Having worked as a Humanist Celebrant in Dublin and the USA for many years, I’ve come across many new and exciting trends in the wedding industry. Couples are always suggesting new, fun and innovative ways to break the mould of wedding tradition and old-fashioned etiquette. However, social distancing restrictions (due to Covid 19) have really pushed the boundaries. In recent weeks I’ve noticed a new and exciting wedding trend; Zoom Weddings! In these days of lock down everything from meetings, speed-dating, dinner parties and even weddings are going digital. Before the current pandemic the idea of virtual weddings might have seemed ludicrous.
However, I’ve just read that New York State has just legalized Zoom Weddings allowing a Celebrant to officiate from afar! The couples can apply for their legal paperwork and get married online! Could Weddings via video conferencing be the future? Currently in Ireland there are no moves to legalize online weddings but if the demand were to grow….who knows?! Would it be possible to still have a romantic, meaningful socially distanced wedding? I say, absolutely! Personally, I could easily officiate a small ceremony of 20 or 30 people while still ensuring socially distancing guidelines…although; the drinks reception might prove to be a bit trickier.
However, in terms of the ceremony itself there may be many situations where Zoom Weddings could prove very useful even after this pandemic subsides. For examples if couples still want over 100 guests but social distancing is still required due to elderly guests, couples with family overseas, military couples or even if the bride or groom is sick or incapacitated for some physical reason. I have often conducted a wedding (and many funerals) with Skype on a laptop so family members in other locations can also enjoy the proceedings.
In the meantime, many couples are opting to reduce numbers and have a bigger party once Covid 19 has passed. I do think that the idea of an actual Zoom Wedding (just like working and learning from home) will no longer be some far fetched idea. Everyone can still dress up, have drinks and still celebrate and watch a couple taking their vows from afar! I must say I’m very excited about this new trend of digital Zoom weddings. Sometimes it takes times of great stress and upheaval (as the entire world is currently experiencing) to really think outside the box and change old habits and develop new ways of celebrating love and weddings.
The Coronavirus will eventually pass but I think a new age of the Zoom Wedding might be here to stay as an additional tool for the wedding industry. Beautiful and meaningful weddings can still happen no matter what the physical or geographical limitations and we won’t have to worry about hotel rental, car hire or even the weather!