Wedding Planning Tips

LiveStream – Not for Beginners | WV PA MD Wedding Video

We’re getting more and more requests for LiveStreaming, and I’m seeing more and more talk about it within the wedding community, which is awesome.  Like many other weddings posts, people want the most bang for their buck.  I get it.  I do too.  I also want to make sure that I’m not throwing my money away, and that couples aren’t either.  So I want to talk a little bit about why LiveStream isn’t a beginner level, basic video service.

This post likely doesn’t apply to you if LiveStream isn’t super important, you just think it’s a fun addition, and if you’re someone who is okay gambling with a bit of your money (or have someone providing it for free*). 

If you read my post last year with Tips on LiveStreaming Your Wedding, you’re probably already familiar with some of the downfalls of DIY-ing it, and those apply to hiring it out as well.

Video from a recent LiveStream we did for Candice and Tim and Flour and Feed Events in Morgantown, WV.  Candice and Tim were actually married by Candice’s sister in law, who officiated the wedding virtually from her home church in Spokane, Washington.   In addition to a multi-cam live stream we Skyped in the officiant and set up a Zoom display so Candice and Tim could interact with their guests following the ceremony.

Beware the Free* LiveStream

Sometimes free comes with strings attached, and let’s remember: this is your wedding.  A free LiveStream will not be worth it if it impedes on your wedding day.  Similar to planning and vetting a videographer, you will want to ask questions to ensure that they aren’t planning on standing at the alter with you sporting an iPad Pro.

A free or low cost add on from another vendor also won’t be worth it if setting up that LiveStream takes away from the reason you actually hired a professional.  You wouldn’t want to trade the quality/quantity of images you get from your photographer for a shoddy Livestream, or have a disjointed, awkward ceremony because you DJ or officiant is preoccupied with fixing a LiveStream gone wrong.

Not Every Video Pro Can LiveStream

It takes specialized equipment, and it takes a specialized skill set.  Just because a video pro owns a camera does not mean that they have what is needed to get your video online as it happens.  So use the same caution as you would with any other vendor (and be understanding if you have already hired a videographer and they tell you this isn’t something they offer.)

Finding a Quality LiveStream Provider

Now that we’ve talked about the risks, let’s talk about ways you can vet your vendor to be sure that you are getting a quality wedding LiveStream.

Ask about Experience. This is the best way to determine what you’re getting.  Ask for samples.  While you may not be able to tune in Live to someone else’s wedding, the streams are often recorded.  Since livestreaming WEDDINGS haven’t been common in the past, the sample might even be of a different type of event.  Many video pros have been LiveStreaming awards shows, sports events, corporate meetings, or even working in live tv.  They have the skills and gear needed to get the job done.  If they don’t have wedding specific experience, check the quality of their portfolio and have a talk about how they plan to film at a wedding.

Ask for Recommendations. Hearing someone else’s experience with a vendor is a great way to make sure you’re hiring a pro that you want to work with.  Did the LiveStream look good?  Could you hear the officiant, couple, and other audio components? Were they pleasant to be around on your wedding day (though if they are just doing a LiveStream, you may barely see them!).

When You Can’t Afford a Pro for LiveStream

Your budget is your budget. You can only try to shift things so much, and sometimes you just can’t make room for an add on service like LiveStream.  Last year we shared our tips for those of you who need to DIY a LiveStream. I recommend checking that out and making a decision from there.

After a year’s worth of filming weddings, I have one more bit of advice to add:

Choose someone who you think can get the job done, but isn’t hugely emotionally invested in your wedding.  

My reasons for this are twofold:

  1.  You do not experience things the same way through a camera that you do with your own eyes.I’ve shared my thoughts in this before.  It’s the reason why I love it when cell phone and cameras are put away during wedding ceremonies.  Family and friends need to be present and engage.  I experience it myself both on wedding days, and with my own family.  I’m careful to put my camera away to watch my kids perform, and on family vacations.  I want to remember these things.
  2. They will be crushed if they mess it up, and the chances of that are high. So in the past year, we’ve continued to film weddings throughout the pandemic.  Several couples added on one of our LiveStream packages. Many others went the DIY route.  Less than half of those who had a friend or family member help out ended up with their wedding actually being online, Live, and watchable by virtual guests.It’s a struggle when you are working to meet a lowered capacity limit to find the right person (the techie spouse of a friend or family member is my go-to recommendation).  If after doing the research you decide that you really do need a pro like MotionWorks, know that we offer payment plans for all of our wedding packages, which can make things a little easier to cover when you are able to spread the cost our over several payments.  We’re always happy to talk with you more about options for your wedding and to check our calendar to see if we’re available for your event.

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