Digital Wedding Bells

wedding rings

When the world is staying at home, and your wedding officiant is across the country fearful of traveling through airports and in planes, the only option left is to move the wedding online.

After canceling our wedding two weeks ago because of the growing spread of the COVID-19 virus, we have been working through the details of moving the wedding online. Yesterday we met in a video conference with our wedding officiant, who spent the winter in Puerto Rico working on a farm. She is concerned about flying home and the risk of being infected with the COVID-19 virus. We all agreed that it is safer for her to stay put and to expand our growing number of readers and now our officiant to a 100% digital wedding.

Our concept is to have all the speakers and readers participate by Zoom. Separately we will have a second computer/camera setup live streaming the entire event to our friends and family on YouTube Live. Given the complexity of this as well as the technical challenge, even though the wedding is a month away, we will test out all the moving pieces this Saturday to see if it is doable.

Lastly, if this was not complex enough, we are unsure how Maryland law would treat an officiant not being physically present. So, we have made arrangments to be married on the morning of our wedding day by another officiant who will perform a short ceremony in our driveway and marry us. This legal wedding ceremony will be followed by a full wedding ceremony, with our chosen officiant, readers, family, and friends an hour later for a 100% online wedding. The online wedding will be followed by us cutting the cake and then inviting our guests to join us on Zoom video conferencing for a virtual wedding reception.

Who would have thought in this period of social isolation and six feet of distance between people that we would ever need to move our wedding to a virtual experience? But here we are. I suspect it will feel strange to get dressed in our beautiful wedding suits and ties, all picked for the occasion, and to have only my fiance and me in the house. Our four readers and our officiant will be remote in their homes. Our guests will be secluded in their homes.

The more, the merrier! Today my partner and I talked about expanding our original invitation list. Because there is no longer a cost to this online extravaganza, we can live stream our wedding to a slightly larger group of friends. And since everyone we know is home in isolation, it could make it an enjoyable and different event in this strange period that we are living through.

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