Live streaming can be really expensive, or even free.
The real question here is this one: What are you trying to achieve with your live stream?
I'll give you three different options based on your goals -and your budget.
Please check which of these statements feel better to you before seeing the answers (and the pricing) down below:
- Do you want to have your event online seen by anyone who wants to watch it? (free!)
- Are you trying to create a beautiful experience for family and friends at home without breaking the bank? (very affordable)
- Are you looking for a cinematic experience for your guests who couldn't be there? (ready to splurge?)
Based on your answers, you can skip to:
- Live Stream Your Wedding for Free
- Live Stream Your Wedding on a Budget (Recommended!)
- Hire a professional to live stream your wedding
Wait, free? Yes! It's not ideal, but it can be done.
Let's start with the basics.
Here's what you need to live stream your wedding with -literally- no budget:
- A smartphone (or iPad)
- A social media account
- An internet connection
- A family member or friend to help you out
If you're considering live streaming your wedding, I'm sure you have access to all four. So... how does it work?
- The first step is to download a social media app on your phone. If you haven't done a social media detox in a while, you should have them installed already. Facebook Live or YouTube will work for this. I know you probably use Instagram more, but I wouldn't recommend it to live stream your wedding day even if your budget forced you to.
- The second step is to check the requirements of your app to live stream from your phone. If you have a Facebook account, you can use that one. YouTube is a little more complicated as you will need 1000 subscribers to be eligible to live stream from your phone. If you're not a thriving YouTuber (or a Content Creator, as they like to be called), you're out of luck.
- The third step is to set up a Live Stream on Facebook Live.
Here are the required steps to Schedule your Wedding using Facebook Live Producer:
- Open Facebook on your computer using your internet browser.
- On your Home screen (News Feed), press the "Live Video" button.
- Select "Create a Live Video Event"
- Choose your event name, date, and time.
- Choose where to post it: On your timeline, on a Page you manage, or on a Group.
- Configure the settings:
- Audience: Can everyone watch, or is it restricted to certain locations?
- What happens if your internet connection fails? (By default, Facebook ends your live stream).
- What can your viewers do? Can the rewind? Message you during the live stream?
- Schedule the Event
When the event is about to start, you will need to hand your phone over to the designated person and ask them to live stream the ceremony for you.
If you don't want to hand them your phone (it makes me anxious too), you can assign Co-hosts if they also have a Facebook account.
Even with its drawbacks, it's a fairly straightforward process. Facebook allows you to live-stream your wedding for free.
If your budget needs to remain at zero dollars, it might be your best option.
Is it all great? Not really... let me show you why. It all starts here, on Facebook's Live section:
Facebook Live comes with a few problems and I want to make sure you are aware of them before attempting this:
- If you want most people to be able to join, your live stream will be public. This means that anyone and everyone can join (yay!), even strangers (ouch!).
- To make your live stream private, you need to create a Facebook Group or adjust your privacy settings. This means that only people with a Facebook account can join. This is a deal-breaker to me (and to most of my millennial friends).
- Your family and friends will see not-so-related videos next to your wedding live stream. These videos usually include gaming, sexual or similar content and no matter how many times you report them, you won't receive a timely reply.
- Talking about replies, there is no support. Human or otherwise.
- If none of that is a problem for you, then this might be something to consider: You can't play copyrighted music or your video will be muted and then taken down automatically by the Facebook algorithm.
What about YouTube Live? Is it good to live stream my wedding?
Their streaming quality is better than Facebook, so there's that. Unlisted videos are also private, which is a good thing.
The problems are similar but with minor differences:
- You need 1000 subscribers to live stream from your smartphone
- Your video will be muted and taken down if you play copyrighted music
- Ads will be shown, as well as "related" videos. Not as harmful as Facebook, but they will be there.
- No support
So... are there any alternatives? Luckily, there are.
This solution involves very little knowledge on your side, it's a lot more efficient than social media alternatives, and it creates an amazing experience for your family and friends.
Oh, and it's so affordable you won't even need to discuss this with your fiancé in bed when the money conversation comes up.
What is it? A private live streaming app.
Live streaming technology moved so fast that nowadays you can live stream your wedding with a simple phone app, for Android or iOS.
Here's what you need to live stream your wedding on a budget:
- A smartphone (or iPad)
- An internet connection
- A tripod (which can be replaced with a family member or friend if your budget requires it)
- A private live streaming app
- If you want to improve your audio, you might want to add a small microphone (Optional!)
Just like before, you might have access to all of these already.
You said it was affordable, what's the total cost of this setup?
I'm glad you asked.
Did you jump in the TikTok trends while in lockdown? You might already have a tripod and a smartphone mount. You can use those. Too old for TikTok? I feel you. A smartphone mount will cost you less than a Starbucks coffee.
To improve the quality of your live stream you can buy a microphone but in many cases, it is not necessary. You will need one if you don't have a sound system in place, speakers are too far, or it's a windy environment in which your voices can't be heard.
Here's the cost breakdown:
- Live Streaming App: 50 USD
- Tripod + Smartphone Mount: 23 USD
- Microphone (if you need one): You can get a full kit for roughly 53 USD, or a dedicated microphone for as little as 39 USD: Android Microphone / iPhone Microphone.
If you don't have anything to start with, you can spend up to 125 USD for a full setup.
Do you have a tripod? The total cost can be as low as 89 USD.
Do you have a sound system on location? 50 USD is all you need to spend.
Remember that you can always ask a friend or family member to help. That would replace the cost of a tripod + smartphone mount, and even the microphone if they can stay close to the action.
How is this better than Facebook or YouTube?
Besides being extremely simple to use and set-up, it is the best option for your friends and family.
- Guests can RSVP and receive automatic reminders
- One-click to join the virtual event
- Attendees can watch from any device: Laptop, iPad, Mobile, or TV
- No accounts needed to watch your wedding day
- No ads, no interruptions
- No "related" content that distracts your virtual guests from your ceremony
- No notifications popping up every minute
- No muted videos or blockage due to licensed music
- Amazing human support.
These are just some of the benefits of using a private live streaming app like EventLive.
But.. what does the process look like?
Here's the entire process of Scheduling a Wedding using EventLive
- Download the app and Create an Account
- Schedule your Event: Type event name, date, and time
- Unlock your event (for 50 USD you get 24 hours of live streaming)
- Customize it: personalize your URL, add a photo or slideshow, set a pinned message on your guestbook.
- Invite people by adding their emails or sharing a private link with them
Not only your family and friends will have an enjoyable experience, but you will also receive a virtual guestbook and a full recording of your wedding live stream. You can invite unlimited people, display a slideshow while they wait, add gift registry links, and even send automatic reminders so they can attend the wedding with a single click.
In case your budget allows for a small purchase or two, this solution is a no-brainer.
The third option involves hiring professionals to live stream your event.
You should consider hiring a wedding videographer if...
- You want your guests at home to receive a cinematic experience
- You don't want to get involved in the process or you don't have the time
- You have the budget to hire people who do this for a living
- The location is remote and the internet might be limited
You can splurge on a wedding videographer who will do a fantastic job if these statements apply to you and your wedding.
Booking a pro will guarantee great results, but it might limit the budget you might have for other aspects of the event.
In any case, we have several videographers using EventLive to live stream weddings and they might be nearby your area. Let us know and we might be able to connect you with one of them.
If you love a videographer's style, you can ask them if they also offer live streaming services. They might sell this as an add-on to their packages and they can use EventLive to broadcast your wedding for a great viewers' experience.
How much does a wedding videographer charge to live stream a wedding?
Pricing varies a lot depending on the area, the equipment used, and the experience level. Based on our research, prices range between 650 to 3800 USD.
Depending on the team you reach out to, the quote might include coverage for the ceremony, cocktail hour, and important events like first dances, speeches, and cake cutting.
Weddings can be expensive, but live streaming doesn't have to be.
You can ask a friend or family member to broadcast on your behalf using a private live streaming app, or even free social media apps. A small tripod will boost the image quality a lot, and chances are you can borrow one if you don't want to buy it. Spending a small amount on EventLive can get you a long way.
The most important thing I can say is that you keep in mind your virtual guests while making a decision. Attending a wedding for them should be painless, otherwise their mind will get distracted and walk away.
The best way to incorporate your family and friends and make them a part of the event is to offer them an easy way to celebrate your love without thinking about technology. They can even sign a virtual guestbook while they watch you say "I Do".