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Engagement ring expert David Allen from Purely Diamonds offers tips on hosting a wedding using online streaming platforms during this difficult time. Many couples are having to postpone their weddings but where there's technology, there's a way, and guests can even get dressed up for the event.
Kirsten and Richard Groom are a good example of this. They spent 18 months planning their wedding in April 2020 but with the government's recent announcement to stop all social events including weddings, the couple decided to bring their wedding forward and live stream it. Kirsten was living in a shared house with 12 other people who all pitched in to help pull together the celebration in four days. The couple married at St Matthew's Walsall in the West Midlands, with the housemates being the only guests in attendance, and everyone else watching the service through Facebook live stream.
Live streaming a wedding is simpler than couples might initially think. All that's needed is a smartphone, laptop or tablet with a camera, a reliable group streaming app such as Skype, FaceTime, Zoom, Instagram, Facebook or HouseParty and a tripod (this isn't essential).
David offers these top tips:
*Help guests get acquainted with live streaming - Use Royal Mail to send save-the-date cards or wedding invitations. Within the invite, it's worth including instructions on how to access the live stream of your wedding and some troubleshooting tips if you think any guests might struggle with the technical aspects of it.
*Send a special wedding care package to guests ahead of the event - to make the wedding really special, send out wedding favours such as a small bottle of champagne for the toast, some wedding cake or even schedule the ingredients for the wedding breakfast to be delivered right to their door.
*Create a virtual wedding venue for the day - whilst everyone might not be able to visit a venue during the lockdown, there's nothing stopping couples from creating a virtual venue. From a private Facebook group, to a bespoke instagram hashtag, there are lots of ways to add a sense of togetherness to a virtual ceremony.
*Don't forget the sound - whilst you might think your in-built microphone is sufficient for all of your guests to hear your vows, you might need to consider some extra help in this area. If you can't get hold of additional microphones, then consider moving the camera closer when you're saying the vows.
*You can still have bridesmaids, best men and a maid-of-honour - you'll still want your closest friends and family to be part of the day, so why not ask them to be your virtual wedding party? Your best man might be working from home, but he can still write an embarrassing speech and crack jokes to keep everyone entertained! Your maid-of-honour could be in charge of finding old photos and maybe reading out a poem. Even the little ones can get involved by recording heartfelt messages to be shared during and after the ceremony.
Purely Diamonds is a British, family-run jewellers with showrooms in London and Manchester and specialises in diamond rings and jewellery. To view the collection, visit https://www.purelydiamonds.co.uk and follow them on Instagram