The unfortunate reality of 2020 is that many couples will have to postpone their weddings. An option growing in popularity is the “virtual wedding” (basically saying “I do” on a webcam and broadcasting it to your loved ones). Before you go planning your online vows, be sure to weigh all the pros and cons. Here are what the wedding experts have to say about virtual weddings.
Caroline Betancourt, planner
En Pointe Weddings & Events
I myself am having to postpone my wedding in June and I understand how difficult and disappointing the decision to postpone your wedding can be. But I believe that no matter what, you should postpone and not cancel your wedding for a virtual one. A virtual wedding is not only a sacrifice for the couple, but also for the close family and friends who have been looking forward to that date just as much. Once it’s safe to travel and gather in large groups, people will want to come together and celebrate, so taking that day away is unfair.
What we’ve created for our clients is a way to honour their original wedding date by virtually celebrating it with their guests. We set up a video conference call and manage all their guests by sending them evites and reminders. We also have a beautiful bouquet, a mini wedding cake and a bottle of champagne delivered to the couples’ home. With everyone gathered on the conference call, the couple can choose to exchange vows or say a speech. They can toast their guests and if any guests have something they’d like to say to the couple they can do so as well. Just because you’ve had to move your wedding date doesn’t mean you should forget about it all together.
Ophellia McKnight, owner and principle planner
The Destination Collective
I believe that weddings are not only a time for a couple to pledge their love for each other, but also a time to celebrate and share that moment with their loved ones in a setting where they can physically commune with each other. A large part of a celebration of love is the sense of family and togetherness and that element is lost in a virtual wedding. Though they are able to “share” the moment, I believe it loses its vitality and celebratory feel when all they have are faces on a screen. Most people wait a lifetime to be able to share this moment with their closest community and I believe that it’s the hugs, kisses, tears, amazing wedding design and décor, and delicious food and drinks, surrounded by everyone you love, that make a wedding such an amazing celebration of love.
Alana Klein, owner and lead planner
A virtual wedding may seem like a unique idea amidst all the uncertainty we are currently facing, however, I believe there are more cons than pros to this idea. There may be pressing reasons for a couple to get legally married right away, and therefore choose to have a virtual wedding, but keep in mind you can always get legally married now and choose to postpone the large wedding/celebration to a date that it is safe to do so, and include a symbolic ceremony at that time.
I remember my own wedding like it was yesterday and can’t help smiling whenever I think about it. Weddings bring together family and friends you may not see very often; if you choose to do a virtual wedding, you are giving up a once-in-a-lifetime celebration with your nearest and dearest.
A wedding is an experience, one that you won’t get if you choose to have a virtual wedding. You will miss out on wedding day photos and video, the magical feeling of stepping into your reception room and seeing it for the first time, hearing people clap and cheer after your first kiss, being on a packed dancefloor with your best friends surrounding you – there are so many moments that won’t be had.
The wedding industry is made up primarily of small businesses, and virtual weddings greatly reduce business for vendors already facing a loss. The wedding industry needs you more now than ever, so postpone those nuptials, continue on with the celebration when it is safe, and imagine how much harder everyone will celebrate with you when the day can finally happen.
Lynzie Kent, owner and planner
Love by Lynzie Events & Design
So many of our couples waited for 2020. The number had a ring to it: 2020 vision, the way the numbers looked so symmetrical, it felt like the future and was a year that was supposed to hold promise. Now, with the reality of COVID-19, their dreams of marrying are being dashed and being pushed farther into the future. Many won’t marry this year and most won’t marry on the day they intended to exchange vows. While the virtual wedding option on the surface may not seem romantic, to us it’s the ultimate solution for the current situation we are facing. AND, it is shockingly romantic.
Couples are desperate to proclaim their commitment to one another and they deserve to exchange vows on the day they intended. They are so in love that they are willing to dress up and make this commitment as formally as possible in their living room. So what if its non-traditional? So what if it’s not as cute and trendy as a full-blown epic wedding in a classic venue? What matters is that the couple wants to get married and celebrate their love. As wedding vendors, isn’t that why we got into this business to begin with? To help people celebrate in the way that felt most authentic to their lives? Well to me, virtual weddings feel authentic right now.
That’s why we’ve developed virtual elopement packages. I want to be able to continue supporting people in love in the way that they need. I want to make their living rooms more beautiful. I want to make the process easier. I want their 90-year-old grandma in self isolation to have a more beautiful day because she was able to witness their first kiss as a married couple.
Cathy Davis, officiant
Cathy Davis & Co Officiants
If two people are in love – they just want to be married! If it were me and I was in their shoes, I wouldn’t want to wait a whole year. What if the dress doesn’t fit in a year? A lot can change. They could have a baby by then! I have some people postponing for a year and are still going to come to me ASAP to make it legal after bans are lifted. I’m trying to encourage my couples to maybe think about a Friday or even weekday wedding in the fall instead of waiting over a year. That way they can keep their whole ‘dream team’ of vendors they’ve worked so hard to get!
Carlee Dowsett, planner
Everlee Event Studio
If you want to host a virtual wedding for you and your partner to exchange your vows and a spiritual commitment to one another and in the virtual presence of all your loved ones, go for it! Keep in mind this doesn’t legally marry you and it’s more so to celebrate what the day was supposed to be. The only two people in the room are you and your partner.
I personally don’t believe that couples and their officiants should risk being in the physical presence of one another, even if you are following the 6-feet guideline. This virus is unpredictable and I am personally not comfortable playing the odds. An officiant could carry the virus without knowing, or the bride or groom could. You all must sign the papers and that means you’re all touching it. This virus is so easily transmittable that, to me, it’s not worth the risk of legally marrying right now.
Host a virtual party if that makes you and your partner feel better about what your wedding date was supposed to be. If you don’t want to host a virtual party and you would rather wait until you can all physically be together, do it! Just remember to stay safe and to stay home whenever possible. Your wedding day WILL come, just on a different date.
Nefertiti Bergen, photographer
Neffi Bergen Photography
Yes! I honestly think they are a great idea! So many couples still want to get married this year and have their party next year! I saw one couple who did a FaceTime live ceremony so family and friends could witness it.
I have one couple in September that has told me that if things don’t work out , they still want to get married just the two of them with the officiant as a witness and myself, and we will then go take photos. They loved the idea of setting up a FaceTime live for family to witness!
Even though this is a hard time, love does not have to be on hold and we can always find unique and creative ways to celebrate a couples’ union