Remember how yesterday, I was wondering if maybe we needed to start changing how we think about weddings? Well, IKEA apparently read my mind, because the new IKEA Wedding Online service will plan a virtual wedding for you. It's no less official than a big, huge, several-thousand-dollar ceremony and reception — but it's a lot more cost effective, and thanks to the magic of webcams and streaming technology, you and your guests can be scattered all over the globe. Sure, it sounds kitschy… but you guys? I kind of love it. Are virtual weddings the way of future? Maybe!
There are just two catches: First, in order for your IKEA wedding to be legally binding, the happy couple, a marriage celebrant, and two witnesses need to be in the same room during the actual ceremony (but hey, that's easier done that getting 150 people in the same room together, so don't let that deter you); and second, you have to get married in Sweden.
That aside, though, the process is incredibly simple. When you first head to the IKEA Wedding Online site, the page will ask you “where” you'd like to get married — that is, what sort of digital setting you'd like your avatars to appear in during your big, grand, wedding stream. You've got a choice of four, ranging from an edgy urban rooftop to a classic white wedding situation, so there should be something there for everyone. Then, once you give the site access to your Facebook information, it walks you through the rest of the steps: How to get married in Sweden, when you'd like your wedding to be, who you'd like to invite, and so on.
If you see any dates crossed out on the IKEA Wedding calendar, it means they're already booked; the entire month of April, for example, is already locked and loaded. But once you do manage to find and a suitable available date, go ahead and reserve it and its all yours. Guests are invited via email and Facebook, and on the big day, you'll have access to your wedding and “festive environment” for a full six hours. After the six hours are up, your wedding broadcast finishes up, making way for other happy couples to tie the knot.
But what does it actually look like? Well, everyone will tune in via the Internet — but with the help of IKEA Wedding Online, this:
If you were feeling really dedicated, you could even, I don't know, mail bridal cookies and a bottle of champagne or whatever to all your virtual guests in real life and have a toast online after you say your “I dos.” It feels a little more like it might get back to the heart of what a wedding is all about — because it's not the cake or the flowers or the venue that make a wedding. It's the people and the connection between them.
Find out more about IKEA Wedding Online at its official home on the web, and check out the promo video below. Don't forget to get yourself a bouquet to toss!