This past year we all did what we could to keep life trundling along with as much normalcy as possible. This meant dressing up from the waist up as computers became our portal to the outside world. Business meetings, get-togethers with friends and family reunions were all relegated to video conferencing. Sadly this included many weddings too, as engaged couples tried to forge ahead with their lives together by inviting friends and family to join via Zoom, Skype and Facetime.
We did our best to make these remote weddings as “normal” as possible – putting on our prettiest dresses to sit at home on the couch, raising glasses of bubbles and shouting “mazel tov!” to the unblinking eye at the top of our devices.
Logging off never felt so good!
Now, as the country begins to open up, we’re starting to log off and get back to enjoying the real world in-person again. This means restaurants with friends, going shopping in-stores and – of course – attending weddings. Here are our 5 wedding experiences that are simply SO MUCH better in-person:
1) Getting dressed up (including the bottom half!)
As much as we’ve all enjoyed the simple daily comforts of athleisure wear, many of us – if not all! – are excited about having a reason to dress up again. What a feeling to be reaching into our wardrobes to pull out a favorite summer dress or crisp white button down, as opposed to the overly-familiar sweatpants and baggy t-shirt we’ve grown so accustomed to wearing this past year.
For Zoom weddings, it was about what we could get away with: we wear a nice blouse on top where we’re visible and pyjama pants under the table, out of sight from everyone…
But with a proper, in-person wedding, you’re going to want to be dazzling from head to toe. And we think getting dressed up is something you’ll really enjoy, particularly after the past year. It won’t matter whether it’s white tie & ball gowns or super-casual beach attire, because it really feels good to look great!
2) When you first see the Bride
There is a brief moment at every wedding when time seems to stop. You know it’s happening when a heavy hush suddenly descends on the celebration, quieting all noise and movement. Everyone looks one way, craning their necks around each other, breathlessly waiting for that magical moment.
This is, of course, when the blushing bride is seen for the first time – taking her initial steps down the aisle in front of all her family and friends, who share her radiant happiness.
Resplendent in white, the bride’s beauty can never be properly appreciated when viewed on a screen. You wouldn’t notice how the pink carnations in the bride’s bouquet subtly match the pink lace on the bridesmaids’ dresses or you may not see the beauty of her backless dress, because the camera is facing the wrong way.
No doubt about it, the bride’s grand entrance is a million times more impactful when you’re there to witness it in-person.
3) The Wedding Speeches
Everyone loves the speeches. From the blissfully happy groom to the tastefully hilarious best man, they bring context, levity and appreciation to the wedding.
You might say what difference does it make whether you listen to the speech on your iPad vs. being there in person. But this is like asking why bother going to watch Springstein in concert when you can just catch it on YouTube.
The wedding speakers feed off the audience, and the audience supports the speakers. A small, throwaway gag can be uproariously funny in-person; whereas an absolutely brilliant joke can get lost in the WiFi ether when it is delivered on a video conference call.
(If you’re the Groom and still working on your wedding speech, be sure to check out this article on Top Groom Speech Tips, while the Best Man would be wise to read our post on How to Write the Perfect Speech.)
4) Cocktail Hour
Everyone who goes to a wedding is there because the bride and groom want them to be a part of their very special day.
What better time to catch up with old friends or to meet new people than during the post-ceremony cocktail hour? Chatting over a signature cocktail, guests share stories and get to know each other while the newly-weds spend a quiet moment together away from the guests.
Those of us who have attended a remote ceremony can attest that the zoom version pales in comparison. The ceremony is over, but we remain online awkwardly awaiting the next phase of the wedding celebration, staring at multiple rows of equally uncomfortable guests.
Some try to start a conversation with a recognised face, but the chat is incredibly stilted, leaving everyone else twiddling their thumbs while the two friends try to catch-up. Sometimes there’s a clever wag, who makes a hilarious comment or two, other times someone forgets they’re not on mute and start yelling at their off-screen kids to stop drawing on the walls!
The cocktail hour is the perfect segue from the “serious” ceremony to the “fun” celebration with guests unwinding over something delicious and bubbly. Sadly this communal experience is not easily replicable over the internet.
5) The First Kiss
To many, the first kiss is the pinnacle of the wedding day. All the hard work and preparation has paid off, and now the happy couple can celebrate a wonderfully successful day and incredibly exciting future with one simple act of endearment. The first kiss signals the beginning of the happy couple’s new life together, as well as the start of an epic party filled with laughter, love and – probably – lots of dancing.
Everyone is over the moon: from the 5-year old nephew in his adorable seersucker suit to the beaming great-grandma absorbing every happy second.
The married couple’s first kiss is a beautiful, fantastic crescendo to the wedding, and infinitely better when witnessed by all your friends and family who are in attendance.
At the end of the day, nobody dreams of having a remote wedding. And those who chose to continue with their matrimonial plans this past year should be applauded and celebrated. However, this does not mean we cannot be excited for weddings to go back to being in-person, and creating some wonderful memories together.
About The Crystal Plaza
The Crystal Plaza is widely regarded as one of the finest wedding and event venues in the US. Based in Livingston, NJ we offer impeccable white-glove service to meet the exacting needs of our guests. Our newly renovated garden can be rented for any function that you wish to host, while abiding to all proper social distancing protocols and procedures – including weddings, birthdays, graduation parties, photo shoots, corporate gatherings, reunions and family gatherings.
Please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.