Published: Thursday, Jul. 23rd, 2020
COVID-19 is responsible for some of the newest 2020 wedding trends (introducing: the Virtual Wedding and the Minimony!), and officiants are quickly adapting so that they can help couples have meaningful wedding ceremonies despite the ongoing pandemic.
With crowd restrictions and social distancing policies putting a forcible halt to wedding plans, couples got innovative and – as most folks do – turned to the internet for a solution. Lo and behold: the Virtual Wedding!
To host a virtual wedding, couples exchange their vows while broadcasting their ceremony live (also known as livestreaming) so that their “guests” can witness the ceremony via Skype, Zoom, FaceTime, etc. from anywhere else in the world.
Important note: Few states legally permit wedding officiants to perform marriage via video conference, so the biggest concern regarding virtual ceremonies is whether or not the officiant is physically present with the couple.
Back in the day, eloping usually meant two young, headstrong lovers would run off together and get hitched without the consent of their parents. (Anyone familiar with our favorite star-cross'd pair, Romeo and Juliet?)
Now, eloping generally refers to the couple choosing to marry privately, and can be any variation of:
Nestled somewhere between an Elopement and a Microwedding is the newly dubbed Minimony: a small-scale event focusing entirely on the couple as they exchange their vows or words of commitment, incorporating a few select wedding day elements and vendors to commemorate the moment.
For example, the couple might have might have their photographer take some photos from a safe distance while they share personalized, hand-written vows in an intimate ceremony. Then, after saying I Do, they can cut into a mini version of their original wedding cake, pop some champagne, and share their first dance – with the solo photographer capturing it all.
Minimonies can be legally binding or ceremonial, and are for couples who want to keep or commemorate their original wedding date – or just feel compelled to declare their undying love and devotion and mark the occasion.
Microweddings are essentially full-fledged weddings, but on a much smaller scale and with a significantly smaller guest list. There is still a full wedding day itinerary with an officiant, ceremony, photographer, catered reception, etc., but there are only 50 attendees or less.
For some couples, this is simply a quick way to save money - by drastically cutting the guest list. For others, microweddings allow them to focus on more details and feel justified in splurging on some things since they'll be entertaining and hosting fewer guests.
Since a few states have allowed gatherings of small groups, microweddings are still an option for many couples, meaning they can still include all of their wedding must-haves in a more intimate setting – without sacrificing their ultimate vision.
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