The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many cancellations or courthouse weddings as well as the rise of virtual weddings during the first half of 2020. Because many states still have tight restrictions on gatherings, and many people are still wary of the risk of COVID-19, virtual weddings provide a practical solution for many couples’ wedding problems today.
Drastically lowering the cost of the event and the risk of infection for those involved, this option still allows the couple to share their special day with all of their loved ones. While many are already familiar with the proper etiquette at an in-person wedding, virtual weddings can come with their own behavior codes. Here are some tips for how you can successfully attend and participate in a virtual wedding while still respecting stay-at-home orders.
First and foremost, stay focused during the ceremony. We understand that sometimes things happen at home that might force you to step away from the computer, especially if you are at home with your children. But for those who are easily tempted to check your email, browse the internet, or other forms of multitasking while on a Zoom call, it’s important to give your full attention to respect the couple. Letting yourself get distracted can also lead to one of the most embarrassing digital faux pas that can happen: forgetting to mute yourself on the group video platform and disrupting the ceremony!
Even though you won’t be going anywhere in person and can “jump on” at any time, this is still a formal event. Be respectful to the couple by RSVP-ing on time and not being late. You wouldn’t want to interrupt a ceremony by getting to your seat late, so try not to disrupt the live stream by logging on after it starts.
This advice also extends to your attire. Dress as you would if you were physically there, even though you might be watching in your bedroom. Putting effort into getting ready, and at the very least, changing out of your pajamas shows the couple that you care about their special day and are serious about it.
Giving gifts has always been an important wedding tradition, and even though you will be watching the wedding remotely, it is still encouraged to give a wedding gift. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to give a wedding gift, as the majority of gift registries are online on websites such as Target or Amazon, where you can not only purchase the item online, but also have it shipped directly to the couple’s address. Additionally, many couples are comfortable with monetary gifts, and in the virtual world, there are more options for giving this type of gift.
A virtual wedding provides a unique social situation, as it’s much harder to have any one-on-one interaction with the couple or even the other wedding guests. Depending on whether there is any kind of wedding party, you might not get to hear any of the traditional speeches either. In spite of this, there are ways you can still send your well-wishes to the happy couple. Some wedding couples may have a virtual guestbook to sign, invite the guests to send them personal messages on the broadcasting platform, or create some other way to hear from you.
In the age of information, there are many new social practices that we’ve never had to consider before, while some rules have simply been adapted as the internet’s influence continues to expand into our everyday lives.
For example, at some weddings, you might see a sign asking guests to refrain from taking pictures during the wedding ceremony and reception because they might prefer to rely on their own photographer for pictures. This may also be the case for the virtual wedding you attend. While it is very easy to screenshot images and record anything on the internet, it’s best to ask the couple beforehand if they would be comfortable with this if they haven’t provided any guidelines.
Even more important is the act of not sharing anything online without the permission of the couple. This includes pictures and videos but also applies to the link to view their wedding. Although it might seem like it wouldn’t be a big deal to send the wedding broadcast link to someone who also wants to watch, keep in mind that, like an invitation, the couple has likely planned this event to be limited to only specific people that they would like to enjoy their wedding with. It’s much harder to regulate these things from an online window, so it’s important for you as the guest to be conscious of your actions.
The wedding ceremony doesn’t have to be the only part that can be salvaged using technology. Couples can easily set up virtual bachelor and bachelorette parties for their closest friends and families for a night of virtual games with real fun.
The Knot has a great list of games that can be played over distances and through video chat. Some of the notable ideas are:
This is a note for the couple that is planning on getting married with a virtual audience. There is a caveat when putting together a wedding over live stream. Some couples choose to have a simple ceremony in their homes or on their porches with an audience viewing live, but without a marriage license and officiator, the ceremony will likely not be seen as legal and will rather be considered a commitment ceremony.
While this can be a great idea for couples who can’t wait to tie the knot, it’s important to check in with your local region’s laws to see how your commitment ceremony works from a legally binding perspective.
An alternative to a commitment ceremony is an elopement ceremony. If you are able to find a county that will provide you with a marriage license, you can legally wed and hold whatever kind of officiated wedding ceremony you’d like. You can even wait until things open back up to have the in-person wedding you had planned from the beginning.
Having a virtual wedding in your living room may be a far cry from the perfect day you had planned. Fortunately, there are also some virtual companies that can provide the same level of elegance and detail that an in-person wedding planner would offer.
For example, Wedfuly will plan out your entire ceremony from the processions and the vows to the first dance and the reception—all remotely!
These virtual weddings have been able to provide a viable option for those who don’t want to wait to get married as well as also those who can’t afford to have a large wedding. This solution keeps us optimistic as weddings are a beautiful time to dream about what your life will be like in the future. Many things change once you are married, one of them being your financial situation as you might have another person depending on you (or several).
Whether you are the one getting married or the one watching the ceremony, it’s a good idea to think about your financial future. Life insurance can bring financial stability to you and your spouse and dependents if something were to happen to you. With many different plans to choose from at LifeQuote, we can help you find the best one for you with a free quote today!