You may have heard us mention virtual weddings in previous articles such as How To Scale Back Your Wedding but what does it even mean? What is a virtual wedding? Let us fill you in.
With numbers being so heavily restricted on weddings at the moment, virtual weddings are taking place all over the world so that loved ones can still feel very much a part of their loved ones special days. It's a case of finding a way to stream your wedding from your venue to your loved ones. It's allowing them to be a part of your day, even if they can't be with you in person. Virtual weddings are happening in religious and non-religious venues across the UK and here’s how to make the most of yours.
It’s likely that you’re having to uninvite a big portion of your guests from your day. But instead of uninviting them, why not just adjust their invite to a virtual one rather than them not being involved at all? They can’t be with you physically but so long as they have the right technology they can watch your day on their smartphones, iPads, laptops, smart TVs. Here’s some suggested wording for you to use to let your guests know of the change that will impact them.
‘With government restrictions thrust upon us, we have been forced into making the decision to reduce our physical guest list in order for us to still be able to go ahead with the day we have planned and dreamed about for so long. That said, we would still love you to join us virtually for our wedding ceremony. We’ll be in touch soon with details of exactly how you can do that.’
Virtual weddings can be as exciting for you as they are for your guests. Here’s how we think you can make the most of it and make your guests feel really included, even from the comfort of their sofa.
- Send them an official virtual wedding invitation. Depending on where you are in the stationery process you could get your stationer to update your invites with the relevant information or if your stationery is already printed you could pop an additional piece of paper in to explain the virtual wedding. Alternatively, you can update digital invites.
- Ask them to dress up. Wouldn’t it be great to get photos from all of your guests all dolled up and ready for your ceremony?
- Ask them to use the largest device they have for streaming so they can feel as emersed in the ceremony as is possible. Make sure they get the surround sound on. Maybe if local restrictions allow, a few of them could get together safely and get you on a projector in one of their gardens/living rooms and make their own mini-event of it.
- Send them a virtual wedding package. Think about what you’d have invested in your wedding guests should your day have gone ahead as planned. Maybe it was going to cost you somewhere between £50 and £100 per guest. Now, you might be having a bigger celebration later down the line so you’ll want to hold onto some of that budget but could you take a portion of that and create a virtual wedding package? You could organise a hand or courier delivered parcel that contains, for example, a half bottle of your favourite champagne/prosecco/cava, some confetti or some sort of celebratory items, a small flag to wave or whatever fits with your day. You can include a copy of your wedding vows and/or an order of the ceremony so they can really follow along with what’s happening, including any readings you might be having. If sound quality we're to be a bit poor for some guests they have your printed words to refer to. You can also include information about your gift list should you have one. Already bought favours? Include these in too.
- Ask them to send you a photo of them celebrating your day, they might even want to record a message for you.
- Send a thank you note after the wedding. In this, you can include links to your photo galleries and/or wedding film highlights.
Here are the main things we think you should consider when planning to host your virtual wedding:
- Choose your streaming service. Are you looking to set your virtual wedding up via a platform that you’ve become used to over the course of the last year? Maybe you know Zoom like the back of your hand now and that allows enough people to attend your wedding or perhaps you want to go for more of a general streaming service?
- What is the signal like at your venue? Do they have a strong enough wifi connection for it to withstand the bandwidth needed to host your virtual wedding? Can this be tested before you go ahead?
- Where should you set up your camera (again, you could be using your iPhone, tablet or laptop for this), is there a space you can set up where the light is good enough for the picture to be as clear as possible.
- Is this a service that your videographer is offering alongside the filming of your day? It’s absolutely worth asking them if you’re feeling a bit unsure about the whole thing.
- Are you able to record your virtual wedding (on-screen) in case any of your guest's connections fail and they aren’t able to join you/see the stream?
- What do you think? Will you be having a virtual element to your day? It’s such a great way of adding an extra, memorable dimension to your day and helps reduce the inevitable guilt you will feel having to reduce your guest list. We’d love to hear your successful virtual wedding stories so let us know how it goes.