Real Bride Shares How to Livestream a Wedding Ceremony During COVID-19
Corey Mansfield could never have predicted figuring out how to livestream a wedding ceremony during COVID-19 when she got engaged to Glenn Moore almost a year ago. Yet, on March 20, over 70 people turned on their phones and laptops to watch the couple say “I do.” While loved ones watched from living room couches, or a fast food drive-thru, the pair vowed to support one another on life’s roller coaster ride. The private wedding ceremony was held at their church in Southern Pines, North Carolina. Afterwards, Mr. and Mrs. Moore joined a Zoom call, to celebrate with over 30 people.
Glenn and Corey met while working together at a small investment management firm, Gordon Asset Management, LLC in Durham, NC. It didn’t happen overnight, but in an office of fewer than 20 people, there were lots of chances to get to know one another. Corey and Glenn fell in love as they attended Hokie Football games, explored downtown Raleigh restaurants and worked out together. After three years of dating, they were ready to start the next chapter of their lives. While packing for a 4th of July trip to Lake Gaston, Glenn surprised Corey by getting down on one knee. Below, you’ll find Corey’s honest reaction COVID-19 postponing her reception, and how you too can livestream a wedding during the coronavirus quarantine.
Q: When and where did you originally plan on getting married?
A: We started wedding planning immediately after getting engaged. We knew we wanted our NC wedding to be in the spring of 2020 and those dates get booked quickly. We are members of the Pinehurst Country Club, and love spending time there, so we thought it would be the perfect place. We also thought our guests would really enjoy the amenities, like world class golf courses, a wonderful SPA, as well as the unique aspects of Southern Pines and Pinehurst. Originally, the ceremony was to take place March 21 at the first tee box of the #2 Course at Pinehurst. Cocktail hour and reception were to follow, on the veranda and directly inside. There were so many little details and amazing vendors I had worked with to make it a beautiful black tie wedding.
Q: What was your initial reaction to COVID-19 and how did you adjust your plans to livestream a wedding ceremony?
A: When Coronavirus first got to the U.S., we were still planning to go on with the wedding as usual. Then it started hitting closer to home and was spreading so quickly, and with friends and family planning to fly in from all over, we knew we needed to make a change. When the NC governor said no gatherings under 100 people, we reached out to our bridal party and immediate family to see if they could all just come for a ceremony on Friday, March 20, and have our scheduled rehearsal dinner be a wedding dinner. They were all able to do so and we put a note on our wedding website cancelling the reception and had our family reach out to everyone who was planning to attend.
Another issue we ran into, was that my wedding band was stuck at a jeweler in New York. They had sent their staff home on lock down and it wouldn’t arrive in time. Our wonderful local jeweler, WhitLauter, where Glenn designed my engagement ring, went above and beyond, letting me borrow a band until mine arrives. It was definitely an emotional couple weeks and the combination of everything falling through felt like a punch in the gut, so many months of planning just gone. I cried, and then got over it. The health and safety of our friends and family is our first priority.
Q: What was the solution to having your wedding cancelled by COVID-19?
A: A few days later, the government suggested gathering in groups of no more than 10 people, so we had to switch it up again. We chose to just have our parents, minister David Helms, photographer and videographer at a private ceremony at our church, First Baptist Church of Southern Pines. We made the hard decision not to include our grandmothers, due to their age and my step mom, Mari, because of a respiratory illness she has. We missed them terribly, but in the long run, it was really not worth taking the chance. Our church is closed, but they had been looking into live streaming their service on Sunday. Glenn brought up the idea and we jumped on it, reaching out to Roger Ward of Ward Productions who had set up the camera for our church and was fantastic to work with. He sent us a link that we texted out and put on our website. Our communications were a little last minute, and not everyone got the information, but we still had a great turnout. Plus, we’ll have recordings for later.
Wedding guests, big and small, gathered around screens to witness Glenn and Corey’s livestream wedding ceremony. In good spirit, many guests dressed up in formal attire. They even drank alcoholic beverages to toast the livestreamed wedding!
Q: What was the experience of livestreaming your wedding like?
A: On our end, we were just hoping people could see and hear us clearly! Unbeknownst to me, both Glenn and the minister were wearing microphones. We had a thoughtful ceremony that included some of the Bible readings we had originally planned to use. We also had our parents stand up next to us. We really wanted to be able to share the special moment with so many people we loved, and while it was hard that they weren’t there in person, we knew we would celebrate with them later. We had over 70 separate logins to the live stream, families sitting at home together, one couple was in a drive-through picking up food! It was fun to hear how people watched, and many of our friends and family dressed up in the outfits they were originally planning to wear. Afterwards we did a Zoom call with over 30 people. It was wonderful to be able to interact with so many loved ones.
Q: Are you re-booking your original wedding vendors for the future reception celebration?
A: We are still planning to have a big reception at the Pinehurst Country Club once everything calms down. We have already reached out for some dates in the fall. We hope to reschedule or re-use a lot of our vendors, like our band, or another one from EastCoast Entertainment, our florist, photographer, videographer, stationer, calligrapher, and hair and makeup. All of our vendors have been amazing to work with, helping to create and then revise our dream wedding.
We decided we won’t be doing another ceremony, just throwing a big reception celebration. We might show the ceremony video and will do special things like the dances we had planned and will cut a cake, etc. We still want it to seem wedding focused, even if it’s six months later.
Q: What advice would you give another couple facing the same challenges with COVID-19 cancelling their wedding?
A: Take a breath, cry and then move on. It really, really sucks if your wedding and honeymoon are cancelled or postponed. However, there are always options available, you adapt, which might mean your day doesn’t look like how you had planned. Work with and be kind to your vendors, many are small businesses who could be struggling with all of this as well. Remember that so many people are struggling, could be sick, or out of work. Be grateful for the small things, think of your community and how you can help out and remember the person you were planning to marry will still love you after all of this.
We are blessed to have had our family and friends be so supportive of our marriage and understanding our decision to postpone the reception. It most definitely wasn’t an easy one, but Pinehurst has been great in refunding bookings. We had been looking forward to this day for so long and while it looked very different from what we had planned, we still felt a tremendous amount of love from near and far. Glenn and I are excited to begin life as a married couple and I have a great excuse to plan another party for all of our loved ones!
Thank you Glenn and Corey for sharing your COVID-19 wedding story with Heart of NC Weddings! If you or someone you know will livestream a wedding, or has another unique solution to postponing their wedding – email us at firstname.lastname@example.org