do not feel disheartened if you had to postpone your in-person nuptials. Love is love, and celebrating your union via a digital platform does not change that fact in the slightest.