How to hold a wedding in a pandemic

WITH the capital and its nearby provinces under Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine until Sept. 7, and with continuing uncertainty over whether there will be further hard lockdowns in the future, it’s getting harder to celebrate anything. Still, finding true love and binding it with a ceremony is always a cause for celebration, despite restrictions on physical gatherings. So, Themes & Motifs, an events planning company specializing in weddings, gave tips to make online celebrations special.

On Aug. 28, Sharon Fabian, Themes & Motifs managing director, together with Ronna Bonifacio, editor-in-chief of the events company’s magazine Inspirations.ph, presented “Lockdown Love: How to Give Your Online Guests a Special Wedding Experience” over Facebook Live.

“It’s as if they feel that they are there with you,” said Ms. Bonifacio, citing the goal of a successful online celebration.

Here were some of their tips:

• CREATE A FACEBOOK GROUP AND CONTENT PLAN

“I know couples have used Facebook Groups even before the rise of intimate weddings,” said Ms. Bonifacio, it is particularly useful nowadays. Here, one can post wedding countdowns that have information about the couple, announcements, dressing guidelines, and other information. One can also post videos and photos, which she noted, “are things we normally have in the reception.” Ms. Fabian said meanwhile, “This can be your community and support group through this difficult time,” with Ms. Bonifacio adding that, “It’s easier for us to create a Facebook group than it is to create a wedding website.”

• BE OPEN TO PRE-WEDDING PARTIES

Friends and family used to throw bridal showers or stag parties, but due to pandemic restrictions, these might be going out of fashion. Ms. Bonifacio said, “Gatherings right now are not allowed, but we’ve seen so many fun Zoom bridal showers.” For these, Ms. Bonifacio says one can have an e-numan (a drinking session online), or play online or trivia games with the rest of the party.

• SEND ONLINE GUESTS BOXED MEALS OR TREATS

While online weddings don’t actually require food, Ms. Bonifacio says, “They’ll feel not just that they were there at your wedding. It’s really just a personal touch; being able to reach out and say ‘thank you so much for making time.’” One of their suggestions was Bizoom by caterer Bizu, which even has vegan offerings (as well as their classics, namely the roast beef and the salmon). Ms. Fabian added that due to the online nature of the celebrations, “You can have as many guests as you want,” citing a wedding they did recently with 170 online guests enjoying 170 packed meals (impossible in real life under IATF pandemic guidelines).

• CONSIDER PRE-RECORDING SPEECHES

Speeches from family and the bride and groom are still the norm for weddings, but both suggest that to smooth over technical glitches, and prevent program interruptions, all parties with speeches can send a recording instead.

• DON’T UNDERESTIMATE VENUE TRANSFORMATION

Because one might discount celebrating physically anyway, one might think that the traditional flowers and swags of fabric can be dispensed with. “It’s good also to invest in decor,” said Ms. Fabian. “That sets the tone for your celebration.”

She suggests having a focal point in the venue (it could be a house, or, in one of her clients’ cases, a warehouse) that can be a backdrop for the wedding reception program. — JLG

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