A Virtual DJ, a Drone, and an All-Out Zoom Wedding

Cooper moves the camera over and shows me the dining room, which will be converted into “a mini-Mexico” cake-cutting station. We pass by their couch, which she says will “somehow get shoved into the bedroom” to clear space for a dance floor. Guests’ faces will be displayed on the living room’s 85-inch television.

A fancy Sony A7iii camera is on order—it should provide a better viewing experience—but Steuer is worried that neither it nor the cord needed to connect it will arrive in time. “It’s definitely a nonessential item to FedEx,” he says. Cooper tells Steuer, “I don’t want Zoom bombers at my wedding!” He laughs. Not on his watch! He wants his buddy’s drone to fly by for balcony shots. Cooper playfully rolls her eyes. Meanwhile, she’s trying to convince him to take a virtual dance lesson.

April 15: Call With the DJs

Rob Corrall, of Second Song, is eager to DJ/emcee his first virtual wedding. He will be live from his garage on May 5. His colleague, Ralph Bracamonte, will Zoom in for technical support. All are in agreement that Zoom is the platform of choice—everyone Zooms. But how will Corrall transition from the wedding area to the reception area? Different cameras? Separate Zoom links? Can Corrall pin the “reception” location so that guests will be able to seamlessly transition? He assures everyone he’ll figure it out.

April 16: Cooper Zooms With a Makeup Artist Friend

“Really she had to teach me from the ground up because I do so little makeup normally, and never have shown much interest in learning before,” Cooper says. She sends her friend, Dominique Desveaux, a few pictures for inspiration, but Desveaux tells her the images she sent were heavily Photoshopped and that approximating these looks would be unrealistic.

While Cooper recognizes that “a more dramatic look would have probably more impact over Zoom,” it was important to her to feel comfortable. So she opts out of heavy eyeliner and false lashes. They also go over the importance of lighting. (Cooper orders a Selfie Ring Light immediately after the Zoom session.)Courtesy of Jennifer Cooper

April 17: Bachelor Party Planning

Steuer is planning the bachelor party with Scott, who lives with Christi and their daughter, Skylar, in the apartment above. Steuer and Cooper have been sticklers about social distancing and these are the only people they see in person: Cooper has been helping Christi and Jack with childcare since Christi had to return to work as a therapist for Kaiser.

Steuer wants to play the Magic: The Gathering card game in unison with his friends and rig up cameras to peer over their decks. Scott teases him: “This is your perfect scenario. I think you’re enjoying getting married in a pandemic more than not. You love solving problems through technology.” Steuer goes through more of his ideas for distributed deck cameras, to which Scott jokes, “I think your bachelor party is going to be a complete glitchfest.’”

At one point, Steuer thinks that maybe they could use the drone to take photos of them on the balcony post-ceremony. But when the pair goes out to practice, the apartment building’s residents feel like they’re being spied on, and a frazzled neighbor storms up to the roof to protest the intrusion. (“Just wanted to say it’s a little weird,” he says.) Another neighbor splashes water up from below.

Video: Jack Scott

April 21: Facebook Live Has a Freakout

Cooper has offered herself up as a virtual wedding guinea pig and invited industry friends, wedding planners, and brides considering livestream weddings to tune in to her ceremony via Facebook Live. For some reason, Facebook Live keeps cutting out after five minutes and Steuer adds it to his list of things to troubleshoot.

April 23: A Bad Hair Day

Cooper reconnects with her makeup artist friend Desveaux. The bride-to-be tells her pal that she found an “easy” hair tutorial online, texts a picture of her failed attempt, and tears up, admitting she had “a complete meltdown” over her lack of hairstyling skills. She typically wears her hair in a ponytail or a messy bun and is trying to master a more involved updo. It came out looking like a nest. “People always say they felt the most beautiful on their wedding day, and right now I feel like that’s not how I’m going to feel at all because I can’t do my hair,” she says.

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