A worldwide pandemic has certainly shaken up the wedding industry this year and for the foreseeable future weddings will begin a new chapter, with adaptations and options available which may previously have not be seen as a necessity. Venues are currently implementing preparations for safety but how can you be certain of involving all of your loved ones in these times?

More and more couples are finding solitude in turning to live streaming their big day and this can be an excellent way to share the love of your wedding with those that mean the most to you both.

How to go Live on your Big Day

Whether it’s due to far-flung or elderly guests physically unable to attend your ceremony, or due to social distancing restrictions in place, live streaming provides a great way to be together, while apart. From a handful of distant guests, to your entire wedding party live streaming can be flexible to accommodate any size or party.

As such, live streaming is no longer reserved for those who want to jet away and leave families behind. It’s a viable option for these modern times, ensuring that no-one is left out of a special occasion.

It’s understandable that you may have some reservations about hosting a virtual wedding, which is why we’ve put these eight helpful tips together, to ensure a glitch-free hitch!

1. Inform your guests

Webcasting your wedding day is still a relatively new concept, and it’s likely that most of your guests will be new to this. You’ll want to therefore explain to them in advance how it works and make it easy for them to log on.

For instance, this might mean providing elderly relatives with a tablet for the day, or ensuring friends have Wi-Fi access. You may even wish to create a ‘how to’ guide to assist them logging on, including passwords and details. It’s a nice touch.

2. Set the etiquette

There’s a certain etiquette about live streaming that should be considered. For instance, if you’re inviting some colleagues or friends to a wedding, but asking others to log in remotely, you run the risk of upsetting them. Try and be as consistent as possible, or at least explain to your friends why you’re unable to have everyone attend in person.

It’s also good etiquette to inform everyone in advance that the ceremony will be broadcast live. From the vicar or priest, through to a choir, singers or readers each should be consulted and informed that their footage will be beamed online. This also extends to any guests and musicians, who will be captured on the day. It’s polite to ask them if they mind being on camera, and essential to put provisions in place if they are not.

And on a final note, be clear with guests where and when they cannot enable the microphone, to ensure there’s no awkward commentary for others to endure!

3. The technical bit…

Ahead of your ceremony, it’s worth doing a run through to ensure that everything is set up for success. This includes checking the Wi-Fi or broadband connection in your venue (many churches have it these days) and doing a test run with your login. Use a friend back at home to check the sound and visual connection, so you can troubleshoot in advance.

Be clear on where the plug points are and how you will broadcast. Will you use your laptop or ask a friend to stream it on their device? Set up the angles in advance, so everyone is clear on the big day.

4. Choosing the right platform

You will need to give some thought to where to host your live ceremony.

Social media offers plenty of free options. These include Instagram live and Facebook as well as YouTube. Keep in mind that you don’t want to overload the streaming capabilities, so it’s advisable to keep this just to invited guests.

There’s also Zoom and Skype, if you’re looking to extend your reach to a wider range of guests, without compromising on video quality.

Another smart option is Google hangouts. This allows up to 10 devices to tune in, and the video is saved for you to enjoy and share afterwards.

Livestream.com is a great option for those with iOS and Android devices. Not only does it have a professional setup, but videos are available on their remote cloud for 30 days, so you can watch back all the magical moments.

Alternatively, if you can spare some budget, a content agency or videographer can handle all of the technical details for you. If you’re finding the whole setup stressful, or want to be free to enjoy your wedding day without distraction, this is worth considering. Plus, you’ll receive a professionally cut video at the end to look back in the years to come.

5. Involving remote guests

You’ll want every guest to feel special and part of your big day, no matter where they are. To overcome the challenges of live streaming, some couples send ‘wedding boxes’ to remote guests, which include a mini bottle of bubbly, party poppers, photo booth props, a slice of cake and even favours. It’s a fun way to bring them in to proceedings. Encourage guests to get in the party spirit too, ensuring they’re dressed up and ready to celebrate!

6. A receptive reception

After the ceremony comes the fun bit – the reception! Keep in mind that if you are having guests at your wedding, you don’t want to ruffle any feathers with guests that were only invited to the online celebration.

With this in mind, you may want to host an alternative after-party for online guests at some point in the day. Some couples hire out a small room and live chat to remote friends and raise a glass of champagne with them. It’s a touching way to show some love and extend the celebration online.

7. The after party

Ah, the infamous wedding after party – what could be more fun!? If guests are unable to be there in person, they can still enjoy the celebrations with a good boogie in their home.

Spotify is a great music streaming portal, that allows you to share your wedding playlist in advance with others. Why not take it one step further and ask guests to nominate a song, so everyone gets to make their mark on the day.

8. Make the most of digital

And finally, don’t be disheartened if you have to live stream, with it comes plenty of great opportunities.

One of the benefits of hosting an online wedding is the opportunity to use the digital platform. This means that old images can be shared online, poems can be video streamed with subtitles, and photos from the day can be instantly uploaded to your social pages. It’s a nice way of remaining in ‘real time’ even when everyone is apart.