Take advantage of technology to close the distance between you and your absentee guests.

By Nancy Mattia
July 13, 2021
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Wouldn't it be wonderful if every person you invited to your wedding said yes? But that's rarely the case, especially now, when the world is just really beginning to gain control over the COVID-19 pandemic. And even in a non-pandemic world, there will always be family and friends who would love to celebrate with you, but can't attend due to health, financial, or other personal reasons, and that's especially true when you're planning a destination event. Fortunately there are ways to make loved ones feel like they're not missing a thing. While new technology can sometimes feel intrusive, when it comes to your wedding, it delivers big time.

bride and groom holding cocktails during zoom call with virtual wedding guests

Ask for their opinions.

If you know your grandmother can't travel to your faraway wedding, involve her in the wedding planning. For example, when you're visiting the florist to choose centerpiece flowers, FaceTime Granny so she can voice her opinion. Roses or peonies? She'll be thrilled to be included in the decision.

Livestream the ceremony.

This is in real time, which means absentee guests will experience the wedding exactly when guests who are present get to. It takes some technical know-how to set it up yourself, though; if you don't think it's something you can handle, ask your photographer or videographer if they offer this service. If you're marrying in a church, find out if it livestreams Sunday mass (many do); if so, you may be able to hook up with the church's service. If you're marrying at a resort, you'll need a high-speed internet connection.

Call them on the phone.

You're used to communicating with everyone by texting, but on some occasions two people talking to each other is better. If your best friend is too pregnant to attend the wedding at a ski resort in the middle of nowhere, make sure she still feels like she's part of the fun. Call her after the welcome party or rehearsal dinner, FaceTime while you're getting ready, or catch up for a chat after the post-wedding brunch.

Create a hashtag.

Use social media to stop any absentee guest from getting a bad case of FOMO. Once you have a custom wedding hashtag, share it with everyone on the guest list. Encourage your guests in attendance to post photos and videos throughout the wedding day and include your hashtag.

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