Two weeks ago, my niece got married. Congrats to the new couple. The wedding was in Bangalore. The audience was limited and lots of safety precautions was in place.

Due to the pandemic, we could not attend the wedding. Many of our family could not attend as well.

While there was a live stream connected to a private YouTube channel, I quickly recognized that it would not be interactive. I envisioned friends and family gathered in the online world, chatting with each other or providing a running commentary.

Zoom to the rescue. My wife had a Pro subscription that we have put to good use over last six months. Zoom deserves all the kudos it can get for providing a usable, resilient service.

We had the professional livestream one one browser tab. On Zoom, I shared this tab via screen sharing so all attendees could watch the same stream in the same space. Each one didn’t need to watch the livestream all by themselves.

Then, the social dynamics took over. Lots of comments were exchanged. The Zoomers could also follow every detail of the Wedding.

On the wedding event, we used the waiting room and when a guest was admitted, the welcoming party greeted them with garlands and scented water. Just like on the ground.

The other cool thing was that due to a few phones in the wedding hall, they could join into Zoom and provide their unique perspective as well catch up. When the producer spotlighted a video (attendee) everyone would watch that by default.

We recorded the entire event on Zoom cloud so the raw recording was instantly available.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.