While the idea of a virtual wedding ceremony sounds new and exciting (not to mention easier on the pocket), there is also a certain kind of sadness that comes with it.
Weddings are supposed to be joyous occasions where families of the bride and groom gather dressed to the nines in a venue that looks like Pinterest vomited all over it. It’s a privilege that the coronavirus took away from everyone along with plenty of other things. But as they say “modern problems require modern solutions” and humans have creatively stepped up to the challenge.
Wedding From Home is the new WFH
Sorry to burst the bride’s dreams but it looks like a grand ceremony won’t be possible at all this year. Even under GCQ, major cities in the Philippines still forbid mass gatherings (unless it’s for certain mañanitas). But, just like this couple, it is possible to gather only the bride and groom, their parents, an officiator, and a photographer under one roof and proceed with the ceremony. The rest of the family members and guests will have to witness it through a screen.
LOOK: Love in the time of COVID19 and quarantine!
Pinoy couple Vianka and Coby holds online wedding from home (WFH), with all their guests attending via Zoom.@ABSCBNNews @ANCALERTS pic.twitter.com/xLXiSHle0a
— Jervis Manahan (@JervisManahan) April 22, 2020
Depending on where the ceremony will be done, the couple can still have the place decorated.
One can never go wrong with hanging up warm fairy lights on the walls, dressing tables and chairs with white linen, and throwing flowers here and there. The bride and groom should also wear their wedding dress and suit for the full experience. And if things still look a bit glum, just do the ultimate Pinterest hack for anything: candles inside glass jars.
Wedding guests? Zoom and Google Meet has got your back
“The meeting was at full capacity throughout the 2 hours and 30 minutes.”
This couple in India took their traditional wedding celebration online as the country remains in lockdown as the #coronavirus outbreak rages on #IndiaFightsCOVID19 pic.twitter.com/zLVf6EbOdD
— Bloomberg QuickTake (@QuickTake) April 24, 2020
With the ease that one can only get from frequently hosting Zoom work meetings, send the special wedding link invite to select guests. To be a little bit extra and for formality’s sake, the link could be included in a posh e-vite.
To make the ceremony feel more official and less like little squares of people staring back at you, your guests could be encouraged to still dress up. How about considering going for a wacky wedding theme? You can save the usual gowns and smoky eyes for the actual church wedding in a few months.
Make use of QR codes and Lazada/Shopee links
Gift registries are sooo pre-COVID, so the modern couple should consider sending a spreadsheet with compiled links of their Lazada and Shopee wishlists. Their friends and family can just pick one, type the couple’s address, and have it delivered straight to their doorstep.
Now this is what we all call a win-win situation.
Have fun with a remote prenup photoshoot
For Filipinos, a wedding would be incomplete without a pre-nuptial shoot. Photographers have to adapt to the times and step up their game. Showbiz couple Khalil Ramos and Gabbi Garcia gave everyone a bright idea for virtual prenup photoshoots. With just a tablet, good makeup and set design, and a camera, you are all set.
It will be easier to invite performers
This NHS worker was surprised by Ellie Goulding during an online wedding ceremony with her family.
The singer secretly joined the video call to perform for the couple’s first dance.
Hayley works for the NHS in Bristol, and had planned to marry her partner Harvey in April. pic.twitter.com/xmoFBf6hZb
— Channel 5 News (@5_News) April 20, 2020
Just like this couple who was surprised by Ellie Goulding herself during their virtual wedding ceremony, the possibilities for wedding performers are endless. Couples can use their connections to pull some strings and actually invite the hottest OPM names. Fancy being serenaded by Ben&Ben for the first dance?
Even if the performers a couple had in mind were distant friends or family members, they can easily attend the wedding hassle-free to perform.
But you can always social distance if you manage to invite people
In some areas of the country, the rules have eased just enough to allow more attendees. Provided that everyone will undergo the proper sanitation procedures, a small wedding could still technically continue, with guests practicing strict social distancing rules. But couples should remember that they can only push through with this if they are sure social distancing will be followed.
If not, virtual weddings are still the most convenient — and no one can say “I object!”, cause you’d have everyone on mute anyway.
Weddings in the “new normal”
Once the government allows religious gatherings to continue, couples will have to adhere to the new normal rules of wedding ceremonies. According to the Catholic Bishop’s Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), this means wedding participants will be limited to the bride and groom, their parents, and a set of sponsors. All the other guests, unfortunately, aren’t allowed.
Legalities of online weddings
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In the Philippines, virtual weddings themselves are a bit tricky. This consultation with a lawyer revealed that for a marriage to be valid, “all parties involved should be physically present in the same location.” Unless it’s a civil wedding or a small Catholic wedding, yours might not be legally binding.
But don’t worry, like newly-wed couple Jessie Boy Bañader and Rachell Defeo who exchanged vows at a church with just 10 people — including them and the priest — couples can certainly get married at churches. They just have to know the requirements of a certain church and then ask a friend to livestream the entire ceremony for guests who couldn’t attend.
The lavish venues and posh reception are obviously to be sacrificed but really, these aren’t what weddings are all about. At the end of the day, a wedding is a ceremony that symbolizes two people’s commitment to a lifelong partnership with each other. All the other guests are simply witnesses and all the other gimmicks are fun, but just that: gimmicks.
Are you planning a virtual wedding ceremony? Share your ideas with us in the comments!