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Should You Have A Virtual Wedding?

  |   By Alison McGill

As of today, April 7th 2020, weddings up until June of this year are impacted by COVID-19. Couples and wedding planners are working overtime to find solutions for booking alternate dates. “We’ve rescheduled all weddings and events through to the end of June at this point.,” shares Aly Armstrong, principal event planner at Vancouver’s Aly Armstrong Events. “We are then working on alternate dates for our July and August couples just in case, but so far they are holding onto hope that the original plan can be executed”

Armstrong notes that events which seem to be on track also have a number of X variables which will come into play as time ticks on. “Guest count is a big factor as is international travel. If any immediate family are set to fly in from other countries, this adds another layer to the thought process of how to handle your celebration.”

With so much flux and uncertainty happening in the wedding space, many couples have chosen to do their wedding, their way and the virtual wedding has quickly emerged as 2020’s most unexpected and rapidly growing wedding trend. Armstrong says in the case of her business and clients, anyone getting married in the next three months has opted to postponed and reschedule. She and her team are working with venues and vendor teams to get backup dates on the calendar ASAP as there is no way of really knowing how long COVID-19 will be a threat to events and weddings.

If you are considering a virtual wedding, Armstrong says it could actually be a very meaningful and significant choice. “Getting married to your partner is truly the most special and significant moment at any wedding,” Armstrong smiles. “Love always wins!” She does have some tips though for making the day even more meaningful.

Make It A Surprise  “I recently saw a story about a couple who surprised their guests via Zoom. They had called a “meeting”, and everyone logged on to witness a surprise vow exchange,” Armstrong says. “It was beautiful. Many wedding vendors are still offering curbside pick-up or delivery and are using safe measures to prepare their products. Couples can still get creative and style their own ceremonies at home should they choose. Many florists are still active as are some bakeries & caterers. Why not create an intimate celebration from the comfort of your own home? If a certain date is especially important to you and you have planned your wedding around this—as is the case for many couples—don’t let it slip by! Remember you can always host a party and reception in the future with all your friends and family. Ask your guests to dress up to attend your virtual party, then enjoy a catered dinner following with your new husband or wife. Perhaps pull out the fancy dinnerware or any sentimental items passed down from parents and grandparents, this is the time to use it!”

Get Your Tech Setup Right When it comes to setting up the virtual wedding, remember lighting is key. Face your light source and try to have some natural light source present if you can. Everyone will look beautiful and bright. Armstrong recommends Zoom as her platform of choice to use for virtual weddings and if you are not familiar with it, find a great friend who is tech savvy and have them join the call a few minutes early to help troubleshoot. Be conscious of your background and try to make it pretty and fun. Given the fact you can still access flowers, you can still incorporate them into your ceremony—a bouquet or boutonniere may be a nice touch if it suits. Photography may also still happen though that can be tricky as many are not currently working. Some may make exceptions if they can stay six feet away or take photographs outdoors.

Don’t Forget The Toasts! “If you aren’t having a surprise ceremony you can send out a list of the events to your guests in advance along with the meeting link which could include a champagne toast following the vow exchange,” Armstrong says. “Your guests will also be able to virtually mingle with you post ‘I Dos’ and you may even want a few to give speeches and share some warm words.”

Though a virtual wedding is certainly not something for everyone, Armstrong says you may want to give it some thought before taking it off the table completely in your thoughts of rescheduling your wedding. “Each event definitely has its own set of variables. I love this idea if it makes sense for the couple. I recommend make a list of what is most important to you. Envision yourself exchanging vows with your partner. If having friends and family there in person is a non-negotiable, then waiting is your best bet. If exchanging vows at a certain venue and with specific decor elements, then waiting is best. Either way, it will be beautiful, and you’ll be glad you went ahead, or it will be worth the wait!”

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