Virtual has become the new normal for 2021 and for the foreseeable future. Learn about streaming for weddings.
This year, 2021 is going to have some challenges regarding people traveling for weddings. From closed borders, provincial guidelines, and airline restrictions to a person’s comfort level to travel, weddings will not return to normal at the start of this coming season. There will be people invited for weddings who will not be able to attend. This is where streaming comes in handy. Professional companies can stream everything from the ceremony and the speeches to the first dance for everyone to watch at home in whatever city they are in. As the co-owner of Quality Entertainment and the person in charge of our company’s webcasting and streaming services, I am here to offer you some information and advice on how to properly stream a wedding to make sure everything runs smoothly for you and your client.
What is the client looking for?
The options for streaming a wedding starts with choosing the number of cameras. From one camera to multiple cameras, your client will need to decide the look they want to achieve for the people watching at home. For a single camera, the options will be very limited. The camera will most likely be a wide shot to capture the room rather than focused on the couple. With multiple cameras, there are more options to focus on the couple, the bridal party, the officiant, the podium for speeches and the guests in the room.
Do you want the system to record from the cameras for your client to be able to watch later after the wedding or is it simply being broadcast for that day to the people who could not attend the wedding? It will be important to know this information so the system is setup properly to record. Later, you will need to decide if you want the raw footage as is or a produced video featuring the highlights of the day with graphics, special effects and music.
How will you broadcast your wedding to the people who could not attend? It’s important for you to decide whether its being broadcast simply through a platform like Zoom or broadcast on a private Facebook page or You Tube channel. You will also need to decide whose account is going to be used. Your streaming company can make some recommendations on the best approach.
One of the most important aspects of streaming is the reliability of the internet. A site inspection and test of the internet is important before you go ahead with the service to verify the internet will be sufficient. It is highly recommended that your streaming company plugs directly into the router at the location and avoid using the WIFI. Often times, the WIFI is not strong enough or the guests show up and start connecting to it – resulting in decreased capacity. It is highly recommended that you book back up WIFI from your streaming company in case the internet at the venue becomes weak, unusable or it goes down. A professional company will be able to provide you with options for back up WIFI such as a portable 4G hub. It’s also important to note that not all locations will work for attaching to the location’s WIFI – especially if your client chooses an outdoor ceremony because the location of the router might be too far from the technician’s table. And WIFI generally does not work too far from the building. You can use www speedtest.net for testing the internet on our own.
Sound for the wedding
When it comes to participating in meetings at our desks using Zoom or a similar platform, web cameras can be sufficient. However, in large rooms where weddings are held, web cameras and their tiny microphones will not work adequately enough for people to see and hear at home. It’s important to use professional microphones that connect to a sound board that connect to the video and stream to the people at home. A professional steaming company will have these types of microphones for the audio and be able to offer them to you for the wedding. You will be given the option to have one microphone to share or the preferred method of multiple microphones for the officiant, the groom, possibly the bride and anyone speaking or singing. If you have booked live music for the ceremony, you will need to connect the musician’s sound to the sound board using microphones or other devices. If you do not connect the musician’s sound, that portion of the wedding ceremony will be very low or silent for the audience at home. My recommendation to everyone for a live stream is – the more microphones the better.
Streaming to social media platforms
If you are planning on streaming to your private channels whether it be Facebook, You Tube or Twitch, do not broadcast pre-recorded music from the DJ as these social media platforms will cut off the sound entirely due to copyright restrictions.
Choosing a Professional Company
There are lots of companies getting into the streaming business without the proper technology or experience. Its important to choose a company you can trust. For the people who could not attend the wedding, you want the experience to be an enjoyable one for them at home with as few technical issues as possible or none.
I hope you found this information to be helpful. It was a very brief introduction to streaming for weddings. There is still a lot more to know when you are considering the service. If you have any questions, please reach out to me as I would be happy to offer my assistance and guidance.
OGWIA Board Member – Accounting
Co-owner and Production Sales – Quality Entertainment