In a normal year, people right now would be preparing to attend summer weddings.  They’d be buying suits and sundresses, gifts for the newlyweds, and writing speeches.  They would be making arrangements to take time off work and for travel.  But as we all well know, 2020 has not been a normal year.   As a result of the Covid19 pandemic, we have seen weddings be downsized, canceled, or postponed.  And many engaged couples are finding that planning a wedding in a Covid19 world is much different than before.   They are having to adapt to completing most of the planning tasks from home.  And they are dealing with a dramatically reduced guest count than before.

Today I will be sharing with you some ideas for planning a wedding in a Covd19 world.  I’ll be sharing some ideas for wedding planning tasks you can complete at home.  So you don’t have to go out in the world and expose yourself unnecessarily to the virus.  And I’ll also provide ideas for dealing with reduced guest counts on the wedding day.  So that you can keep yourself and your guests safe and healthy on the wedding day.

Virtual Wedding Venue Walk-throughs

In the past, couples would head out to venues they are interested in and take an in-person tour  However, these days you can get a tour of a venue without ever leaving your house.   First, check out the website for the venue you are interested in.  Many of them allow you to see a panoramic, 360 view of the venue’s spaces and obtain information on pricing and packages.  And thanks to video call platforms like Skype and Facetime, you are able to take this one step further and do a virtual walkthrough.  See if you can get the venue’s coordinator on a video call and have them walk through the venue with you on the line.   You will be able to brainstorm about your wedding, ask questions, and confirm details, just like you would in an in-person tour.

covid19 wedding

Virtual Wedding Vendor Consultations

Instead of heading out to the vendor’s showroom or at a local coffee shop to meet your vendors, you can meet them virtually.  Using Zoom, Skype, or Facetime, they can show you examples of their past work and their showrooms on a video call.  You can also ask questions, brainstorm, and go through the details of their wedding packages with them.  Typically couples meet with 2 or 3 different types of vendors when selecting vendors for their wedding.   Assuming you have 10 vendors involved in your wedding, that would be 20-30 visits you can do from home virtually.  This will save you tons of time as well as keep you safe and healthy.

Virtual Wedding Attire Shopping

Renting suits and tuxedos for your groom and groomsmen has never been easier than now.  With companies like Generation Tux and The Groomsman’s Suit, you can easily rent or purchase the suits from home.  Both websites have online sizing guides to help you order the correct size.  And they both allow to try it on at home to ensure fit as well. If it doesn’t fit, you send it back with details, and they send you a new one that will fit better.   And for your bridesmaids, instead of picking out a specific dress for them, take advantage of the current mix-and-match trend.  Give them a formality and color and let them pick out their own dress.  Your bridesmaids can rent a designer gown from Rent The Runway or they can purchase something online they like and can wear after the wedding too.

Online Wedding Registry

Instead of heading off to Target or Bed, Bath & Beyond to do your registry in-store, why not take advantage of the online options.  Many stores, including Target and Bed, Bath & Beyond, offer online wedding registries.   Or you could try a website like Blueprint Registry, which allows you to add items from any store, or do a cash registry.   Another option is Honeyfund.  If you already have everything you need for your home, you can create a honeymoon registry on Honeyfund.   By registering online, it saves you a trip to the store.  And your guests are also able to purchase the gifts online, saving them trips to the store too.  Keeping everyone safe and healthy!

Virtual Wedding Invitations

If you are doing all of your other wedding planning virtually from home, why not extend that to your wedding invitations as well.  You can order beautiful wedding invitations online from companies like Minted and Basic Invite.  There are also companies, such as Greenvelope and Paperless Post, which allow you to send beautiful and elegant invitations online to your guests, and when they open it, it emulates the experience of opening a traditional invitation.

Virtual Bridal Shower

It is possible your friends and family may not be able to attend your bridal shower due to Covid19.  They may be hesitant to gather in a group.  They may have financial constraints due to being laid off or furloughed.  Or they may just be nervous about traveling  But you can still host a bridal shower online.  Guests can have the gifts delivered to your home and you can open them while live streaming.  And just so it isn’t all about you opening gifts, you can plan some activities for the shower as well.   For example, you could have each guest share their favorite recipe.  Because we all know the way to our man’s heart is through his belly!   Or you could also have each guest share their favorite memory of you and your sweetheart.  Or have each guest provide a tip for a happy, long-lasting marriage.

Live Stream Your Wedding Ceremony

If you are deciding to move forward with your wedding day despite Covid19, there may be many friends and family members that cannot be in attendance.  However, they can still witness and celebrate your nuptials with you by live streaming your ceremony.    Choose a streaming service (such as Zoom, Facebook Live, or YouTube Live) and make sure you know all the functionality of that service.  For example, Zoom has a “switch camera” option, so you can stream from multiple devices at the same time and your guests can see the ceremony from different perspectives.  With Zoom you can also record the live stream, so you can have a video of your ceremony to watch in the future.    And don’t feel like you have to choose just one.  You can stream from different platforms and your guest can use the option that works best for them.

Tips For Live Streaming Your Ceremony

You want your wedding ceremony to look good for everyone who is watching virtually and if you are going to record and have a video to watch later.   So here are some tips to ensure the best live stream of your ceremony possible:

  • Use a tripod:   This will make sure the feed is smooth and steady, instead of shaky and wobbly
  • Create a pretty altar:   Frame an altar area using potted place, twinkle lights, etc.
  • Have some natural light:  If you are indoors, be sure to open some windows to let in some natural light
  • Set the mood: Have some soft, quiet music playing in the background
  • Have some champagne ready:  Have a bottle of champagne ready to pop open and toast after the ceremony

And you’ll want to test your setup beforehand, to ensure there are no glitches during the ceremony live stream.  Here are some tips for testing your setup:

  • Camera angles:  Make sure they catch the footage from flattering angles
  • Microphone:  Make sure it picks up sound but not feedback
  • Wifi:  Make sure the wifi connection is fast and strong
  • Lighting:  Make sure you have good lighting, including natural light
  • Devices/Technology:  Make sure the devices and streaming software is functioning properly and are fully charged

And here are some final thoughts about live streaming your ceremony.   Be sure to designate a trusted friend or family member to run the devices and streaming so that you don’t have to worry about it or get distracted by it during your ceremony.   And be sure to tell everyone joining in virtually to mute the audio until after the vows and first kiss.

livestream wedding

Host a Virtual Reception

Similar to hosting a virtual bridal shower, you can host a virtual reception.  This could be something you do now just to commemorate the day and once it’s safe to do so, you could have a real reception.   If you do host a virtual reception, I suggest Google Hangouts as it lets you and your guests easily interact with each other and most people have a Google account.    You could make your virtual reception very similar to a real wedding reception.  Some ideas are to hook up a speaker and have the first dance as husband and wife together.  You could cut a cake (homemade or storebought).  You can even enjoy signature cocktails with your guests.   Give them the recipe ahead of time and everyone can drink with you.  And you could open up the “mic” and allow your guests to make a toast.

virtual reception

I hope these ideas help make planning a wedding in a Covid19 world easier.   Although the experience may be different than it has been for couples in the past, you can still have your wedding and get married to your sweetheart.  While at the same time keeping yourself and your guests safe and healthy!  Be sure to check back next week for Part 2 of the “Planning A Wedding In A Covid19 World” series.

Wedding Planning Tips, Tricks, Hacks, and Advice

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