How To Take Care of Your Virtual Wedding Guests
Although the idea of a virtual wedding was very disappointing at the beginning of the pandemic, it has gotten less so. Not only are we all getting better at using the technology that makes video chats possible, there are some creative things brides and grooms are doing to host memorable virtual wedding celebrations!
Whether you host a wedding in-person or online, taking care of guests is a vital part of any celebration. Although it seems easier to do at a traditional gathering than a virtual one, the truth is, there are many ways you can take care of your virtual wedding guests—from home—and have fun at the same time!
Send Favors in the Mail Ahead of Your Wedding
Favors are a staple at wedding celebrations, and they can easily be sent in the mail!
From custom candies inside favor boxes to cigars, flower seeds, cocoa mixes, and anything else you can imagine, almost anything can be mailed to guests inside small boxes or bubble mailers.
Send a Few Decorations
Décor is one of the things wedding guests often look forward to at traditional celebrations. It isn’t something you should skip just because you’re hosting a Zoom wedding!
Not only should you decorate the space where you’re personally getting married and celebrating, you should also consider sending along decorations that guests can use to set the mood in their homes. Consider sending a few tealight candle holders complete with tealight candles or send everyone mini flower arrangements that they can place in view of the camera.
Have Food Sent to Their Homes
Some guests may look forward to seeing how you decorate your wedding, but every guest will look forward to the food you’re serving! That’s a difficult thing to replicate with a virtual reception, but it can be done with a little creativity.
Consider having food sent to guests to enjoy during your celebration. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. You could send nonperishable appetizers or cupcakes that mimic the look of your wedding cake.
Mail Cocktail Kits
You aren’t done mailing stuff yet! Consider mailing cocktail kits so your guests can enjoy libations just as they would if they attended your celebration in person.
Feeling overwhelmed by all the stuff you want to mail? Instead of mailing everything separately, mail care packages to guests ahead of your big day that contain everything they need to celebrate your union at home.
Rethink the Pace of Your Event
Traditional in-person weddings tend to follow a certain rhythm that guests have come to expect. Virtual weddings, on the other hand, can leave guests feeling confused and frustrated. Time ticks on much more slowly in front of a computer screen than it does in person, no matter how much you plan ahead!
Rethink the pace of your event to make things more comfortable for your guests. That might mean having a shorter ceremony or breaking your reception into smaller subsets of activities (first cocktails, then snacks, then dessert, then dancing). It also might mean making each activity shorter online than it would be in person.
Build in Breaks
Guests can take breaks at any time. They are in the comfort of their own homes, after all! However, you’ll find that many guests find stepping away from the computer awkward. Make it easier by building in a few breaks.
For example, give guests a chance to take a break between the ceremony and reception, or give everyone a five minute break to grab a drink or use the restroom. If nothing else, it gives them a chance to step away from their screens and give their eyes a break, preventing eye strain.
Use Breakout Rooms
Talking with others in virtual chat rooms can be difficult, especially if you have a large guest list. Zoom can allow up to 1,000 participants!
Instead of making everyone hang out together in a large group the entire time, consider allowing breakout rooms where guests can mix and mingle with smaller groups or individuals during your event. For example, one couple who hosted a wedding with 150 guests assigned breakout rooms like they would have assigned table seating, allowing guests to mix and mingle with their "table" mates with the ability to join the bride and groom's room at any time.
Take Time to Say Hi to Each Guest
It’s expected that the bride and groom will take at least a few moments throughout their wedding day to say hi to each and every guest in attendance. Although expectations may be lower for a virtual event, it’s still important to try and thank everyone for attending in person.
You can address individuals within a group, start separate chats with your guests, or send typed messages to each one as you’re talking. Although it may take some time, your guests will appreciate it!
Allow Guests to Participate in a Memorable Way
Without the music, atmosphere, and in-person interactions, it can be very easy for your guests to forget the details of your big day. Make it a day for them to remember by finding ways for them to participate.
A few ideas include:
- Ask guests to share a physical item that reminds them of the bride or groom
- Play a game together
- Do an activity together, like painting
- Host a karaoke reception
Send Formal Thank You Notes to Every Guest for Attending
No matter how many guests you have, whether you thanked them during the event, or whether they sent gifts ahead of your wedding day, you should send a formal thank you to everyone for attending.
Attending a virtual event comes with some challenge and trepidation. A little thank you can go a long way towards acknowledging the frustrations that come with a virtual celebration. It can also let the ones you love know just how much it meant to you that they attended your wedding anyway.