Published: Wednesday, Mar. 9th, 2022
Virtual weddings continue to be a popular alternative to a traditional ceremony, and it’s easy to see why!
They offer a creative, fun vibe for the whole family at an affordable price, and they’re better for the environment: Friends and family can celebrate together without spending money on travel and lodging, and a virtual gathering space completely eliminates the cost of a wedding venue and most types of traditional wedding waste! (Read more about the pros and cons of virtual weddings here.)
Related: Attn Couples: Have You Considered an Eco-Friendly Wedding?
One of the most important things to keep in mind while planning a virtual ceremony is that it needs to work well on screen. Guests joining in over Zoom, Skype, or a live-stream service should be able to enjoy every sweet moment and heartfelt vow – which means they’ll need to be able to see and hear you clearly.
That’s why we recommend avoiding rituals and traditions that involve small visual elements that will be difficult to see on camera, and noisy spaces that might make it harder for guests to hear the ring or vow exchange. Outdoor rituals, such as tree planting or burying the bourbon, will also be difficult (but not impossible) to pull off virtually.
We’ve put together a list of our favorites to help you get started.
The symbolic ceremonies below allow for group participation, show up well on-screen, don’t require an officiant and couple to be in the same physical location, and convey love and excitement in the same ways traditional rituals do!
What is a unity ceremony?
A unity ceremony is a symbolic act or ritual that is added to a wedding ceremony to celebrate a couple’s commitment, love, and devotion to each other. There are dozens of popular unity rituals, and many couples create their own custom ritual to honor a shared interest or faith. Unity rituals are not required for a ceremony to be legal. Instead, they’re a popular way to create a fun, personalized wedding experience.
This classic ritual looks just as lovely on camera as it does in person, and the warm glow of candle light will soften the feel of any virtual space. Light two smaller candles at the start of the ceremony. When it’s time, use them to light a larger ‘unity candle’ with your partner, to represent the joint flame of your love and the bright days ahead.
Unity candles symbolize a bright future together and show up great on screen.
This ceremony offers something special now, and something to look forward to in the future. Before the ceremony, you and your partner will write each other a love letter and place it into a sealed envelope. During the ceremony, these envelopes are locked inside a decorative box or picture frame, to be opened and read at a later time – such as an anniversary celebration or after the birth of a child.
Ask your wedding officiant to explain the purpose of the ceremony as you place your letters in the box or frame.
Both prayer and silent meditation provide a few moving moments to reflect on the important spiritual step you’re taking together. Ask your wedding officiant to lead you and your guests in a favorite reading, or sit quietly with friends and family to feel their support and love surround you from afar.
Wedding guests can participate in group prayer and meditation from the comfort of their couch!
Including a toast in a virtual ceremony is simple – Take turns pouring each other a glass of your favorite wine, whiskey, or non-alcoholic beverage and say a few words for the future before taking a sip. Ask guests to raise their own glass to the camera, too, and include them in the fun.
Couples with green-thumbs can still get their hands dirty together during the ceremony! Modify a traditional tree planting ceremony by potting something small – such as a succulent, cactus, tomato plant, or your favorite variety of houseplant.
Become a Wedding Officiant with Our Free Online Ordination!