Love in the Time of Corona | A Virtual Ceremony in Dubai (part two)!

Last week he heard the wonderful story of Nayan and Toni’s online wedding affirmation during lockdown. We’ve had so many enquiries from bride and grooms on how they can do the same, so we decided to catch up with their celebrant, Kerrie Low of The Birds & The Bees Celebrant, to find out how it came about, and learn all the tips you need to do the same…

Kerrie, can you tell us how this online virtual wedding first came about?

I had met Toni’s Mum when she was over from NZ so I knew how this was going to affect her being so far away. I rattled my brains as this was just the start of the crisis on a way to ‘hold a space’ for my couple on a date that was so important to them. Zoom was the answer! Terrified yet keen to make this work as an option for my couples, I set about the learning.

Instead of pretending it was their wedding, which it clearly wasn’t, I look at ways to include some of the things we had discussed and got excited about but actually wouldn’t have been incorporated into their wedding day for various reasons.

What did you incorporate to make the ceremony special and personal to them?

First of all, never has there been a time where holding hands meant so much. That simple act of taking another hand (without glove) and feeling the warmth and love between them. But also to respect self love and respect for the person you are choosing to spend your life with. We incorporated the hands into the ceremony and acknowledged not only love but a little Gujarati tradition too.

Before the couple popped their bubbles, they took part in a water ceremony. This not only signified the water they will be surrounded by on their actual wedding day but also to acknowledge the distance between them and their families right now yet blessed they can love without thirst.

Photo Credit: ERE Photography

What difficulties did you face performing an online ceremony?

I was never employed for my admin skills, I am a get out and about type of person so when I was faced with the challenges of trying to run my business from behind the desk, I realized that I had lot more to learn and fast! I am a certified Celebrant and my training provider in the UK offers support and ideas to keep us up to date on what is going on out there. They provided us a platform on which to learn new things and using Zoom is just one of them.

I do not go for the whole overly staged look or the filtered approach, so using Zoom or any live recordings freaks me out! My happy place is to be next to my couple, behind my folder – not ‘performing’ for a camera, so I did find it quite difficult, but I loved creating the feeling and words for a ceremony.

What have you learnt from this experience?

Am I nervous of the whole technology thing – yes of course, terrified at best but I love coming up with ways in which I can help my couples and I do like that real connection. Instagram was my first real “technical terror”, but I am getting to grips with this now as I appreciate the age group of my target audience uses this so much for their research.

Do you think online ceremonies will become a trend?

Do I think couples will want Zoom ceremonies? I think this is an option all Celebrants, and couples should bear this in mind during this crisis and possibly for some time after. Currently, couples are rescheduling or holding tight until the very last minute before making any decisions.

As travel may be restricted for some time, couples here may find that they still want to have their ceremony with the most intimate gathering of their closest people when permitted, and have their families/friends from around the world log in to watch from their location. Or even have their ceremony recorded and sent to them. 

The other option is that couples don’t have their ceremony per se, but an acknowledgement of the date on which they were supposed to get married; an affirmation of their intent to marry. So, if we are still in a lockdown situation with no gatherings permitted, then couples can still have a little celebration of that special date over Zoom with a completely bespoke script.

Do you have any more online ceremonies or affirmations planned?

For any of my pre-booked wedding couples I would not charge for a Zoom affirmation ceremony, as I feel this is a gift to lift their spirits during what is already a difficult time. For any new clients, yes of course I would need to make a charge for my time and creating their script as I really do invest a lot of time getting to know them and creating something unique to them.

What tips would you give a couple planning to hold a virtual wedding affirmation?

The first thing I would say if you’re using Zoom, is to be sure to press the record button so that you can look back on the ceremony. For next time I will also be sure to lighten my backdrop, although candlelight can also create a really lovely mood. Another key thing is the positioning of your laptop and space for movement, I would always be sure to rehearse this with the couple to get it right before the actual ceremony.

To discuss planning your virtual ceremony, call Kerrie Low of The Birds & The Bees Wedding Celebrant on +971 50 6857305 or visit her profile page.

The following two tabs change content below.
The girls at weddingsonline

The girls at weddingsonline

The girls from the UAE's newest wedding community with real weddings and lots of gorgeous inspiration!

Comments are closed.

Read previous post:
Memorable Moments | Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre

The 5* Le Meridien Dubai Hotel & Conference Centre is situated right at the bustling heart of Dubai but has...