The guest list for your wedding is something you’ve curated carefully. People are on the list because you really want them to be there; they are your dearest family and friends, and those friends are more like family, so it’s understandable that you will want to include them to celebrate this once-in-a-lifetime joyous and emotional moment with you.

Before Covid-19, there were many reasons why guests were unable to attend a wedding but since this world-wide pandemic struck, it’s been even more important than ever to feel connected, especially if we can’t be there in person.

So, what can you do if they can’t?


Live-streaming your ceremony is a no-brainer; I’m not even counting that in my list of five.  But here’s a couple of tips anyway, especially if you are doing it yourself:

  • mount your device on a tripod so your virtual guests don’t get motion sickness and; 
  • let your celebrant know that you will be live-streaming your ceremony for your virtual guests so that they will ‘talk to the camera’ as well; this will ensure that those guests feel that they’re as much a part of your ceremony as possible.  

There are many live-streaming services available for weddings for a more professional outcome.

Photos of each Guest

Imagine the impact of having all your guests represented in these photographs; it would be very moving and emotional.  This photo was taken in April 2020 during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic in San Francisco by an award winning photographer named Vicens Forns .  To date, it has been shared over 39000 times which speaks volumes in itself.


Make them life-sized

If you have a sense of humour and a bit of a quirky personality, you could opt for life-sized cut-outs of your ‘missing’ guests. That way, you can have photos taken with the absentees and send them a copy later.


Special delivery

Make sure those special people really do know how much you wish they were with you by arranging for a small wedding cake and some flowers to be delivered to their door on the day.

Perhaps you could order a button hole for dad or grandad and a corsage or a small bouquet for mum or grandma.

You could even ask a local chef to replicate your wedding meal and have that delivered to their door.

Deliver a reading or a speech

You could also ask your significant virtual guests to deliver a reading, a performance, a speech or a message at either your ceremony or your reception. This could be streamed live (a bit of a risky proposition, so I’d always back-up that plan with my next suggestion) or it could be recorded and the video played for everyone to watch.

Contribute to the Playlist

Asking guests to contribute to the playlist is a great idea. You could make your missing guests feel included by asking them to nominate a song. Have the DJ announce the contributor, make sure someone videos the announcement being made, and share this part of the reception with your virtual guests.

Hasttag It

I know, I know…many couples are choosing to have unplugged ceremonies these days, but let’s break the rules on this one just a little. A hashtag means that people can follow as photos are posted to both Facebook and to Instagram. If you ask just a couple of key people to take photos during your ceremony, and give everyone free reign during your reception, those absent guests can enjoy most of those magical moments almost as soon as they happen.

Things are looking up on the wedding front, and we here at Celebrant Connect sincerely hope that soon, interstate and international travel will be allowed again. But even when we aren’t faced with travel restrictions, sometimes people really special to us can’t attend our wedding for one reason or another. We hope that the suggestions here will give you some ways of allowing those people to be with you in other ways.

Wedding Musicians

A huge thank you to Rebecca Wright, Marriage Celebrant who submitted this blog for Celebrant Connect Australia.  Rebecca is one of our valued members and to see if she is available for your wedding, click HERE.

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Copyright | Celebrant Connect Australia 2020