Your wedding day is one of the most rewarding experiences you’ll live through, and it’s natural to want to spread that joy to all your loved ones. However, because of illness, travel restrictions, or personal obligations, not everyone can be there physically to see your big day. However, that doesn’t mean they can’t witness the moment from wherever they are.
Live streaming weddings, recording and displaying the footage live online to virtual guests, has become one of the most common traditions in American weddings. So here, we’ll show you how to live stream a wedding and explore standard etiquette for wedding streams.
Find The Right Streaming Platform
Live event streaming has become wildly popular recently, and several streaming services have popped up to accommodate that need. We’ll look at a few of the most favored below and dissect their unique advantages and drawbacks.
Weddings are expensive whether you’re live streaming them or not, and the last thing any wedding planner wants is an extra expense. Luckily, several high-quality platforms don’t cost a dime and only require an internet connection. Here are four popular free options:
- Facebook Live: The most significant advantage of Facebook Live is hosting your wedding on a website that connects you to your friends and family. That overlap makes it easy for your guests to find your event.
- YouTube Live: YouTube is the world’s premier video-sharing site, so most of your guests likely know how to navigate it. Though their live streaming features are new and barebones compared to other platforms, YouTube offers an easy way to share your big day.
- Twitch: Twitch is optimized for people to live stream video games, so it doesn’t have the natural audience overlap of Facebook or YouTube. However, Twitch is also one of the most user-friendly streaming services. You can set up an account and display gorgeous videos within minutes.
- Google Meet: Google Meet is easy to use and produces excellent picture quality, but it only lets you stream for up to 25 people. It’s the ideal choice for small weddings, but hosts with dozens of virtual guests will need to look elsewhere.
Now that you know how to live stream a wedding for free, we can examine some more beneficial pay-to-stream platforms. Zoom is one of the most popular and practical. Unfortunately, though Zoom has a free cloud version, that only allows streams to run for 40 minutes maximum. However, with the $15-a-month Zoom Pro plan, you’ll receive unlimited stream lengths and a range of helpful host features.
EventLive and LoveStream are other pay-to-stream alternatives optimized specifically for weddings, unlike the other platforms listed. That means they’ll have host features and video quality that cater to showing off your wedding in all its splendor.
Set Up Your Streaming Equipment
If you take away anything about how to live stream a wedding from this guide, let it be that what streaming equipment you use doesn’t matter as much as how you use it. While professional cameras will give you higher-quality video, most modern phones, tablets, and laptops produce nearly identical video and spare you the extra costs. However, if you’re using a smart device to stream, you must take a few additional steps:
- First, ensure that your streaming platform can access your camera and microphone.
- Next, adjust your privacy settings to share videos with guests across the globe.
- Finally, mount your recording device to overlook the wedding venue and change the capture settings depending on the time of day. Some phones might not automatically adjust to bright or dim environments.
Remember The Audio
Though most smart devices have caught up to dedicated filming equipment in picture quality, they still lag in audio strength. You want your guests to hear your wedding as if they’re attending in person, so you should consider renting professional microphones if you’re filming on a tablet or phone.
Some Final Advice
Streaming platforms and recording equipment are the two most crucial elements you must master to create a memorable virtual wedding experience. However, the following three tips on how to live stream a wedding will help you elevate the day from excellent to perfect:
Build a Fitting Backdrop
Remember, while you and your in-person guests can see your entire wedding venue, virtual attendees can only see where you’ve pointed the camera. To give those digital guests a sense of how elegant the setting is, you can build a themed backdrop and put it behind your altar. That way, your wedding feels more refined to the people watching online.
Give Guests The Details
Now that you know how to live stream a wedding, you should know more about live stream etiquette. Though it might sound obvious, many people forget this crucial step; giving virtual guests details on how, when, and where to watch.
Amidst all the details you must balance when wedding planning, sending out live stream details might slip your mind. One practical and thematic way to remedy this common issue is to send physical invitations to all your virtual attendees; that way, they have a token to remember the event, and you can ensure they know how to watch.
Don’t Forget to Thank Your Virtual Guests
One of the biggest mistakes people make during digital weddings is not including their virtual guests in the festivities. Of course, it’s natural to gravitate toward the people attending in person, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore the guests who took the time to share your moment online.
While making your rounds to chat with your guests, make sure you stop to your recording equipment and thank your virtual attendees for their participation. Make them feel like part of the day rather than leaving them to sit quietly watching an exciting event they couldn’t attend.
City Hall Wedding is here to help you through the intricacies of wedding planning. Want to learn more about how to live stream a wedding or the difference between courthouse and traditional wedding venues? Feel free to scroll through our blog or contact us for more information.