With the rise of micro-weddings, guest lists are getting slashed. Live streaming your wedding has become a popular option for couples as a way to still include everyone. We chatted a few weeks ago about the basics of live streaming but today we're thrilled to have Irene Tyndale, wedding planner extraordinaire and at this point, streaming expert, here to share all about the logistics of live streaming.
Bustld: Tell us all about who you are and how you got into wedding planning in the first place.
Irene: I am the chief event officer of Irene Tyndale Weddings and Events. We're based out of Atlanta, Georgia. I have been in the wedding and event industry for 20 plus years… I started my planning business eight years ago, almost eight years ago; November will be eight years. I'm really excited about that. And we do month-of wedding management, full planning, wedding concierge services for grooms, rehearsal dinner planning and things like that, and now we are micro-wedding and small wedding experts. So we've had to add that to the mix this year.
Bustld: Tell our listeners a little bit about how you love on the grooms, too.
Irene: When my husband and I, we've been married now 16 years, so when we were planning our wedding, we went to a bridal show… I had pre-registered us, bought our tickets and I got a sticker that said "bride" and he got a sticker that said “guest". Which didn't sit well with Mr. Tyndale because he was very active in the planning process on the things that really mattered to him. So, he was very involved and was taken aback that the entire show, out of all the booths, there was only one booth that was for grooms and it was, of course, a tuxedo booth. Then we went to lunch afterwards, and he made me pinky-promise I would always promise to service the groom.
Bustld: Tell us a little bit about how your business has shifted this year.
Irene: So the biggest shift was trying to not be as emotional as our clients, so that was the first thing, internally, with ourselves and to look at this logically while they grieved what was going on. So, kind of shifting that and really putting on the logistical hat and how we're going to fix this. And, in this situation, it was like, replanning everything. So it was a shift and a quick shift. So we literally went into gladiator mode, like, let's fix it, on the phone until midnight with our clients who are in another state with different time zones. On the phone, even our wedding management clients got the same service, didn't matter, we just took care of everybody.
Bustld: Had you ever done a virtual event before, before all of this started?
Irene: Before all of this started, of course, we would do webinars and I have to say, I may have posted a couple of webinars; nothing official or for a paid client or anything like that. I attended some, I spoke at some, that kind of thing, so I never really, technically hosted something large. I mean, before things really started rolling, my birthday is at the end of April, so we had a virtual "birthday party" for me on Zoom and it was hilarious because my 12 and 10 year old were like, you have to allow people in; I'm like, allow people in, don't they just login and come on? Because I've never paid attention, so they're like, no.
Bustld: Of the weddings that you've done since then, have they all been micro-weddings, have you done some elopements, big weddings, what's it been looking like for you?
Irene: We started off the year with a large wedding. Then it got quiet and then it really got quiet. So, between June and December, what, six months, we'll finish out the year with about eight micro-weddings and six small intimate weddings.
Bustld: How do you feel like the planning process changes for a micro-wedding or intimate wedding versus the big traditional weddings you were planning last year?
Irene: The planning is quicker, right. So the process, the terms are shorter, it's just like decisions have to be made quicker but I honestly feel that God was preparing my team and I for this season because last summer, we planned an entire full wedding in 10 days. For 125 people. With a language barrier. It's been a lot of couples who had destination weddings planned and another thing is, as a planner, it was our responsibilities to have all these resources for couples to be able to pull this day off seamlessly for them, the micro-weddings, because they're literally coming to us and be like, I want it all. So we had packages, we had our list ready to go, so if this photographer wasn't available, we had this one. And we were just calling on all of our partners to be like, we're working on this, we're going to be offering this, do you want to be a part of it?
Bustld: What's your biggest piece of advice to these couples when they come to you and they only have a few weeks to plan this micro-wedding?
Irene: First I would say, come to terms that your wedding day may not look how, initially, you had planned or imagined. Just come to terms with that, and what I've noticed is that most of our couples who have done the micro-wedding or the small intimate weddings and wanting to get married this year were the ones that were either A: planning a destination wedding or were like, I want to have a baby, I want to buy a house, I have plans, I'm starting my doctorate next year, like, I don't want to have to be bringing this along into the new year with me. I would tell you, too, that most of our couples who transition to this micro-wedding or the intimate weddings were very, very happy they did.
Bustld: So, a couple comes to you and they say they want to live stream their wedding, what do you do first?
Irene: The first thing we do is we really have a conversation with them, right. We've added that to our discovery call now which is crazy, like, we have all these additional questions to ask that we never had to ask before but, okay, depending on the guest size, if it's a micro-wedding, who is going to be missing out of this bunch that you really wish there? We try to get as much information as we can from them and educate them at the same time. If they say, oh, we're going to use this platform and I'm like, we've used this platform and here are the problems here. And if you have a lot of older generation that's watching, do they have somebody nearby that could help them with the technology, so walking them through that situation.
Bustld: If your couple's add live streaming on at the beginning, is it hard to add on at end? What is your recommendation for couples that are looking into micro-weddings for spring as far as live streaming? Do they start thinking about it now or wait?
Irene: We're actually starting to get inquiries for micro-weddings and small weddings for the first quarter of the year already, January, February, March, so the team and I talked about adding that on to our online questionnaire for micro-weddings, like, are you looking at live streaming your wedding? There's been a few times where we've mentioned working with you all and like, oh, I've already signed up or I've looked at it or whatever or I've had a call with them which is great but the earlier the better because your live streaming plan is embedded into your overall timeline. I like to say the earlier the better and we do it early. Is it difficult to do it last minute; yes and no. Yes because many couples may not have all the guest emails that are not going to be there because unless you emailed, unless you did an electronic invitation or an electronic save-the-date, you may not have people's email addresses. The other thing about doing it last minute difficulty which we've seen it before is you may encounter Wi-Fi issues and not being able to have the proper equipment come in on time. So, making sure that you have the right equipment, the right lights, ring lights and all that stuff, and we've had it where things don't come in right, things get stolen off of door steps, I mean, we've had all kinds of things. And so, now, as a part of our emergency kit, we have two tripods, we have the tablet adapter, we have a ring light, and it just comes with us.
Bustld: How do you feel like live streaming shifts your timeline? How do you feel about that?
Irene: We love logistics. I don't know if you saw our videos this week, we did some videos about the qualities of good a planner on wedding day and you have to expect the unexpected. Yes, it's more logistics, there's more points for us to manage on the wedding day but it's between everything else that's happening. And so, when I realized that this was so important to our couples, we make sure that we were, even for our small weddings, there was three of us. So you have your lead, your production manager and your assistant.
Bustld: For live streaming, what big moments do you usually suggest your couple includes in their live stream time?
Irene: I always say, of course, the entering of the bride, the processional, the processional time is really good. Everyone coming in and, of course, the grand entrance of the bride and then anything that's happening at the altar. Whether it's unity candle, the love knots, the sand ceremony, exchanging of the rings, exchanging of the vows, any scripture readings. Anything that's going on at the altar is essential because, honestly, how I feel about it, that's what makes you married. There's a bunch of other pleasantries but what made you married is walking down that aisle to your beloved and saying your vows, saying "I do", pronouncing and doing all that. And then, any other special moments that you want to have afterwards. So must of our couples are doing the ceremony mostly and that's what they want to capture, that whole 60 minutes to 90 minutes of celebrating is what most of our couples are wanting to do.
Bustld: What about personalizing, whether it be personalizing your Love Stream or any kind of live stream platform, the micro-wedding, what is your suggestion on how to personalize this virtual celebration?
Irene: I love when they do the slideshow, so when people are entering the virtual room and they have the pictures of them of their engagement or pictures of them when they were little kids or pictures of them with family members who are watching and not present which is really sweet also, it gets people choked up. Having a playlist is fun. And then, of course, your photo and then putting in that, taking that special time to say thank you for watching, we love you, we miss you, can't wait to celebrate with you in person or whatever. That is a great way to personalize your page and your whole experience.
Bustld: What are some logistical things that people need to be cautious of with live streaming?
Irene: Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, Wi-Fi, make sure you do that check. Wi-Fi speed check. LoveStream sends you what it's supposed to be; check it. Check it and check it and re-check it. But also have a backup plan, whether you have a strong hotspot connection or something like that. Be mindful of where your venue is located because if you're, we're in Georgia, so if we're in Atlanta or metro Atlanta, we're fine but if we go south or we go up in the mountains, that's where it gets fickle. Create a plan for the cameras and for your camera placement. Make sure you're happy with the angles and all the views. Part of one of the things that you put on your schedule is that you do a rehearsal check. We do our rehearsal check at our 30-day walk-through, our final walk-through, we do the final walk-through at then venue with the vendors and then we set up a time where we do 30, 40 minutes where we're chatting with LoveStream, mapping out everything, you know, that's a good angle, no, I can't see that, the sun is blocking here, whatever the case may be because if you have a ton of windows and it depends on the time of the day, it's all these things, you'll look like a black shadow, so you have to think of all this. So making sure you're happy with that. Remember that this is not going to be perfect. It is a good experience but at the end of the day, we're not a production team on your end, like, if you have your wedding planners working on it or even your family members are helping you with it and it's just a sign of the times, it's good quality for what we need for now for the price, right, that kind of thing. So, definitely remember those kinds of logistics.
Check out the recording of this podcast and others over at the Bustld YouTube channel!
Photo credit [vetted]: Irene Tyndale Events