Weddings, whether large or intimate, are unique celebrations. However, in times of pandemic, the focus and priority seems to have shifted from over the top events to safer options, from large physical weddings to hybrid weddings, which are essentially celebrations without limits. “Although big, bold weddings are popular in India, the idea of intimate and hybrid weddings is preferred by millennial brides and grooms as being more economical and safer, especially after the pandemic,” said Anand Shahani, co-founder and CEO of WedMeGood, a wedding planning app .
Hybrid weddings that combine personal and virtual elements have seen increasing demand. This became even more common after the second wave as couples got tired of postponing / postponing their weddings. Due to the impending third wave, a further increase in the trend is to be expected. According to Anam Zubair, Associate Director (Marketing), WeddingWire, part of The Knot Worldwide: “While there can be myriad reasons driving the demand for hybrid weddings, the most important one is safety. It enables couples to hold their wedding safely without compromising the entire guest list. “
A mixed affair
Hybrid weddings offer several advantages. Guests have the opportunity to participate regardless of their geographic location without investing a lot of time or money. “Hosts must invite close family and friends to physically attend and ensure an intimate, quality celebration. But thanks to the technology, you can also share the celebration with guests who are physically unable to attend. For virtual guests, the wedding website serves as the only online destination where they can take part in the celebrations. The virtual experience can be personalized with online ushers, a guest book and food / gift deliveries, ”emphasizes Kanika Subbiah, founder and CEO of Wedding Wishlist.
There will definitely be many who would attend intimate celebrations while the rest would join online, said Janvi Dave, founder and creative director of Janvi Dave Weddings and Events. “I think that live streaming of weddings will become a mandate in the future, considering there will always be a few guests who wouldn’t make it to the wedding. Especially at weddings in destinations where it’s usually difficult to bring the entire guest list, “she says.
Make it come true
However, planning a virtual celebration has its own set of challenges. Couples planning a hybrid wedding want to make sure that every guest is looked after. When it comes to virtual celebrations, choosing a streaming service like Zoom or YouTube is crucial, along with finding the right providers like wedding planners and caterers and a tech support team to set up the live stream and conduct technical rehearsals with guests prior to the wedding . Shahani explains: “In our experience, for a successful virtual wedding, you first have to decide on the guest list – who will take part virtually in the wedding and who will be there.” Another important aspect when planning a virtual wedding is shopping before the Wedding.
Couples and providers need to ensure that basic requirements such as a stable and reliable internet connection, live streaming facility, and a virtual guest list for electronic invitations are in place. Adds Zubair, “Also, vendors / venues can be proactive by offering couples hybrid wedding packages that can include all technical requirements such as live streaming equipment, audio-video equipment, lighting, photography, as well as physical requirements such as venue, decoration and Food and drinks. The packages can even be customized by working with gift providers to make fun arrangements for virtual guests. “
When it comes to making the virtual celebration smooth and flawless, couples need a checklist with physical and virtual guest lists (with fork), e-invitations, bespoke wedding websites, and a good network at the wedding venue, to name a few.
Dave says, “Interestingly, a few reminders should be sent to the guests, and while the live streaming is on, make sure that the guests attending the wedding online are also being addressed on a regular basis. Try to do some activities that can keep them busy and entertaining throughout the live streaming. “
Prepare for change
So far, not all wedding venues are well equipped for hybrid weddings, as this method was only introduced during the pandemic. As virtual weddings will remain, venues need to come up with innovative ideas to incorporate into their spaces and wedding packages.
Some wedding venues are starting to think about the virtual aspect of a celebration, but for the most part they don’t come with a ready-made solution to include virtual guests. Hybrid wedding accommodation is an adjustment for most venues and they would need a realignment. Subbiah notes, “To make sure they are ready for hybrid weddings, venues need to invest in fast, reliable internet. If they can provide a dedicated Wi-Fi network for the hybrid event, even better equipment for live streaming; A / V equipment such as high quality microphones, cameras, laptops, lights, plasma screens, and audio and video mixers. “From working with a trusted technology partner to deliver a seamless virtual event, to updating wedding packages to include hybrid weddings, others can Be aspects.
Meha Bhargava, Image Consultant and Wedding Stylist at Style Inc., says venues should consider the following: What is the purpose of the event (is it a pre-event or the main wedding), how many people will be attending, and when? is it planned (would you like to confirm this with your participants). Adding some suggestions for couples, she says, “When preparing for your D-Day, the most important thing is to set a budget and choose a virtual format. On the other hand, during the event, do the checklist with the wedding stylist and photographers, check event streaming, and event closure. “
There are venues that offer special services where the food served at the wedding is served to distant guests to ensure they have a healthy experience attending a wedding.