When Most of Your Headcount is Virtual
I used to see live streaming as a quick add on, when a loved one couldn’t make the wedding. But now, its right up there with catering or photography. With so many guests attending virtually, couples are prioritizing their guests live-stream experience. With restrictions on the number of guests inside and outside of venues, right now most of your headcount is online. I’m going to tell you how to find a live-streaming video production company, some accommodations you can make to welcome your virtual guests and create an experience they’ll never forget, and finally about what this service will run you.
The New Kid on the Block
Live video production is a new service in the wedding industry. You may assume that your videographer can hook up to the internet and live stream, but that’s actual not correct. Live video production requires different preparation, equipment, professionals, and expertise. While a traditional wedding videographer is doing a significant amount of work on the back end, (editing, adding music, creating a highlight reel) the live production team is spending that same amount of time on the front end. They’ll need to visit your venue and make sure it is ready for live video. They’ll develop a preliminary production plan, attend the rehearsal and make sure sound, light and video are all ready to go on wedding day. On wedding day, they’ll set up multiple cameras to get angles that help the viewer really see the various parts of the ceremony. They’ll arrange for the live video to appear on a platform for your guests. That may be YouTube, Vimeo, Facebook, and your guests will easily access the live video with a link.
So when you are searching for this service look for video production rather than wedding videographer. If you hired a videographer for your wedding, keep them. That is a different service. Live Video Production is an additional service.
Elevated Live Streaming, 5 Tips
We have all tuned in to a live stream that is sub-par. The connection is poor, audio and video are cutting in and out. It’s hard to hear, or it’s a single camera angle and its sort of boring. You’ve probably felt more like a spectator than a guest on a live stream. So let’s talk about how to curate a one of a kind virtual experience for your guests that draws them into your wedding. Here are 5 things you must include if you plan to go live, professionally on wedding day.
A pre-recorded message from the couple. While the guests are waiting for the ceremony to begin, give them a heartfelt thank you for tuning in. They’ll love getting to see and hear you up close. You can record this at your rehearsal.
Behind the scenes footage. In-person guests never get to see behind the scenes. But a virtual guest can view footage taken at getting ready locations, the anticipation before the first look, everything but the bride in her dress! Just as we love seeing a sports team in the locker room before the game, guests love seeing the couple getting ready and all the emotion of the wedding morning.
Titles and text. Consider titles and subtitles as the program for virtual guests. As each member of the bridal party processes text comes up that shares the name and a little bit of the story of how this attendant is connected to the bride or groom. A small headshot of the attendant can pop up so that guests get an up-close view. This is a way to make the virtual experience even more intimate than the in-person one.
Assign a Virtual Emcee. Choose an in-person guest to host your virtual guests online. Her job is to hop online and start a chat with your guests. She shares what’s happening as the ceremony approaches, asks questions, and hosts a virtual conversation. That by the way, is saved for the couple to return to and read as the review the video of their wedding ceremony. This gives you a direct connection to your virtual guests, and they feel cared for and important.
Formally invite your virtual guests. Virtual can no longer be an afterthought. Instead, make a big deal of it. Send an invitation with the link and explain how the process will go. Let them know that this won’t be a friend holding a camera, but instead, a thoughtful, professional live production created with them in mind.
But What Does it Cost?
We’ve worked with the video production team at Blooming Rock and asked for a current quote for this service as of August 2020. For a package including multiple camera angles, live streaming, pre-recorded content, and titles, you are starting around $3500. I’ve heard other companies quote in this range, with some closer to $5,000. If your wedding is at night, you may be looking at additional costs for lighting. There are also less expensive options if you want to do one camera angle with no upgrades.
The Graceful Virtual Host
The mindset shift that is happening in the wedding industry right now is that couples are starting to reimagine their roles as hosts. When they put love and energy into the virtual experience, it translates to their guests. This isn’t just a temporary service, I see couples including professional live streaming, even after the pandemic. There are always guests who cannot make it for one reason or another. Plus, think about how many people you could invite to tune in if you stream it this way. It’s new, it’s different, it may feel like a risk, but it’s the future. If you’re an early adopter type, maybe you’d like to jump on this now. If so and you’re in the NOLA area, please email us at info@uncommoncamellia and we’d love to make this a reality for you!
Thank you for reading, and happy wedding planning.