When we first got our dog Rudy, we wondered what he did during the day when we were at work. Therefore, I set up a webcam with a free stream site to see what he was up to. It turned out it was pretty lame; he slept all day. However, I was able to easily secure and set up a 24/7 feed for free that allowed me to be somewhere that I couldn’t be.
Maybe you want to stream your wedding, but don’t really know where to begin. Applying my failed “dog-cam” experiment to something that could be somewhat useful is no problem.
This article will give you a step-by-step instructional guide on how to stream your wedding for those who can’t attend. It will offer all the different planning aspects you need to make your online wedding stream free and seamless to your guests.
1. CHOOSE YOUR STREAM – Do some surfing and select a streaming video website. Several websites allow you to stream live for free, like Ustream TV, Justin TV & Live Stream
2. REGISTER – Set up your account early on. Once you have completed this step, your online stream provider will create your personal website address and/or log in information for your wedding guests to login to. This URL will bethe “channel” where they will access the live video stream on the date and time of your wedding.
3. DETERMINE WEDDING GUEST LIST – Let’s face it. Some people are more important to you than others. Uncle Charlie may be way more cool than Uncle Jerry. Sit down with your fiancée and figure out who you absolutely want at your wedding live.
Send out invitations. Nag the hell out of them all and make sure all your important “VIP guest” come! Make sure that you send out your regular invitations first WITHOUT THE VIRTUAL WEDDING URL. (You do not want to offer this option to guests that you really want at your reception. It could create competition and allow for more unwanted VIP guest absenses.)
4. DETERMINE YOUR VIRTUAL WEDDING GUEST LIST – Figure out who cannot make it to your wedding from your RSVPs. Create a new list of virtual wedding guests. Email the people on this list a virtual invitation with the streaming video information for your virtual wedding. It may be a good idea to remind repeat of the date and time of the wedding. You should also provide “dummy-proof” instructions on how to log in to see the wedding live.
5. ASSIGN VIRTUAL WEDDING CAMERA MAN – You probably do not want to have the added stress of setting up and checking on the virtual wedding web cam throughout the night. Therefore, it is probably a good idea to ask a close friend or family member to fully accept the responsibility. It is probably best to broadcast the wedding ceremony and the reception to give your guests the full flavor of the day. This means that your camera man will probably have to set up, break down and set up again at the reception.
6. PLAN THE SHOTS – Plan the shots and location of the web cam, beforehand. Go to your wedding location with your virtual wedding camera man and set up the webcam. Select the best shot with the least amount of clutter. One idea would be to set up a small “tv tray” with a table cloth an as minimal exposure to wires as possible.
If your ceremony is outside, it is probably best to run the laptop off of battery so you do not have to run wires. (Any good wedding DJ will tell you, “the goal should be that you do not want to see any wires at all.” If the reception is also outside, it may be best to try and set up out-of-the-way against a tent post or wall near the dance floor and/or head table.
7. TEST BROADCAST – Turn the webcam on and do an actual live run, with maybe someone watching at home on a computer, taking notes, on a cell phone with you and the virtual wedding camera man.
Make the needed adjustments to the location of the webcam or the height the webcam sits so it clearly shows your walk down the aisle and the location where you will be standing to say your vows.
You can even invite your virtual wedding guests to login during this test broadcast to make sure they can see . A simple follow up call could be the difference of a particular guest experiencing trouble being able to see it live, or not.
8. BROADCAST YOUR VIRTUAL WEDDING – Have your virtual camera man set up the webcam a little early at the ceremony on the day of the wedding.
9: CREATE INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL WEDDING GUEST IDENTITIES (optional) – If you are really creative, we have is another virtual wedding idea blog that we call the “VIRTUAL WEDDING GUEST.”
The above link will explain how using Facetime, Skype & Google Hangouts can help creatively bring the otherwise absent faces to your wedding! ( This blog will also show how to create the opportunity for interactive virtual wedding guests, that can actually chat with the bride, groom & other guests at your reception.
PAY SERVICES ARE OUT THERE – Many wedding professionals believe that next year will be a defining year for this type of service, as streaming companies are breaking out with a whole new wedding online service for this very idea. New virtual online wedding stream services are emerging. Websites like Live-streaming Weddings and I Do Stream offer streaming packages targeting weddings that allow guests to log-on and watch your wedding as it unfolds. A professional videographer films the special day, broadcasting it to a web site where your guests can watch live.
However, you can TOTALLY do it yourself and bring your own personality out with your choice of stream. Have fun with the creation of your virtual wedding online broadcast! Whatever you choose to do, this idea will increase the chance that more of your loved ones will be present for your special day!