Everything You Need To Know About Virtual Wedding Receptions

Blog, Going Virtual

Many people come to us wondering what a virtual wedding reception is like. They can clearly picture the livestream of the ceremony and how that would go. But trying to picture a virtual wedding reception stirs up feelings and images of awkwardness. (We get it…we’ve all been a part of that cringeworthy Zoom meeting where people stare at each other for minutes on end.) However, in our experience….virtual wedding receptions are 100x more fun and engaging than you would imagine. In this blog post we will explore all of the different parts that make up a killer virtual wedding reception. 

Typical structure (of an American virtual wedding)

Listed below is one example of a virtual wedding reception structure. However, the order and the events that you include are completely up to you! You have 2 total hours for your ceremony and reception, so it is up to you to work with your coordinator to decide on how you want to use that time.

  • Welcome + picture slideshow + letting virtual guests in from waiting room
  • Processional + ceremony + recessional
  • Brief 10 minute intermission
  • First dance
  • Father/Daughter + Mother/Son dance
  • Group dance
  • Cake cutting
  • Toasts (in person as well as virtual)
  • Final remarks
  • Breakout rooms 

Won’t The Dancing Be Awkward?

We hear this question frequently from clients and prospective clients. They worry that dancing at their virtual wedding reception could feel awkward or like a performance in front of a lot of guests. However, hear us out on this one. Many virtual guests that have attended Wedfuly weddings share that the dancing is one of their favorite parts. They are able to witness the up close and intimate moments of your first dance and feel like they are right there with you. Additionally, the group dance gets people up and movin’ and groovin’. Virtual wedding guests share that the group dance is such a fun way to be an active participant in your wedding. (Don’t believe us–just check out the video footage below 🙂 )

The group dance is one of the most fun and engaging parts of a virtual wedding reception.
Meagan and Ashton decided to include a mashup of multiple songs to ensure that the group dance was a HIT!

Wedfuly’s Pro Tips for Ensuring The Dancing Is a Success

  • Opt for including part of the song. Whether it’s your first dance or the father/daughter dance, pick your favorite part of the song. In other words, keep it short and sweet. This way, you won’t feel awkward at minute 5 of your favorite romantic ballad.
  • Pick songs that people will know (for the group dance). This is key in getting people up off the couches and dancing around their living rooms. If you play a song that most guests know and love, they won’t be able to resist dancing along. Listed below are some songs that have had great success in the past: “I Wanna Dance With Somebody”, “Party Rock” “Shut Up And Dance” and “September”.
  • Be intentional with the version you choose. This is definitely dependent on your audience and guest list. However, we recommend listening to the song the whole way through. This way you can determine if you want to play the clean version or opt for the explicit (sorry in advance, Grandma!)
Opting to dance for part of a song (rather than the whole thing) works really well for the virtual reception.

Virtual Cake Cutting 101

Another portion of the virtual wedding reception that people wonder about is the cake cutting. While cake cutting generally takes place after dinner, a virtual wedding involves some reimagining of the timeline. We recommend that you cut your cake as part of your virtual wedding reception…even your in person guests don’t enjoy it until later. This way, your virtual guests feel a part of all of the special moments. The way that it will be structured on the Zoom is fairly simple. We will play music softly in the background as we spotlight the camera angles on you as you cut the cake. Your virtual guests will be able to leave you messages in the chat as you get white frosting smeared all over your face. Many couples even opt to send a small treat to their virtual guests, so they can enjoy that while you are eating your cake.

A key part of a successful virtual wedding reception involves reimagining the timeline.

How To Best Structure Toasts At Your Virtual Wedding 

When it comes to toasts for your virtual wedding, we think it works best to have a combination of in person toasters as well as virtual. This way both parties feel equally included in the celebration! When it is time to transition into toasts, the Wedfuly host will announce it to the virtual guests. She will instruct them to grab a celebratory beverage and get ready. **Wedfuly pro tip: consider having a computer monitor or a TV monitor on site so that you can watch the toasts on a bigger screen.

Additionally, you have two options when it comes to how you want to set up your toasters. You can have pre determined people that you know you want to speak at your wedding. (Sometimes people even have these as pre recorded toasts).  Or, you can have an “open floor” and leave it up to whomever would like to give a toast. However, it is important to note that if you have a lot of virtual guests this might make you run over on time. 

A combination of in person and virtual toasters work