A year ago, virtual weddings were almost non-existent, but now they’ve become much more commonplace. And with this new concept of virtual weddings comes some trepidation as to the etiquette—especially for the couples navigating planning these events. Here are a few virtual wedding etiquette dos and don’ts to consider as you plan your special day.
While you may not want to splurge on your wedding gown, a virtual wedding is still a special event. Choose your outfit accordingly, and wear makeup—your computer or phone camera might make you look washed out.
And if you want your virtual guests to conform to a specific dress code when they log on to watch your ceremony, then clearly communicate that to them ahead of the event date so they are prepared.
Navigating this new normal is a novelty for yourself as a couple and for your virtual guests. If you have specific ideas of how your virtual wedding ceremony plays out and the role your guests have in it, then communicate it to them as clearly and as far ahead as possible. Don’t spring a surprise theme on them and expect their cooperation at the last minute. To provide clear instructions on attire, where they can watch or participate in the ceremony, and any arrangements before or after to take into account. Remember to also include any technological instructions, too—like how to mute their audio when attending your ceremony online.
Can your guests have a plus one for your virtual wedding ceremony? Can children attend? Or is it an adults-only gathering? Can guests share the link for your wedding viewing with other family or friends? These are some of the questions you will need to address ahead of the special day. Do provide a clear understanding of how this party pans out and what, if any, are the different events, ceremonies, rituals, or other segments of the wedding that will occur that day. State which events are private and which are public, so guests are not trying to attend at the wrong time.
Just because your guests aren’t traveling to your originally planned destination wedding or are saving on those out-of-town expenses by not flying or driving over for the occasion does not mean you should alter the items on your registry. Remember to include a wide range of budgets in your registry for guests to pick and choose from. If you choose a cash-only registry, be aware that some guests might give less than what you might have expected. Most importantly, do let your guests know that their presence is the most valuable present you can ask for during these times.
As with any wedding ceremony, virtual or not, there are bound to be a few mishaps—people not following instructions as stated, technology not playing fair, or certain features not working as they should. Walkthrough your ceremony with your partner and planner or moderator for the event to ensure you have all bases covered should something turn awry. And be prepared to accept that some of your guests may not attend, may not be at the virtual wedding for the full ceremony, or may not participate to the full extent you had wished.
Given the changing landscape, more couples globally are embracing the virtual wedding concept. If you as a couple choose to proceed with a virtual wedding, then take into account these etiquette dos and don’ts, so your virtual wedding occurs flawlessly. The important factor is to ensure that this is the most memorable day of your lives, virtual or otherwise.