How to zoom a wedding
Since the pandemic started last year, a perfect storm of new technology and a requirement for small gatherings – 2020 became the year for thousands of ZOOM weddings. Using a Zoom wedding service can also be a great option for guests who live far away. It’s a great way to share your special day with your family and friends. It’s easy to share a video and a photo album, and you can even invite guests to participate in the cake cutting and other tasks. A video call is a great option for a wedding, but you can also invite friends and family who live in different states and countries to participate in the festivities.
I’ve seen some really good videos but most people need a few tips on how to do a zoom wedding. It doesn’t matter if you’re using a different video chat platform, these basic rules will still apply. So let’s get down to it. Here are the key things to consider when you are planning to have loved ones watch your wedding live online.
- Plan ahead and setup early
- Invite the guests in advance to the zoom wedding
- Make sure you have a solid internet connection
- Get a steady shot – use a tripod or some other form of stabilization
- Consider your lighting source
- Use microphones
- Mute your recording phone, not theirs
Plan ahead and setup early
Be sure to set your cameras, tripods and microphones way before the ceremony is suppose to begin. No one wants to have the pressure of the entire wedding waiting for things to get organized before they can start. Test the equipment beforehand and work out any tech issues you may encounter.
Invite your guests in advance to your Zoom Wedding
Your viewers should receive some sort of invitation well in advance of the wedding day. If they are not tech-savvy, you may want to do a trial run with them prior as well. Make sure they know how to log in, turn on the video and audio, etc. On your wedding day, dealing with tech issues is the last thing you want to be thinking about.
Make sure you have a solid internet connection
You can do everything else on this list but if you’re unable to get a good connection, it’ll be for nothing. Double check your connection a few days before the wedding day. Watch for dead zones if you’re at a Hawaii beach wedding or for obstructions like concrete if you are indoors.
Get a steady shot – use a tripod
No one wants to finish watching the video and feel like they just got off a carnival ride. By sure to have some sort of stabilization system for your camera. There are many very inexpensive small tripods that work with phones. If you must have a person hold the phone, make sure they actually hold it steady for the entire ceremony. In my experience, very few people are able to do it so I highly recommend a tripod. Don’t be tempted to just place your phone camera on the ground. The angle from the ground up in not flattering and often will have poor lighting as well. Ideally, you’ll want the camera to be as high as your neck area.
Consider your lighting source
Try to avoid light that is directly above you or directly behind you in the shot. If you’re having a beach wedding during the mid day, the sun will be directly above you. While this may look fine for your human eye, it casts very unflattering shadows on your face. The exception would be if the day is overcast. If so, you’re in luck and any angle will work.
You’ll also want to avoid having the sunlight directly behind you with the camera pointing directly at it. This will cause the background to look great but the subject (the couple) will be a silhouette and you will not be able to see any details.
The production quality of your video is only 50% visual. The other half is audio. Your online guests will want to hear your officiant, your vows and your emotions. The simply way to accomplish this would be to use bluetooth earbuds. Use one set of buds with each person use one bud. Just connect them to the phone that is doing the video chat and you’re all set. One extra tip on this…place the earbuds on the ear that is NOT facing the camera.
Mute your phone, not theirs
While the buds are in your ear during the ceremony, you’ll be able to hear everything your online guests are saying. It’s funny how when people are home watching, they don’t have the same etiquette as being there live. I’ve heard people have their TVs on, carry on conversations with others or just have their dogs barking in the background. Being in that special moment with your partner will be especially difficult when you are hearing all those distractions in your ear. And asking each online guest to mute their phones seldom works. So, do yourself a favor and simply turn off the volume on your own phone.
A few additional notes:
It’s also a good idea to keep the meeting details private and not post the Meeting ID on your wedding website. Third, you don’t want to broadcast the Meeting ID on the internet, since bots can easily find it. To keep it safe, consider using Paperless Post or a similar email service, so that you don’t have to worry about hackers trying to get into your meeting.
After the ceremony, keep the earbuds on. You can choose to broadcast a toast or minimony to your guests. The Zoom wedding is a unique and memorable event, and your audience will surely enjoy it.
You can also use Facebook Live, Google Meeting or Facetime to share the link with your guests. The link to a Zoom wedding will be sent to your guests two days before the big day. Ensure that they don’t share it with anyone else, because the link is not shared with others.
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