We 100% believe that there are several perks to hosting a small wedding — and there’s one area we’ve yet to dive into. We’re talking video! In just a few months, livestreaming has gone from hurried FaceTime calls to real-deal community video — and we think virtual weddings here to stay. If you’re wondering how to livestream your wedding, we’ve got the expert advice.
Richard Gintowt is the owner of All Ears DJ Weddings + Events and an industry veteran. With All Ears DJ, he’s remained steady through shifts in wedding trends over several years. Even though the pandemic has thrown a massive wrench in ALL plans, videography is more necessary now than it’s ever been. No longer is it just about preserving memories — it’s about letting people in to help you make them. Here’s Richard:
When Brian + McKenzie made the decision to scale down their Bay Area wedding from 100 guests to 20, they knew they wanted livestreaming to be part of it. They enlisted our videographer, Donovan, to stream their whole day on Facebook. Frankly, we were amazed at the level of engagement we received from the 80+ people who watched from home. More than 100 comments popped up throughout the day and it truly felt like we were able to create a valuable experience for the friends and family who could not attend.
Have a look at how it all went down, then read on after the video for FAQs and expert tips to plan a virtual wedding!
What is the best platform to livestream a wedding?
First things first. Where will guests go to watch and participate in your wedding?
Some well-known platform options are Facebook Live, Youtube Live, Vimeo, Instagram Live, Twitter Periscope, Amazon Twitch, and Zoom. You can also explore new apps like EventLive or LoveStream, which were created specifically to live-stream and capture weddings. (Use our code GWS10 to save 10% off your Love Stream rental!)
Your videographer will be instrumental in helping you determine the best platform to use to livestream your wedding. But here are a few technical things to keep in mind as your deciding:
- Privacy options. Can you ensure privacy or anyone join the stream without being invited?
- Copyright issues. If you’re playing music in the ceremony, will it be an issue with the streaming service — and possibly removed?
- Ability to re-visit the video. Will the platform save the video or does it disappear once the stream ends?
You’ll also want to consider accessibility for guests. Do they have to have an account? Will they have to sign up for something new? All Ears DJ Weddings + Events opted to stream on Facebook in a private group as it was the most popular platform among Brian + McKenzie’s guests. And this is most likely the best place to start — go where the people already are!
When should you send virtual wedding invitations?
If you’re planning on sending invitations by mail, make sure to note which guests are invited to a virtual wedding celebration and details will follow. Share the date and specific time zone so they’ll know when to tune in.
Once you’ve determined which platform to use, create (if necessary) a profile, page, and/or group. From there, you might have unique options to send out invitations via the platform but generally, you’ll have a link to share. You could personalize online invitations with Paperless Post or have a virtual card designed by a professional.
For the virtual event, Richard suggests sending invitations a week prior so that guests have the information top of mind and won’t have to dig for a link!
What equipment do you need to livestream a wedding?
If you’re looking for a high-quality stream (and subsequently, a saved video after the fact), you’re always going to find your best bet is in hiring professionals. When you’re looking for a videographer, ask about their streaming solutions — taking out the guesswork might just be the sigh of relief you need.
But a DIY stream isn’t totally out of the question! The most important thing to do is check the internet connection at your venue in advance. Secondly, a tripod will help keep shaking at bay. Here’s a great one from Amazon. And finally, if you want to make sure the ceremony can be heard without shoving a phone in the frame, you might want to consider a simple microphone setup like this one to capture audio.
Richard’s solution for Brian + McKenzie? Without a reliable wifi connection in the area, we simply streamed using an iPhone with a couple of hi-def cameras rolling simultaneously so we could deliver a hi-def version later on.
How do you make a livestream wedding special?
We set up a virtual video guestbook for our at-home attendees to record two-minute messages for our bride and groom. Brian + McKenzie loved watching these videos in the days following their wedding and now they have them to re-watch on future anniversaries.
The stream doesn’t have to end with the ceremony! If you don’t have a videographer, tap someone to be in charge of the livestream. First, ask them to give guests a virtual tour of the space so they can appreciate all your little details. Then after the ceremony, interview guests and let them have fun interacting with viewers at home. Finally, we love the idea of a virtual video guestbook! Ask virtual attendees to send in video messages and compile them together for a digital memento.
Are virtual weddings here to stay?
Now that we’ve successfully livestreamed weddings I almost have to wonder — why weren’t we doing this all along? Even post-covid, I think livestreaming will have value for distant friends and family members who simply can’t make it.
There’s nothing like catching it live! We’re willing to bet that as weddings change and adapt in the coming months and years, creating opportunities for connection will remain paramount. And while nothing compares to a hug or a high five, livestreaming makes connection possible.
Unless otherwise noted, you can find all images here: Positive Proof: How These Couples Said ‘I Do’ During COVID-19