Live Streaming Your Wedding Ceremony
There are many reasons why some of your nearest and dearest may not be able to attend in person when you wed. Prior to COVID-19, most often we saw this occurrence with family in the military, with loved ones who were either sick or too frail to travel, those living across oceans or even casual Facebook friends who wished to view the wedding in real-time and not miss one moment of the magic.
The good news is, thanks to technology, we now have a way to have them all in attendance without their actual physical presence. Live streaming gives couples an opportunity to share the intimacy and memorable moments of their wedding ceremony with those near and far. Before you cue up the computer, though, there are a few things you should take into consideration when streaming your nuptials.
A live broadcast of your ceremony is now given as much matrimonial importance as professional photographers and videographers. This is especially important during these uncertain times or if you are having an intimate planned elopement, pre-celebration ceremony...even a destination wedding!
The costs of live streaming your wedding will vary depending whether you choose to DIY your streaming or to hire a professional. If you are looking for a professional, there are numerous companies that specialize specifically in these services for wedding ceremonies.
When planning to broadcast the biggest event of your life to a wide audience, going pro is always the best option. While we understand that DIY is always a less expensive route, it is far less reliable, so if this is something that is really important to you, we highly recommend considering a professional wedding streaming service. As you will find with all vendors, these streaming services offer different packages and pricing depending on what your budget will allow.
Some of our favorite options are...
My Streaming Wedding
My Streaming Wedding offers multiple packages for live-streaming services. They even offer a DIY package that includes instructions to download webcasting software that allows couples to stream on their server to unlimited viewers. The cost for the DIY package is $250 for two hours. Professional services are available and include a personalized web page; prices vary as professional packages can be tailored to fit the couple. Equipment, a laptop, HD camera, wireless microphone, capture card, cables and other accessories, for DIY couples also may be rented through the company for $650 for two hours.
I Do Stream
I Do Stream offers a DIY package as well as a professional network of videographers. We love this option because you can select between only live streaming the ceremony or you can select coverage for an all-day event. Prices for their DIY package begin at $199, and this includes instructions on how to connect to their streaming servers. For couples choosing the DIY approach, we suggest their equipment rental kit as well, which includes a laptop, HD camcorder, tripod and software for $595.
Keeping It Local
Couples who want to support local also have the option of touching base with local vendors to find live streaming services through their photographer or videographer. Some professional photographers and videographers we work with already offer ceremony live streaming as an add on option to their wedding package. If they do not, we are happy to recommend companies that provide this service.
Not interested in going the professional route? Do it yourself. Live streaming requires a reliable internet connection, preferably a high-definition camera, a mic to improve the audio of the vows and a site to host your live streaming ceremony. Several DIY streaming options include Periscope, Discord, Skype, and even YouTube...if you set up a private channel to broadcast to. Simply email or text the link to your guest list in advance so everyone had the appropriate apps already downloaded. Be sure to list the stream as private, so the wedding isn’t broadcast to the entire world, that is, of course, unless you are looking for world-wide notoriety!
There are, of course, a few caveats to a live broadcast. Live streaming the ceremony means that the event is broadcast in real time and cannot be censored. The world...or at least YOUR world...is watching. If you’re live streaming your entire reception, you might want to restrict the open bar! And if that dress needs to be bustled, make sure your bridesmaids know how to do it correctly. We don’t need any costume malfunctions!
In the end, whether you opt to go the DIY route or to choose a professional to broadcast your magnificent matrimonial motion picture, live streaming allows the memories to reach everyone who couldn’t physically be there in real time so that they will still feel as if they were part of your big day. Remember, these defining moments spread beyond the walls of the venue to embrace and enchant guests everywhere.
Just remember, it’s still live, so you only get one take!