With all the changes that COVID has made to weddings and events, one this is for certain: video matters more now than it ever has before. More and more, couples are looking to Live Streaming to include guests who could not travel or attend their event in person.
LiveStream Wedding Ceremony
MotionWorks Wedding Films added two LiveStream options for our couples this year: a basic livestream (single camera) and our Premium LiveStream option: a multi-camera live streaming service of your wedding ceremony. This add-on service also includes a live Zoom TV display in the back of the ceremony to see your remote guests on the screen.
We know that not everyone will hire us to LiveStream their wedding, and we want to give a few tips for those of you looking to DIY it (and a couple of considerations on why you might want to think about hiring it out.) Obviously, when you hire us, these are all details that we take care of. But desperate times call for desperate measures and we know that due to budget or gathering size limits, you may have a friend or family member helping you out.
Even if budget and gathering size are considerations, I recommend reading this post on Asking a Friend to Work Your Wedding, because there’s a lot to unpack with that idea.
The first thing we always check when figuring out if a LiveStream is possible is connectivity. Here in WV, there are places where a LiveStream just isn’t possible because there is no internet connection or cell service.
Additionally, our first preference for a LiveStream is a dedicated internet connection, preferably hard wired. Shared wifi and cellular connections are unreliable, especially if your wedding is in a location (like a resort) where there are many others also using this connection or the same cell tower. If you’ve ever attended a WVU football game, you know the feeling. This will cause your wedding LiveStream to be unreliable or unwatchable.
While you may want to broadcast a LiveStream of your wedding ceremony, you don’t want the ceremony to be all about your LiveStream! If you’re asking a friend, designate one person, and communicate with then in advance at where it’s okay for them to be and what your expectations are.
If you hire MotionWorks, we use the same cameras that we use to film your wedding for the LiveStream. This means we use long lenses that keep us out of the way, but get a great, close up view of your ceremony.
Do a practice run well before the wedding day so that you can decide on a good place for your LiveStream, and make any any changes (like buying extra lenses, or figuring out how to stream from a camera)
Cell phones and tablets are easy ways to make a LiveStream happen, but we’re used to using them in selfie mode (aka, about 2 feet away from our face). The farther away the camera is, the more of your wedding party will be shown, but it may make it harder for your virtual guests to hear what is happening.
Your options are to have whatever is broadcasting close to those speaking, be content with guests at home not being able to hear your vows, or work with a professional that can tie in a clean audio feed with your video for the best of both worlds.
You also need to be aware that music copyrights apply for LiveStreams. Both Facebook and YouTube will mute your feed if they detect music with a copyright. It’s a computer system, and slightly unpredictable. Some people are able to successfully LiveStream their entire ceremony (but likely will have the replay at least partially muted). Others find that once muted (often during the music played while the wedding party is walking in) the audio never comes back, and virtual guests miss the entire event.
To avoid being muted, consider using a service other than Facebook or YouTube that is better designed for Live events (Zoom is user friendly, but pay for the upgrade so your Zoom isn’t shut down after 40 minutes), or a designated streaming service, or simply ask whoever is doing your Live to wait until the music stops to start the stream. You can also use music that does not have a copyright (several popular wedding songs do not, though the performance MAY, so having a live musician perform classical music is the safest way direction if you choose to do this.)
All images used in this post courtesy of the talented Alisha Faith Photography.
I hope these details are helpful for those of you looking to livestream your wedding ceremony. There are a lot of things that go into created a great live feed, but knowing about a few of the hurdles in advance of your wedding day will allow you to plan for them.
Of course, we’re also happy to make an amazing LiveStream happen for you! With all of the changes and challenges that go into planning a wedding right now, the last thing you need is one more thing to do on your wedding day. Contact us today for more information on MotionWorks video packages.