5 Top Tips for creating your “next-best thing to your original wedding” ceremony.

Using the letters from COVID as an acrostic, here’s how to “up-cycle” that word to make your virtual wedding ceremony into something AMAZING !

C is for

celebration / ceremony/ celebrant-led / calling – up / getting comfy / being a collective / cake

APL Photography

Sadly for many engaged couples this year, C is also for “cancellation.” Such is the reality for brides and grooms all over the world when they have to acknowledge that their dream wedding day has had to be postponed and will need to be re-arranged.

It is my hope that plenty of couples will embrace the offer, with support from their celebrant, of having a virtual wedding – a very “modern” (and safe) approach to celebrating the original date of their special day.

Collectively, your guests can contribute massively to this celebration of your love. Why not ask them to draw a picture of themselves or send you a photo so that you can use their pictures to create the backdrop for your ceremony space – this will look wonderful for the guests and make a fantastic visual record for you too. Your guests could add messages to their pictures which would make a lovely opening scene to your ceremony.

And perhaps a talented friend would be delighted to be asked to make you a wedding cake to cut on your special day too.

O is for

overwhelming /offering/owning it / organisation /original /occasion.

Matt Nichols Photography

Understandably, this unprecedented time of uncertainty and worry has generated overwhelming feelings of disappointment and de-moralisation for many couples who have their wedding day already planned. Own those feelings. Recognise your loss. It is OK to be sad about the loss of such a hugely- important day. Then, take back some control of the upsetting situation by creating, with your celebrant, a beautiful and significant virtual wedding day to mark the occasion.

 I have no doubt that your guests would love to offer to help you in your plans for your virtual wedding. Perhaps a friend could design the new invitation or announcement to virtually send out “We (are making) Do!”, “Let’s try this one more time”, “We Still Do”, “Wedding Warm -Up”, “Mark This Day”.  Add the start time and duration of your virtual wedding  plus some advice for your guests’ preparation – dress code, having a drink ready for the toast, having your contribution ready whether that be a reading, poem, song or playing music (plus easy- access to your reading glasses, of course!)

V  is for

virtual / versatile / veil / vows / vision

APL Photography

A virtual ceremony affords you so much versatility and flexibility. No travel, more time! Once you have grasped the vision of your ceremony, decided on a theme (colour, shared interests, an era) then you can have your ceremony as simple and /or as varied as you wish to reflect your personalities, styles, and budget! Your veil can be home-made, a valued family possession covering your whole face, or a “blusher” which is a very short veil that only covers the bride’s face. Your vows could be written in secret from each other and held in a sealed envelope to be opened on the day.

I  is for

“I do” / identity / individuality / inclusive / invitations

APL Photography

Incorporate any symbolic elements to your ceremony – hand fasting, lighting a Unity Candle (perhaps all your guests could light a candle for you in their homes simultaneously) Whatever resonates with you both as individuals, and as a unique couple, you can have! Maybe you love the famous wedding recipe for good luck, “Something old, Something new, Something borrowed, Something blue, A sixpence in your shoe” or maybe you have other family traditions and heirlooms with great significance and meaning.  The other wonderful element of a virtual ceremony, of course, is that everyone can be invited and included, regardless of their place in the world. Your virtual wedding can be global or local – whichever you choose.

D is for

dress / dance party / DJ / decorations/ dedications /day of celebration

Adam Pearcy Photography

Absolutely YES! Decorate your wedding space in any which way you like – balloons, pictures, bubbles, flowers and create  a ceremony area which reflects you as a couple. Decide how you will dress for this momentous occasion, create an aisle (candles, lego bricks, flowers, champagne flutes), decide on your background, choose your music, practice your kiss for “the “ moment and always have tissues nearby! Oh yes, and D is for DON’T FORGET THE RINGS – I know of a couple who used the Haribo (other sweets are available!) sweet rings in their virtual ring exchange!

How about virtually meeting back in the evening to continue the celebration with dancing in your room of choice and sharing a ceremony playlist with all of your guests.

Whatever you choose to do in your virtual wedding ceremony, with the enthusiasm and experience of a creative celebrant to guide you through it, I know that it will be truly a WONDERFUL  occasion – a prelude, if you like, to your LIVE wedding celebration later this year or in 2021, which will gather momentum by all involved “from this day forward.”