We've talked a lot about elopements, micro-weddings and virtual weddings but we've never actually gotten into the weeds of live streaming your wedding. So, on today’s podcast we flipped the script and Samie asked Ryan all the difficult questions, for once. Ryan shares all of his knowledge about live streaming weddings.
Samie: Why should I live stream my wedding?
Ryan: Well, a lot of reasons. Currently, obviously, there's a global pandemic going on. There's a little thing called COVID. Who knows how long this is going to go on and what the after effects of all this is going to be, so most people are at the point now where they're just like, you know what, let's just adapt and evolve and let's go ahead and get married, we'll just do it in a different way.
It's unfortunate because it's not the way you would have envisioned it. But, at the same time, at least we live in an age where we have technology that you can do things like that. Even after the pandemic is over, grandparents, aunts and uncles, there are always guests that can’t make it.
Samie: What are the options for live streaming?
Ryan: Well, shameless plug, obviously, LoveStream, which is our product that we launched at the beginning of COVID. You could also do Facebook Live, you could do Instagram Live, you could do Zoom, WebEx, any of those sort of work conferencing type tools.
One thing I will say about when you use something like a Facebook or an Instagram Live is you want to make sure that - two things: One, that you're not playing copyrighted music because the algorithms could shut you off and turn off the stream; and second is that anyone that is going to want to watch the wedding needs to not only have Facebook, but also be friends with the person that's streaming it. So, there's a lot of hiccups there that you have to think about.
Samie: What are top questions you would ask to decide which virtual wedding platform is best for you?
Ryan: I would want to know how tech savvy my guests are. So, when you take something like LoveStream, it's as simple as clicking a link and then you're in. With Zoom, you need to make sure older guests have someone that's there that can help them get in. I think that and time restrictions and how many guests you're going to need, too. Those all factor in. And privacy.
Samie: Once you've chosen one of these platforms, how do you actually film it? Do you need to go buy a super fancy camera? How does that work?
Ryan: The good news is with all the different platforms we just discussed you can do it with your phone. There are ways to also do it with fancy video equipment, as well, but I would not try to DIY that. As long as it's a more up-to-date device, that's what I would focus on. Something that's more out-of-date is probably not going to work as well. But I know Love Stream, I'm sure Zoom does the same, we've gotten that connected with an iPhone 6, so as long as it's relatively up to date. No flip phones. No Fisher-Price toy phones.
Samie: Does it make a difference in the quality of the final stream product?
Ryan: So, it does. There are really two key components to this. One is, obviously, the device. Making sure it's up to date, making sure it's a higher quality camera, too; I mentioned iPhone 6, but that was a much lower megapixel camera, so you want to be cognizant of that.
A couple other things to think about, too, or one other thing to think about is the internet connection itself. Actually, that’s much more important than the camera because if you don't have a strong enough connection, then it's not going to have anywhere to stream. It's just going to buffer and skip and pixelate and things like that. So even if you have the best camera in the world, if you have a very poor internet connection, it's all not going to work very well. Internet is more important than the phone.
Samie: What happens if you're in the mountains and you don't have Wi-Fi? How does that affect your stream, can you even do it?
Ryan: You can do it through cellular. Again, shameless plug, LoveStream works pretty well on cellular but we need a connection and if it's weak, you'd want to test multiple different service providers. If you are truly out in the middle of nowhere, for instance, we talked to a couple who was getting married in the Rocky Mountains, where there were zero cell towers. They were going deep into the national park. In those scenarios, you're probably just better off recording on your phone and then distributing it later. It's not the same because it's not live, but that's something to think about when you're picking where your ceremony is going to be.
Samie: How do you actually make this happen on the day of?
Ryan: So, for the tech-challenged couples, I would say, first off, you shouldn't do this yourself. I would say find the person, if you have people on-site, try to find the person that is the most comfortable with phones. These things aren't terribly complicated but there are certain steps you have to follow. So, find that person that's not necessarily in the wedding party that's just comfortable with phones.
Samie: So, if I'm planning a wedding for next year when hopefully everything will be back to normal, why would I still need a live stream?
Ryan: I kind of mentioned it earlier, too, but really, anyone that can't be there can still experience this with you. You may not need a full production, you may need something just a little bit smaller scale, like maybe there's just a single camera sort of thing. I think this is going to stay with us. People are going to be much more comfortable with this. People are still going to, even in a year, if we get the vaccine and all these different things start to play out right, some people are still going to be very uncomfortable traveling. There's going to be collateral damage for this for a long, long time.
Want to plan a wedding? Book your wedding live stream with LoveStream today!
Photo credit: Meredith Jane Photography