The Ultimate Guide: How to Live Stream Your Wedding

08 January 2016

Weddings are occasions to be shared! Unfortunately, sometimes things like distance, age, or illness get in the way and loved ones can’t join you on your big day. If you’re reading this it’s likely you’re already expecting that some of your nearest and dearest may not be able to attend. But just because they can’t be there in person doesn’t mean they have to miss out! Live streaming uses a device, like a camera, smartphone or tablet to share live video with virtually anyone via the internet.  Embracing the digital age makes distance almost irrelevant. These tips might just save your wedding!

Guests watching the same screen?

If you have one guest or a group of people who can’t make the wedding but can watch together, Skype or Facetime is the way to go. Free for one-to-one calls, these programmes are reliable and easy to use. The older generation might need some help setting up an account beforehand, but once that’s taken care of, you’re away!

Multiple guests watching from afar?

Many websites offer streaming services but, as usual, Google makes things easy peasy. Google Hangouts On Air allows you to stream your video live on Youtube with options to make it as public or private as you like! The private setting keeps things locked down, so only those who receive your invitation will be able to view (with a Google account). The unlisted setting is a bit more user friendly – email your guests the link and they can join the fun with one click. The public setting is exactly that, anyone anywhere can view. This option is compatible with smart phones, tablets and computers.

A few tech tips:

Be aware that videos use a lot of data! The best option is to ask your venue if you can connect to their Wifi. Your guests will have the absolute best viewing experience if they can see and hear clearly. Wherever possible, connect to Wifi instead of mobile data, and consider using a tripod to avoid shaky hands or a rogue finger getting in the way of the picture. A tripod will keep your filming out of the photographer’s way and allow you to set up at the best angle. Guests will be able to see and hear and you can forget about it and enjoy the wedding yourself.

live stream weddings

Who will you share with?

It’s important to consider who will be joining the ceremony through your live stream. The login details should only be given to invited guests who for whatever reason, cannot attend. It should not be used as a way to trim the guest list! Don’t forget to set up a sign to let guests know where the live stream is filming from, and ensure they know that they will be able to be seen or heard if they are nearby.

Will your venue allow it?

Before you mention the possibility of a live stream to your guests, clear it with your venue and celebrant. Be respectful of their policies and privacy concerns. If streaming is not permitted at the venue, you might want to consider a wedding hashtag, so guests can follow along at home on Twitter or Instagram.

live stream weddings

What will you share?

The experience for your virtual guests is very different to guests who can be there in person. A half hour wait for the bride to arrive at the ceremony or mingling before things get underway at the reception seems like nothing when you’re at an event socialising and taking in the full atmosphere, but it’s a long time for guests watching from home. Keep the amount of time guests will be watching the stream realistic by only videoing the ceremony. You can always share the reception formalities with those who couldn’t make it by planning a post-wedding, video-viewing party (great excuse for you to watch it again!).

Managing on the day

When planning anything technological it pays to have a ‘go to’ guy or girl. This should be someone you know (a friend or family member who is happy to help and definitely not your photographer) who is familiar with the service you’ll be using. They can set up the device and take it through a test run (an absolute must before the real thing!). Write up a cheat sheet for your “appointed videographers” to refer to on the day and be sure to include the number of your techno wiz in case of any hiccups.