How to Throw a Wedding Over Zoom

Plus: Real examples of e-ceremonies.

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Make the Most of Your Big Day

The biggest trend in the wedding industry right now doesn’t have to do with designer dresses, donut walls, food trucks or whiskey stations during cocktail hour. It involves couples all over the world hosting digital weddings.

Getting legally married over Zoom now includes having a cry-worthy ceremony over video chat where friends and family tune in from their couch, or throwing a giant 150-person party where everyone's dancing to the beat of your virtual celebration from their living room. If you’re considering a digital wedding but wondering how to make it fun and easy, here are our top tips and real examples from all over the world.

Do a Rehearsal

The night before your virtual wedding, plan a quick rehearsal with you and a few other family members located in their own homes. That way you can make sure the technology is smooth, the WIFI connection is stable and everyone has a good view. A quick run through will help keep away virtual wedding crashers (AKA any potential glitches).

Rearrange Your Space

Since your home or apartment will be the official backdrop for your virtual wedding, you might have to put on your interior designing hat and move some things around. Reposition furniture and use any home crafts you have to make DIY decorations for the main event. When guests hop on the virtual call, you can wow them with how you turned your living room into a mini wedding venue.

This bride transformed her living room into a beautiful space for a wedding ceremony.

Look for Inspiration

Digital weddings are becoming a popular spring and summer trend thanks to COVID-19. Almost every weekend, there’s a new article published that features an at-home wedding whose photos have circled around social media. Start updating your wedding planning boards with inspiration from other couples who have broadcasted their party to tailor your vision.

For inspiration, this couple put on their wedding attire and danced the night away in their living room while taking cute pictures along the way.

Chat with Your Vendors

Get in touch with your wedding vendors and see if they can pivot parts of your current package to a digital experience. Ask your florist if they can drop off arrangements; ask your photographer to teach you (or a close family member) how to capture great photos, and ask your cake shop to drop off a mini cake for you and your fiancé.

This bride’s florist created an incredible design for her home.

Pick Surprises

Taking the party online means there are endless ways to make your ceremony both surprising and fun. If you’ve already booked a DJ, have them come to the virtual wedding and spin tracks throughout the party; hire a magician to do a quick set during the party or even gather a few people for a virtual flash mob (where people all do the same dance from their own locations, all at once).

This couple had their DJ join the wedding cocktail hour celebration to provide music and fun to the virtual party.

Get Other People Involved

While your bridal party won’t be walking down the aisle before you, they can still be involved in your virtual ceremony and reception. Ask some of your bridesmaids to read a speech or short poem during the ceremony, and other friends could MC the after-party.

Here’s a look at a couple who threw themselves a full-out party in their living room, filled with homemade decorations, while quite a few guests tuned in on Zoom and added to the couple’s special day.

Give it a Theme

Add a little fun to the celebration by giving it a theme. Ask guests to wear a certain color or common pattern (such as Hawaiian-themed shirts). Or, tell guests to put on their fanciest outfits for a black-tie living room celebration.

Keep Traditions

What traditions meant the most to you as you were planning your wedding? You can still include them! Even if having a father-daughter dance was something you dreamed about doing, and your father isn’t in the same room as you, perhaps you can learn a different kind of dance to do together or sing a song together instead. Keep the things that mattered the most to you and find ways to adapt them, a little bit, to work for a virtual wedding.

This New Jersey bride kept the tradition of walking down the aisle and used her staircase to make it happen.

Include Your Original Ideas

All of the planning you did for your big day doesn’t have to go to waste. Include your original ideas into the virtual wedding. If you had decided to do a signature cocktail or have a certain kind of food at the reception, send an email to guests a week before letting them know what the official food and drink of the celebration is so that they can prepare the special menu for themselves at home.

This couple improvised by using what they had to incorporate original ideas into their wedding celebration.

Stick with a Timeline

While your digital wedding might be shorter than the original party you planned, stick with a timeframe for each event. Tell guests when the ceremony will take place and how long it’s likely to last. If you’re doing a cocktail hour or reception, give them a heads up on how long the party will carry on for so that they can plan ahead and stock their Champagne.

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