How to Include Everyone on Your Big Day with LoveStream

Technology has always been a part of our weddings since photography and videography came onto the scene. Add a crippling pandemic, and technology has rapidly become critically important to bring people together. Weddings are all about celebrating with loved ones no matter the distance, so how do you go about including the most medically vulnerable or travel restricted in a time when being there in person might not be an option? With Zoom time limitations, semi-public Facebook Live videos, and sometimes user-unfriendly Google Hangouts, there needed to be a virtual solution specific to the needs of COVID-affected weddings. With our own editor-in-chief Chelsea planning her UK wedding amidst coronavirus challenges, the stage was set to research the best option out there, so she'll take it from here as a bride-to-be's personal experience.

Planning a wedding in a pandemic isn't for the faint of heart, and planning a COVID wedding where British and American loved ones who may or may not be able to travel even more challenging. While Robert (aka Mr. B) and I are having three separate wedding events to accommodate my tricky UK fiancée visa timeline, COVID, and the current U.S. travel ban against British citizens, we have designated May 8, 2021 as our official micro-wedding day with a 20-person guest list in England (after we legally marry at the local courthouse which is currently complicated by a nationwide stay-at-home lockdown). Once the pandemic calms and Mr. B can enter the country no matter what as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, we will then host a casual chic wedding picnic in Virginia for my American family and friends... but that's for another story.

Determining how we celebrated our love story in a meaningful way meant that we wanted to include everyone by offering a livestream of our wedding ceremony. So many have been a part of my/our journey, and with friends all over the world, loved ones of all generations, Mr. B and I needed a really easy technology solution that didn't require log-ins, apps, or social media. While I consider myself proficient with all things digital, I also wanted an easy phone-on-tripod setup that anyone we delegate could help us oversee on the big day. Throughout googling and asking fellow editor friends if they had come across a good livestreaming wedding option (thanks Jess of Budget Savvy Bride!), I discovered LoveStream by Bustld and soon realized it was the only solid, trustworthy choice for our international situation. So here I am, in partnership with the wonderful people behind LoveStream, I'll share why we booked them for our wedding day at an historic National Trust estate called Nymans in southern England.

How to livestream your wedding day the easy way

What is LoveStream?

LoveStream is a one-way wedding live streaming platform that with one simple click, an unlimited amount of guests can watch the wedding in real time. There is no logging in, downloading an app, muting/unmuting microphones, or any other tech issues common in the work-from-home telecommuting world. After you purchase your preferred livestreaming package, LoveStream builds out a custom webpage that hosts your unique livestream and other related functionalities. Couples just send that custom link to guests, guests click the link, and they're ready to watch! Guests can also text-chat with each other, give their well wishes as things happen in live time, and get general tech support should it be needed.

Before the wedding, couples also have the option of password protecting this page making it lightyears better than a Facebook Live video for those who value privacy or don't use social media. Compared to Zoom, the LoveStream platform allows an unlimited amount of guests to watch without taking away from the moments being celebrated. It's not a work call, so it shouldn't feel like one!

How to livestream your wedding day the easy way with LoveStream

What does LoveStream offer?

From DIY tech savvy options to more hands-on help, all packages include an onboarding call with the LoveStream team to help you get prepared for the wedding day. During the onboarding call, you can ask all of your questions, discuss day-of timeline, and be assured that everything will go smoothly once everything goes live.

For those who prefer a bit more for their special days or just would like more of a personal professional touch, Plus and Premium packages offer great options such as a guided tech rehearsal before the wedding with a LoveStream specialist, a dedicated LoveStream producer who actively monitors your event and provides day-of tech support for attending guests via a live chat bot from their office in Charlotte, and ability to have multiple cameras streaming.

One size doesn't fit all with technology as we know, so you'll be happy to know that all packages are customizable, too. Couples have the option to add more stream time, additional camera angles, rentals such as tripods or microphones (if located in the U.S.), and more. After the wedding, all couples will also receive a transcript of the live guest chat, the virtual guest book, and a full copy of the wedding video as it aired.

You can see video samples of the LoveStream livestreams as well as what a custom webpage looks like on their website.

How Does LoveStream Work?

You'll need an iPhone/iPad/any device with a camera, a good WiFi or cell signal, and a tripod to hold your device. If you've hired a professional videographer, they likely will be able to physically help you with the livestreaming setup on the wedding day. Using LoveStream's proprietary wedding video streaming platform, everything is simple to setup and even simpler to use. The service has been designed to be incredibly user-friendly so all couples and guests — regardless of tech capability — can livestream/view a virtual wedding.

Before the wedding day, LoveStream will send an informative guide explaining how everything works for your personalized situation and how they handle the technical side for you. They will also help assess how strong your signal is for a livestream by asking you to do an internet speed test. (I used the Speedtest by Ookla iPhone app.) If WiFi is not available or you are getting married outdoors, it is recommended that your venue have 4G or higher signal access.

On the wedding day, you'll want to designate a "day-of contact" person to make sure your camera tripod is in the right place, to click the host link to activate the livestream, and make sure the correct device settings are on. If you've hired a wedding planner or day-of coordinator like we have, someone from their team is your most likely go-to person, especially when physical guest count may be restricted in a pandemic.

How to livestream your wedding day not using Zoom

Beyond The Ceremony

While Mr. B and I will only be livestreaming our wedding ceremony, LoveStream told us that they often have livestreams for cake cutting, first dance, those giving a toast at a modified reception, or even assist virtual officiants to help couples tie the knot!

IMPORTANT NOTE: Unfortunately, virtual officiants aren't legal in Virginia at the time of writing this, but if you have a Washington DC-issued marriage license, then you can self-officiate! An officiant friend can remotely conduct the ceremony, and you and your partner sign the license afterwards. It's super easy and very social distance-friendly! You can find more information on the DC Courts' website under the Family/Marriage Bureau tab.

Whether it's an elopement or a downsized celebration, there are beautifully thoughtful ways to include everyone you love in challenging wedding times. Livestreaming your moments certainly makes it easier, but LoveStream really does make it effortless. With couples getting extra creative on how they say I Do right now, anything that will make the planning process more stress-free is a winner. I know Mr. B and I are in good techie hands when May rolls around.

How to livestream your wedding day without Zoom or Facebook Live

The Shortlist Reasons Why We Booked LoveStream

• Unlimited guests
• Easy one-click access to personalized webpage
• No log-ins, no apps, no social media needed
• Platform specifically made for weddings
• Accessible to livestream and watch anywhere in the world where there is an internet signal
• Helpful customer service
• Password protection option
• Customizable amounts of stream time
• Beautiful clean and simple web design for personalized webpage
• Post-wedding transcript and video access
• Actively committed to diversity and inclusivity in their business practices

How to livestream your wedding day without Zoom or Facebook Live

For other helpful COVID-related wedding advice, be sure to check out COVID Weddings here on Tidewater and Tulle.

Many thanks to LoveStream by Bustld for partnering with Chelsea of Tidewater and Tulle for this feature! And while the disclaimer is that we exchanged article for service to write this, the words and our new love for the LoveStream brand are all our own (and why Chelsea is entrusting them to be such an important part of her own international wedding). Thank you for supporting our wonderful partners! You can find our full disclosure policy here on Tidewater and Tulle.

[from top to bottom] Dear Edith and Lily, Meredith Jane Photography, Love in Motion, and Wiley Putnam

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