COVID-19 has been the bane of the wedding industry for the last few months, and it looks as if it will continue to affect weddings for the rest of the year, and likely longer. Many people will never think of large gatherings in the same way again, and engaged couples are actively looking for ways to navigate this uncharted territory.
While making the virus magically disappear isn’t an option, when it comes to weddings, the show must go on. Thankfully, there are some creative ways to make this happen that doesn’t involve becoming the next super-spreader event. In this case, you can take your wedding virtual to keep guests and yourself safe.
Anyone Can Live Stream a Wedding
Live stream weddings are nothing new. Princess Diana’s wedding was streamed live to hundreds of millions of people nearly 40 years ago! That said, streaming your wedding from your phone to friends and family on the internet certainly feels like a modern feat.
Thankfully, it’s also super easy. Don’t be intimidated by the thought of having a virtual wedding. Instead, plan from the beginning to include a virtual aspect of your big day just in case something goes wrong (thanks, 2020). If your wedding is right around the corner, it’s not too late to make a virtual wedding happen with the right team on your side.
Steps for Planing A Virtual Wedding
- Choose your streaming platform
By utilizing technology you likely already have, you can live stream your wedding to your loved ones in a number of ways, including using a wedding streaming service or going the DIY route with Zoom or Facebook Live.
A wedding streaming platform like LoveStream allows couples to share their wedding day with an unlimited number of guests. Guests have one-click access to the live video, so there is no need for them to download an app or have a moderator let them into the stream. While LoveStream focuses on one-way streaming, guests can interact with one another using the live chat feature while they watch the wedding. LoveStream also allows streaming from multiple cameras so you can invite virtual toast makers or even have a virtual officiant if your state allows.
- Send (or resend) invitations
The wording on your wedding invitations is important for guests who have not attended a virtual wedding before. Make sure to specify that this event will be taking place online, and don’t forget to include the correct time zone of the wedding!
Many couples have had to face the awkward dilemma of uninviting guests to their weddings as their plans change. If you have already invited guests who are no longer allowed to attend in-person, you can email them a polite update with your live stream URL and request their virtual presence instead.
- Gather your equipment
You will want to ensure you have the right equipment needed to live stream your wedding. Most streaming platforms will work through devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. If using a tablet or smartphone, be sure to include a tripod on your equipment list in order to give your virtual guests the best viewing experience.
4. Have a virtual rehearsal
Wedding rehearsals help ensure everyone knows when to show up and where to stand, as well as get a feel for the flow of the day. Virtual weddings also require rehearsals, though they might look a little bit different. Your virtual wedding rehearsal will function as a tech check to ensure all equipment is working correctly and that everyone involved has a strong WiFi connection.
- Coordinate with vendors
One of the most difficult pieces of this puzzle is coordinating with your vendors. If you will only have ten people attending your wedding in-person, you no longer need a three-tier cake or twenty floral centerpieces. Start talking to your vendors as early as possible to decide if they will still be involved on your wedding day and to what extent.
- Plan for the Unexpected
Nobody expected COVID-19 to change the world this year, but it still happened. Anyone who is already married knows that unexpected events always come up, whether it’s your maid of honor missing her flight or a pandemic. Having a plan in place to live stream your wedding will allow the show to still go on by combining in-person and online celebrations.
LoveStream was created by Ryan and Samie Roberts, co-founders of Bustld, a digital wedding platform that uses a matchmaking algorithm to pair vendors with engaged couples.
LoveStream allows couples to easily live stream their weddings to friends and family from anywhere in the world. No logging in, downloading an app, or fussing with the mute button. Just one click and they’re in! LoveStream’s new guide to virtual weddings helps couples navigate the opportunity to include the entire guest list safely and affordably.
Photography provided by (image 1): Meredith Jane Photography, (image 2): Swak Photography, (image 3): Jessica Arden Photography