Obviously, choosing to livestream your wedding instead of gathering with your guests is an extreme decision… But the coronavirus pandemic is an extreme situation. Many couples are canceling or postponing weddings.
There is another option, though: gather your quarantine wedding party and livestream your wedding to friends and family! Actually, Offbeat Brides have been broadcasting their weddings for years. Learn from their experience:
- Broadcasting your wedding on the web: what you need
- Livestreaming your wedding: choosing a service
- Livesteaming your wedding with Facebook Live
YouTube lets you livestream with your webcam. You can use your phone, too, if you have 1,000 subscribers. Build up some anticipation by getting all your guests, friends, family, and Facebook friend to help you build up to that number of subscribers before your wedding day!
Use the Creator Studio tools to create your livestream. It can take 24 hours to create your first livestream, and you will probably want to practice a little bit before the big day, so set aside some time. Check out Google's tips for success, too.
With the resources above, you have the how. What about the why? Here are 5 great reasons to livestream your wedding:
Reason #1: You won't have to cancel or reschedule
It's hard enough to pick a date in the first place. This way, everyone can shelter at home and enjoy your wedding on the date they've already set aside. You won't be traumatized by a postponement. And some of your vendors at least will still get paid.
Reschedule your reception far out into the future if you want, but your ceremony can take place with just a few people physically present. Invite your officiant into your home or use a service like Zoom.
If you decide to bring a few people into your home, be sure to wash your hands, have plenty of antimicrobial wipes on hand, and separate everyone by six feet. Also check as you get close to the date and make sure gatherings are allowed in your town. Right now some towns are banning groups over 10 people, which could allow you a camerawoman and a couple of bridesmaids plus your parents and your officiant. Others are implementing curfews, so you can only have a gathering of the people who live in your home.
You can mail out splits of champagne and invite everyone to toast you at home. Encourage them to wish you well with the live chat feature at YouTube or in the comments at Facebook.
Reason #2: People will feel better
Events from church services to happy hours have moved online. Getting some human contact — even virtual human contact — cheers people up. And just think how much a wedding will cheer up your friends and family. It's one of the happiest occasions ever.
At the same time, many weddings are largely spectator sports. Your guests will watch and/or listen as you and your partner process, say vows, and recess. They'll listen to readings, songs, speeches, toasts, and heartfelt wishes.They'll watch your first dance.
When you livestream your wedding, they can do this in the comfort of their homes, in their PJs if they want to.
You can also increase your guest list as much as you want. Invite everyone you think might enjoy being part of your special day.
Reason #3: It expands your options
As an offbeat bride, you already have very expansive options, but a livestream event gives you even more. Set up a green screen and a projector and you can hold your wedding on the moon if you want. Or at least make it look that way.
You can bring people in with Zoom and direct the entire experience.
You can invite Aunt Barb even though you don't know what she'll do once she has a couple of French 75s, and your partner's youngest brother even though you know exactly what he'll say. Mute them on Zoom and avoid all kinds of drama.
And you can certainly let all your guests bring their kids and their pets.
Reason #4: You'll save a ton of money
Especially if your wedding is still a month or more out, you may be able to cancel the venue, the catering, and the hen party extravagance. Choose a very small cake, too, and bypass liquor and favors.
Set up a luxuriously decorated corner in your home and simplify the music for your ceremony.
On the subject of music, bear in mind that prerecorded music can include copyright issues, especially if you livestream on YouTube and leave your video up for people to watch later. This could be a good time to ask a friend or hire a student to sing or play a piece of music that is in the public domain. You might be surprised to discover how moving your guests will find this.
Reschedule your DJ for the reception sometime in the future.
Reason #5: Be part of history
We totally get that you expect the date of your wedding to be in the history books under “The Day that Will Live in Awesomeness.” Imagine telling this to your grandkids, though: “We got married during the pandemic of 2020, and we live-streamed our wedding.”
That will probably be the coolest thing they've ever heard.