Weddings across the globe are being postponed or cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. One American couple refused to let the COVID-19 pandemic get in the way of their nuptials.
Meryl Epstein and Mike Simmons from New York have been self-isolating in the Florida Keys since March, according to Insider.
The couple who met through a dating app used another online platform to celebrate their wedding. The couple spoke to Insider and explained what their original wedding plans were and how these were foiled.
Simmons said: “We’ve got lots of friends who are artists and performers, and the idea was to bring a bunch of those people together in our New York City wedding.
“That kinda got switched around when everything in the world changed.”
Epstein explained that the wedding was intended to be casual and non-traditional and that the couple were scouting rooftop venues in the Big Apple.
“We were looking at more of that kind of loungy vibe, looking at different rooftops and things like that. We wanted it to be very New York and very intimate,” she said.
“Obviously our plans had to shift with the current state of events right now, with COVID-19.”
On a holiday to the Florida Keys the couple decided to rather extend their stay and self-isolate from there. The money that would have gone into the wedding has been used to finance their stay. The couple also settled on hosting a virtual wedding rather than cancelling or postponing their plans.
Simmons explained: “It was a decision to kind of rethink how we were going to make this happen in 2020, and that’s when the idea started to come up that we can do it using technology.”
The couple had also discussed the idea of eloping. They experienced the best of both worlds with their virtual wedding: a destination wedding with all their family and friends.
Their virtual wedding also meant that their guest list could include 150 people, over 22 different time zones.
The couple planned every detail as meticulously as possible. The virtual wedding, which was held over Zoom, included a dress code, speeches, live music and assigned “seating”. There was also a soundcheck, rehearsals and a “social distancing photo session” with a UK-based photographer over FaceTime beforehand.
Epstein explained that planning a virtual wedding is just as stressful as the real deal.
The couple made use of Zoom’s breakout rooms as their wedding tables. Each “table” was named after a different location in New York City. The couple had guests spend time together in smaller groups in assigned rooms after the ceremony. Guests were also given the chance to join in on the bride and groom’s room.
A photographer went from each table(breakout room) taking photos and screenshots of the occasion. The couple requested that instead of gifts, their guests donate to a New York based non-profit, City Harvest, which is feeding New Yorkers in need.