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How Much Does it Cost to Livestream a Wedding?

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Livestreaming is becoming a popular option in the post-pandemic world. Platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts provide a way to host a free live-streamed event. The only problem is that these options may be time-limited and may only allow a limited number of guests. 

With people looking to save on costs and still ensure their guests get the best experience, one of the lingering questions is how much does it cost to live stream a wedding?

The cost of hiring a professional live streaming company can range from $400 up to $2,000. Getting the exact cost will depend on various factors.

What factors influence the cost? Read on to find out about livestream cost factors and what these costs include. We also explore some of the free options you can use to live stream a wedding. 

bride and groom pictorial on the street

What is Involved in Livestreaming?

An entire production crew is involved when live streaming an event. 

A live stream involves:

Video capture

Live streaming starts with capturing video data by a camera.

Compression and encoding

The segmented video data is then compressed to remove any unnecessary visual information. The data is then encoded or converted into a new digital format that can be played on different devices. 

Segmentation

Afterward, the streaming video is divided into smaller parts or segments that are a few seconds long. 

CDN distribution and caching

A CDN or a content delivery network is a group of servers that distribute content from an original server. The content is then replicated and stored somewhere that is quickly and easily accessible.

After segmentation, the CDN then distributes the live stream video that has been segmented, compressed, and encoded.

The CDN also temporarily saves each part of the live stream, which means viewers can get the live stream from the CDN rather than the original server. 

Decoding and video playback

The final step involves the CDN sending the live stream to everyone tuned in. Whether someone is watching from a laptop, tablet, or a phone, the device will receive, decode, and decompress the segmented video data. 

A video player on a user’s device will interpret the data and the video will automatically play.

wedding photographer at the church

The Cost of Livestreaming a Wedding

Livestreaming a wedding can range from $1500 to over $5,000 per day depending on the duration of the event, the technical skills of the production crew, the number of crew members involved, and the equipment needed. The costs will vary based on these factors.

4 Livestream Cost Factors

The cost of setting up a live stream can differ depending on:

1. Number of Crew Members Involved

A livestream crew member can cost about $100-$200 per hour. You may incur a lot more if you decide to hire 2 or 3 crew members.

2. Technical Skills of the Streaming Crew

Some live streams can be complex.

For example, if you’re looking for several video and audio sources, you’ll need the technical expertise of a professional and qualified streaming crew. 

What’s more, you’ll need extra equipment and a team to handle the live switching. With that comes extra costs in salaries and gear.

3. Length of Time of the Live Stream

The duration of the live stream can influence the costs, especially when using a premium video streaming platform that charges depending on the bandwidth spent. 

You may also incur a lot more if you hire people to handle the filming and post-production side of your stream. 

You’ll need to consider your stream’s duration as it can determine the costs. 

4. Equipment Rental Costs

Hiring the best live streaming equipment means you get to broadcast-quality live stream. However, hiring this equipment may be costly depending on the production crew you’re working with. 

Some companies charge up to $100 per hour for hired filming equipment.  Some companies will include the cost of equipment rental when you hire their production crew. You need to consider these costs when creating your budget.

man taking a picture of the newly wed with family using a phone

DIY Livestreaming

If you are on a tight budget and can’t afford to hire a professional live streaming company, you can opt to do it yourself.

You can get a camera and connect it to a laptop and use a wired internet connection to live stream your wedding. Ensure that your photographer, videographer, event planner, and vendors are all aware of the plan to live stream and are in agreement. 

Below are some tips on how to live stream your wedding for free.

Decide on a Live Streaming Platform

Some of the free live streaming options include:

YouTube Live

YouTube Live is a free service that allows you to stream a single video for close to 12 hours. There are no limitations on the number of people who can view the video. The best part is that YouTube saves the live stream automatically,  which means anyone can re-watch the live stream in their free time. 

Facebook Live

Facebook Live allows you to stream your event for up to eight hours and it’s free for unlimited viewers.

Zoom

Zoom allows you to set up a private cloud for 100 participants and live stream your event for 40 minutes for free. There’s also an option of paying a $50 fee and having up to 500 participants view your live event.

Choose a  Live stream Point of View

After settling on a broadcasting platform, you’ll need to select your live stream point of view. That can be on the side, close-up, or from a distance.

Set up the Live Stream Equipment

The final step is to set up your camera or phone in a way that will capture the event.  You can use a tripod to set the camera or phone and have someone start the stream as the event begins. Find out if your preferred device has an ambient noise reduction setting to optimize your live stream audio. 

wedding photographer taking pictures

Final Thoughts

Understanding the up-front costs of live streaming a wedding doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Once you’ve figured out the level of production you are after, the number of crew on site, and the equipment that will be required, you’ll have a figure in mind. 

Your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience and you want your online attendees to have the best viewing experience. 

Although platforms like Facebook Live and YouTube provide a free way to live stream your wedding, sometimes it’s better to invest in a professional live streaming company to ensure your guests have the best virtual experience.

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