If 2020 is the year of nothing else, it’s the year of wedding live streams. With borders closed here there and everywhere, and guest lists growing and restricting week to week, you may just have to invite some of your guests to join you from their living rooms. Today, we’re talking about how to live stream your wedding, and we’ve got everything you need to think about to get you’re wedding on the big (or in this case, small) screen!
We’re going to take you through the two options today – hiring a professional (to be honest, always our pick when it comes to mental bandwidth saving!) and the DIY route because we’re also realists. We asked two of our cinematographer crews Monique of Dreamtree Films and Jesse of Marry Me Movies, who offer wedding live streaming services for their couples, to tune in with their expert advice!
There are so many options when it comes to choosing a professional to live stream your wedding. There are companies dedicated to bringing it to life, and there are plenty of cinematographers who offer live streaming as an add on option for your big day.
When it comes to choosing the professional option for live streaming – the benefits are aplenty, not only do you not have to worry about any element yourself (the best part, if you ask us – of hiring a pro!) but a pro will also bring their professional cameras, mics and setup. So you don’t have to spend that precious time researching and finding the right equipment yourself. With a team that has had plenty of experience, you get all the benefits – multiple camera angles, good lighting, amazing sound, all of which are so important if you want your guests to get the full experience and enjoy every moment. If your guests can’t attend your wedding don’t you want them to experience it in the best way possible – with no jittery bad camera work or dark corners where they frustratingly can’t view the important, once in a lifetime moments?
It really is a book and forget process too (which is perfect if the last thing you want to sort on your wedding day is tech) it’s a breeze! “We simply need to know the ceremony and reception location and times. Once we have a deposit, we lock the date in and you’re all set to go!” notes Jesse of Marry Me Movies. “It’s quite easy” agrees Monique of Dreamtree Films. “We film a wide shot on a tripod that’s connected to a laptop for live stream. You share a web link with anyone you’d like to. We also film with another camera to capture all the details for a keepsake film.”
Relevant, especially in the time of COVID-19, many live streaming companies, offer ceremony only streaming. Monique sharing “It’s usually best suited to capturing the ceremony only. So if you want to share the video of the other moments of your day, you can share your edited keepsake film later on”. While others will follow you around the reception and get snippets of speeches and reception festivities. You’ll generally then receive a production quality DVD or media file of the event afterwards, so you can watch it as many times as you like.
And there’s a reason choosing a pro can help your mental bandwidth, advises Monique. “As with all technology, things can go wrong, so a professional is there to ensure it all runs smoothly. You’ll get a much better result with a good quality camera and an expert in charge.”
Jesse shares “Although it’s cheaper to have uncle Bob hold his phone and live stream to Facebook, no one’s going to appreciate the sound quality, the shakiness and uncle Bob’s commentary throughout. Professional live streaming is enjoyable to watch and gives everyone at home the same emotional connection that they would have been there, or at least as close as we can get it!”
Worried your guest list is too small to warrant a live stream? There are no guest limits on live streaming – if you’re eloping, and your live streamers fall within your restricted “people” count, go for it says Jesse. “Live streams are great for all weddings, even if it’s just the couple, celebrant, photographer and us! ”
Do It Yourself
We always advocate for pros, for beautiful results, but also because it takes the mental bandwidth off of you. However, we’re also realists and know that you may not be able to get help live streaming your big day. So here’s what you need to consider if you are live streaming your own wedding.
- A laptop with a web camera, a camera connected to a computer, or a phone connected to the internet. Basically, you need something to capture it and something connected to the internet to broadcast it!
- If you want to stream from a camera other than your phone or webcam, you’re going to need the appropriate cords to connect it to your computer. You’ll also need software appropriate to connect the camera to the platform you are using.
- A microphone – not required but a brilliant idea to help your guests hear every word. Lapel microphones are the best for this.
- Lighting – if your space is dark, consider the lighting you will need to make sure everything can be seen.
- A good internet connection – hard we know! Preferably you’ll be able to use a solid wifi connection or at least a 4G connection. Make sure you can test this out beforehand.
- A tripod – Wedding ceremonies can be long and you don’t want to rely on one person to hold still for the entire duration.
- Backup batteries & power cords – make sure you have a backup plan!
Pick an app!
There are endless options to live stream your wedding. Some of them include;
Zoom – Everyone’s favourite 2020 platform! Zoom starts at $14.99 per month. This will give you the ability to run calls over 40 minutes, a private, password-protected call and the ability to record it to save later.
Facebook – Free! Facebook offers the ability to go live from your phone or computer. For privacy, you might want to start a private Facebook group and invite your guests.
Youtube – Everyone knows Youtube, so this option is an easy one! Your guests will just need your link and they can tune right in.
Vimeo – Video sharing platform Vimeo offers a pro-style platform for live streaming allowing you to broadcast in HD. There’s a bunch of features – like live chat available and the best part about it is that you can embed the live stream on your own private website! This option starts at USD$95.
Ecamm Live– Ecamm makes live streaming easy because it supports all the cool stuff like imagery on the screen, multiple camera angles, pre-roll recorded videos and even live chat. Pricing starts at USD$12/month.
Wedfuly – Wedfuly is a kind of wedding streaming handholding service, They shoot the live stream, which will be via Zoom and help your guests get their tech issues sorted. They’ll moderate the live stream (and mute noisy guests!), change the camera angles and make sure everything pops up on the screen that is meant to (right down to DJ’ing your Spotify playlist!). They’ll even compile a fun video of secret messages from your guests to you to enjoy later. Consider these guests your virtual hand-holders! Pricing starts at USD$800
Eventlive – This is an app specifically designed for weddings. It’s $50USD for an event with unlimited timing and comes with a custom, personal page for your live stream. The best part about this one is you only need to give your guests a link – no app required!
E-There – Another platform designed just for streaming events, E-There comes at £99 and allows four hours live streaming, video messages for your loved ones and more. Plus it’s all recorded so you can have your copy to share.
Whatever platform you choose, make sure you figure out the security. you don’t want random strangers dropping in at any moment.
Test Everything Together
If you can, it’s a good idea to figure out before the broadcast how things will be set up. Will the camera be at the end of the aisle? Will it be off to the side? What is the better view?
Make sure, you test the setup, you’ll need to test the internet connection (and beware, as we all know, internet at 6 am on a Wednesday is not the same as 4 pm on a Saturday) We recommend a Speedtest app like Speedtest for this. You’ll want an upload speed of at least 10Mbps.
You’ll need to test the audio setup too to make sure everyone can be heard, and you’ll need to test the joining process so you’re not hurriedly trying to pass out passwords and accept people into rooms while you should be waiting at the end of the aisle.
Decide on the schedule
If you’re going the DIY route, it makes sense to figure out your wedding day streaming schedule. Firstly, it’s a good idea to advise guests a start time ten minutes before you begin to give them time to connect and sort out technical issues. You might want you or your beloved to welcome them to the broadcast. Are you going to include your guests in the reception? Do special virtual toasts together? Join them on the live stream afterwards for an after-party?
Designate a control person
If you have enough room on your guest list, designate a control person. They’ll be making sure the camera and sound are picking up what it’s mean to, making sure that Aunt Mavis doesn’t accidentally stand in front of the camera the entire time, make sure that the internet speed doesn’t drop out. You’ll need this person so the mental bandwidth is not resting on your soon to be married shoulders when you should be saying your vows.
Invite your guests!
Make sure you include the time zone of your live stream alongside any passwords. If you like, you could also note the person in charge of the live stream in case someone needs help.
If you are a sentimental soul, make sure whatever platform you use, allows you to record and save the live stream, You’ll want to keep this to rewatch again!
Tips & tricks
- Shoot horizontally rather than vertically
- Make sure whatever you are shooting onto, if not into the cloud, has enough space
- Use natural light wherever possible
- Don’t forget to include the exact time zone in your invitation for international guests