We all know that Christmas will be different this year. And we’re all wondering whether Christmas will have the same magic if we’re not able to be with our families in the same way. As a slightly sentimental celebrant, I believe it will. You can still enjoy ceremonies, even if you’re in different parts of the world, and that’s why I’ve created some special Christmas ceremonies just for you.
Christmas Wedding Ceremonies
Christmas weddings are always magical. Wedding venues are beautifully decorated for Christmas and people come home from far and wide. And you can still experience some of that magic, with a socially distanced wedding of 25 people or less if you’re living in Ireland.
If you’re in a vulnerable group, or have relatives who are at risk, you can organise a Zoom wedding. People from all around the world can still gather to help you celebrate your love. When I deliver a Zoom ceremony, I make sure it feels as much as possible like the real thing. If love is in the air, you don’t need to be in the same room to feel it.
Christmas Memorial Ceremony
For some people, Christmas is a sad time as they remember their loved ones and that’s especially true this year. If someone you love passed away this year, you may not have been able to mourn them the way you deserved to. A Christmas memorial ceremony will allow you to mourn them, but also to celebrate your life. It will give you the space to process your emotions and hopefully let you begin healing.
Christmas Family Ceremonies
A lot of families won’t be sitting around the dinner table this Christmas, but you and your family can still come together through the magic of Zoom for a special Christmas family ceremony. You can do ceremony rituals together that help you celebrate your bond as a family.
For example, you can all pour sand at the same time, to show how your lives are intertwined. Or you can tie wishes to ribbons and pin them up in a place where you can easily see them. A family ceremony isn’t just about rituals. Why not swap funny and touching stories of Christmas past, or sing one of your favourite songs. This ceremony will help you feel you’re together, even though you’re apart.
Whether you choose to have a virtual or socially distanced ceremony, I’m looking forward to helping you make your Christmas as special as ever. You can give me a call on 087 6959799 to discuss your needs.
In the next few months, I’m going to be delivering virtual wedding ceremonies to couples via Zoom. I never imagined when I qualified that I would be officiating virtual ceremonies. And I’m sure many couples never imagined they’d be celebrating their special days on a screen either. But when it’s a straight choice between spending the day dwelling on what might have been and marking the day with joy, most people will choose joy.
If you’re choosing joy and choosing a Zoom wedding, it’s important to get one thing out of the way. It’s not going to be the same as your wedding day. That day will come, if you have a new date fixed. This ceremony is just a way to keep the dream of your wedding alive, and to remind yourselves that in these strange times, your love remains strong.
Your Zoom wedding will still be meaningful.
You can dress up in your wedding clothes. Your loved ones will be there to celebrate – from a distance. Zoom allows you to invite up to 100 people to a meeting, so you’ll have an audience. And your Zoom wedding will include all the ingredients that make a wedding ceremony special. They’ll just be modified for the virtual world.
Preparing for Your Ceremony
I know you’re probably worried about the technology and whether it will let you down. That’s why we’ll have a rehearsal before your virtual ceremony, to iron out any kinks. We’ll check your connection, your sound and your lighting. Lighting can be really tricky. You want daylight but you don’t want too much glare. A lot of problems can be solved by drawing the curtains or pegging a sheet to a window. As long as you can be seen in all your glory, that’s what matters.
Next comes the question: to record or not to record. When we’re planning your Zoom wedding, I’ll ask you if you want it recorded. If you say yes, then just before the ceremony starts, I’ll tell all your guests that the ceremony is being recorded for posterity. If they don’t want to be part of the recording, I can turn off their screens so they won’t be seen.
Virtual ceremonies are just as much about the look as about the words. Why not decorate the room where you’ll be for the ceremony just as you would dress the ceremony room in a hotel? You can also ask your guests to dress up according to a theme. One celebrant on a celebrant forum I’m part of shared her experience of officiating an Easter wedding where all the guests were asked to wear yellow.
Now, let’s talk about the day of your Zoom wedding. What will happen?
In the real world, you’d make a grand entrance, either together or alone, with your partner waiting. For your Zoom wedding, you’ll be the first ones invited to the Zoom room, and you’ll wait for your guests to join you.
All your guests will be put on mute, to cut down any background noise that might spoil the atmosphere. Only your screen will be left unmuted, because you are the heroes of the house. I’ll let your guests know that they’ll be on mute.
Readings will come across well on Zoom. You can involve one of your guests by asking them to deliver the reading. I’ll send you a selection of readings the way I would for a real-world ceremony, and then you pick one and choose someone you know will be comfortable with reading it.
You can carry out rituals online the way you would in the real world. You can light candles for a unity candle ceremony or you can do a handfasting if you have someone else in the house to tie the ribbons for you. If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, you can gather sand for a sand ceremony.
A couple of fun, low maintenance rituals you can do include blowing bubbles to make a wish and giving each other a rose as a symbol of eternal love. And everyone will see you doing the rituals. You’ll be in Gallery View on Zoom, which means all eyes will be on you.
As we’ve probably all experienced, music can be tricky on Zoom. It’s probably easier not to have music at your Zoom wedding, for copyright reasons as well as reasons of sound.
But if your professional musician is willing, you could ask them to play you a song at the start and the end of the ceremony. Or you could ask a musical member of your family to play or sing for you.
The End of The Ceremony
I’ll pronounce you married in whatever way you wish, just as I would in a real-world ceremony. Then a lovely way to round off a Zoom wedding is to ask everyone to raise a glass for you, to toast your future happiness. It’ll finish your ceremony on a festive note. I’ll then leave the meeting and let you all get on with chatting to each other, so you can keep the party going a little while longer.
If you want to find out more about how to organise a Zoom wedding, you can call me on 00 353 87 6959799 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.