Tricks & Tips for a Live Webcasted Wedding

The chatter in both the tech industry and the wedding business over live wedding webcasts has gotten louder and more resounding in recent years.  Being ‘in the know’ when it comes to all the good and not so good wedding trends is something we pride ourselves on here at the Addison and so we are excited to share some insight into the brave new world of virtual weddings.

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Like so many aspects of wedding planning, when done well and for the right reasons, bringing unique, technology based elements into the picture can enhance the overall impact for you, your groom and your family and friends.

As with most wedding details, there is a DIY and a PRO strategy for live webcasting.  While it’s possible to use YouTube, Live Stream or even Skype to share your wedding live with friends and family, there are a few key factors you should always consider when determining which approach is best for your overall wedding vision.  Whether you decide to do-it-yourself or hire a pro, there are a few key considerations that are not to be ignored.

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Onsite Filming Equipment

The first must for any webcasted wedding is proper onsite filming equipment.  No one wants to watch hours from the perspective of your bridesmaid’s I-Phone or be stuck attempting to view a feed interrupted by internet connection issues.  If you are opting for a slightly more do-it-yourself approach, there are companies like I Do Stream that offer packages that include rental equipment, provide virtual tutorials and manage the actual live stream from their home base for a reduced rate.  Broadband and internet service onsite is an important component to the success or failure of a live wedding webcast.  It is incredibly important to ensure you have tested your onsite equipment ahead of time and are happy with the strength and speed of the feed.  Much of the cost comes from having the pros on location filming, so if you are not planning on bringing in a company to handle the entire process, make sure to look into these more structured DIY packages.

Determine your Audience

Different couples will decide to webcast for different reasons.  If you are planning a destination wedding where only immediate family will be in attendance and you’re looking to share the big day with the majority of your friends and family online, we highly recommend you go with your pros.  Investing in a professional company to film the day, provide a great viewing platform for your virtual guests and handle all troubleshooting to ensure your live feed works perfectly will be well worth it for those couples streaming to a large group of people in different locations.

If you are hosting a more traditional wedding, but have a handful of friends or family who can’t make it to the big event due to health reasons or travel restriction, you may want to consider limiting the live cast to your ceremony and employing a simple stationary camera on a tripod with a decent microphone or opting for a reduced price rental option from one of the pros.

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Who to Hire

For those of you envisioning a live stream that rivals Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding broadcast, national companies that specialize specifically in this alone, like I DO Stream or My Streaming Wedding have hubs in a variety of wedding destinations around the world and have a great track record in the industry.

There will also be local production companies based in whatever locale you select that are equipped to take on the task.  Local webcasting companies often build partnerships with wedding videographers in the area, so make sure to ask!

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To stream your ceremony alone to a small group, a simple do-it-yourself platform like YouTube, Live Stream or Skype might just do the trick; as long as you set your guests’ and you own expectations accordingly and have someone in charge of troubleshooting should there be an issue with the live stream.

Don’t forget, if you open up your wedding to friends and family through a webcast, the quality of that live stream is how they will remember your big day forever.  Making the decision to use technology to share your wedding should not be an afterthought, but a carefully planned enterprise.  Determine your ‘virtual wedding’ vision, do the research and set your expectations to match your overall investment.

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