Thoughts and Tips for Including Friends and Family that can’t make it to your wedding
Including friends and family in a small wedding that can’t make it on the day of might be on your mind right now. A lot of couples are having challenges with wedding planning at the moment in the midst of a pandemic. As I think about upcoming weddings in the next year, I’m guessing overall they are probably going to be a little bit smaller.
For many reasons people aren’t going to be able to travel as much. Plans are changing. Maybe a portion of the group you had initially envisioned to be at your wedding day wont be able to make it. So how can you include them still? Here are some thoughts on how to share the day in a meaningful way with those people who can’t make it.
Live Streaming & Other Video Options
Video is a great way to share the ceremony live with people who can’t make it on the day of, or re-live the moment later on with friends and family. If you’re working with a videographer they might be able to set up live streaming for you. Ask them. If you’re doing it yourself you’ll have to think about some logistical details.
Live Streaming Logistics
Off Beat Bride put together a super helpful article about this. They explain the steps and tech you’ll need in a very succinct way. Check out the live streaming article here: https://offbeatbride.com/live-steaming-your-wedding/
Including Friends and Family in a Small Wedding by Sharing the Video at a Post Reception
Some couples are opting for getting married with a very small group or just themselves and then doing a post reception much later on. One idea from a couple was to do a 1 year anniversary party/reception.
If you’re able to have a videographer for your wedding day, this might be the perfect time to share it. Highlight videos can be around 6-10 minutes in length. That would be a great way to share with your friends and family who weren’t able to make it. And a fun way to relive the day with all of them and celebrate together.
Including Friends and Family in Other Ways on the Wedding Day
Wedding Wire put an article together about ideas on how to include family in your elopement. When they wrote it, they probably didn’t have a pandemic in mind. But they do have some good tips. Things like incorporating friends and family into the details and/or planning stages. Or connecting on the day of with a “first look” while getting ready. Or even doing a group chat at some point during the day. Check out the article here: https://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/how-to-include-family-in-elopement
Including Friends and Family in a Small Wedding Through the Ceremony and Vows
The blog Intimate Weddings wrote an article a while back on how to incorporate guests into your ceremony. Some of the ideas are silly and fun like doing a musical procession. Others apply to people who might not be able to make it. They proposed having your guests write part of the ceremony for you. I love the thought of asking people to send their thoughts and wishes beforehand and then reading them during the ceremony as a fun surprise. Read more about what they have to say in the article here. https://www.intimateweddings.com/blog/8-ways-incorporate-guests-wedding-ceremony/
Ways to share your day with Friends and Family later on…
Make albums for Parents or Grandparents
A lot of photographers will give discounts for “parent albums”. They can be a copy of the album that was designed for your wedding. Parents love this stuff! My husband and I gifted albums of our wedding to each of our parents and it was a great way for them to relive the day.
Share Photos and a Personalized Note
Send those who couldn’t make it a personalized note or letter with photos from your day. They’ll appreciate being able to see how you celebrated and be included even if they couldn’t make it. You could even make a unique photo gift for some special people like wall art acrylic prints or images printed on wood. Check out photo wall display ideas from Bay Photo here. https://www.bayphoto.com/wall-displays/
I hope this gives you all some thoughts on ways you might be able to make the most of your wedding even though things are changing and some people might not be able to make it. Best of luck navigating the ever changing world of wedding planning right now. Remember you’re doing this because you two love each other and that’s the most important part. Have some fun with it in small ways. Much love to you all!