Deciding the guest list has always been a huge dilemma for the soon-to-be-wed couple. On one hand, they would like to have as many people as possible to be present during the ‘I do’s. On the other hand, though, many guests are unable to travel great distances or are in poor health condition, which in turn restricts the couple when it comes to picking the location. Fortunately, the rising popularity of video sharing has provided a happy middle ground, making it possible to live stream the wedding!
Making an Online Presence
Tech-savvy couples all around the world are embracing the idea of a ‘Skype-wedding’. By deploying an internet-enabled camera, it’s possible to present the events to viewers as they unfold. The idea is brilliant: family members or friends who couldn’t manage to make it to the ceremony are still able to watch from their living room, and even share comments with others also watching the stream.
Doing so makes the choice of wedding venue more flexible, too, since the couple is free to organize the wedding on a romantic island or the other side of the country while the guests can participate without the cost of tedious traveling. The live video connection even allows people to say their best wishes to the newlyweds by speaking into their camera.
Streaming Services for the Wedding
Recording the ceremony for a live audience is quite similar to having a Skype call (hence the name Skype-wedding). You won’t need expensive equipment to run the show; you can start streaming with a smartphone and a laptop. However, don’t be a total cheapskate as it will drastically reduce the quality of the video. So be sure to ditch the built-in webcams and instead opt for an internet-enabled camera capable of recording in gorgeous true HD.
Because streaming is so widely popular, it won’t be difficult to find the corresponding software. Let’s see a few examples.
Skype is a convenient choice. Initiating a one-on-one call is free, and you can launch a conference call with up to ten people with a premium membership. Also, guests probably have it installed on their phone or laptop already, and therefore they know how to handle it.
This is another free solution that the guests are surely familiar with. It’s actually common practice to stream a wedding on YouTube. In the past, the couple had to schedule an event on Hangouts, and then invite the guests via email. But the company has recently revamped their streaming service, and thus the whole process has become easier.
Another tried and tested streaming service for weddings. UStream is available for iOS and Android systems, but it runs on desktops as well. The broadcast quality is great even with the free version, but you cannot password protect the footage unless upgrading to premium. On the plus side, the viewers can chat with each other while watching.
Unlike the others, MyStreamingWedding isn’t just software but a full-blown service centered on broadcasting the big day to an online audience in a professional manner. The company sends one of their professional photographers to attend the ceremony and take care of the streaming. They guarantee a reliable internet connection, a personalized web page and troubleshooting, so the couple doesn’t need to worry about anything.
The Importance of Beta-Testing
It’s vital to highlight that not everything will be sunshine and rainbows when it comes to streaming. There are a number of banana peels that unprepared couples could easily slip on, and so it goes without saying that the concept must be tested multiple times before going live. Also, a stable connection is a must-have for this purpose. Don’t even think about using mobile internet if no Wi-Fi hotspots are available. It’s unreliable and sharing HD video is a nightmare if the ISP decides to throttle the connection; if this is something you want to consider then be sure the venue can accommodate your needs.
The best course of action is to delegate the responsibility to a freelancer technician or a friend who has experience in streaming. They should constantly supervise the broadcasting, answer any questions on the chat and troubleshoot if necessary. Don’t take the task lightly! Promising guests the time of their life, only to cut the video in half during the ceremony will ruin the experience for everyone.