COVID-19 has impacted weddings and other ceremonies, but that hasn’t stopped couples from having a “the show must go on” mentality.
LynAnn and Greg Wilkins were planning on getting married at a venue in May, but that quickly changed as states started shutting down. The whole ceremony was done over Zoom video chat in early April.
“We just had our preacher Todd do it over Zoom. He was in Idaho and we were in Utah,” LynAnn Wilkins said. “On those 32 computers, we figured a total of 70 people. And then we had in our actual room present were our two witnesses and my son.”
“It was quite humorous to get everyone to turn on their mics and video so we could see people,” Greg Wilkins added.
This was their solution after COVID-19 and government regulations put things like large gatherings and travel on hold, and asked us all for social distancing.
“When they asked me to do it, I went, 'How are we going to do that’, and they said 'Zoom,'” Todd Hendricks said. He was friends with the bride and groom, and helped them connect. He later was the wedding officiant. “It was a little weird, I’m not going to lie. It was different. Obviously the first time I have ever officiated a wedding and it’s a Zoom wedding.”
LynAnn and Greg just had to set an appointment to get their marriage license, since many government buildings are closed.
“Everybody stamped it so we’re saying it's legal now. City of Logan, Cash County, we’re good,” Greg Wilkins said. Both said a remote wedding had it’s benefits.
“We were just gonna have our children there. That was the original plan,” LynAnn said. Instead, they saw dozens of their closest friends and family.
“We had people in Florida, Arkansas, all over in Utah, Montana,” Greg said. “I actually would recommend it,” LynAnn added.
“There was no big to do, no big wedding to do, not a lot of expense,” Hendricks said. “The bottom line is they got married and everybody that wanted to be there was able to be there.”
No venue. No expensive reception. No decorations. All LynAnn bought was a bouquet of flowers. Which raises the question -- are wedding planners even necessary in this scenario?
“We’re are a little worried, but I’m hopeful that as this progresses people will see the value in especially having a planner or a coordinator or hiring professionals to help them navigate all of this,” Lauren Smith, owner and planner at Hourglass Productions said.
While couples continue to postpone wedding dates, cancel venues, or skip the traditional ceremony all together, Smith said planners still have value.
“If it’s a virtual wedding, we’re still gonna make it work,” she said.
As states ease restrictions, the wedding industry faces an uncertain future because, as Greg and LynAnn’s wedding shows, there’s always a way to get the job done.
“I think that this pandemic has created a lot of ingenuity in that people are finding ways to do things that they would not have normally done,” Hendricks said.
“When life gives you COVID-19, what do you do? You have a Zoom wedding,” LynAnn said.