With these unprecedented times, couples all over are feeling the need to postpone their weddings. You may have been one of the affected couples where your wedding was supposed to be in the last few months and inevitably had to postpone. Or you may be a couple who is thinking about postponing your fast-approaching wedding. Or you may be a couple who have not started your planning but are wondering if it is safe to plan your wedding.
You may be asking, should we do a virtual wedding? Should we elope? What does a Zoom wedding look like?
We get how hard all of this is. A lot goes into the planning of a wedding, which is not easy, can be stressful, and time consuming. What seems like starting all over again is a rather daunting feeling. For some of you, the “2020 year” wedding had a cosmic meaning to it.
We get it.
But think of it this way: It is not starting over, it is buying you time. Time to be able to celebrate again when it is deemed safe and sound to do so. Things may look a little different, sure, but you will still be celebrating love with your friends and family.
I will be sharing what a virtual wedding / elopement could look like. We took it upon ourselves to configure how key elements of an elopement would play a part of your special day and what this looks like with stationery. These are ideas to help inspire and create a path for you.
I also asked a couple of our friends in the industry to help with their professional perspectives. I asked a planner, a florist, and a videographer/photographer for their advice on elopements, especially in these crazy times!
What a virtual wedding / elopement could look like
So, you and your honey want to elope. Congrats! What exciting news! For some of you, you may choose to do your elopement on the 2020 date you originally chose for your wedding. You’ve talked to your planner, your photographer/videographer, your florist and vendors about the details. You’ve decided you will do a virtual elopement so that your friends and family can share in this excitement.
Now, we need to tell the world the news with stationery!
I recommend making an invitation, announcing your elopement and inviting your guests to your Zoom wedding. Make sure to include an insert card for instructions on how to work the Zoom technicals, especially for grandma and grandpa and those less technically savvy. (FYI, I am referring to Zoom for the purposes of this blog post, but the same applies to Google Meet, Skype, and any other video conferencing applications.) Your Zoom elopement invitations will keep the same formalities as that of a normal wedding invitation, with your instructions looking a lot like your Details Card.
Your response cards will serve as “well wishes” cards. Your guests will be able to write a note of love, support, advice, and joy, which can serve as beautiful keepsakes in your album later on. Other ideas could involve asking your guests to share how they met you, words of wisdom, or even a note for your time capsule. Have fun with this!
(Fun side note: historically, response cards had more writing space for guests to write an optional note for the couple. I love the idea of piggybacking on this history!)
Make sure to include an additional enclosure card to discuss the reception celebration that will follow at a later date. If you do not know when the date is, that’s okay. You can direct them to your website for the time being and follow up at a later point.
I spoke with Cat Lemus of Studio Lemus Photo & Video, who recommended that a family member or a close friend, who will be in attendance to the ceremony, be in charge of the Zoom filming. You may also consider a tripod or a platform where your computer, tablet, or phone can be propped up. Keep in mind, for video conferencing to work, you will need to have wifi or good cell phone reception. "You can choose to say I Do at the top of a mountain or in front of Union Station at sunrise, whatever makes you happy (just get a permit if needed). It’s a chance to have an intimate start to your marriage and get ridiculously beautiful wedding photos!"
On your elopement day, you can read your vows, with your friends and families watching virtually, and a few in closer proximity. Have your vows designed and printed. I have many clients who have told me they wished they had theirs printed out as they could not read their own handwriting through their tears of happiness! Take it one step further and get them framed afterwards. They will serve as words to live by every day.
Those cards that your friends and family sent you? Read them aloud for your guests to enjoy! This may prove to be a cathartic moment where you and your guests can make that long distance connection through the internet.
Just because your wedding ceremony will be intimate, does not mean that the details have to be forgotten. Flowers are a beautiful way to lighten up the whole atmosphere. According to Sarah Rovner of Calla Blue Florals, "you can highlight the areas of your elopement or virtual wedding by incorporating a few floral accents or big statement pieces in addition to your bouquet and boutonniere." Continue that joy by paying it forward and "...donate your centerpieces after that epic [ceremony] to local nursing homes or hospitals. Flowers just have a way of bringing joy and a smile to those in their presence."
I highly recommend working with an event planner, whether working on a small or large wedding. They will help you with all of the things you would not even know you needed help with. Good event planners are extremely creative problem solvers and resourceful. For example, I love what Natasha Tuccitto of Sugar Willow Events suggested "Now here's where it gets extra fun, when you get that video after editing, hold it hostage. What?! Why!? You ask. To surprise everyone at your wedding reception! Just imagine walking into your wedding reception in full wedding fabulousness to all of your family and friends with the video from your incredible elopement, the best day ever playing on a big screen." Natasha offers a complimentary initial consultation to help couples figure out what the best course of action is for their wedding celebrations.
When you are finally able to celebrate in person, with all of your friends and family, send out the reception invitations along with your response cards and any other details helpful for your guests to plan their excursions. Your guests will want an excuse to venture out and what a better excuse than to celebrate your union!
(Photo by Studio Lemus)
[Not feeling like an elopement is for you? That’s totally okay! Check out our blog post on what we recommend as your next steps here.]
I know sometimes what we originally envisioned feels like the only way. It is hard to come to grips with the reality. And it does not feel like it follows logic. But when we open ourselves to new possibilities, amazing things can transpire. I feel these are moments you cannot plan for, but naturally happen in the most sweet and surprising ways you can imagine. They suddenly jolt you to realize what’s important in life, to cherish those who support you, and to see things in a new light. Your elopement will be special. Your reception celebration will be special. It will be unforgettable and it will put love squarely in the middle.
For more elopement planning tips, during these crazy times, check out our friends here:
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So, you have made the super difficult decision to postpone your wedding in these coronavirus times. You and your fiancé have talked, you have talked to your closest friends and family, and have decided it is for the best. Collective sigh. We feel you. Now, let’s get to planning.