The Wedding Blog
INSPIRATION AND INSIGHT FOR WEDDINGS AND SOCIAL EVENTS
So you've decided a virtual wedding is on the horizon! Congrats! Now all you need to do is plan it, and that's where the head scratching begins. Where to start? Right now, while gathering in large groups or traveling across the country doesn't seem likely in the immediate future with Covid-19 still on the rise., having a virtual wedding could be just the answer you are looking for that lets you have your cake and eat it too! Are you throwing a virtual wedding because you just can't wait any longer and nothing can stop this love train? Or, are you creating a virtual atmosphere to safeguard a specific loved one or guest? Perhaps you are throwing a virtual wedding on-location, like in a courthouse or a public space, with a virtual reception taking place in your living room. Is it just going to be the two of you with a few important wedding vendors present, or will you have close family and friends there as well? Narrowing down the ultimate reason why you wish to have a virtual wedding now, will help guide you through your vendor selection.
You can throw a virtual in home wedding for significantly less investment than a large in person wedding, but you will still need a few vendors to help relieve some of the pressures of the wedding day events and assist in professionally capturing the event.
With any type of virtual event, how you set up streaming for the event is of the utmost importance. Making sure you have good internet connection and streaming speeds is a must. Trial runs are highly encouraged! Vendors are out there to help with the technical side of setting up a live streamed wedding, so enlisting a professional is a great start!
Tech tools you might need for a virtual wedding. . .
Tripods, cameraphone, cameras, or tablets that can stream the events and capture each moment, as well as speakers for music and microphones, etc.
Important Items to Plan for Your Virtual Wedding
Create a Solid Timeline
If you have hired a wedding planner, well done! We can create a timeline for your virtual wedding day that will help you stay on track and everything running smoothly. As with any event, it is important to be flexible and know that you may need extra time padded into your day. Take your time and enjoy each small moment of the day. If the entire virtual wedding is taking place in one location, like your home, your timeline will be relatively straight forward.
Savor Getting Ready
Whether you are all masked up and heading to a salon, have an artist coming to you, or opting to do everything yourself, getting ready should be just as special as a non-virtual wedding day! Video in your guys and gals, or family members if they are not with you.
Build in Private Moments like a First Look
Creating a first look is still a wonderful idea when holding a virtual wedding. Whether you are getting married at a courthouse, in your home, with or without extra people, setting up a first look is easy and will give you a really special moment on your big day! Photographers and Videographers can help facilitate this moment, but if it's just going to be the two of you, check out the blog post on how to DIY your unique first look at home.
Cut Your Cake, Have a Dance, and Toast to Love
Just because you are not in a large banquet hall surrounded by 175 of your friends and family, or in your dream destination wedding location, doesn't mean you cannot enjoy all the beautiful moments in a traditional wedding. Have your cake, do your dances and be sure to have some bubbly (or some other fun drink) on hand and chilled for your toasts!
How hiring amazing vendors can save your virtual day!
Here is an overview of professionals you may want to include on your virtual wedding day and how they can make things a little easier. It's so important, now more than ever, to voice your concerns surrounding good health and safety practices when interviewing your vendors. Ask questions of your vendors to make sure they are falling in line with your safety expectations and keep in mind wedding professionals will and should be following guidelines to safeguard their clients and themselves from exposure.
Even for virtual weddings, there will be a timeline of events, multiple communications with vendors, and lots of moving parts on the day. As with any wedding, hiring a wedding planner to coordinate and assist with planning out the day's events is very important. For virtual events where its just the two of you, having a wedding planner help coordinate everything prior to the date and create a timeline for you to follow will be super helpful. If you are opting to have a coordinator to help usher you from one moment to the next, ask if they have small abbreviated planning packages such as micro wedding packages.
Gold Anchor Weddings and Design is able to create a custom wedding planning package to help with all the planning including just what you need and none of what you don't. We can help you secure streaming services, day of vendors, special surprises, and much more!
You will of course need an officiant to marry you first and foremost! Make it legal!
**Be sure to check local laws to verify if you need to have your officiant there in person or if having them live over video chat will still be considered a legal union.**
Making sure someone is there to capture the moment not only takes the pressure off you and any guests attending, but will deliver professionally edited photos to cherish. Share your concerns and expectations with your photographer regarding safe social distancing practices, etc., to make sure you are all on the same page and know what to expect on the day.
Don't leave it up to Aunt Sally to capture the kiss or your first dance, hire a pro!
Unless Aunt Sally is a professional wedding photographer.
I cannot say enough awesome things about including a videographer at your wedding celebration! They not only show you sides of the day you quickly moved over, but having a video of your big moments to watch later and share with your loved ones is truly special. Some videographers now are able to assist in setting up virtual streaming services too!
If it's just going to be you and your hunny, having bouquets and boutonnieres are a great way to feel extra special even when streaming from home. Take it a step further and include a beautiful arrangement for your table, flowers for you backdrop, and even cake flowers. Picking up your flowers on the day (or day before, but be sure to keep any fresh flowers cool and happy until the wedding day) can save you delivery fees.
I don't know anyone that is going to turn down a delicious cake, and a custom designed one at that. Have a wedding baker create just a topper or a small beautifully decorated cake for you two to enjoy on screen with your guests. As with picking up flowers, picking up your cake can save you delivery fees. Having close loved ones or friends driving by to show their support that day? Have individually boxed cake slices to hand out as they swing by with their congratulations!
Hair and Makeup Artists
Looking your best for the big day can involve insisting the help a few professionals to assist with hair and makeup. If you're able and comfortable with having someone getting up close and personal, go for it! Keep in mind, traveling to the salon on the big day will save you from extra travel fees from the artist. Some hair and makeup artists are requiring clients to wear a mask during their services and only removing the mask for foundation/cheek applications. Don't worry, your make up will not smudge by putting the mask back on, it's usually long-wear which helps keep you fresh for the whole day. If it can hold up to a hug and squeeze from your Cousin Mary on traditional wedding day, it can hold up for a few more minutes under a mask.
Who want's to really eat on camera? Not anyone I know and certainly not me personally.
It just feels a bit awkward. Save the meal for after you turn the streaming off, or eat something delicious between the ceremony and the virtual afterparty. Again, if it's just you and your hunny, pre ordering a delicious meal from your favorite restaurant for after is a lovely and special way to enjoy your first meal as a married couple. Of course you can always have something catered in should your budget allow.
Whether you've selected a musician or vocalist to perform virtually or socially distanced in person, or are playing music that has been pre selected from your own speakers, including music for your event is very important. Virtual DJ anyone? Throwing an afterparty for you and your guests to enjoy a fun in home dance party is a great way to end the night. Some DJs are facilitating virtual party atmospheres, including your favorite songs, acting as MC for the evening, involving your guests, and helping you make the most of the virtual setting.
I love the idea of still including your guests as much as possible and if the budget allows, sending them a little something to party with you that day is a great surprise! Include things like glow sticks, photo booth style props to take screen shots, personalized label on a bottle of bubbly for them to celebrate along with you, the possibilities are endless.
As a Gold Anchor Weddings and Design client, you have access to our preferred vendor list, all experts in their respective wedding vendor category. These vendors have been thoroughly vetted and verified, and have the client testimonials to show their excellent work ethic. One of the many benefits of choosing Gold Anchor W&D to help plan your wedding!
Bottom line, hiring vendors for your virtual wedding day is a great way to make sure the day runs smoothly and can actually save you time and money in the long run. Even for a virtual wedding, setting a budget is key in making sure you keep track of all the moving parts. Vendors are able to work with you and your budget to get what you need for the best possible price.
Stay safe, healthy, and happy!
First looks are such special and personal moments between a couple on their wedding day, and a moment that would usually be photographed or videoed by professionals in a non Covid-19 pandemic year. If you are hiring professionals to be there on the wedding day to video and photograph the big moment, they will absolutely help guide you through that. If you are hosting a live streamed virtual wedding, and not including a photographer or videographer, you can still accomplish the first look magic. If you are unable to have vendors present, here are some ways to set up a first look in a home setting.
BEFORE THE BIG DAY
Whether you decide to have your first look indoors or outside, make sure the area is nicely lit. The week of your wedding, have a trial run in the space and decide where you will stand in view of the camera, and how each person will enter. You can have your favorite music playing during the first look or add music to the video during the editing process.
Test the audio when you do the trial run to make sure everything can be heard.
Be sure to secure any tech accessories you may need well in advance such as a tripod, camera phone, laptop etc.
ON THE WEDDING DAY
Set up a tripod with a camera or camera phone in a nicely lit area. If you will be playing music during get look, have that ready and your finger on play! Utilize the remote setting on a smart phone or watch to assist with this timing.
Once the moment has arrived, hit record on your camera or phone and cue the music up!
After the big reveal and you have enjoyed the moment with your significant other stop recording, feel free to snap a few selfies and get ready to have your virtual wedding! Don't worry because you can edit out any parts you do not need later, just be sure you get it all recorded.
AFTER THE BIG DAY
Take your first look footage and edit the video by cutting the footage in pieces to remove parts you do not need and you can also pair it with music if music was not used in the actual footage.. If you are filming through your phone, there are so many wonderful apps to help you edit your video with professional level attention made easy. Some good options for mobile video editing apps are iMove, Splice, Vixer, and Filmmaker Pro-Video Editor. Ultimately, you'll want to find the app or editing software you are most comfortable with and have fun creating. If editing is not your thing, the raw footage is just as special and something to cherish for many years to come.
. . .Or you could always enlist your tech savvy friend to help you edit the video!
Bottom line, your first look will be super special with a few proactive steps to make sure everything is set up to run smoothly. As they say, you only get one first look!
Gold Anchor Weddings and Design is not affiliated with any of the above mentioned video editing apps.
It goes without saying that the past several months have been difficult on all of us. We have changed our daily behaviors and habits to an almost unrecognizable extent. Weddings in particular have been dramatically effected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and I wanted to share a few options couples have during this time to keep their weddings as safe as possible.
First let's go over the facts. The more people you are around for an extended period of time, the greater the risk of COVID-19 exposure and spreading.
The CDC classifies risk factor regarding weddings and events held during the pandemic:
6 Important things to consider to keep you and your guest as safe as possible during COVID-19.
Although wearing a mask is not ideal (I honestly don't know anyone who loves it), it is recommended by experts to keep yourself and others safe right now. So expect to have your guests wear a mask for any size wedding right now. Get creative and have custom masks with a design element from your wedding that can be pass out to guests as they arrive.
If holding a small ceremony during the pandemic's peak, consider omitting food and beverage, since it's essentially impossible to eat and drink with a mask on properly. Most venues have various size tables that can accommodate 2, 4, 6+ guests comfortably, so make sure to utilize them by seating only those residing with in the same household at each table. This careful precaution ensures that while masks are off for food and beverage (should you have it), only people who are living in the same household are near one another. All tables can be positioned at least 6 feet from one another as well.
The more people at a gathering and the longer interactions last, the higher risk of becoming infected and spreading COVID-19. Always check with your state, local, and territorial or tribal safety laws and regulations for event size restrictions.
Insuring everyone's safety by not overcrowding spaces. Allowing 36-50 square feet per person is a good number to shoot for. Yes, this greatly decreases the number of guest that can attend, but your guest in attendance will be thankful you took these careful precautions. Check out our blog post on micro and virtual wedding options.
Make sure guests have access to sanitation stations at entrances and exits. It is recommenced to have attendant outside bathrooms as well. This person can also monitor and limit crowing that tends to happen in restrooms at events and provide sanitizer for those who need it. For best practice, be sure to wash your hands with hot water and soap for at least 20 seconds, and frequently throughout the evening (at least once an hour).
Wedding are about getting close but during a pandemic, its imperative to stay physically distanced to limit the virus spread. Include on your wedding website a few wedding expectations guest can prepare for, such as mask requirement, food and beverage expectations, and no hand shaking or hugging. Instead of hugging or hand shaking at the wedding, create a sweet gesture to represent a hug, kiss, etc., and post on your wedding website ahead of time. Your guests will see you doing the gesture and know you are thinking of them!