5 Tips for Planning a Virtual or Intimate Wedding

photo by Arielle Doneson

Virtual, it’s a word we’ve been hearing a lot lately. Virtual coffee chats or cocktail hours are providing a little bit of the human interaction we crave. While these virtual connections are helping us get through this crazy time, it is heartbreaking that we can’t be together and share a hug, kiss or even a simple handshake.

When I think about social interaction and connections, weddings are top of mind along with all the couples who have had to postpone. My heart breaks for you. You’ve probably been dreaming about this day and planning for years, even before the proposal made it official. The wedding date has a special meaning for many couples which makes postponing even more painful. It’s not fair that is happening, but it doesn’t mean you have to forget about your original date and move on. No, it should be celebrated with joy, love and laughter, just like it would have been if there wasn’t a pandemic. 

Planning a virtual event is the bright light in all this and we are seeing many couples opt for a small celebration on their original wedding date and then planning larger celebrations for 2021 or 2022. What a blessing it is right now to have this technology available to us. But how do you make a virtual event meaningful and representative of who you are? It just takes some ingenuity, an open mind and thoughtful planning.

Photo by Sarah Murray Photography

An intimate wedding can be personal, elegant and provide a grand guest experience

Here are some ideas to get started.

1.      Collaborate, Collaborate, Collaborate

The world of virtual events and live streaming is new a new frontier for us all, so it is important to work with a production company that knows the technology and has a vision. Maybe it is bringing 50+ people together virtually on an LED screen that is your backdrop and makes it feel like everyone is right there with you. If you are planning an intimate wedding, reach out to a wedding planner. Most are offering intimate wedding collections to help through this time and streamline the process.

2.      You can’t go wrong with pretty paper, so yes invites are a must!!

Even though your large celebration won’t be happening right now, this is still your wedding so let friends and family know what to expect – they’ve probably never been to a virtual event before! Make it fun and include details of your virtual celebration along with instructions on how they can participate. Maybe even have a virtual background designed that everyone uses! And don’t be afraid to set a dress code, it’s your day.

Have a favorite cocktail or hors’ d’oeuvre? Send guests the recipe with a kit of ingredients so you can all enjoy together.

3.     Incorporate Interaction

If there will be a Brigade Parade, elevate the experience by sending participants a “brigade bag” with all the essentials they will need to celebrate. This could be custom signs, confetti, flower petals or USB with your wedding playlist. Let your imagination and creativity lead you!

If you are opting for an intimate wedding, add an interactive element of surprise to your event. Maybe some fireworks, table side created desserts or cordials.

4.      Every celebration needs a focal point

Just because your event is virtual, doesn’t mean it shouldn’t make a statement. You can still have that floral backdrop you had envisioned for your ceremony? Florists are able to provide “contact free” setup and delivery. Lighting will be key, so be sure to discuss the best options with your production company.

Just because it’s intimate, doesn’t mean it can’t be dreamy. Incorporate lush florals to create a jaw-dropping focal point.

5.     Most importantly, don’t forget to make it official

That is the entire reason you are doing a virtual or intimate wedding (or combination)!! However, because things are changing daily, check with the local city hall where you are getting married to see if they are open and their current process for issuing marriage licenses. Many are closed, but some are taking appointments and doing Zoom calls, but you’ll want to schedule at least a month in advance. And be sure to have the date and an officiant before you obtain your license. You don’t want to have it reissued!

It’s hard to see the world around us come to a complete stand still. We are social creatures and we need to be surrounded by those that make us happy and lift us up. But no matter what, milestones in our life still need to be celebrated – because love always wins.

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