Why Live Stream Your Wedding?
Live streaming your wedding is the simplest and cheapest option to include guests who cannot attend your wedding. No matter how big or small your wedding is, there is bound to be relatives and friends who cannot attend your big day. Especially if you are getting married in 2020 and dealing with the outbreak of Covid-19. Live streaming your wedding is also a great way to record, save, and backup your wedding. In fact, more and more couples are live streaming in light of the corona virus. The good news is that we are all becoming more accustomed to virtually attending events and hanging out with one another, so having your wedding online is becoming more and more normal.
Best part about it all? Live streaming your wedding is essentially free! And easier than you think to do well. If you get cell service or wifi at your wedding venue, you can go live on your big day. Everything you need for it I’ve listed below, you most likely already have or could easily borrow.
If live streaming your wedding or elopement sounds like too much for you, I offer live streaming packages and photography packages that include live streaming! I’d love to take care of including your friends and family in this way, so you can better focus on saying hi and waving to them as you marry the love of your life.
How To Live Stream Your Wedding In 10 Simple Steps
- Gather what you need to live stream your wedding
- Create Facebook Group of Guests who will attend online
- Create a schedule of events of what you will broadcast
- Designate Person to manage the live stream
- Pick a discreet location for tripod close to the ceremony.
- Setup Tripod and camera mount
- Test Internet Connection (use Speedtest.net App)
- Test Live Stream for Video and Audio
- Go Live with your Streaming Service 10 Minutes Before Start of Ceremony
- Go back and enjoy the post and read through and reply to any comments.
What You Need To Live Stream Your Wedding.
You most likely have everything you need for this sitting around your house or readily available to borrow from a relative or friend.
- Phone with Camera and Internet – Any Iphone, Android, or smartphone will do!
- Tripod and Phone Mount (for stability) – Avoid shaky hands and mount the phone to a tripod. I recommend this one:
- Internet connection (4G, 5G, Mobile Hotspot, or Wifi) – Either use your cell data, purchase a mobile hotspot, or most venues have wifi you can use. Just make sure to check your connection and speeds!
- Microphone (In-Camera or External) – You can certainly use your phone’s microphone, but you might end up picking up a lot of noise (like wind or guests moving around) that you don’t want. Getting an external microphone to plug in to your phone will help! I like this Movo Mobile Mic. It has great quality and comes with a windscreen.
- A Live Streaming Service for Weddings (hint: Facebook Live is best.) – I think Facebook Live is best for this for the reasons listed below. You could also consider using other streaming services, like Eventlive.pro or or mystreamingwedding.com. They will charge you, but they also have their benefits. Zoom is also a great option. Check out my information on Zoom Weddings here.
- Facebook Account and Group for Guests (for privacy)
- Designated Attendee To Manage Live Stream
- Time To Test Connection and Streaming Quality – Don’t wait for the last minute!
- Power to Charge Phone – Live streaming can eat up battery fast. So be prepared with a charger for your phone, or an external battery connect to.
- Backup Plan – Lastly, be ready with a backup plan in case your live stream cuts out or you cannot connect. The simplest backup plan is to simply record the ceremony to upload later.
Create Facebook Group For Guests who will attend online
Facebook Live as the easiest way to broadcast your wedding. Facebook has done a great job of making it easy to live stream from your phone, and most everyone is already on Facebook. For privacy and to control who can see your wedding online, I recommend creating a Private Group and inviting your online guests to the group. You can then select to only go live for your wedding group.
Create a schedule of events of what you will broadcast
Don’t just stream your ceremony. While you’re at it, you should consider going live for the toasts, your first dance, cake cutting, etc! If you do, create and share schedule of when you are going to go live. If you fall behind, you can have your designated person update the group on when the next event will be.
Designate Person to manage live stream
You are going to want someone who can setup, manage, and run your live stream for you, so you don’t have to think about it all yourself. They can test the system, troubleshoot for anyone watching, and update online guests of any changes. (NOTE: You can hire a professional to do it for you if you’d like! – Shoot me a message to hear about my live streaming packages!)
Pick a discreet location for tripod close to ceremony.
Two things to consider for location: First, You want to be close to the ceremony as possible because cameras on phones typically have a wide view by default, and you only lose quality as you zoom in. Second, you’re probably going to want to avoid having a tripod and phone in all of your wedding photos and in view of guests, so picking a discreet location is important.
Setup Tripod and Camera Mount
Make sure the spot has a solid ground below it to avoid it tipping over. If you can’t find solid ground, consider putting something flat below each leg of the tripod. If you need a tripod, I’ve found this Manfrotto tripod with Camera Mount to be a great option. It’s lightweight, yet very sturdy!
Test Internet Connection
You are going to want to shoot for around 5-7mb’s or more upload speed and consider doing this during the rehearsal or when you tour the venue so you have time to come up with a backup plan if the connection is spotty. To test your internet speed, an app like Speedtest App work great. If you do not get great cell reception, consider purchasing a mobile hotspot for a month to use. Verizon has them for around $15 per month and typically gets great reception.
Test Live Stream for Video and Audio
Do a practice Facebook Live to make sure everything is working properly and clearly. You should also consider doing this at the rehearsal or when you walk through your venue.
Go Live with your Streaming Service 10 Minutes Before Start of Ceremony
Going Live 10 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony or the toasts will allow your virtual guests to log in and get connected before you walk down the aisle! It will also give a few minutes for your guests or attendant to troubleshoot any issues that may come up.
Go back and enjoy the post and read through and reply to any comments.
This might be the most fun part. Facebook Live will save your video to the group so you can go back and relive it! You can also see and reply to any comments your guests make.
Take Your Live Stream to the Next Level:
What I have described above will help you get a good, solid live stream for your wedding. If you want to take your live stream to the next level, use a Digital Camera (or live streaming camera), capture card, and laptop for better video quality. This will be a significant investment for you but will yield better results.
(Before you invest in any of this, make sure that you will get adequate cell service or fast enough wifi where you are holding your ceremony. It will all be for not if you find out you don’t have reception or wifi to live stream with.)
Digital Camera or Live Streaming Camera
If you have a digital camera around your home you can live stream from your camera instead of your phone. The benefit of using a camera rather than a phone is purely image quality and the ability to optically zoom. The camera needs to have an HDMI output.
If you don’t have an HDMI output, you can also purchase a live streaming camera (like a GoPro or some camcorders), which is specifically made just for this purpose. But many of you or someone you know probably has a capable digital camera sitting around, so it is worth asking.
Phones these days are incredible in what they can do, but no matter what, they cannot match the image quality of a DSLR. Moreover, they can typically only zoom digitally which pixelates the image the more you zoom in. Using a DSLR will give you the ability to attach a lens with a longer focal length (think 50-85mm lenses or longer), rather than a phone which typically has a 28mm focal length. (The higher the number in millimeters, the more zoomed in a lens is.) If you have the kit lens aka the lens that came with your camera, they will typically allow to zoom in quite a bit. This is nice for live streaming a ceremony because it gives you more options of where to place your camera, like towards the back of the ceremony and less in the way of guests.
If you use a DSLR to live stream your wedding, you are going to need a capture card to capture the video from your camera in a way that your computer can use. I personally use the Cam Link 4k by Elgato and can attest that it works great.
If you are fortunate enough to have a compatible Canon camera, Canon has recently released software that will allow you to live stream without the need of a capture card.
Laptop and OBS Software
Lastly, you are going to need to run the live stream through a laptop instead of your phone. Moreover, for Facebook Live you are going to download a free program called OBS to live stream via your camera. (If you use Zoom to live stream, you can simply choose the digital camera or capture card as your video source.) Also, make sure you remember your laptop charger and I would also recommend plugging your phone into your laptop in order to get the fast signal for hot-spotting cell service.
Frequently Asked Questions
These are the questions I most often get about live streaming weddings.
– How much does it cost to live stream a wedding?
Live streaming a wedding does not cost any money. You can do it for free! If you want to invest money, buy a tripod and microphone for your phone. Spending $100-$150 on equipment will drastically improve the live stream. I have a list of recommend equipment at the bottom of this page.
– Can you live stream a wedding?
As answered above, yes! And you can do it yourself through the many services that offer live streaming, like Facebook Live, Zoom, Instagram, Twitter, Youtube, Eventlive.pro, and mystreamingwedding.com. I think Facebook Live and Zoom are the best streaming services.
– Which Streaming Service for weddings is best?
Facebook Live and Zoom are the best live streaming services for weddings. Not only are they free, but everyone who you would want to see your live stream is most likely already on Facebook or can easily access Zoom without signing up or needing to log in.
– How do I start a private Live Stream with Facebook Live?
To host a private live stream on Facebook Live, you will need to create a private group just for your viewers. You may then stream your Facebook Live to just that group.
– How long can I live stream my wedding for?
Anywhere from 40 minutes to 24 hours depending on the service you use. Make sure to check as you pick a streaming service.
– How can I improve the video of my live stream?
The simplest way to improve the video stream for your wedding is to use a tripod and phone mount. Set the tripod up at eye level. And pick an angle where the sun or brightest light source is behind you. I have listed a recommend tripod and phone mount at bottom.
– How can I improve the audio of my live stream?
You are going to need to spend some money here to buy a mobile microphone to use with your phone.
– What do I need to Live Stream my wedding?
Smartphone, tripod and phone mount, internet connection, a live streaming service, live stream attendant, power for your phone, time to test connection, and a back up plan.
– Which phone is best for live streaming my wedding?
Any smartphone with a camera and internet will work. iPhone 11 Pro has an optical telephoto lens which works very well.
– What should I live stream at my wedding?
Any of the events you want your online guests to see, including the ceremony, first look, first dance, toasts, cake cutting, and bouquet or garter tosses!
– How do I save the live stream of my wedding?
Depending on the streaming service you use to live stream your wedding, will depend on if you can save the live stream. Instagram Live, for example, only saves your live stream for 24 hours, which is why I do not recommend it. Facebook Live, on the other hand will save your live stream on your timeline or the group that you broadcast the live stream in for later viewing. With a little work, you may then save your live stream. Feel free to message me for further instructions.
If you want or need to purchase any equipment in order to better live stream your wedding, this is what I recommend:
- Tripod – Manfrotto Compact Light Aluminum
- Phone Mount for Tripod – Manfrotto Compact Light with Phone Clamp
- Mobile Microphone – Movo Smartphone Video Rig with Microphone
- Mobile Hotspot – Verizon Jetpack 4G LTE
- Capture Card – Elgato Cam Link 4k
This post contains affiliate links. If you use these links to buy something I may earn a commission. Thanks!
Live Stream Wedding Packages
If the thought of live streaming your wedding on your own stresses you, you might consider hiring a pro include your friends and family for you. If that’s you, I would be honored to help you share your wedding with anyone who can’t be there.
Live Streaming Packages start at $500