How To Have A Virtual Wedding: The Ultimate Guide For 2021
Perhaps the idea of a virtual wedding had never crossed your mind. But in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the emerging popularity of virtual events, the idea of a virtual wedding ceremony comes with increased advantages.
For all those interested in going virtual for their nuptial celebration, this article is here to help guide you through the process.
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What Is A Virtual Wedding?
A virtual wedding ceremony involves hosting your big day through some sort of digital platform. By having a virtual wedding, you can have some or all your guests join into the ceremony remotely through a video chat or interactive livestream.
Common platforms that can make your virtual wedding a reality include Zoom, Skype, Twitch, Google Hangouts, Facetime, or Facebook Live.
By getting creative in the ways you use technology, you can pull off an amazing virtual wedding that all your nearest and dearest friends and family can attend and view no matter where they may be.
Why Have A Virtual Wedding?
There are plenty of reasons to go virtual on your big day. Whether you’re looking to plan a pandemic-proof wedding or wishing to interact with guests from around the globe, a virtual wedding ceremony can be the ultimate solution.
Having your wedding ceremony fully or partially virtual allows you more flexibility on who you can invite. For a virtual wedding, you don’t have to limit down your guest list since a simple web link can connect all your friends and family to the celebration.
If you’re planning a destination wedding that would require guests to travel out of the way or if you’d like guests to attend who live farther away than your local community, a virtual affair can be a great opportunity to still include those who can’t travel to your wedding.
If you’re trying to slim your guest list down due to costs, or if you’re considering a micro-wedding with only your close relatives, you could still host a virtual wedding ceremony or livestream for even more guests to tune into.
A virtual wedding is quite the versatile way to ensure you can celebrate your big day with all those nearest and dearest to you. Whether a pandemic, travelling difficulties, budget constraints, or any other reason is affecting your wedding planning, a virtual wedding might be your ideal solution.
So if the idea of a virtual wedding has piqued your interest in the slightest, it’s important to know how to plan one.
How To Have A Virtual Wedding
The initial steps for planning a virtual wedding are similar to if you were planning a traditional one. It’s important to first begin your search for vendors, albeit virtual ones. It’s also pivotal to discuss your budget with your partner in order to plan your big virtual day accordingly.
Finding A Virtual Vendor
With all the technology available to us in this digital age, there are numerous virtual wedding services available for couples to explore.
The average wedding typically includes around 14 different vendors. If you’re planning a fully virtual wedding, the number of vendors may be scaled back, but a few are still essential. For example, you will still need to find an officiant for your big day.
Depending upon where you live, you may be able to have your officiant be virtual too. Other states however require an in-person officiant and physical witnesses as well. You’ll want to research your state’s guidelines and find your ideal virtual or in-person officiant accordingly.
If you’re planning a virtual wedding that is partially in-person, you will also need to consider your venue, catering, and of course the photographer to capture your special day. With the in-person aspect of your ceremony scaled back, you can get creative with where you may want your wedding to be streamed. At home, outdoors, or at a restaurant are all great options.
Other fun virtual wedding ideas to consider would be music and entertainment. Having a band or DJ at your virtual wedding is something that can easily be accomplished in the digital space. The perks to a virtual wedding make it so you can hire your desired entertainment from wherever you please as they can perform for you remotely if needed.
Setting A Budget
As you begin to plan for your virtual wedding ceremony, it’s still important to set up your wedding day budget. While this budget may slightly differ from the needs of a traditional wedding, there are still numerous expenses to consider.
The primary expense to consider when planning your virtual event would be for the technology to pull off all your virtual wedding ideas. If you don’t have the proper equipment to create a livestream, you may want to invest in high-quality technology.
To ensure the entire technical set-up of your virtual celebration goes off without a hitch, it may also be wise to hire your very own tech team to handle everything. The last thing you want is for a faulty connection or technical difficulties to get in the way of your big day.
Tech teams may also come with their own set of equipment, making them a great vendor to include in your virtual wedding budget.
Wedding invitations are your opportunity to announce your big news to all your friends and family. They can also be a creative way to showcase your wedding theme. Since you’re opting for a virtual wedding theme, get creative in the way you design your invitations by including nods to your virtual wedding ideas.
Printed Wedding Invitations
For those couples interested in traditional, physical invites, you can opt for printed cards. There are so many impressive wedding invitation styles out there to choose from. Browse through your options and select the design that fits you and your partner’s desired aesthetic. If you’re looking for customizable options, Evermine is a great source to design and print your wedding invitations.
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On your invitation, make it clear that your wedding will be celebrated virtually. Even if you’re still finalizing the technological details, be sure to include how you plan on presenting your virtual wedding by including the streaming platform you’ll be using.
Digital Wedding Invitations
If you’re looking to fully commit to your digitized wedding theme, consider creating digital wedding invitations as well. This can be a fun and creative way to announce your virtual wedding ceremony.
You can make your virtual invite as interactive as you’d like. Include a button for your guests to easily RSVP back. Add a link on the invite to your personalized wedding website where you can post updates about your virtual event and even instructions to help your guests access the livestream when the big day comes.
Your wedding invitation is also the perfect place to officially announce your wedding hashtag. If you don’t have a hashtag yet, it may be time to start thinking of one.
Incorporating Social Media
Many weddings find their way to social media as couples love to showcase their life changing milestone with their friends and family. With a virtual wedding, it’s only fitting for your celebration to be shared further within a digital space by posting it online.
The best way to share your wedding day memories on social media is through a uniquely personalized wedding hashtag.
What Is A Wedding Hashtag?
A wedding hashtag represents you and your partner’s lifelong slogan for your relationship. It’s not only a fun and clever catchphrase, but it’s also quite important when it comes to social media.
By having you and your guests use your wedding hashtag on social media, you are essentially creating a personalized album of memories that will be saved virtually for years to come. With all your memories posted under one clever tag, you’ll be able to find all your wedding day highlights by simply searching for your one-of-a-kind wedding hashtag.
If you want to ensure your wedding hashtag is the best that it can be, trust in the writing professionals at Wedding Hashers. By completing a brief questionnaire about you and your partner’s names, wedding details, and relationship info, the writers at Wedding Hashers will immediately get to work on personalizing an amazing hashtag to fit your style.
How To Get The Best Wedding Hashtags
With something as useful and memorable as a wedding hashtag, it’s important to put some time into the research and development of your tag. Don’t settle on something overly generic as you want this slogan to represent your specific relationship. You’ll also want to make sure that the hashtag you decide on isn’t already in use so it can be uniquely yours.
To get your wedding hashtag you can either brainstorm one yourself, consult a wedding hashtag generator, or hire a professional hashtag writing service like Wedding Hashers. For more information and inspiration, check out our article on the 101 Best Wedding Hashtags.
Completing Proper Licensing & Procedures
Like all wedding ceremonies, a virtual one still comes with its fair share of guidelines and procedures. For starters, you’ll need to complete the proper licensing for your virtual ceremony, and you’ll also need an officiant.
With the outbreak of COVID-19 complicating wedding planning, states have begun to legalize the practice of getting remote wedding licenses. While all states differ on their exact regulations, some allow you to complete your marriage license application via a virtual video chat.
The typical virtual marriage procedure will most likely require that you and your partner, your witnesses, and your officiant all participate in a live, interactive video conference for the entire duration of the ceremony. You and your partner will have to show your photo ID on camera to the officiant and must also sign your marriage license on camera.
Once the legal ceremony of your wedding is complete, you’ll have to electronically send your signed marriage license over for your officiant and witnesses to also sign. The completed form should then be sent to your state.
Be sure to look up the specific regulations and procedures your state has in place in order to properly execute a virtual wedding ceremony.
Finding A Wedding Officiant
When it comes to selecting the wedding officiant for your virtual wedding, not only do you have to have one, but you’ll also have to check if your state requires the officiant be physically present at your ceremony.
Some states may want your officiant to be in the same room throughout the ceremony. Other states allow your officiant to be remote as long as all parties have access to the live video conference and have proof of identification.
Aside from your officiant, certain states also require having witnesses to your marriage. Again, you’ll have to research your state’s regulations to determine if your officiant and witnesses can be remote or must be physically present.
Booking A Virtual Wedding Venue
The venue to your virtual wedding can be as simplistic or as elaborate as you’d like. If you’re going virtual with the goal of saving money, then opting for a ceremony in your own house or backyard can be the perfect venue.
If some of your guests are attending physically while others are joining the livestream remotely, you can opt for a smaller scaled venue such as in a rustic barn, at a local wedding venue, your favorite restaurant, or even favorite bookstore.
Planning a destination wedding may also be a major reason to consider virtual wedding ideas. If you want your wedding venue to be the remote destination of your dreams, you can allow those who can’t travel to join in remotely.
As you decide on your ideal virtual wedding venue, don’t forget to consider the role technology will play. You’ll want your venue to have a stable and reliable internet connection as well accessible outlets to power and charge any computers, microphones, cameras, and any other electronics you’ll need.
Virtual Wedding Tech
When it comes to pulling off your virtual wedding, you’ll need to decide upon the live streaming platform you’ll be using as well as the tech team you’ll be hiring.
Live Streaming Platforms
It’s important to decide which live streaming platform will not only work the best for you, but also for your guests. Some major details to consider when deciding upon your platform would be the size of your guest list and the interactive nature of the platform.
For a one-way livestream in which your guests aren’t visible, but they can all see you, consider platforms like Twitch, Facebook Live, or LoveStream. While your guests may not be seen, they can still utilize chat boxes to comment throughout your stream.
If you’re looking for a more interactive platform that allows your guests to be both seen and heard, you can go with options such as Zoom, Google Hangouts, or Wedfuly. Zoom has become an increasingly popular app within the last year but may require you to pay for a more premium version to allow over 100 guests and a longer time limit.
When choosing your virtual wedding platform, take into account each option’s accessibility. Some platforms require you to download apps prior to use or have social media accounts if you’re looking into Facebook or Instagram Live.
Be sure to consider how technologically literate your guest list is as well. You may want to send your guests easy-to-read instructions or walkthrough videos on how to download, open, or start streaming your wedding to ensure no one misses a second of it.
Hiring A Tech Team
In order to pull off your virtual wedding, you’ll want to have a tech team by your side to help the ceremony run smoothly. You’ll have plenty of responsibilities going on throughout your big day. It’s best to let someone else handle the tech side of things.
Whether you hire a tech team through your desired platform or just hire a team to operate a free video platform, the choice is yours.
For more interactive platforms, your tech team will play the valuable role of the moderator in which they must allow guests to enter the meeting and can also mute guests during the ceremony. Depending on the service, you can also coordinate having a waiting lobby and breakout rooms for guests to mingle among themselves before or after the ceremony.
When selecting your tech team, it’s important to consider if you solely need experts to run your own technology or if you need to rent out their equipment. Think about what you need such as cameras, microphones, TV monitors, projectors, and computers.
Convey your virtual wedding ideas to your desired vendor in terms of the video conference platform you’ll be using and the equipment set-up you’re looking for. From there, you can determine which tech team can match your needs.
Importance Of A Virtual Wedding Test Run
Wedding rehearsals are often done a day or so prior to traditional wedding ceremonies. These rehearsals are meant to explain and run through the order of the wedding ceremony to ensure the big day goes off without a hitch.
Likewise, virtual weddings should plan ahead to have a tech run prior to the official stream. Technology can be quite the blessing in connecting people together, but it’s not without its bugs.
During your tech run you’ll want to make sure the stream is up, the cameras are connected with you and your partner beautifully in frame, and that the microphones or sound system is properly working at a desirable audio level.
The tech run is just as important for your guests. Virtual weddings are on the rise, but for those who have yet to encounter a virtual event like this, they may be anxious about figuring it out. Setting up a test run is important for fixing any bugs, errors, or confusion prior to the officially virtual ceremony.
Whether your entire wedding is virtual or you’re planning a hybrid event, food is something you always have to consider.
Just because you and your guests won’t all be together doesn’t mean you all can’t eat together. You and your partner could choose to have catering at your physical location and encourage your guests to eat or join the toast along with you at their separate homes.
You could also opt for catering to be delivered to each of your guests as a creative solution to the distance between you. Look for catering services offering delivery or opt for meals, snacks, or drinks that can easily be shipped and prepared at everyone’s homes.
If coordinating dinner virtually is too difficult or too expensive of an undertaking, try opting for dessert instead. Ship out mini cakes or small treats to all your guests in order to enjoy the delicious virtual cake cutting together.
Virtual Wedding Favors
As with any traditional wedding, wedding favors are a nice gesture to thank your guests for their support, attendance, and gifts.
The best part about wedding favors is that there is no one size fits all approach. They can be literally anything you wish them to be from a memorable souvenir commemorating the event to a funny gag gift.
Chocolates, candles, sauces, magnets, plants, and wine glasses are just a few options out there. Sending your guests wedding favors can be a beautiful touch to your virtual wedding.
There are numerous services out there to help you customize the perfect wedding favors for your celebration. Once you decide on your favor, start shipping them out for your guests to enjoy. If you’re looking to fully embrace the virtual nature of your ceremony, you could also opt for virtual gifts in the form of redeemable vouchers or gift cards.
To prepare your guests for the big day, consider wedding celebrations boxes. These boxes are composed of a few small gifts you and your partner specifically select for your guests to enjoy.
At a traditional wedding, each guest would receive dinner, dessert, drinks, and perhaps a wedding favor. A celebration box is an attempt to incorporate some of these wedding items into one festive package.
By creating a universal goodie box that every guest will receive, you’re creating the feeling of being together and celebrating together despite the distance. Whether your box includes snacks or champagne bottles for the toast, create a moment during your virtual wedding ceremony where you call attention to your celebration box for all your guests to simultaneously enjoy.
When it comes to your celebration box, don’t forget to consider shipping times. You’ll want to be sure all your guests receive their box prior to the big day.
You’re Ready For Your Virtual Vows
With all these virtual wedding ideas in mind, your ceremony can be just as special and memorable as an in-person celebration. No matter what your reason may be, having a virtual wedding can be a great way to include your entire guest list from all over the globe.
When it comes to planning, be sure to do your research for selecting your virtual platform and setting up all the technology. With a little creativity and some fun virtual wedding ideas such as a remote DJ or celebration boxes, your virtual wedding ceremony is sure to impress!
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