As many couples are being forced to shift their wedding plans, the Rock The House team has been adding to our services so we can help you pivot! Last week, our COO, Ryan Konikoff, and Marketing Manager, Stephanie Rose, hopped on a webcast to talk about the ways the wedding industry is changing and how we can evolve with it. Check out their chat above or read below to learn all about virtual and hybrid wedding options!
Next Steps: Postpone or Go Virtual?
Stephanie: We’re seeing everything change every single day. If you’re a couple and you have to postpone your wedding, which we’re seeing a lot of for this summer, what are the next steps in that process?
Ryan: That’s a great question, and you’re right, we’re seeing a lot of changes day by day. The rules for [social distancing in] Ohio are different than the rules for Pennsylvania, which are different than the rules in Michigan. As we’re talking to friends locally and nationally, and brides they work with throughout the country, it’s about finding what works for them, with the information we have available today and making sure we are nimble enough to pivot as different things open up.
So, the first thing we’re saying to them is “Ultimately, what are your goals?” And when we look at how they want to tell their wedding story, we want them to be able to hit most of those goals when they look back on their wedding day. Is it best for them to go virtual/digital, hybrid, or at the end of the day, is postponing a better option for them? And then doing something small for them right now because in their hearts of hearts they’ll never feel like they got what they fully wanted.
Virtual vs. Hybrid Wedding?
Stephanie: That’s great that you bring that up because every couple is different. They might want to postpone, they may want to do a Zoom commitment ceremony, or do something totally hybrid. Can you go into the difference between a virtual commitment ceremony versus a hybrid wedding?
Ryan: There are so many options out there! At the end of the day, it’s just like a regular wedding where you’re going to break it down into a series of smaller events.
You’ll look at getting ready with your bridesmaids as one event.
You’ll look at your first look with your partner as another event.
You’ll look at the ceremony as a third event.
And then some sort of reception/celebration as that fourth event.
There are so many DIY product options, like Google Hangouts and Zoom, or you can enlist professionals like us that are helping navigate the different options that are out there and streamline it for you.
Once you isolate those events and break them down… it really does open up a lot of options. There are so many DIY product options, like Google Hangouts and Zoom, or you can enlist professionals like us that are helping navigate the different options that are out there and streamline it for you. You can really accomplish almost everything you want for your special day. At the end of the day, I believe in live and I look forward to being able to have great events in person with other people. But I think, not even for the foreseeable future, but really for the rest of events, having a virtual/digital component is going to become a mainstay.
So, let’s take a ceremony, I’m going to give you a couple of different options…
The first is to do a teleconference style ceremony. When we say that, we’re talking about something like Zoom, this means there is two-way information flow. You as the presenter are presenting out and your guests can see, wave, chat, and be part of it, so you have information going both ways. For smaller functions, this tends to work really well and be a nice, simple option.
If you want to take it a step further and have a company like us get involved and assist you, we can give you something a little more produced where you’ll see different graphics come up. Maybe your maid of honor in Boston can’t join us so we’ll bring her in and she can do something like a reading or she can be a part of that ceremony for all the people that can’t be together. You’ll still get the clean, crisp look that you’d get normally. What’s great about this is you get to decide where you want your guests to see it. If you want to keep it private and use a password protected room, that’s one option. If you’re like, “Hey it’s my wedding day and I was only going to be able to invite 200, but now I want to invite 20,000,” we can help you use services to post it onto Facebook Live, LinkedIn, Twitch, ParaScope, all the different streaming platforms that are out there, as well as your own wedding website that you made on any of the larger platforms. Guests can join, they can chat and ask questions, and you can help with that 2-way information flow for them.
What’s a Drive-In Wedding?
Stephanie: I’ve heard talk of drive-in weddings becoming an option. Can you tell us a little about that?
Ryan: Totally! I love drive-ins! Growing up, it was so much fun to go to the drive-in movies! The idea of a drive-in wedding is so much fun. I was watching a stream the other day and a wedding officiant was talking about signing marriage licenses on the roof of a car for them.
[Drive-in weddings] will give people a chance to safely social distance while still feeling like they’re a part of somebody’s special event.
This will be the next progression of live events altogether. You’re going to see it in concerts, movies, and now weddings. This will give people a chance to safely social distance while still feeling like they’re a part of somebody’s special event.
We were working with a client of ours who is having a barn wedding. They said, well what if we can’t have everybody in the barn? So, we’ve drawn up plans to have a stage right outside of the barn. We’ll have the officiant and couple up there. All the guests will join from their cars. This allows them the option to see the wedding and be there in person. Guests with convertibles can have the tops down, or guests will have all the windows down, and some will even choose to sit on their cars outside. But they’ll be present in person for the ceremony.
Stephanie: I love it, it’s like a wedding tailgate!
Ryan: Totally! And we’re Clevelanders, we know how to tailgate!
How will the wedding industry change?
Stephanie: These are great suggestions, especially with these upcoming summer weddings. How do you think this will change the wedding industry as a whole?
Ryan: It’s definitely going to change the industry forever, and not even just weddings, it’s going to change live events. I don’t think we’re ever going to go back to 100% live events. We’ve been 100% live in the past, and now we’re 100% virtual. We are going to slowly start working our way back but we’re never going to go back to 100% live events.
We’re going to create a great experience for you digitally where guests don’t have to book a plane or hotel room, and the hosts don’t have to pay to have another seat at the venue or provide a meal.
This will be done for the family member who can’t travel, or the children back in the hotel room because it’s too late for them, for all these different people who still want to be a part of it. Or for weddings where there are budgetary constraints where before you had an A list and B list and some people couldn’t be invited because the couple couldn’t afford it. Well now there’s a great way to say we’d love you to be a part of our day, we’re going to have this many people live and in person. We’re going to create a great experience for you digitally where guests don’t have to book a plane or hotel room, and the hosts don’t have to pay to have another seat at the venue or provide a meal. Plus, that open bar can get pricey, and this will alleviate another cost for our couple.
Looking at the Upside
Stephanie: I love that! As much as there’s a lot of negativity in regard to how Coronavirus is changing things for us and impacting us, we’re seeing it bring together people in new, digital ways. It’s funny to think of the options we hadn’t thought of before. From my personal experience, I had so many family members in other states that couldn’t come to my wedding and I could have just live-streamed them into my wedding. I didn’t even think of it at the time.
Ryan: I think the biggest thing that will come out of this in a positive way, is that the technology has been there but I think people were scared of it. Those of us that work in the industry have been using it for years, but the idea of my mother joining on a web-stream or jumping into Zoom just wasn’t even a viable option. But all of a sudden, when it’s the only way to see her grandkids or the only way to be a part of the family Seder, then they go okay what do I have to do. And then when they realize it’s just clicking a button or two, they’re engaged with it, it becomes less scary for them. As a country, we’ve really taken that fear away from a lot of people that wanted it distanced and they’ve said okay, I can do this, and a lot of them are going to start to embrace it.
For more information on virtual and hybrid weddings, visit our website.
To try out the virtual photo booth for any special event, click here.