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How to Pull Off an Online Wedding from your Living Room

In an age of social distancing, stream your wedding for those who can’t be there in person.

Can you still have a wedding now when, for health reasons, crowds are not the thing to do? Yes, you can! You don’t have to skip or delay having a wedding ceremony. There are ways to get friends and family remotely involved with the wedding.

All weddings are productions, so think of this as a LITERAL one. Take the non-traditional wedding up a notch with a streaming event.

How to Pull Off an Online Wedding from Your Living Room

On The Big Day, you will need a third person to work camera(s), plus monitor a live stream and messages. And a central online location where everyone can sign in to attend the ceremony. A chat group may be in order as well, so people can whisper to their neighbors without disturbing others.

I am using Facebook as an example, but I’m sure other technologies will work as well.

The Online Wedding Ceremony

Just like an in-person ceremony, yours will have a start time. First, create a Facebook page or group. Then send out invitations with instructions on how to find the wedding. Take cues from Ashley & Jeph Mwaituka, who streamed the ceremony from the back deck. 

Depending on whether or not yours is a re-located ceremony you’ve already planned, you may want guests to RSVP as usual. Send out a reminder with instructions to attendees the day before and an hour before the ceremony. And do as Ashley & Jeph did. Post a photo reminding everyone on the day.

Encourage your virtual guests to dress up just as if they were attending in person. It will make them feel better, and you can even have a “show us your outfit” post inside the group.

The Officiant

First and foremost, a wedding needs an officiant. They can, of course, be with you in person. But if that isn’t practical, go virtual with them as well! Currently, Facebook Live has a feature to add a second presenter. You and your fiance will be on one side of the screen and the officiant on the other as they perform the ceremony, and you respond and say your vows.

[Sidebar for Facebook Live users. There’s a specific order to things to make this happen:
1. Your videographer starts the Live feed.
2. The officiant begins watching.
3. At that point, your video person can choose the officiant as a second participant.
You are ready for the ceremony.]

The Wedding Party

If your wedding party is there with you, the videographer can proceed as in a typical wedding, live streaming each attendant as they come down the aisle.

If not, get creative! Like, plan for each of your remote attendants to come on live with a quick message. Or have each send a photo beforehand of them with their “wedding clothes” on. Then play a slideshow in place of the procession. Or come up with ideas of your own.

Music During Your Ceremony

Playing music during a wedding ceremony is a given. Streaming that ceremony online introduces a new twist. Facebook may block or take down your video for copyright violations. The good news is they have a pre-approved sound collection you can use instead. 

After the I Do’s

What to do after you’ve said your vows will depend on your preferences. You may want to end it there and have a traditional reception later when getting together as a group is feasible.

Or continue! Here are 7 ways to keep your guests active at a remote wedding.

  • Set up an Amazon Wedding Registry before invitations go out. Ask people to send gifts directly to you. Then open those gifts during the Facebook Live stream.
  • Stream the first dance as your guests watch live from afar.
  • Send favors and personalized toasting cups so everyone can toast the new couple with the beverages of their choice.
  • Rotate the live stream between the parents and head attendants as they give wedding speeches.
  • Get everyone involved in an Internet-wide dance party. Each person has a dance floor of their own as they get down to the music of your choice.
  • Create a photo and video album inside your event. Then encourage all to take selfies or record themselves during the festivities and upload the results.
  • Hashtag it. Assign a hashtag for your wedding for people to use. You can quickly find all the posts related to your wedding on others’ timelines. The wedding hashtag is handly to use on Instagram or other platforms as well.

Above all, try to relax and be flexible!

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