How to broadcast your wedding live on the web: the materials

November 18 | Guest post by Ang
Image courtesy of ustream.tv
Image courtesy of ustream.tv

So here's my situation. First and foremost we are on a budget so our guest list is limited. I am a techno geek, so most of my friends live inside my computer and are pretty far away. Even though several are going to be able to make it to my wedding, there are even more that won't be able to make it. Not to mention family and friends who won't be able to make an international trip, or who are in poor health and aren't supposed to travel. Originally I was planning on sending them all photo CDs, and doing a slideshow on our wedsite, but then I started thinking with my geek gland.

Back in March, one of my fabulous internet groups had several members who attended an expo in Chicago. ALL the members of the site had helped to fund raise, and everyone was excited about it. I decided try and stream it live, so all our online friends who couldn't be there could be participants. It was a resounding success, and everyone loved it. Why couldn't I use this same technology for my wedding?

The Software
I'm using http://www.ustream.tv/ for several reasons.

  • It's FREE.
  • It's easy to use.
  • It's got great image quality (especially considering that it's FREE).
  • It has Chat and Twitter capabilities so people can talk about what they're watching.
  • It's customizable (Look, it's my wedding colors and logo!

The Computer
I have a Toshiba laptop that runs Windows. Ustream can run either Windows on a Mac or PC. (There is a special plug in to use to get extra quality but we'll go over that later. Basically you can use any computer with internet access. I'll also be using my FH's Lenovo ideabook.

The Camera
While it is completely possible to use the built in webcams, they typically aren't that flattering, the picture quality sucks, and they're almost impossible to adjust. I went out and bought a "Streaming" camera with light correction off Ebay for $65. The camera I got is a Logitech webcam.

logitech webcam

So now that you've got the materials, what comes next?

Click here: Virtual guests: live-steaming your wedding

  1. THIS IS AN AWESOME IDEA! I am totally interested in learning how to do this, since I have SO many family and friends and that can't make it or I can't invite because the venue size is limited. My Fiance and his brother are IT guys for a huge company so with your help, and instructions I am sure they would be able to figure it out. Now, the only thing I can see being a problem is an internet connection, because the location is a camp in the bush. I will be checking in regularly to see how this saga goes. Thanks Ang so much for posting this! :)

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  2. This is amazing! I think that this should be a no-brainer for couples who have folks decline an RSVP because they can't make it to the wedding.

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  3. What a great idea! I hadn't even considered something like this! Thanks so much for this; I will be eagerly awaiting the rest of the installments!

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  4. YAY!!! This makes me so happy, you have no idea. Two of our would-be groomsmen can't attend because they're deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan. They might not be able to actually be at a computer while the wedding is happening, but the thought that they can see it all happen and know we wish they were there means so much to us.

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  5. We did this with our wedding in May – borrowed a nice webcam from a friend, borrowed another friend's Verizon wireless USB thingy (since the church didn't have wireless) and used Ustream. It totally rocked! I have a ton of friends from around the country and the world who couldn't make it to the wedding, so we had quite a number who watched live on our website! We even set up a Meebo chat room (since Ustream's required a login/password) so that our guests could chat. Our only issues (which we were oblivious of at the time, of course) were a few spammers in the open Meebo room and the fact that whenever the organ played on full blast (for congregational singing), the poor computer speakers got blown out, since the organ's speakers were right above the computer in the loft area.

    Here's the link to our "watch it live" page.

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  6. I am SOOOOO happy someone posted about this. I started asking myself about the possibility of a live video stream when I realized my Grandma may not be able to travel by the time the wedding rolls around. Plus we want a very small wedding but I have a very big family. For me this was the perfect compromise to letting people be involved in 'real time' without sacrificing our vision for our wedding (or the budget) but I had NO idea how to do it. Horray! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!!

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  7. So cool! I was totally thinking about doing this since we're going away somewhere to get married and have some some pissed off people, but I hadn't thought of the parameters around doing so. Awesome!

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  8. Woo hoo! This is something I've been trying to figure out – all the sites I've seen so far offer the service for hundreds of dollars. I'm looking forward to the next installments!

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  9. OMW your timing is perfect! I've been reseraching a way to strem our wedding for the same reason- that so many of my friends liver overseas and in my computer!!!

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  10. This is such a fantastic idea! My Fiance's grandparents aren't going to be able to come to our Hawaii wedding since it's so far, but with this technology they can still experience it all. Thanks for posting this!

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  11. I LOVE this!!! I am getting hitched in Greece so this is way helpful for the majority of people who cannot attend. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  12. Yay!! We're doing this too~ Just need to remember to factor in the cost of WiFi from our venue.

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  13. I'm soo excited about this guide!! I'm getting married internationally as well and not many people from my huge family can come. I thought of livestreaming but I thought i'd need to hire a videographer or at least have a camera that costed at least a few hundred dollars.

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  14. I'm soo excited about this guide!! I'm getting married internationally as well and not many people from my huge family can come. I thought of livestreaming but I thought i'd need to hire a videographer or at least have a camera that costed at least a few hundred dollars.

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  15. Very cool idea – and the comment about the Verizon USB stick – fabulous! I was just thinking what if it is a venue without WiFi?

    The only streaming video wedding I ever watched was a friend's elopement to Vegas! LOL I only got the details hours beforehand!

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  16. Awesome idea! I am sure many people will be wanting to use live streaming in their wedding. So many families are scattered around the globe today, this will be the perfect solution to bring them all together.

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