Are Zoom Weddings possible?
I have thought about this since March of 2020. Many Weddings and other functions were re-scheduled or canceled during the height of Covid. Contracts were revised to reflect the current state of affairs, and Weddings and other performances eventually resumed.
One particular Bride booked me 4 months prior to her Wedding. She asked me several times about the possibility of re-scheduling her Wedding if she or the Groom got sick; as well as my own substitution policy if I contracted Covid. Most Brides do not even bring up the “C” word nowadays, since this is the “new normal”.
Four days prior to this Wedding, I received an email from the Wedding Coordinator informing me that the Bride and her Daughter had tested positive for Covid. At that point, they were exploring their options and considering a Zoom Wedding. The Rabbi was leaving town for a month, so by the next day the decision was made to have a Zoom Wedding.
I could not attend the Zoom rehearsal, so I had some questions about how this was all going to flow:
- Would I be able to see the Maid of Honor, Bride and Groom process over Zoom?
- When would I start and stop the Prelude music?
- Would there be certain cues for me?
Fortunately, I was working with a great team: a tech-saavy Rabbi, Executive Director of the Synagogue (monitoring Zoom), Wedding Coordinator, and 2 Witnesses. We were all spotlighted during the appropriate times, and the Maid of Honor (Bride’s Daughter and Dog) held an iphone up so I could see the Processional.
I also put a lot of thought into my background surrounding the harp, since I was performing at my house. I arranged my harp in my studio in front of my baby grand piano, and put a nice plant and small statue to the sides. My blue gown blended well with the background.
Since this was a Jewish Wedding, the Chuppah (Wedding canopy) was erected in the Bride and Groom’s home and decorated with many flowers. Fortunately, the Bride and her Daughter had mild cases, so they were able to enjoy the day. The Groom did not have Covid, so precautions were taken to avoiding sharing the virus. The Bride looked beautiful in her Wedding gown. Everyone in the Wedding party was double masked (except the dog), the Bride and Groom had separate wine glasses, and there was not a traditional kiss. At the end of the day, it was a wonderful ceremony and the couple was able to get married.
In answer to my own question, “yes” a Zoom Wedding is possible, and can be a very beautiful experience.