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These Lavish Virtual Weddings Are So 2020

Indonesian couples are getting the wedding of their dreams during the pandemic inside green screen studios.
translated by Jade Poa
14 May 2020, 8:25am
virtual, green screen, wedding, indonesia
Images from GM Production on YouTube.

This article originally appeared on VICE Indonesia.

The coronavirus pandemic scrapped the wedding plans of millions of couples around the world. With people on lockdown and large gatherings banned, the biggest event in some people’s lives is simply a no-go. But it looks like those who are itching to tie the knot have another option. Green screen weddings, anyone?

In Indonesia, couples have their pick from lavish wedding banquets to use as a background while guests join through a video call.

GM Productions is the company that pioneered the unconventional wedding format in Indonesia. A video it posted on social media shows how they transform a green screen room with one table — just enough for the couple and the officiator — into a fancy wedding on screen.

Couples can have IG-worthy photos without having to build and spend on the complex setups found in many traditional Indonesian weddings.

The only people allowed inside the green screen room are the bride, groom, their parents, an official from the Office of Religious Affairs, and some members of the production team. Up to 1,000 virtual guests will receive an invite link to a livestream, where they can interact with one another on the company’s personalised platform.

Guests will appear on a 3x4-metre screen in the studio and take turns talking to the couple, which is a common practice in Indonesian weddings.

To top it off, couriers will deliver souvenirs and food packages to each guest. The livestream also features a bank account number where guests can send cash gifts to the couple.

Recruiting makeup artists, emcees, and designers, GM Productions Director Yurry Apreto said he hopes to give the creative industry a much-needed boost.

“Two or three weeks ago, we were challenged to come up with a creative idea to nudge the creative industry during the pandemic. One of them was virtual weddings. It was up to us to create a solemn atmosphere and an emotional reception. Praise God, we did it. The results were amazing,” Apreto told local media.

It’s an alternative that’s sure to be popular with couples who were forced to postpone their weddings this year.

The Ministry of Religious Affairs (Kemenag) reported that the number of marriage requests they received far outweighs the number of couples who went through with a ceremony between April and May. Kemenag spokesperson Anwar Saadi said 2,743 couples got married during the period but 15,651 had submitted marriage requests.

To make it easier for couples to get married, the ministry has set up an online portal for marriage requests and scrapped the Marriage Preparedness Certificate that is a requirement in some cities.

Coronavirus: 0, true love: 1.