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Elopements and Technology

Elopements and Technology
Elopements and Technology by Irene and Co Events

Elopements and Technology: How to Incorporate Tech into Your Adventure Wedding

It’s no secret that the adventure wedding realm has been absolutely blowing up in the last few years. Everywhere you look, there’s a new couple ditching the traditional wedding and opting for something a little wilder than your average wedding.

My take on this trend as a wedding planner who’s been in the industry for nearly a decade? I adore this route if it’s a good fit for you and your partner and aligns with what you both want for your wedding day.

The main problem I see my couples run into is balancing their desire for an intimate, adventurous wedding against the desire to have their loved ones there with them on their wedding day. While there are routes you can take to blend both of these things pretty evenly, sometimes–like in the case of national park weddings–you run into some non-negotiable factors that limit how many guests can join you. So, what’s the solution for couples who want a little bit of both on their wedding day?

One word: Technology.

In this article, I’m sharing what I’ve learned about fusing tech with adventure wedding planning. After ten years in the wedding planning industry and lots of hands-on detail sorting for elopements, I’ve got plenty of ideas for soon-to-be-married couples who might want a blend of intimacy and wedding guests during their national park or adventure wedding.


Bride and groom sharing a moment during elopement

Adventure Weddings & Technology: What Couples Should Know

 

1. Blending Tech & Wedding Planning

Even though technology has technically always been a part of the wedding planning process, there’s no denying that around 2020, there was a boom in the elopement and virtual wedding trends.

Because of that rapid growth in popularity, planners like me had to get on board with virtual wedding planning quickly! In just a few years, I’ve learned a ton about wedding planning, virtual weddings, and how to fuse the two. I’ve included some of my insight below!

2. The Creation of the Zoom Wedding

A Zoom wedding is just the slang way of talking about a virtual wedding. During a Zoom wedding, you typically host your guests on a virtual platform (like Zoom!) instead of inviting them to physically join you on your wedding day.

The creation of this blend has been a pretty clutch way for couples to get the best of both worlds–intimate elopement days wherever they want in the world and an inclusive way to invite their guests to enjoy their day alongside them.

I know what you’re thinking–because guests aren’t physically present, the planning process of a Zoom elopement or Zoom wedding might be a little more streamlined. In some cases, that’s totally true. But that doesn’t mean you’re off the hook for organizing the details, either.

Best Practices for a Virtual Wedding

Not sure where to start when it comes to planning your virtual wedding or virtual elopement? Here are my top tips for organizing and planning an elopement that includes tech elements:

 

- Test tech in advance: This is my #1 tip for couples who want to lean on technology as a way to include their guests. Don’t (I repeat, don’t!) wait until the day-of to test your connection. This is especially important for couples eloping in areas that might have spotty or limited connectivity. Have someone test WiFi, HotSpot, and cell coverage for the areas you have in mind. Knowing what your options are from the start is a must!

- Use the right platform: My tried-and-true platform for virtual weddings is Zoom Pro, especially if you’re planning on including several people in a live streaming ceremony.

- Decide on live or recorded ahead of time: Once you’ve tested the ceremony spot, you’ll have an idea of what you can offer. Do you want your guests to watch your ceremony live, as it happens in real-time? Would you prefer to record it and then send it to your guests later? Make this choice ahead of time so you can plan accordingly.

- Hire vendors to help: While you can technically do anything on your own (even plan a Zoom wedding!), it does help to hire vendors along the way to make things easier. Obviously, a wedding planner can be a major stress reliever, but you might also want to hire someone to handle all the technical aspects of the Zoom stream on the day of your wedding. They can be in charge of recording, live-streaming, angles, connectivity–everything. They’ll be the designated person to handle it all so you don’t have to worry about this aspect of your day. I highly recommend interviewing a few professionals who can help provide the right equipment or come in person to tackle these things for you.

- Plan for sound: You might not automatically consider this, but you’ll have to think about sound for your ceremony! If you leave it up to a laptop mic, your guests might not be able to hear anything during your Zoom wedding. Ask yourself–is this the quality you want to provide during your wedding ceremony live stream? If not, those professionals might be the right move! You can also research more options for hooking up mics and speakers to make things more audible for your guests.

- Think about a videographer: If you’re not planning on doing a live stream but instead want to offer your guests a viewing of a recorded version, hiring a videographer to help you create a production of your day could be the right route. A little online research will show you that there are so many talented adventure videographers out there who specialize in weddings and elopements. They’ll be thrilled to hike, climb, 4x4 offroad, and adventure with you in any way–they’re all about your vision and have all the equipment and skills to make it happen.

- Avoid last-minute requests (but be prepared): Let’s face it: last-minute issues are likely to arise whenever technology is involved. Be prepared for guests who want to join last minute, a change in setup, or connectivity issues. Always have a Plan B in mind!

- Consider hiring a content creator: This is one of my favorite technology trends in the adventure wedding space over the last few years. A wedding content creator is a vendor that joins you on your wedding day and captures all the beautiful in-between and behind-the-scenes moments of your wedding day. Unlike a videographer or photographer, they’ll provide you with instant access to memories from your day, and some will even create content for your social media profiles. Above all, though, content creators can take over for you and film Instagram or Facebook lives for your guests.

 

Other Factors to Consider for a Zoom Wedding

If you’re looking to include other techy elements into your wedding day, here are a few extra ideas to keep in mind.


1. Consider Including a Variety of Vendors

Just because you’re taking a non-traditional approach to your wedding doesn’t mean you can’t include vendors in your day. Even if you’re having an epic adventure wedding and a few guests on Zoom, consider what hiring vendors like these could add to your wedding day experience:


- Adventure elopement photographers
- Adventure elopement videographers
- Makeup artists and hair stylists
- Luxury chefs
- Wedding planners
- Officiants
- Florists
- Content creators
- Rental companies

2. Don’t Forget About Permits, Licenses, & Fees


If you are saying your vows on the side of a mountain with just a photographer (and only virtual guests!), you’ll likely still need to secure the appropriate permits. This is especially true in areas like Zion National Park, Utah State Parks, or any government-owned outdoor recreation land. States like California also require permits for nature locations, downtown areas, etc.

Depending on the location you choose, a planner may be required to secure the proper permits within the right time frame. Choosing to forgo permits could lead to your wedding getting canceled and even hefty fines.


3. A Timeline to Share with Virtual Guests

Even if your wedding is just you and your partner, you’ll still want to create a timeline. This becomes especially important if you’re planning on including guests virtually. Your guests will want to know when to be prepared to be in front of their computers to take part in your wedding and likely will want to be included in the general flow of the day.

Whether you want to fuse a little tech into your adventure wedding or not, there’s only one rule for a successful wedding–do things your way! My only recommendation? Invest in a planner who can help you create, execute, and enjoy every moment of your adventurous wedding.



More from Irene + Co. Events

 

Looking for helpful tips for planning your wedding?
Listen to Irene’s new podcast: Peak Perfection Wedding Planning

 

 

 

Planning an adventure wedding in the Western US? Don't do anything else until you read the latest edition of Zion Brides magazine!

 

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