When you live stream for as long as we did, you will eventually be contacted by a couple or a client who wants to broadcast an event at an impossible location.
For me, it was a beach wedding.
“A remote wedding? Sounds exciting”, I remember saying to myself. That was until they mentioned that it would take place at a far-away beach, instead of one of the resorts I usually work at.
I shoot destination weddings so I’m used to traveling for work. I ended up in the northernmost tip of the Dominican Republic, at a venue I love. It’s called Flor de Cabrera, if you feel like Googling it.
The location is gorgeous, but when I verified my signal at the ceremony location I almost freaked out. 3G is all I could see.
The bridal party had amazing WiFi nearby the rooms, but it was about 200 meters (600 feet) away from the ceremony. I didn’t have antennas or anything I could use, and 3G wouldn’t cut it.
It wasn’t the first time I experienced a bad connection, but it was the first time that I almost had to cancel the broadcasting portion of my service. The ceremony was scheduled for 4:30 pm and it was 11 am when I found out how hard this would be. I still had plenty of time.
What are my options?
- Canceling the service: Not great, but the couple would understand if I showed them that they couldn’t even use Instagram at the ceremony location.
- Get some extra gear to extend the range of the WiFi. Honestly, I didn’t know how to do it back then, and I still don’t. I know it can be done, but it was a long distance and I didn’t have the tools to do it.
- Record the ceremony and give it to the couple so they could later share it with the ones who missed it live. In a week or two, when they go back home.
When analyzing my options I realized that I didn’t have to do any of that. It was much easier!
I asked the bride if I could push the live stream 30 minutes later than the scheduled time.
I always used EventLive to live stream my weddings. I tried other platforms, but for some reason, they wouldn’t perform as expected or match my brand. So I rescheduled my event for 5 pm and everyone got notified instantly.
I kept photographing the wedding day as usual. Getting ready, first look, wedding setup, it all went great.
At 4:30 pm, the bride walked across the beach while I photographed and “streamed” her event with an iPhone, a tripod, and no internet.
Luckily for all of us, they said “I Do” and the short but sweet ceremony ended around 4:45 pm.
Symbolic ceremonies are super short, which I appreciated more than ever that day. A few minutes after the ceremony ended I asked my second shooter to go walk towards the rooms and upload the video to the event page.
The recording was in full resolution so It took a bit longer than I expected, but around 5:10 pm everybody watched the “live” ceremony from their homes. I don’t remember how many people watched that day, but I remember the words of appreciation from the couple.
Saved the day, one more time! Only this time I didn’t have to do tie the ties for the guys, it was just doing the live stream!
EventLive was a little basic back then. Today, I’d have added a Pinned Message to the guestbook so everyone would know about the delay, even the ones who didn’t sign up to be notified of event changes.
These days when clients ask: “What happens if the internet is bad?”
“As long as there’s a strong connection nearby, I can get your wedding online with a 30-minute delay. No one will notice.”