Getting married right now is complicated, but not impossible. While there were plenty of socially distanced weddings over the summer, there’s also the option to go entirely virtual. In this week’s episode of The Cut, host Avery Trufelman talks with one of her best friends about her upcoming nuptials. She also speaks to Wedfuly founder Caroline Creidenberg on conducting a Zoom wedding and why it may well be the best option now and after life has returned to normal.
AVERY: Long, long ago, pre-COVID, Caroline Creidenberg wanted to start a company. And she’s one of those business-minded people who’s actively looking for something to disrupt.
CAROLINE: Naïvely, I was like, Oh, I’m going to democratize the wedding industry. Let’s make this more accessible for people. Let’s somehow disrupt it.
AVERY: And as mentioned, it’s hard to upend an industry built on tradition. So Caroline started by creating a virtual wedding-planning service, and called it Wedfuly.
CAROLINE: The first iteration of what I built was an app for wedding planners. And then when I worked with them I was like, I don’t think I would want to work with them. They’re very traditional, like, “Feel this fabric; look at this napkin fold.” I was over here like, There’s something off.
AVERY: And then fast-forward to the pandemic. Wedfuly dramatically shifted its entire business model. It went from being a wedding-planning service to a service that offers complete weddings over Zoom.
CAROLINE: The next thing I knew we were getting hundreds and hundreds of people wanting to get married with Wedfuly.
AVERY: Since March, they’ve conducted over 620 weddings.
CAROLINE: We’ve done weddings in England, Spain, Italy, India. We’re doing this really cool Nigerian wedding coming up.
AVERY: Conducting a Zoom wedding isn’t just a matter of sending out a Zoom invitation. It’s about emceeing and managing an extremely tight timeline and flow of events.
CAROLINE: You have to make the event really structured, because everyone’s trying to jump in and say something.
AVERY: Caroline has the Zoom wedding down to a science, making sure that guests are muted, that grandpa can figure out the link. Wedfuly is also doing all the troubleshooting with AV and sound, switching camera angles. It’s a whole lot of stuff, and together it all works.
CAROLINE: So we’ve been able to see all these people’s reactions and see this isn’t plan B anymore. This is for sure plan A now.
Elisa Benson and Nekpen Osuan both had weddings using Caroline’s service and had positive experiences.
ELISA: Full disclosure, of course, I have nothing else to compare it to, so who knows? But it was seriously amazing.
AVERY: Elisa and her husband, Peter, got married through Wedfuly in May. It was just the two of them and an officiant, with all of their guests on Zoom.
ELISA: The thing that we keep saying to everyone is just how surprisingly awesome it was.
AVERY: Also a pandemic bride, Nekpen Osuan got married last summer in a sort of hybrid half-Zoom social-distance wedding, with a few guests in person.
NEKPEN: So all of our families were over Zoom. We had everyone else wear a mask. We didn’t wear masks. We had cake and Champagne, and that was it. There was no dancing. It was very strange.
AVERY: But weirdly enough, Nekpen also loved it.
NEKPEN: I’m not having a wedding that anyone else is going to have. My wedding is going to be very unique. And I like that. I like that, and I think that if you’re a creative person or if you find yourself wanting to be differentiated in any way, this is an interesting year to try to do that. People will just roll with it because you’re crazy enough to even have a wedding.
In an attempt to convince her friend to also go the virtual-wedding route, Trufelman presents an argument for why it’s superior to a traditional experience.
AVERY: Here are five good reasons why getting married on Zoom is a way to reevaluate and reclaim the entire tradition of marriage and is therefore the perfect plan for my dear friend Hannah. One, elope without eloping. Because millennials are cheap and because millennials like having unique experiences, there was already a rise in elopement planners and elopement photographers to help you bring ten friends to Iceland for your tiny wedding. But having a wedding over Zoom means you can have that small wedding without eloping at all, maybe at a place that is significant to you that’s not some random banquet hall.
To hear more about Zoom weddings and the rest of Trufelman’s five reasons, listen below, and subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listen.