Some couples will be willing to delay their big day due to the coronavirus outbreak and others will find ways to forge ahead within the lockdown regulations.

“Large gatherings will likely be prohibited for some time,” points out wedding planner, Emily Lockhart. “Even when the lockdown is lifted, smaller, more intimate weddings, are likely to become the norm.”

For those who are not willing to wait, is a virtual wedding a step too far?

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To help couples make up their minds, and give you a glimpse of what the next wedding you'll be attending may look like, here are four main aspects of a virtual wedding:

Officiate online

Can this be done? Officiator Fiona Bowden from Hatches, Matches, and Dispatches says yes! 

“It can be done on the day, but the legalities would need to be followed up in person for now,” says Fiona, adding that thumbprints and the signing of documents needs to be in person. However, this could be digitised in future as well.

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Wedding moments captured virtually

Live streaming your wedding is not something entirely new. When people marry in somewhat unconventional wedding locations such as Las Vegas, to which couples typically elope, they may have had their families and friends log-on to watch the ceremony live. 

However, Graeme Brunt from Wedding Frames Film Company says he could never have forecast that live streaming a wedding would one day become a necessity.  “Some time back, we looked into this as an optional extra. It’s relatively simple if all the technical issues behave themselves!”

Graeme does point out that the most affordable and convenient way is currently to broadcast using your social media page. 

Other innovative ways include using social media hashtags and virtual photo solutions. Recently, DJ Jarryd Sunkel from KZN Wedding DJ created a virtual photo booth for his last online wedding. “As guests posted photos, I picked them up to create a collage to send onto the bride and groom later.”

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Deliver your favours

The innovation doesn’t end there. “If you apply your mind positively to the challenge, creative solutions will always bubble up,” says Charmagne Mavudzi, Volvo’s head of marketing and communications.  

“The car has always played a significant role in a wedding as the bride’s chariot. For a virtual wedding, the car could rather be used to deliver party packs and guest favours. This way, you will bring the wedding theme into each guest’s home, so that you can share in some of the same wedding experience together.”

There are innovative solutions that may be available in future. For instance, Volvo's relationship with Uber will eventually see autonomous cars on our roads, making the door-to-door delivery potentially that much more germ-free. 

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Live streamed DJ afterparty

DJs from around the world are live streaming sets from lockdown, and thousands of people get to tune in. Will virtual weddings take on a similar theme?  

DJ Jarryd Sunkeld, is already setting up hosting and service solutions to increase his bandwidth to host live parties for two hours or more.

“This will be very popular for guests from abroad who can’t attend the wedding because of Covid-19 restrictions,”  the DJ points out.  

For the past two weekends, he has played two-hour live sessions for couples who were due to get married. The bride and groom sent messages to their guests, inviting people to “tune in” with over 140 guests joining one of the sessions. 

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While digital innovation in the wedding industry is undoubtedly accelerating, much can be said for seeing your loved one getting married in the flesh.

“I don’t see virtual weddings ever replacing the real-life experience,” comments Emily. “This pandemic will pass, and the traditional wedding will return. In the interim, virtual weddings will be a short-term necessity.

"All the valuable digital solutions that are developing along the way are likely to become ‘must-haves’ for future weddings though,” she concludes.

Have you hosted or attended a virtual wedding? Tell us about it here.

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