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How to Live Stream Your Wedding: In-depth guide

Gaston Garcia
July 21, 2021

Can you imagine having all your family and friends on your wedding day?
Now.. can you imagine doing that without increasing your budget?
What about including the ones who live far away from you and can’t make the trip?

Live streaming your wedding will give you the opportunity to do exactly that.

It will allow you to capture the event, share it with the ones you love, and be able to watch it over and over again.

Today, I’ll teach you how to live stream a wedding for family and friends anywhere in the world. No more worrying about delays or bad video quality.

Why do couples live stream their wedding day?

I know I wish I had more photos and videos of the weddings I attended as a guest. And I will definitely want more photos and videos of my own wedding when the day comes. Wouldn’t you?

In no way live streaming will be able to replace a skilled videographer who produces a cinematic film but in many ways, it will allow you to experience your wedding day again, and it will give your family and friends the chance to join, no matter where they are.

smartphone on tripod with microphone live streaming a wedding


Is Zoom the best way to broadcast a wedding?

The last few years have been a little rough for anyone who was planning a wedding. Can you relate?

Couples had to find an alternative way to get married. Brides and grooms tried Zoom, Facebook Live, YouTube, and many other platforms.

Some turned out great, and others were not as enjoyable when muting guests turned to be a full-time job. With family members not being able to attend or make the trip, Zoom was the obvious choice.

So… why did it fail?

Well, at the beginning most people were not familiar with it. They wouldn’t mute themselves and we’d be paying more attention to someone’s dog barking in the background than the actual wedding.

When that changed and we got used to it (and their awful passwords), it felt more like a work meeting than a joyful event.

I still feel like that! Based on research (from actual scientists), Zoom fatigue is still a real thing in 2021.

It’s no secret that the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we communicate, but long-distance events don’t have to feel like another boring work meeting.

There are better ways, promise.

Choosing a platform to live stream your wedding day

There are a few alternatives for this, and I’d like to give you the pros and cons for each. After thoroughly testing them all, this is my honest opinion:

live streaming platforms for weddings
Best live streaming platforms for weddings


Live streaming with Zoom:

Pros of Zoom:
  • The video quality is good.
  • Most people know how to use it
  • It’s affordable, starting at about $15 for the basic subscription. You have to pay extra to add more attendees.
  • It’s private
  • It records the live stream as long as your internet connection is stable and you have enough space on your -paid- plan
Cons of Zoom:
  • Guests need to download an app and create an account to join
  • Password protection is mandatory. Very complicated for the elderly
  • Attendees need to mute themselves, or someone needs to actively manage the live stream from a computer
  • It is an ongoing subscription model
  • They will cut the recording when you exceed 1GB, even if you’re paying
  • The free version doesn’t allow you to stream for more than 40 minutes
  • If you have more than 100 virtual guests, you need to pay extra or they’ll be locked outside of the live stream.
  • Cannot be watched on TV
  • Feels like work!
Zoom's private wedding view - Couple on top left


Live Streaming with EventLive:

Pros of EventLive:
  • Excellent video quality
  • One-click access for your guests. They don’t need an account or app to watch your wedding
  • Guests receive automatic reminders when the live stream starts
  • It’s private
  • There’s a guestbook included with photos
  • You can pause the live stream after the ceremony and resume for first dances or speeches to the same link
  • You can download the video and watch a replay for one year
  • You can customize your invite link
  • Extremely easy to use
  • Human support is fantastic
  • You can do many rehearsals for free before going live
  • Modern viewing page
Cons of EventLive:
  • The host needs to download a free app
  • It costs 50 USD to livestream a wedding. Considering the experience for the viewers and ease of use for the couple, it’s a bargain
  • If you want to designate someone to live stream on their phone, you need to share your password with them. This is solved by using a password you can give them
eventlive viewing page
EventLive's private viewing page - Guestbook on the right side


Live Streaming with Facebook Live:

Pros of Facebook Live:
  • Most people already have a Facebook account
  • It’s free
  • Easy to join if you’re logged in and have an account
Cons of Facebook Live:
  • It’s public. Anyone can join to watch
  • It can be tricky for some people to join the live stream
  • Anyone can comment on your wedding video
  • They will take down your wedding if you use copyrighted music
  • It’s unreliable
  • Video quality is subpar
  • Related videos under your wedding live stream usually include gaming, gambling, or sexy videos
  • Can’t pause and resume the video without inviting everyone again to a new link
  • Support is non-existant
Facebook Live viewing page
Facebook Live viewing page - Have a look at the "recommended" videos


Live Streaming with YouTube:

Pros of YouTube Live:
  • The video quality is good
  • It’s easy to join
  • People are familiar with it
  • You can watch on TV, Laptop or Smartphone
Cons of YouTube Live:
  • You need 1000+ subscribers to live stream from your phone
  • Your video will be taken down or muted if you play copyrighted music, even if it’s in the background
  • Guests will have to register or sign in to watch your wedding
  • You can’t customize the link, unless you have 100+ subscribers
  • No support
  • Can’t pause and resume the video without inviting everyone again to a new link
YouTube public viewing page - Public comments below



Conclusions

For some people who aren’t focused on privacy or the viewing experience, platforms like Facebook Live might be more than enough.

If you want an easy and simple set up, private link and great viewing experience, EventLive is really worth paying for it. You can try it for free.

The biggest problem couples face when using options like YouTube is that they end up finding out on their wedding day that the live stream didn’t work.

Their family couldn’t watch the event only because they walked down the aisle to a copyrighted song. Do you know what happens when you do that? Your video gets blocked or muted, because it’s public.

When using Zoom, we read dozens of horror stories about grandparents not being able to figure out how the app works, or the video being shut down at the 40 minute mark during the groom's vows.

I’m sure that you know this already: There’s no re-do for weddings. You only have one chance to do this the right way.

I can help you do it right.

What equipment do you need for live streaming a wedding?

You’d be surprised. Live streaming these days is much easier than it looks, and definitely much easier than us, photo and video professionals make it look.

This is all you need to live stream your wedding:

  • Smartphone: The newer the better, but any phone will do. If you have one of the latest iPhones the quality comes really close to a professional camera, for live streaming purposes.
  • Microphone: You will need one if you’re away from the action, outdoors, or in a location without a sound system. A small mic will help you get better audio for your viewers, but in many situations, it’s not necessary. When you download the EventLive app you can run a test and see if you’ll need a mic or not.
  • Tripod or light stand with a smartphone holder. A cheap light stand will do, and you can get any smartphone mount.
  • Internet connection: WiFi or 4G / LTE

Now that you know what you need, I’ll help you set up your device.

The first thing you need to know is that the live stream needs to be recorded in landscape mode. EventLive’s app will force you to turn your phone horizontally to guarantee a great experience for your virtual guests.

You can put your phone down for a minute and connect the smartphone mount to your tripod or light stand. It is as simple as rotating the plastic mount into the metal thread of the tripod.

Place your phone in it, and you’re good to go.

It should look something like this:

live streaming equipment - phone on tripod
Live Streaming Setup: iPhone + Tripod + Smartphone Mount


If you’d rather designate a family member to hold the phone with a microphone instead of placing a tripod, your configuration can be as simple as this one:

women holding a smartphone while live streaming
Live streaming with an iPhone 11 Pro and a Microphone

In this case, Julia, our head of support at EventLive, is holding an iPhone 11 Pro with a Saramonic microphone.

I’d still suggest that you use a tripod because it can be a much more enjoyable experience for the viewers. Not everyone can handheld a device for a complete ceremony without shaking, moving, or getting distracted.

Where should you place the phone to live stream a wedding?

Now that you know exactly what you need to share your I Do’s, let’s decide on where to place the tripod with your phone.

The easiest thing to do is to ask your photographer or videographer if you have one. They will know a good spot down the aisle that doesn’t interfere with their work.

If you want to designate someone for this, here are the best angles (in order of preference):

  • Centered on the aisle while facing the altar: This is the classic shot in which you can see the bride, groom, and the bridal party. If the sound isn’t great, the closer the better. See image below.
  • 45 degrees to the right side: pointing at the bride’s face. This allows the viewers to see the bride clearly, and most of the wedding party.
  • Behind the altar: capturing the bride, groom, and the officiant. This point of view allows virtual guests to see the reactions from family and friends. The downside is that you might interfere with the professional photographer and videographer on location.
live streaming camera placement during a ceremony
Camera placement for live streaming a wedding ceremony


Things to keep in mind when placing the tripod to live stream your wedding ceremony:

  • The closer to the action or speakers, the better the audio will be
  • Place the tripod on a spot where it doesn’t bother the professional photographer/videographer
  • Point the phone at the wedding processional first, and then to the bride and groom when the ceremony begins
  • The closer to the wifi source, the better

This last tip brings us to the most important requirement to live stream your wedding day: the Internet.

What internet connection do you need to live stream a wedding?

Have you heard that the simplest solution is almost always the best?
It is definitely the case here.

If you have access to reliable wifi where the ceremony is being held, then that’s the best way to go.
In case the wifi connection is unstable, or many people are connected to it, then using a data plan would be best.

The easiest way to find out if wifi will work for you is to run a test. EventLive’s app allows you to run as many tests as you need, for free. For other platforms, you might need to actually perform a live stream and verify how it works as you are live.

Please note that the quality of your wifi connection will depend on how many people are using it, your distance to the router, and the walls in between. The best way to verify your connection is to test it right where the ceremony will take place, and not anywhere else. Also consider that if you're planning an outdoor wedding, verifying the wifi signal at the exact location is the only way to guarantee that it will work.

It’s always wise to have a data plan that doesn’t limit your speed as a backup to prevent any problems.

To live stream a wedding, the ideal upload speed should be 3mbps or higher,
but a little lower than that could work too.

How do you find out your upload speed?
You can run a free internet test in less than 30 seconds using any of these options:

Assuming your upload speed is higher than 3mbps, you should be good to go live.

wedding bride flying in the air



How do I invite guests to my virtual wedding?

Depending on the platform you choose, inviting someone can be as simple as:

  • Sending a custom link using EventLive (YouTube allows this if you have over 100 subscribers). This alternative works for everyone, and EventLive sends reminders prior to the wedding so your guests can join on time.
  • For other platforms you should send the instructions to download the app, sign up for an account, and access your event (Zoom or Facebook). This second option isn’t ideal for non-tech savvy users, or the elderly. The problem with this alternative is that people can forget about your wedding.

When using EventLive, you have the option to upload a CSV file with all your guests emails and they'll be automatically notified.

The best way to invite your guests is to send them an invitation through email, private message, or even adding the streaming URL to your wedding invitation.

You have to consider this: If your family and friends watching from home are young and tech-savvy, you can choose any platform and invite them through any medium, and they’ll be able to join.

In case that you have some people watching from home that are not experienced social media users, or aren’t familiar with apps and logins, I’d strongly recommend that you steer away from any platform that requires an account or app to watch your wedding.

To get started, I recommend you to set up a guest list of people you’ll invite. Then you can share your event link, and they’ll be able to RSVP and get reminders automatically when the wedding starts, if you choose to go with EventLive.

Expert tip: It is good to create a schedule of events of what you will broadcast, even if it includes approximate times. This will allow your virtual guests to take a break and come back for first dances, speeches, or anything that you decide to share with them.

If you decide to pause your event and then resume, EventLive will send them an email as soon as you go back live.

virtual wedding invitation

How long can I live stream my wedding for?

Most platforms will give you enough time for you to share everything that is important to you and your virtual guests.

The main difference is that with most of them you won’t be able to stop the live stream and resume later, as you can do with EventLive.

Live streaming platforms and their time limit:

  • Zoom will allow you to live stream for 40 minutes unless you pay for a Pro subscription.
  • Facebook allows you to stream for 4 hours on mobile, or up to 8 hours from a computer.
  • YouTube allows you to broadcast live for up to 12 hours.
  • EventLive allows you to live stream for up to 24 hours, and you can pause and resume your video as many times as you want within that time frame.

Which parts of the wedding should you broadcast?

This one is easy!
You should live stream everything you’d like to have on your recording that can be shown to your family and friends back home.

Most couples usually choose to begin the live stream at the ceremony, starting 10 minutes before to make sure that everything runs smoothly.

indian wedding ceremony


Then, they pause the live stream and resume when it’s time to show a little bit of the cocktail hour, followed by entrances to the reception.
When people have dinner the live stream is usually on pause, and then they start broadcasting again for first dances, speeches, and cake cutting. That’s when it usually ends.

Many couples decided to do a first look prior to the ceremony, and it was also included in the live stream. It was a very emotional moment for them to see each other for the first time and having that moment recorded gave them a huge reason to watch the replay many times after.

Insider tip: Our couples who did that said that the comments on their virtual guestbook skyrocketed when the groom started crying! They had so much fun reading it a few days later while watching the first look almost on loop.

How do I record my wedding live stream?

If you are using Zoom, and paying for a Pro subscription, your recording will be saved on their server unless it exceeds 1GB, in which case the recording won’t be completed. I don’t know about you it makes me feel uncomfortable not knowing if I will get the full recording or not.

EventLive saves your video automatically to an online server for 365 days, and to your phone. If your phone is full and you can’t store any more video in it, the server recording is always available for download for a full year. You will get an email with a download link after the live stream ends, and you can watch the replay anytime on your big tv.

couple watching their wedding video


On Facebook Live, a heavily compressed version of your video will be available for download from the three dots on your video viewing screen. You can follow this guide to do it. Please note that Facebook might block your video if you play music with a copyright licence.

For live streaming with YouTube, you can download your recording from YouTube Studio (Beta) following this guide, or the Creator Studio Classic accessing your Videos tab and selecting Download MP4 from the dropdown menu.

YouTube has limits on how many times a video can be downloaded within a day (5 times!), and you won’t be able to download it if you played copyrighted music in the background.

4 Common problems when live streaming weddings

(and how to avoid them)

As you can see, live streaming a wedding day is fairly straightforward.
Choosing the right platform can simplify the process quite a bit, but if you’re trying to save some money using free platforms you can hit a few roadblocks.

Let’s explore them together.

Live Streaming problem #1: Video Interruptions

The biggest problem you might face is your video being blocked, interrupted, muted, or even taken down completely when live streaming through YouTube or Facebook Live.

It doesn’t matter if the video is private, or if you have 5 or 500 viewers watching from home. It will be taken down by an algorithm trained to detect this, with no support to answer questions or provide feedback.

This is a quote from Facebook’s website:

We know it can be frustrating to have a stream interrupted or to have parts of your video muted because it includes music. {...} These notifications are intended to alert you when our systems detect that your broadcast {...} video may include music in a way that doesn't adhere to our licensing agreements.

And this image comes straight from Facebook.com, showing how your wedding video will be removed unless you stop playing music right away.

facebook copyright issues with music


The solution to this problem is to avoid using Facebook Live or YouTube to live stream weddings, or to make sure that your music isn't licenced on these platforms.

Live Streaming problem #2: I can’t hear anything

The second problem most couples face when live streaming a wedding is that the audio isn’t clear. As I mentioned before on the equipment you need, an affordable microphone can solve this problem. In most cases, this is fixed by bringing the phone closer to the speakers or to the action to avoid buying products you might not use after your wedding day.

Since I can’t see what your wedding venue looks like, I recommend you to think about the noise you might have on location to decide whether you need a microphone or not. I strongly recommend you run as many tests as needed to verify that the sound quality will be good prior to the wedding day.

Live Streaming problem #3:
Wifi doesn’t work / Low signal

The next problem involves an unstable internet connection.

I’m sure you already know the basics of how wifi works: When there are a hundred people connected to it, it’s a mess. The easy solution is to have a backup plan.

Purchasing a data plan with unlimited use for the wedding day is all you need. This is really affordable, and it will guarantee a successful live stream if there’s enough signal at the venue/location.

Live Streaming problem #4:
Family & Friends can’t join

Accessing a wedding live stream should be as simple as a one-click action.
It can be.

With platforms like EventLive, YouTube, or Facebook, you can share a link for anyone to watch your live stream immediately. For the latter two, guests will need to sign in to be able to watch your event and this can be a problem for the non-tech savvy.

When using Zoom, the process becomes even more complicated because the list of steps involves downloading an app, creating an account, confirming your email, signing in, and muting yourself upon entry.

As always, the simplest solution is almost always the best. If you can afford $50 to live stream your wedding day, EventLive solves this problem and many others.

Expert tips for a successful wedding live streaming experience

  • Choose a live streaming platform that allows your guests to enjoy the experience as much as you do.
  • Run a few tests prior to the wedding day to guarantee that the internet connection works, the audio is good, and anyone can join the live stream easily with a click or two.
  • If you’re using a free platform like Facebook or YouTube, make sure that you are not playing copyrighted music or your video might be blocked.
  • Invite everyone by sharing the link with them.
  • Have a backup plan in case the internet doesn’t work as expected: Stable Wifi / 4G / LTE works great for live streaming.
  • Fully charge your phone battery before going live
  • To have the live streaming recorded automatically on your phone, make sure it is not full. If you don’t have enough space, it will be recorded online, depending on the platform you choose. EventLive, YouTube, and Facebook guarantee this.
  • Outdoor locations might require being close to the action in order to get good audio. A sound system usually solves this problem.
outdoor wedding

  • Designate someone to do this for you. If you’re sharing your login credentials with them, make sure to set a password you can easily share.
  • Setting your phone on a tripod is the best way to get a good video.

Now that we went through everything you need to know, it’s time to start.

It is extremely easy to live stream a wedding when you choose the right tools and platform. I encourage you to download the EventLive app today and run a free test.

You’ll be amazed of how simple it is to use and you’ll want to start using it right away.

Do you have any questions about live streaming your wedding day?
I’m here to help.

Run a Live Streaming Test

With EventLive, sharing your wedding day with family and friends back home is easy and affordable. Try our app for iOS or Android.

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Gaston Garcia

Live Streaming enthusiast, in-house Marketer at EventLive, Wedding Photographer. Interested in all-things technology.

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