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Whether you're planning an intimate wedding celebration, getting hitched in a tropical location, or have guests that can't make the trip due to a...
Whether you choose to get married in an exotic location or have loved ones who simply can't attend, there are many reasons why you may want to live stream your wedding celebration. Thanks to a variety of video-streaming apps and services, live-streaming is easier than ever, allowing you to share the most special moments of your wedding with loved ones near and far. Live streaming has become wildly popular in recent months and it's one trend that we think is here to stay!
Before you cue up the camera, there are a few things you should know . . . Let's run through how to live stream your wedding like a pro so that your virtual guests aren't left wondering why they can only see the dance floor!
Here's what we'll cover . . .
The costs of live streaming a wedding vary—DIY using a mobile phone, DIY with upgraded equipment, a pro-livestreaming service, or hire a professional videogrpaher. While you can live stream your wedding for free, if you're planning your live stream ahead of time, we recommend at least investing in some upgraded equipment to ensure optimal sound and image quality.
The options for professional-quality live streaming continue to expand, with a wide variety of investment options ranging from $400 to $3000, depending on your location and needs.
We recommend Wedfuly. Their prices range from $800 to $1800 and come with everything you need to make your virtual guests feel included in real time while also sidestepping any equipment or connectivity concerns. Their solution comes with all the little details that will make your livestream exceptional like pre-recorded guest messages, pre ceremony slideshows, dance parties, and a post-event experience you can enjoy forever.
With the rise in popularity of live streaming, there is no shortage of platform options if you choose to DIY your wedding live stream. The most common streaming platforms are Facebook Live, Instagram TV, YouTube Live, Twitter Periscope, Amazon Twitch, and Zoom. Livestream from Vimeo and newcomer Dacast are also great options.
Of course, if you plan to hire a professional, they will handle the technical details for you. One more option is to use a dedicated streaming service for weddings and events. Our clients praise Wedfuly for the professional dedicated wedding live stream experience. They can handle everything from shipping the camera and sound equipment to producing and hosting the wedding. With a range of support levels, you can manage the AV or let a professional Wedfuly videographer attend your event to handle everything in person.
It's totally possible to set up a live stream of your wedding at no cost as long as you have some helping hands! We recommend nominating one or two of your most technically savvy guests to assist you with this task.
Facebook’s Live function was launched in August of 2015 as a way to broadcast live video streams to a Facebook user’s or page’s friend list. Using Facebook’s live stream capabilities allows your guests to view the wedding and festivities from the comfort of their own home.
You can stream via a smartphone, tablet, laptop, or a newer GoPro. There is no right or wrong but select a device with a good camera and make sure to clean the lens before you start!
If your ceremony is outside, then investing in an external microphone with a sound baffle makes sense. You can pick up low-cost versions that plug directly into a smartphone for under $50. Using a baffle (AKA Wind Shield) will cut the noise from a light breeze, guest chatter, or background distractions.
If you decide to take a professional route, you can add radio mics for you, your fiancé and your officiant. This option guarantees great sound, but unless you already have the equipment, it is usually easier (and more cost-effective) to ask your videographer for help.
Start by thinking about POV. The Point of View (POV) is all about angles! It means choosing a place to put your device so that virtual guests get a great view of the proceedings. Do you want them to view your ceremony close-up, from afar, from the side, etc.? You'll want to choose a location that gives them a clear view but also doesn't obstruct other participants, or your photographers.
You'll determine the best equipment set up by considering your ideal POV, how many in-person guests you expect, the shape of your ceremony set up, and who you have to assist with this process. You'll also want to consult your photographer so that you're fully aligned on placement and expectations. Follow these tips to find the best live stream plan for your event.
If you decide to go low-key, ask a front-row guest to log into a streaming service, share the link, and hold their smartphone up as you say your vows. Recent Android and iPhones all contain optical and electronic image stabilization features which will make it easier for your at-home attendees to watch.
For a more hands-off but effective route, set up a device on a tripod and have a guest start the stream as the wedding party takes their places. This way, the camera won't joggle, and your virtual guests can feel like part of the crowd. The cost for a lightweight standing tripod can range from $30 to $$$, or you may be able to borrow one from your photographer—or you can connect a selfie stick phone mount.
Positioning a camera aisle-side in the second row of seating can be unobtrusive but effective. If you're using a tripod, then give it its own 'seat'. This will ensure it isn't jostled. Once the guests of honor are in position, the person responsible for the live stream can nudge it out into the aisle slightly to give your virtual guests a clear view that matches what all your other guests can see.
If you want to go for a slightly fancier setup, place the camera on a tripod behind the last row of guests and film them as they arrive. A nominated guest can keep the camera pointed towards the back of the venue as the wedding processional takes place. After you are in position for your ceremony, your live streaming buddy can move the camera to the center of the aisle facing your ceremony backdrop. They can then zoom in on you two to give your virtual guests an unparalleled view. Then as you walk up the aisle after your vows, you can wave to the camera (and an attendee can move it at the last second so you can make your way past).
If you have plenty of space, placing the camera next to the officiant creates a beautiful behind-the-scenes perspective. Set up a tripod at head height for the perfect angle as you say your vows. Your virtual guests will be able to look out on the processional and all your in-person attendees ahead of your ceremony.
A fun alternative involves a GorillaPod and placing your device among your ceremony florals above you. This will give your guests a unique perspective and is guaranteed not to block anyone's view. For this option, you will probably want to set up a 'remote start' or have the feed running ahead of time so that you can place the camera in advance and guests later join you when everything is all set up perfectly.
You can get really creative if that's your style—consider adding a camera in your bouquet, sending up a drone, placing a smartphone in the best man's jacket pocket, or at the bar. If you decide to stream via a zoom call you could place numerous smartphones around your venue to add extra viewpoints for your at-home attendees.
With your streaming setup all planned, don't forget about your audience. Make sure to take a few moments to look directly at the camera throughout the event; this will make your guests feel more engaged. They should feel like a valued part of your celebration.
You can also decide if you want to keep a recording of your live feed. Most streaming services offer this option, but it must be selected at the beginning of the live stream. Many couples tell us they enjoy seeing what their virtual guests experienced at a later date, so it's highly recommended!
Check for nearby devices which might cause interference (like cell phones).
Be mindful of background noise. Switch off anything noisy, like fans or air conditioners, and place the microphone away from rustling dresses!
Angle the microphone to directly face the person(s) you want to hear best.
Check if your device has a setting for Ambient Noise Reduction. If so, use it!
If you're using a laptop, make sure the mic is plugged into the microphone jack and not the speaker jack. You can also try unplugging the power cable and switching to battery power for less audio interference.
You have the option with most streaming platforms to decide ahead of time if you would like participants to be able to join in via audio so that everyone can hear them clap, oooh & ah! For most wedding live streams, the virtual guests are automatically set to mute, and they have their own cameras turned off.
You can also decide if only people with the link can join your live stream. This is important if you want to keep your stream private. If you want guests to join in via video and audio (using Zoom, Google Meet or GoToMeeting), then you should only give your link to specific participants.
If you are streaming more of your wedding than simply the ceremony, then there are multiple opportunities to invite virtual guests to participate:
Improving your live stream video and sound quality is easy to do and can make a big difference for your virtual guests. Take a look at these ten expert live stream tips from the professionals: