Virtual events have enjoyed a huge boom this year, with events such as Consensus, the Northeast Astronomy Forum, and Pulse Everywhere all choosing digital ways to meet and greet. If you are hosting a wedding that is too small to invite everyone in your social circle, or you have a large number of loved ones overseas who won’t be able to make it to your reception, you might decide to add a virtual element to your wedding, live streaming key moments of the event via Zoom or Skype. Doing so will require a different level of planning, but it is an ideal fit for couples who wish to include everyone they love in their big day, even if it is not possible to invite everyone to the actual ceremony or reception. Follow these tips to ensure your virtual celebration is just as good as the real thing.
Are you familiar with the technology you need?
If you will be live streaming the ceremony, speeches, first dance as a married couple, and other special moments, you will need to look into the different tools available for online events – such as Google Hangouts, Zoom, and Soapbox. Whichever tool you choose, you should inform your guests with due time so they can download required software and practice using it. You can even hold a ‘virtual rehearsal’ to ensure that aspects such as audio, cameras and lighting are spot-on. During key moments (such as the exchange of vows and speech making), you should ideally be wearing a wireless mic, which is discreet yet crucial to avoid sound being muffled or drowned out by background noise. This equipment will serve you well for the video recording of your wedding as well, so make sure you choose well.
How can you include those who aren’t technologically savvy?
Some people may not be comfortable using Zoom or other software, especially if they have never attended virtual events before. If so, they can still feel like they haven’t missed out if you simply create Instagram stories or a short recording comprising the highlights of your wedding. This recording can be placed on a dedicated website with a password you can provide only to your chosen ‘virtual invitees’.
How can you introduce the digital world into other components of your wedding planning?
If you are keen on making the most of digital events in every sense, why not introduce online components into other aspects of your wedding preparation? You can use virtual software to talk with suppliers about items such as engagement or wedding rings, flowers, invitations, and even dresses or suits, comparing the user experience provided by different platforms and services. Wedding providers have become far savvier in terms of facilitating home trials, which is good news if you are unsure about your dress or your invites. These providers are organizing everything from virtual fittings of engagement rings to home visits for items like dresses and suits. Virtual technology is playing a big role for many companies who are using optimal video technology, 360º viewing, and close-ups of diamonds and other gems so that buyers can make the right choices. They are also providing services such as home visits for high-end jewelry, so brides and grooms can get an authentic feel for specific pieces. The more comfortable you are with using virtual tools, the more ideas you can get for including more of them in your wedding.
How can you invite virtual attendees to take part in your planning?
If you decide to live stream the reception, why not enable guests from afar to enjoy the party? Start out by asking them for song suggestions for your playlist. You can even get the DJ to dedicate specific songs to guests from afar. Some of these songs can also be used for your wedding video, and you can feature special thanks in the credits to all those who have helped make the day special.
A virtual wedding is as intricate in terms of planning as a traditional wedding, but it is sometimes the only way to include loved ones who can’t make it to your reception. Take time to choose the right platform to connect with your virtual guests, using more than one platform if necessary. Invest in a few key pieces of equipment – including quality microphones and cameras that record in high definition. Finally, think of creative ways to include guests in your plans so it almost seems like they were actually there on your big day.