How to Zoom or Stream Your Wedding
Dear streaming apps and services: thank you! Marke couples who choose to get married while quarantined can now share their special moments with family and friends.
While social distancing and restrictions on travel and large gatherings have forced many couples to postpone their wedding celebrations (we know all about it), some are still choosing to marry and are inviting guests to witness their union from the comfort of their own homes via live video stream.
Want to livestream your wedding? Here are a few tips that can help you broadcast your memorable event. For starters, we've discovered Joy, a wedding planning and technology company based in San Francisco that recently started a free streaming feature on its website. We've also stumbled upon Wedfuly, a Denver-based online wedding planning company, seems to helping out Marke couples too. But there's a ton more options...
1. Choose the Correct Service
Here are Marke's top options when it comes to picking a platform that'll allow you to livestream your wedding: Zoom, Skype, Facebook, and FaceTime. But keep in mind: There are limitations.
Zoom Wedding allows you to broadcast on a private cloud, but its free version limits calls to only 40 minutes and up to 100 participants. If you want to have a longer ceremony, you’ll need to pay $14.99 for its monthly “pro” product. (And to have a video call of up to 500 participants, you’ll need to pay a $50 fee.)
Facebook’s livestream function is free and does not limit the number of participants and allows for up to eight hours of livestreaming. Skype’s group video option is free, but it only allows for up to 50 people. Apple’s Group FaceTime is also free, and allows up to 32 people, but guests must have an Apple device to join.
2. Work Out the Details
To avoid technology hiccups, Marke suggests that couples ask someone to manage their livestream and oversee tasks such as muting guests while the couple exchanges vows.
While a virtual wedding might involve fewer moving parts, for some couples it will still make sense to bring in wedding planners and on-the-day coordinators—and they don’t even have to be in the room with you. An expert can help with flowers, the license, the celebrant, and the ceremony. For example, might be cool to arrange for the bridal party to send a video toast on the night of the couple’s virtual rehearsal dinner.
Even if you don’t enlist professional help, it’s probably a good idea to hand off tasks to any witnesses you will have. If you have quarantined with other people or are having a small number of socially distant guests, ask one of them to worry about the live stream, check the audio, and stay on top of everything. And if you had planned to work with certain providers, like caterers, set designers, stylists, photographers, makeup artists, musicians, and the like, you might still be able to retain their services, and on a smaller budget.
3. Get Word Around
Pro-tip: When you livestream the wedding, you can invite a lot more friends and family to join you without having to break the bank, so consider expanding your guest list. Send an e-vite to guests to let them know when you plan to livestream the event. You can also announce the date and time on your social media.
Pro tip: Make sure your event is password protected to prevent uninvited users from crashing the party. (Reports of “Zoombombing,” where online users break into Zoom meetings, have emerged in recent weeks.)
4. Set the Stage & Make it Interactive
Creating a backdrop that captures your style can make your virtual ceremony feel more personal. Need some design inspiration? Strategically placed flowers or candles can transform a backyard or a room into a beautiful setting for a wedding.
Without your friends and family all present, it’s easy to think that a digital wedding might be less, well, you guys. But that’s not the case. All the things you might want to ask loved ones to do—readings, ceremonial processions, musical performances, speeches—can still be done, either live or pre-recorded.
For example: You might not be on a dance floor, but that doesn’t mean you can’t dance. You can send your first-dance song sheet to your guests, and they can sing to the music while you dance. Most importantly, though, don’t lose your sense of humor through all this—if you are making the effort to make your dreams come true, have fun with it!
Although your guests will be tuning in remotely, they can still take part in the festivities. For instance, you can ask virtual attendees to make cocktails at home and share a toast with you, or encourage people to wear black-tie attire.
Depending on what service you’re using to livestream your wedding, guests may be able to post comments during the event and express their well wishes too.
5. Save Something Special for Later
Ultimately, a digital wedding is just like any other—things can and do go wrong. Remember we’re all in this together, and everyone realizes that this is a different experience and not what is expected - it's definitely okay to mention that.