It’s an unavoidable fact that many of your best friends and family won’t be able to come to your wedding due to health or financial reasons; or they simply have other commitments on that day (even though you sent your ‘Save the Date’ cards over a year ago!).
Luckily we live in the age of technology and there’s something you can do about it. These days you can live-stream your wedding using purpose-built gadgets or apps on your smart phone. In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to organise a live-stream and choosing the best tech option for your big day.
Tip #1: Location, location, location
It’s easy to overlook the positioning of your live-streaming camera (whether it’s a smart phone, laptop or other gadget) with everything else that is happening on your wedding day, but it’s pretty important – especially when the stream can be recorded and might very well be the only video recording of your wedding at all.
Of course every venue and ceremony has a different set up, but where possible:
- If attaching a camera to a gazebo or marquee, avoid the temptation to place it on an overhead beam. By keeping the camera at eye height, guests will see your face, not the top of your head (even though your hair will look amazing!). So where possible, attach the camera to a vertical column or tripod.
- Position the camera so that it is close to you, with guests in the background. This makes your guests at home feel like they have the best seat in the house – no longer are they missing out; instead they are now VIPs!
Tip #2: Privacy and your Guests
Technically you should forewarn your wedding guests that they are likely to be photographed and/or filmed; and/or broadcast to the internet during the ceremony. If they aren’t happy with that arrangement, they can go hide behind your gorgeously decorative topiary trees.
Tip #3: How much to share?
Everyone wants to see you and your beau exchange vows, and of course share your first kiss as a married couple. However, expecting those at home to re-join you three hours later to watch your reception dinner may not be quite so realistic. Consider instead filming the reception formalities and later sharing the abridged version (after cutting out the embarrassing bits!).
Tip #4: Getting help
Think about who will be in charge of setting up your live-stream. Is there anyone capable and tech-savvy to run it for you? Keep in mind that asking someone to do this is a heavy burden to bear, especially when they know that they are responsible for bringing the ceremony to your closest friends and family who otherwise will miss out on your special day. If you do enlist the help of a friend/family member, make sure to provide them with a cheat-sheet or similar that they can refer to if things go wrong.
Tip #5: Timing is everything
If you are inviting people to watch your wedding from a different timezone, make sure you tell them when the ceremony starts in their timezone! There are several online time converters such as www.worldtimebuddy.com where you can enter the time of your event, and it will tell you the equivalent time in other chosen countries.
Tip #6: The Tech: Free vs paid options
There are a huge number of live-streaming solutions out there, and many of them are free.
YouTube Live (previously Google Hangouts on Air) is one such solution, and your stream can be either private, unlisted or public (for the whole world to see). The stream can be viewed on smart phones, tablets and computers; but one of the drawbacks is the fact that you need a Google+ account and a verified YouTube account in order to get started; plus sending people to YouTube is a bit blah…
Apps such as UStream and LiveStream (available for both iOS and Android) are also great free options, but there’s a catch. You’ll be streaming your wedding publically to the world unless you choose to pay to keep it private.
Apps are nice and easy but there are a few drawbacks, including:
- What happens if a call comes in while live-streaming? Does it crash the app? It’s been known to happen!
- How much data you have on your plan – you’ll need about 2Gb to stream a ceremony.
Tip #7: Reliability
On your wedding day you’ll have a lot going on so you’ll want to ensure your chosen live-streaming provider is reliable. Watch My Wedding offers:
- A specially-designed live-streaming unit which automatically connects to the strongest data provider at your venue (either 2degrees, Spark or Vodafone) – no other solution can offer this kind of reliability
- A private URL where your loved ones can watch your ceremony, able to be viewed on smartphones, tablets, or desktop computers without the need for downloading any special software
- Online Guestbook
- High quality recording