I have a confession to make…I’m not getting married. As a matter of fact I discovered long ago that I’m allergic to marriage. I break out in hives thinking about it. But if you looked at my search history you’d never know. Turns out that I’m a sucker for a happy ending. And a wedding is the ultimate triumph of hope over data. You stand up and declare to the world: THIS ONE. We’re family and we’re going to ride out the storms of life together. We’ll laugh and love. You make me smile when I see that light in your eyes. You’re mine forever, and I’ll be yours. THIS ONE is the one I need, the one I adore.
Google happily throws up rings and dresses, brides and their stories in my feed. And I can’t help it, I follow those bread crumbs. Click on the link and there’s an instant shot of someone else’s joy along with the voyeurisms. You get to see what people decided was important on one of the most memorable days of a lifetime. Did the go all out on flowers and the venue reminded you of a fairy bower? Or did they go simple and beautiful in the back yard?
The pandemic has thrown a lot of kinks into wedding plans. The folks getting married are paring it down to what is essential to them. And that actually makes for better weddings, in my opinion. The couples getting married right now really WANT to be doing it. They are marrying without the major trappings of the Hollywood dream. There’s no large crowds cheering them on, there’s no being a star for the day. Instead people are exploring different and fun ways to make meaning, make their wedding perfectly personal, social distance style.
Just Zoom The I Do’s
Wedding threads on Reddit and wedding message boards are full of people using streaming tech to bring their families closer together. Weddings are being zoomed, livestreamed, uploaded to youtube …you name a video chat service and someone is using it to watch an I do. There’s something slightly work-meeting feeling about video streaming the ceremony though, so couples are looking at ways to make it more connected. Perhaps they ask everyone to raise a margarita instead of heading to the Mexican Riviera as planned. Or maybe you’re thinking about sending everyone wedding cupcakes to eat during the cake cutting ceremony. Whatever your adjusted dream ceremony is, there are now wedding planners who will help you make it come true.
Wedfuly has partnered with Zoom to offer full fledged packages starting at $1,200. They’ll handle all the tech and help make things easy for you. They also have an extensive list of add ons you can consider. You can break guests into virtual tables, order slide shows, have video toasts — you name it, a virtual wedding planner will help you video edit it. Just think — you can annoy your cousin long distance style by sitting her at a (virtual) cocktail table with her least-favorite Aunt.
You are not limited to Wedfuly by any means. Collective By Sachs offers an upscale experience. Their packages start at $1,350 for a basic zoom wedding, and $3,000 for a more full serviced one. Their reviews are glowing, with brides happy to have help and less stress to make it a more personalized experience. They even offer an add on for 1:1 zoom instruction for the less than techie relatives that you want to be able to share your joy with. There are other vendors of course. Simply Eloped, Modern Rebel Virtual, and Lovestream (for the DIY couple) are a few vendors you can look into.
Pre-Party Festivities? Why Not?
There are a lot of ways to make your guests feel more included in your pandemic wedding day. If you were planning a signature cocktail — why not keep it? Mixology classes are available online and through Airbnb Experiences. There are eighty-one virtual drink classes listed on Airbnb right now. There’s sure to be something that would be fun. If you want a pre-wedding event to remember why not cocktails with a drag show? Sangria and Secrets looks like a fun and memorable time.
Or perhaps you want your Bachelor Party back? A Hidden Jazz club done virtually might be just the thing. Send your friends whiskey and cigars and hang out telling outrageous stories both true and made up. It’ll be the bachelor party everyone remembers.
Gorgeous masks, Coming Up.
Brides and grooms in locales where the restrictions are less severe may be able to have a small, more intimate ceremony. But even if you can see a small number of family or friends the pandemic will tiptoe in. If you love the people in your life help them protect each other and offer a beautiful mask. This reddit thread has a bunch of ideas for masks, with brides showing them off as happily as they do any wedding favor. Etsy also has elegant, quirky, beautiful masks that will fit your wedding theme. I’ve loved seeing how people accessorize their masks, personalize them. And imagine the stories for the grandkids. Most wedding pictures look much the same. Glowing people sharing a special day. When the Covid Couples tell their stories they get to start, “It felt like the world was ending. The stores had run out of toilet paper, there were no venues opened. Our grand planned wedding was supposed to be in some heavenly resort. But I looked into your Mom’s eyes and realized I didn’t give a damn about that. All I wanted was to be her family.” Sigh. How romantic is that story?
May I present…
Just because the world is in a pandemic doesn’t mean your happily ever after has to be delayed. Those of us who are suckers for a happy ending will be cheering for your special day. No one expected to get married during a global pandemic. But if you take a deep breath and think creatively, you can have a wedding no one will forget- a pandemic love story that will be uniquely yours. I can’t wait to stumble on it in my feed and just soak up your happy. More pandemic brides please…as long as you don’t expect it to be me.
Previously published on medium
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want a deeper connection with our community, please join us as a Premium Member today.
Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS. Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.