COVID-19 forced us into learning a new way of being. Many of us had to work and attend meetings from home. We sat in virtual classrooms and had virtual doctor’s visits. We shopped for groceries online and had them delivered to our doors. We discovered that we could also have fully cooked meals delivered. And couples discovered that they could still have their loved ones share in their wedding in spite of restrictions imposed by a global pandemic. Post-COVID, we are going to continue doing these things—by choice, not by mandate.
Caroline Creidenberg is making sure that virtual weddings continue and become a more popular option—a nice middle ground between a $30,000+ extravaganza and a sparse elopement. Caroline, founder and CEO of Wedfuly, has two degrees in computer science, one from the University of Denver and one from the Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH) in Zürich. She then worked as a software engineer for Nasdaq and a freelance Web and iOS Developer. But her ultimate goal was always to be an entrepreneur.
At first, Wedfuly was an app she built for wedding planners. That was going well until COVID essentially shut down the wedding business. With no work for wedding planners, there was no use for the app. That’s when Caroline came up with her idea of a virtual wedding business. Wedfuly partnered with the remote conferencing service, Zoom, to remove financial, geographical and health barriers to having a wedding that will fulfill any couple’s vision.
How Wedfuly Works
- All you need to know to get started is the date you want to get married. You and the Wedfuly consultant will figure out all the rest.
- Create a profile online and be matched with your own online Wedfuly wedding consultant.
- The consultant will listen to your vision and tailor your wedding accordingly. By means of the Wedfuly software, the consultant will take care of everything, such as coordinating with vendors, creating the A/V plan, arranging for any extras, and creating a timeline.
- A remote production team oversees the virtual control room (e.g., handling the spotlighting, muting and unmuting as needed), manages the live wedding production, takes care of the remote guests, and directs the on-site person.
- Wedfuly can provide an on-site person, but that’s an option. A family member or friend can arrive early to set up tripods, test the audio, and troubleshoot as directed by the remote team. It’s not a difficult job; being a “techie” is not a requirement.
Advantages of a Virtual Wedfuly Wedding
You can avoid big-ticket wedding expenses. There is no reception hall to rent, no caterer, no dance band, no extravagant displays of flowers. That’s a lot of money that can be used for things that will last longer than one day.
Those traditional weddings are stressful to plan. A virtual wedding would soothe even the most tense bridezilla or the groom who has one foot out the door if there is another late-night session over wedding bonbons.
The thought of strained encounters can cause many sleepless nights for the bridal couple: divorced parents and their new partners, No more worries about awkward encounters, such as divorced parents and new partners, conflicting religious or cultural traditions. A virtual wedding does not have to please everyone.
No Limit on Invitations
Invite five people or five hundred—all for the same price. There is no need to determine who will be less hurt not getting an invitation. (No one, by the way.) And there is no need for the often insulting B list of invitees, and no need to have to let doting parents know that their children are not invited. Heck, people can bring their pets if they want!
Best of all, those who have physical or financial challenges can attend.
Comes as You Are
Not only can the guests wear anything they want, but so can the bride and groom. Not a tux and tulle couple? The more relaxed atmosphere allows the bride and groom to be comfortable and express themselves in their clothing.
Wedfuly Encourages Personal Touches
- Send bottles of wine to your guests so they can toast you.
- Order mini cakes so they can participate in the cake cutting.
- Confetti poppers allow everyone to celebrate the couple colorfully.
- Maybe a first dance alone seems off. Mark the occasion with a first song instead. Bride and groom sing a duet and guests join in for the refrain.
- Provide white handkerchiefs so the guests can wave them during the kalamatiano, the Greek wedding dance, or a New Orleans-style second line wedding parade.
- Invite your nearest and dearest to share a brief and nice story about you.
- A really neat feature of Wedfuly is the creation of preassigned breakout rooms. Just as you would assign guests to tables, you can assign them to rooms where guests who know each other can visit. The bride and groom can stop in the rooms to chat with their guests on a more intimate level.
Wedfuly may have started out as a last resort during a pandemic, but it is here to stay, a viable option. We will see more and more wedding invitations with a reply card that says, “Will attend,” “Will attend virtually,” and “Will not attend.”