Wedding scene isn’t new to elopements and small weddings. Couples have been celebrating their weddings for years with only those special few that are the most important to them.
However, if an elopement or a small wedding is forced on you, it can be a different storey. We know that many of you are making a tough decision whether to postpone your weddings or go ahead with a smaller group. Current COVID-19 wedding restrictions say that a wedding can have no more than 5 people; that’s you, your spouse, your celebrant, and two witnesses.
We know that it can be incredibly difficult to choose the two witnesses who will be with you on the day. Not only on you, but also on the guests who have been looking forward to your big day. This is where virtual weddings or the steaming of your wedding can come in.
Many couples still choose to go ahead with their big day, just in a smaller way. But there is no reason for your guests not to get involved! Streaming your wedding is a great way to celebrate the day, and it still involves all of your nearest and dearest.
So if you’re looking into how you can stream or host a virtual wedding, we have some tips for you.
First, choose your preferred platform
There are so many sites that you can host your wedding easily and for free. The platform you use comes down to ease of use for you and your friends, as well as personal preferences.
One of our favourite ways to stream your wedding is through a private community Facebook Live. Creating a private community is a way to keep others up-to-date with the information of how it operates. If all your guests have a Facebook page, this might be an easy way to get to the site they already know and use. However, this is a one-way forum, and the only way you can connect with your guests is through the comment options.
Another great choice is Zoom mobile video conferencing (who else would like to have purchased Zoom shares 12 months ago?!). The only person who wants a Zoom account is the person who has set up a streaming video. It then gives you a connexion to share with your family and friends that they can use whether they have an account or not. Zoom helps you to see a variety of people from their grid view, which might be a fantastic choice if you want to be able to see all of your visitors on a day. However, for purposes of privacy, any user must be invited to the Zoom conference call when they hop on board, which means that someone manually approves them on a day.
There are also other sites to be used, such as Google Hangouts, Skype, Discord, and more. So whatever channels you use for work or play, consider what could be best for you and your guests.
Once you’ve determined the platform you’re using, it’s time to let your guests know your plans! If you haven’t already given them a ‘unsave date’ or a note about postponing your wedding, you can give them to a single invitation.
It may be a physical invitation to work with your stationery supplier, a Facebook case, or a virtual invitation by email. Whatever you pick, make sure you include the key information, such as time, the platform, and how they will get to the platform.
Have fun with your invitation, Give your guests a lot of fun details like where your physical ceremony is going to be or whether you’re going to be wearing something different from what you originally planned. Don’t forget the code of the dress! Just because we’re at home doesn’t mean we can’t get dressed. You could also encourage a glass of bubbles to celebrate.
Provide technical support to guests in advance
It doesn’t matter how technically clever they are; there’s always one person who doesn’t know how to get a job done. Send out details on how to use your preferred platform when you send out your invitations to philtre out any questions that people may have in advance.
Important details to include are:
-how the platform works (i.e. they will see everyone or just you)
-whether they need to create an account in advance
-whether they need audio or visual enabled
Also, let them know how the day is going to work. Is there going to be 10 minutes for people to join in before the ceremony starts? Is everything going to start immediately? The last thing you want is people to send you questions about why they can’t hear anything when nothing happens.
On that note, assign someone to answer technical questions and make them available to your guests. It could be a member of your wedding party who’s happy to help, or even one of your witnesses. This will answer field tech questions from you to them. It’s still your wedding day, after all, so don’t be afraid to delegate!
Check to make sure your own streaming gear is working
Now you’ve got the tech to control your guests, it’s time to test your own tech. You want to make sure that you have a strong internet signal, high-quality video and powerful audio that can pick up your vows from a distance.
You want to decide how you’re going to stream the wedding, too. Is it going to be through your phone? Your laptop, huh? The setup of a camera? Making sure you test all of this in advance means less stress on the day.
Check how you frame the shot
Think about how a guest usually sees a wedding to think about how to frame it on a camera. They usually face your celebrant front-on, while you, as a couple, would be on the side.
How close or far you can get is going to depend on your audio quality so you can practise it at home beforehand. You want the camera to be close enough to let your guests see the emotion on your face. But you also want to be far enough away to give them a decent look at the two of you and what you might be wearing.
Once you have the framing and the distance set, it’s time to think about the height level. Guests would usually be sitting during a ceremony so if you don’t have a tripod then a table could be a good height option. Just make sure whatever surface you use is stable.
Don’t be afraid to mute people
If you’re using a two-way platform, don’t be afraid to silence your guests during your ceremony. While we have no doubt that they’re going to watch your ceremony carefully, you never know what the background noise is going to be. After the celebrations, you can always unmute them.
Is one of the children throwing a tantrum? Did the dog see a possum? Was the washing machine just starting to sing in the middle of your vows? Who knows that? Not you, because all of your guests are mute.
Ask your celebrant for advice
Your wedding celebrant is going through the ups and downs of changes to your wedding with you. They’re there to help, therefore! Ask them if they’ve ever wedded virtually and what advice they may have.
If you want to involve your guests in the day more, your celebrant is also a great resource. You can still do that if you first plan on having speeches at your wedding. Your guest could only do a virtual reading.
Words or toasts from your guests before or after the ceremony are good ways to involve important people who may not be there.
If you are in doubt, hire a professional
If you really want to stream your wedding, but you’re worried about how it’s going to happen all day, then don’t be afraid to get someone to do it for you. Most wedding videographers will be able to provide your guests with high-quality live streams and manage everything for you.
They can act as one of your two witnesses, and after a day, you’ll be able to get a professional stream and even a professional video. This could be a great keepsake of your ceremony, and it could even be shared if you had a delayed reception at a later time.