One of the things we had to come to terms about living abroad this year is knowing that we would have to miss a few of our good friends’ weddings. This is actually our first big wedding season year (you know, the one that 20-and-30-somethings often complain about but secretly love… “I have TEN weddings to go to just this summer alone. I’m going to be so broke from buying so many gifts but look at how popular I am!”) We don’t have ten weddings. (We’re not that cool.) Just four. But sadly we knew we had to miss them.

So, when my digitally savvy friend Christie emailed me to tell me that they were live-streaming their wedding for everyone who had to miss it, I jumped up and down (literally.) Since July, I’ve relied heavily on virtual participation to stay in touch with friends and family. Thanks to Skype and FaceTime, I can have a cup of coffee with them on their couch or be passed around during Sunday night dinners. But the idea of attending a wedding virtually? Absolutely brilliant and something I had never thought of!

Saturday rolled around, and I was so excited. I felt like I was part of Christie’s big day, just like she and her groom were for ours. Christopher and I poured a glass of wine to toast to the happy couple and powered up the live stream (or “love stream” as my phone appropriately auto-corrected it to when I put it in the calendar.)

First we saw the groom walk in with his groomsmen. Then, the bridesmaids trotted down the aisle in their gorgeous sparkly gowns. My excitement was building so much that I almost couldn’t take it–the doors opened, and I caught a glimpse of my dear friend in white. I couldn’t wait for her to get closer to the camera so that we could see her dress… the dress… the one we talked about over lunch right after she had bought it. My heart was beating fast, and I was prepared to shed a tear. And then…!

Just as Christie was making her way down the aisle my video froze. I reloaded it a few times and still couldn’t get it to work 🙁

Something I’ve learned about virtual participation–whether you’re on FaceTime, Skype, or even Livestream–is that technology can always sense the absolute worst time to freeze. Maybe you’ve got the most embarrassing facial expression and the other person has to see it for way longer than you would have liked, or perhaps your friend is telling you the big reveal to the story they’ve been teasing for the last 20 minutes and you miss it. But this one really took the (wedding) cake.

While I’m sad that technology didn’t work in our favor this time, I loved that we got to be a part of Christie’s big day in some way. And even though I didn’t get to see my sweet friend get married, I’ll always remember the time that we attended her wedding in our pajamas.

Happy marriage, Christie and Chris! Thank you for including us <3