Great news for people who want to affirm their undying romantic union in the sight of friends and loved ones (and the NSA!), but who don't want to actually be in the same room with any of those jerks. A couple of companies are now offering live-streaming services specifically for weddings—which, to me, doesn't seem that different, conceptually, from hiring a photographer to capture your special day and then forcing dinner party guests to look through your stanky photo albums. In fact, it's way nicer! Because then they can just be like "Ummmm...did I see the part where you did the cake-smushing thing? Shoot, my internet was being weird."
But, of course, it wouldn't be a technological trend piece without the "TECHNOLOGY IS MAKING SNUGGLES ILLEGAL AND HUMAN TOUCH EXTINCT" brigade. Part of me feels like this whole "e-wedding" trend piece trend (writing trend pieces about trends is tres trendy) is just fodder for biddies to flap their hands over the terrifying spectre of technology systematically obliterating the good old days. What's next—a brain-ray that penetrates our memories and erases the '50s!?!!?!!? Horrors!
You guys. I'm pretty sure love will figure out a workaround. Also the '50s were pretty shitty for a lot of people. But I digress.
Here's Jen Doll at the Atlantic Wire:
The "just watch us on your laptop" offer used to be a sort of gift to your far, far away friends or elderly relatives, a kind way to let them see you do this important thing anyway, because you understand the difficulties of travel. But the online-only ask is reaching critical mass, now, as "more guests are being invited to witness nuptials virtually" because "increasingly, couples just want to share their big day with a larger audience." If all of your Facebook friends saw the ring and heard the status-update engagement story, it would be cruel to leave them in the dark on the big day. Fortunately, the e-wedding is helped along by a range of new professional wedding live-stream services, because everything having to do with a wedding gets its own (usually pricier) wedding-version of whatever commodity is required.
Yes, the Internet has finally solved the problem of how to have a "small and intimate" wedding that's also live-streamed to everyone who you might have met since kindergarten. Whether those guests want to watch or not, you're giving them the option of being a part of your big day, the chance to see your e-dos, and that's what matters. And who could begrudge a live-stream invite? It's so easy! "On the big day, guests simply go to a website and enter the login to watch the ceremony."
Eh, maybe there is something worrisome (or at least confusing) about live-streaming your nuptials like some sort of weird black-tie webinar with extra tongue-kissing. If we've moved past the era when a wedding was basically a goat-themed property exchange between warlords, and now it's just an excuse to get drunk and awkwardly two-step with your cousin Ron in the name of love, what is the point of taking the awkwardness and the Ron out of the equation? The best part of a wedding is how your Ren-Faire cubicle-mate has to sit and eat poached salmon with your Tea Party uncle while your mom's friend from yoga dances to "Poison"! And also the love stuff, or whatever. (I mainly go for the "Poison.")
I get the appeal of webcasting (wait, wedcasting!? Has anyone said that yet? COPYRIGHT SEND ME MONEY) for people who can't make the trip. And it's obviously an excellent cost-cutting measure. And I do resent having to put on a bra on a Saturday, so underpants-telecommuting 4 your luv wouldn't be so bad in the scheme of things. But all that aside, isn't it just as insulting to tell someone "sorry, you only made the online list" as it is to not invite them at all? That's not an e-mail I much feel like sending.
Bottom line, I guess: Would I be insulted if a mid-level acquaintance invited me to log into their wedding online instead of attending in person? Not really. It'd be pretty sweet, actually. I could just buy myself a cake and dance around sans pants and use my own toilet.