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The more the merrier! Why hybrid weddings are a good idea

Published Monday, Oct. 26th, 2020

Illustrations by Jessica Levey

Don’t give anyone an excuse to miss your wedding! Supplement a smaller in-person ceremony with an online guest list and make sure everyone you love is with you when you say “I do.”


Even if lots of friends and family can make it to your wedding in-person, it’s likely that many others won’t be as lucky. Travel restrictions, venue closures, limitations on gatherings, safety concerns and financial strain will continue to impact guest lists for months and months to come… it’s a drag but, at least for now, it’s the facts.


(Read our recent COVID-19 Wedding Officiant Survey results to see how the pandemic is affecting wedding trends.)


But don’t despair! Thanks to modern technology - surely there are times you feel like we’re living in a big budget sci-fi movie, too, right? - none of that list of regrettable b.s. has to lead to wedding day disappointment… and no one, not even your great-grandpa, 2,000 miles away, has to miss your wedding. (That is, unless you want a super private elopement with just you and your officiant, which we support too!) 


Thanks to the magical compromise of hybrid weddings, couples now have the option of hosting small, intimate in-person weddings, joined by a larger group of loving, engaged online guests. 


Hybrid weddings are the perfect solution for couples that want the intimacy and closeness of an in-person wedding, but who also understand that many relatives and friends just won’t be able to (or won’t want to) attend gatherings until after the risk of the coronavirus has been removed. 


To help these remote guests capture the full wedding day experience, even at a distance, couples can livestream not just the ceremony, but all the festive events leading up to it and any reception that follows. 





Hybrid weddings help bring families closer together even in less-than-ideal circumstances - which is what weddings are all about!


  • To make your own hybrid wedding work, you’ll need someone to keep online guests in the loop and entertained. Hire an emcee or ‘host’ to handle the virtual part of your wedding, or have a qualified friend help out. This host will greet online guests as they arrive, help them navigate the interface and controls, and interact with them the same way they would an in-person guest. This means laughing and chatting, answering questions, and showing guests different parts of the event.


  • Laptops and phones are mobile for a reason, so ask your online host or emcee to walk around the venue (with your online guests in tow) as the event gets started. This gives out-of-town guests the chance to see kitchens and living rooms being set up with food and flowers, to eavesdrop on conversations and reunions between friends, and to enjoy the behind-the-scenes excitement that your in-person guests love, too! 


  • Couples can also invite long-time friends to hang out with them remotely over FaceTime (or another video chat platform) while doing their hair or makeup. They may also choose to host a morning-of brunch date over Zoom or Skype. In this way, guests are able to participate in all the same fun pastimes that traditional weddings bring, while keeping that restaurant or take-out check small… 


  • Hybrid weddings can ease family stress as the seasons, and local safety guidelines, continue to change. And with a designated online host or emcee to make sure the ceremony stays in frame and that all your online guests can hear your vows… a hybrid wedding is anything but impersonal. 


With these ideas and tips, you make sure that everyone one you love is with you on your wedding day - pandemic or not! 

Jessica Levey
Jessica Levey

Lead Staff Writer & Illustrator

Jessica loves exploring the history and magic of ritual, the connections between people and places, and sharing true stories about love and commitment. She's an advocate for marriage equality, LGBTQ+ rights, and individuality, and is an ordained Minister with AMM. When she’s not writing or illustrating for AMM, she enjoys city hikes, fantasy novels, comics, and traveling.

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