If you planned your wedding for this spring or summer but have had to change your plans due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all is not lost. Everyone is adjusting to the “new normal” so there are some things you can do to move forward with your wedding plans without having to call off the ceremony. Ensuring that your nuptials are safe will also mean that your guest list should be as small as possible, which means you likely won’t be able to have a wedding party or vendors. If you and your future spouse have decided not to postpone your wedding, here are some ways you can have a virtual ceremony and get some wonderful photos to make this special event even more memorable.

Photos With Family Heirlooms

If you have a family heirloom that you want to include in your wedding, you can display the item during your virtual ceremony. This will customize your nuptials and ensure you have a piece of your parents or grandparents there with you on your special day. Ask your relatives to mail meaningful items to you so you can display a picture of a loved one who is no longer here, wear a string of pearls that have been passed down in the family, or showcase a piece of clothing that belonged to a relative. If you live near some of your family members, you can ask them to drop the items off in your mailbox or on your porch. This allows you to have these important pieces with you as you exchange vows and you can arrange to include them in your wedding photos as well. If you have delicate items like veils or a dress that you want to wear for your wedding but are worried about the item being ruined in the mail, it’s best to save it for your vow renewal ceremony.

Photos of You Preparing For Your Wedding

You can also ask a photographer or your spouse to take pictures of you getting ready on your wedding day. Your family and friends will likely be thrilled that they can share in this part of the day with you — even if they’re just watching you add the finishing touches to your makeup, put on jewelry, or tie your tie. Taking pictures of filming a video of you preparing to say “I do” also means that you can still (virtually) get ready for the big day with your wedding party. And your loved ones can give you pointers on how to look your best for your nuptials since you likely won’t have a professional makeup artist or hairstylist. All you have to do is start a separate video chat with each of your groomsmen or bridesmaids. Turn on some music and encourage everyone to show up with a celebratory glass of champagne so you can “toast” together.

Enhancing the Livestream Wedding Experience

You can also work with a professional photographer or videographer who can record the ceremony for you so you can share the video later. Or, you can choose to live stream the wedding so your friends and family can see you exchange vows in real-time. Be sure you have your tablet, phone or laptop facing you and your fiance as you say “I do” and ask your photographer to take pictures during the ceremony at a safe distance so you can send the photos to your loved ones via email, text, or social media. Be sure to ask the photographer to take some pictures of you and your fiance right before the ceremony as well, and start the live streaming process about 15 minutes ahead of time to make sure all the right people are logged in. Free services like Zoom and Skype are ideal for a live stream wedding since you can chat with your “guests” once you tie the knot.

Finding the Right Wedding Photographer

If your state permits it, you can still hire a professional photographer to capture all the special aspects of your online wedding. You can ask your photographer to take pictures of you and your fiance on the porch of your home dressed in your wedding attire. You may also want to take some photos at a nearby park or in the backyard to keep as part of your wedding album. If you’re not sure which local photographer is right for you, search online for professionals in your area. For instance, if you live in or near Fort Lauderdale, search ‘wedding photographer in Fort Lauderdale‘ so you can see online portfolios and narrow down your choices. Remember to stay safe by asking your photographer to stay six feet away from you and your fiance. Resist the urge to ask to see the photos right away; ask your photographer to send them to you as soon as possible to maintain social distancing.

These tips are part of a new way to celebrate weddings, but you can still make the most of your day by getting a little creative.