by Danielle Andrews, President & Co-founder of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada Inc.
The current pandemic might be changing life as we know it, but this doesn’t mean your couple can’t still get married to the love of their life. Thanks to technology and a little creativity, they can still celebrate their union with the people they love in real-time.
A virtual wedding might not be the wedding they were hoping for, but if your couple does not want to postpone their big day, it is a great option to have. At the moment, in most areas, only 5 people may be in attendance at a wedding (the officiant, couple, and the two legal witnesses), so your couple may opt to only have themselves, the officiant, their photographer and a videographer.
A 5-Step Guide to Planning a Virtual Wedding in 2020
- Decide on a Platform
Luckily, live-streaming weddings became popular before Covid-19 was an issue, so there are several Livestream options available to couples. Here are a few: I Do Stream, Net Nuptials, and My Streaming Wedding. These platforms allow couples to use their own equipment, or if it is feasible for delivery, they can rent equipment such as the camera, laptop, lavaliere mics, etc, for a high-quality livestream. There are also DIY platforms like Zoom, IG Live, YouTube, Livestream, MSTeam, and Facebook Live. Check your regulations based on where your wedding will take place to see if you may be able to have a photographer on-site to take photos of you and your partner during and after your ceremony, and even better, a professional videography to capture and Livestream the wedding.
- Have the Right Gear
If you want to plan a virtual wedding, you’re going to need the right gear. A laptop or tablet with a good camera or a phone and a tripod are what you will need to stream your wedding. To really get the best quality and streaming experience, your couple should have on lavaliere (clip-on) microphones to capture their vows and the ceremony. If you are not hiring a professional videographer (who will not only have these items, but know how to use them), be sure to test the equipment before the big day.
- Let Your Wedding Professionals Know
While you will not need all the usual vendors, you can still coordinate with a select few – the photographer and videographer being the most important. They can still be at the wedding while adhering to social distancing requirements. You can also still arrange a beautiful meal, flowers, champagne, and a wedding cake for your couple to enjoy on the day – all these items can be delivered. Lastly, you also want to make the necessary arrangement with the officiant. A good rule of thumb is to ask each person to bring their own black pen so that they can each safely sign the Marriage License while adhering to Social Distancing practices. Make sure that you are compliant with local marriage laws.
- Let Your Guests Know
If your couple loves the idea of wedding invites, they still can. There are a number of websites that allow them to create digital wedding invites that can be emailed to the guests. Or they can send paper invitations with the details of their Livestream wedding. If your couple will be allowing guests to conference in, they will need to add in some extra information such as how guests can mute their videos during the ceremony. If your couple will be capturing screenshots, let the guests know so that they can dress accordingly.
- Prepare for the Big Day
Even though they are having a virtual wedding, your couple still needs to be prepared. Along with testing all equipment, make sure that they have an appropriate backdrop. You, as the planner, will of course check times and delivery dates with your vendors to make sure all is in order. Next, discuss the order of the ceremony and day with the couple, officiant, photographer and videographer. Will the couple still want to walk down the aisle? If so, make sure these sorts of details are in place. Lastly, discuss wedding outfits, hair and makeup with your couple. Many Makeup artists are providing on-line tutorials and you could arrange a virtual lesson for your bride so that she is properly camera-ready on her wedding day.
You’re all set! Now that your couple is ready to say those “I Dos”, remind them not to forget to hit record and enjoy every second of their special day together. There will be plenty of time to celebrate in person with those they love once this is all done, so they can look forward to the two celebrations!