Sunday, November 17, 2013

Hosting a Virtual Wedding Shower - Via Skype!

I've mentioned before that I come from a big family - I am the youngest of nine children.  There are twenty nieces and nephews from my siblings and me (not counting their spouses) and, as of this date, nineteen great nieces & nephews, plus two expected in 2014.  We can't do anything small.  Especially when it involves Texas.

One of my nieces is getting married in Texas on December 21st, and most of the family won't be able to be there due to our own family obligations around the holidays.  So what's the next best thing? Hosting a virtual shower - via Skype!

After emailing details, coordinating times zones and people in two locations - Texas and West Virginia, we successfully pulled it off today (11-17-13)!  I was the hostess in WV, and my niece hosted the Texas location.  Family from Temple, Bedford & Pflugerville gathered at my niece & her fiance's home in TX, and family from Cincinnati & Dayton (OH), and Charleston, Morgantown & Huntington (WV) gathered in our home here in WV.  My son-in-law assisted with technology cords needed to link the laptop to the big screen TV, and we tested the connection the day before the event. We all sent our gifts prior to the event, and we shared time together, met our niece's fiance, and enjoyed her opening her presents throughout the virtual connection.  We each had a buffet of hors d'oeuvres and beverages, and it was a ton of fun!  Needless to say, it was a bit chaotic with lots of noise, in the WV location especially.  We are part Italian; therefore, we are loud.

Pardon the photos, as I was doing the best I could in the middle of the mayhem, and I was taking photos of the TV screen in most of these shots.
Here's a shot of the setup:  laptop on the right, big screen projection on the left.
This is the TX locale:  my sister (MOB), a niece and her baby who lives in Temple, and my niece, SB, along with her fiance, E.  The picture-in-picture (PIP) shows one subset of guests who each took some time to meet and greet the TX folks.
This photo is sweet because the niece & her baby from Temple are visiting with her mother, sister and her baby, as seen in the PIP in the lower right corner.  The two babies are just six months apart, and too many miles.  :(  Homesickness ensued immediately following Skype.
We got a virtual tour of SB and E's new home.  This is their new chalkboard countdown in their breakfast area.
And this is Sb and E's awesome dining room, with upcycled hutch and chairs nabbed from Goodwill.  The table was built by my sister's husband for the couple.  I love their colors - turquoise, cream and coffee, with a beautiful natural wood finish on the table top.  There's a mix of pattern too - chevron seats and hutch cabinet interior, and a quatrefoil print on the rug beneath the table.
Here's E, showing us the detail of the chairs, which my sister covered.
Here's E & SB, standing in front of their already decorated Christmas tree.  SB runs a dance company in Pflugerville, and one of the reasons they chose their date is due to the crazy holiday schedule of her students' performances and competitions in December.  So getting their tree up early was smart!
One last group shot before we ended the virtual party (my husband took the photo, and you can see one of my brothers-in-law on the far right - he's a scientist and wanted to see a virtual shower in action.  And because he was there, my husband felt 'saved' from being banished upstairs while all us girls had a party).

Family matters.....how do you bridge the distances with yours? ♥♥♥


Linking with:
SL's Sunday Showcase
Dwellings' Amaze Me Monday
The Scoop
A Stroll Thru Life's Inspire Me Tuesday
Savvy Southern's WOW
Common Ground's Be Inspired