While the current state of the world has thrown a wrench in couples' wedding plans everywhere, it doesn't have to stop couples from saying "I do" on their intended wedding date. Enter online wedding planner Wedfuly and remote conferencing service Zoom, who have partnered during this crisis to provide a virtual wedding ceremony option for couples.
On Saturday, March 28, 2020, Wedfuly and Zoom pulled off their first virtual wedding—the bride walked down the aisle with a cardboard cut-out of her father before the bride's father officiated the ceremony!—and plan on hosting many more in the weeks to come. "Wedfuly always provides creative approaches for our couples so the collaboration with Zoom was ideal for couples who wanted to keep their wedding date on schedule during these challenging times," explains Caroline Creidenberg, founder and CEO of Wedfuly.
Meet the Expert
Caroline Creidenberg is the founder and CEO of Wedfuly, an online wedding planner service. In two years, Wedfuly has helped over 400 couples plan their dream weddings.
Between Wedfuly's wedding planning expertise and Zoom's video calling technology, the partnership allows couples and guests to have an interactive wedding experience and "make the wedding still feel as authentic as possible."
What Is Wedfuly?
The first of its kind, Wedfuly is a professional online wedding planning service. "We help bridge the gap between full-service professional wedding planners and DIY planning," says Creidenberg. "We match our couples with real, professional planners and through the power of our technology, we help streamline and democratize the wedding planning process."
Couples start off by creating a profile online and then after talking with a Wedfuly team member over the phone, couples are then matched with an online wedding planner. "Couples work with the Wedfuly software and their online planner to make sure everything from the venue down to the napkin fold is planned and prepared for," she says. Plus, Wedfuly also offers day-of coordination for couples who want a planner on-site.
"In an industry where everyone and everything tends to focus on high-end, big dollar weddings, Wedfuly has made it possible for couples to receive the royal treatment of working with a full-service planner at a price point that is accessible," shares Creidenberg. Their services start at $500.
How Does A Zoom Wedding Work?
When Dustin Smith and Erin Hensley tied the knot this weekend, they did so in a ceremony officiated by the groom's father as their family and friends watched via Zoom. (To make things official, the couple signed their marriage certificate a few days before the state offices closed.)
"We created a timeline for the couple and virtual guests and we walked them through everything beforehand on the call as the couple was getting ready," explains Creidenberg. "The bride was able to stay offline the entire time." With Hensley's phone set up a tripod, the Wedfuly team controlled the virtual ceremony experience on Zoom, muting and unmuting guests throughout the ceremony and cueing them to clap when appropriate. And while couples will still need to create a wedding day timeline and corral guests, Wedfuly was still a "huge support system for the couple as they organized the call," Creidenberg adds, "The universe has already thrown these couples enough curveballs and handling the logistics of technology isn’t something we want to add to that list!"
Speaking of logistics: When marrying virtually on Zoom or otherwise, it's important that you account for your state's marriage laws, which likely require an in-person officiant and witnesses (in some states). So, before planning a virtual wedding, be sure to confirm who needs to be present to ensure that you're meeting all the requirements.
While virtual ceremonies allow guests to witness the wedding from afar, states require that the officiant be physically present to sign and complete the marriage license, along with witnesses if needed, promptly after the ceremony. For this reason, we recommend checking your state's requirements before planning a virtual wedding.
What Makes This Partnership Unique?
There's no doubt a virtual wedding ceremony is unconventional! But, when asked, Smith and Hensley say they would definitely go through the unique idea again.
"We couldn’t have asked for a better day," reflects the bride. "The whole day was so surreal but full of love at the same time. Waking up the next morning and reading all the comments from the 100+ people who shared our day at home made me tear up!"
When everyone can hug their loved ones again, the newlyweds plan on hosting a larger celebration—in person, of course. Another plus according to the bride? "I get to wear my dress twice."