By Desire Mbabaali
We all can vividly remember how a wedding is celebrated – pomp and glamour endows every detail from the dressing, decor, entourage and convoy to cake, music and most importantly – the guests. We learned it well that the more is definitely the merrier, so long guest lists are always unquestionable.
We can either blame it on our culture or on the way we have been socialised, but one thing we cannot deny – we are big on weddings. However, with the country on lockdown, and a wave of scientific weddings hitting hard and destructing everything we have known, social media has become the refuge for having as many guests as we want to join in the celebration with us.
With no physical interactions at all, social media platforms enable guests to follow and/or watch the wedding online, share feedback in real-time among other things.
People are gradually embracing this, and to help you know how to pull off an e-wedding, social media experts elaborate and share knowledge on just how to do this.
When Danze Deejahn, a media personality was invited by a couple to help them live stream their wedding at All Saints Church, Nakasero, he didn’t know how to go about this – being his very first time doing something like this. However, with his prior knowledge of social media, videography and a little research, he was able to pull it off.
“First of all, the couple needed something private and not public with only family and friends. While doing my research, I looked at YouTube Livestream, but it was going to take me a long time to have everyone access the Youtube channel. My second option was the Periscope for Twitter, but there was a likelihood of not being able to make it private and so my best option was Facebook because I could keep it private, but also, its features are more progressive,” he shares.
But he didn’t just create a Facebook profile, but rather, a Facebook page and invited particular people. He also shared a link with the couple which they could send out to people they wanted to access the site.
While creating the Facebook page, he added some details about the couple/event and a picture. Among the requirements (equipment) he needed was a phone – which he also used to do the videos, a tripod stand, ring light, his Canon800D camera for the crispy clear photos, an extension cable which he could move around with to access power, stable internet (used mobile data and a MiFi) and his laptop that he needed to monitor the live stream and type any comments.
“This way, we were able to stream the even live in church while people were following online, giving comments and feedback. Our target was 200-300 people but we had 581 people reaching out. So, the scientific wedding is doable, and there is nothing to be afraid of if you are ready to get married,” Danze encourages.
Alternatively, Patricia Kahill a social media consultant shares that the couple may decide to do a Zoom wedding. “To do this, the videographer can do a live stream by scheduling a date and time for a Zoom meeting and then share the link with the guests,” she says.
The guests can then watch the wedding live on Zoom, which also allows real-time feedback. The wedding can also be recorded on zoom and the link can be shared with people to also watch at their convenience.
“One can pay $200 to Zoom and get a package that can accommodate more than 100 people for more than an hour. These packages are categorised as daily, weekly or monthly. The more the people, the fewer hours you are allowed, so, this can be tailor-made according to one’s needs,” Kahill elaborates.
She also recommends Facebook for a live feed which can be scheduled for friends and a link shared with guests. The beauty with this is that one does not need to have a Facebook account to access the feed if they have the link to it.
The other option is Instagram live. One can do a live feed, share the link with guests who can access the wedding taking place.
Reiterating, Clare Muhindo, a social media specialist at African Center for Media Excellence (ACME) says that Facebook Live, Zoom Cloud and Instagram TV are among the social media platforms to consider, though there are many others that can be used for live streaming.
“Facebook Live, however, has privacy concerns since one can easily stream to anyone that cares to watch but the audience can still be limited. IG TV can also do (Instagram Tv) and the audience can also be limited,” she says adding that the most common of these platforms today is Zoom. It also has an added value that one can create a passcode and share it with only those invited, ensuring privacy, though hacking is always a threat lurking in the shadows as long as one is using the internet.
Additionally, Kahill shares that, if a couple hires a good videographer, they can even be able to link the three; Facebook, Zoom and Instagram, so that whichever platform the guest uses, they can be able to see the wedding.
Throwing more light for those who want more advanced knowledge, Muhindo says that software like OBS can help with live streaming. OBS is Open Broadcaster Software and it is used for live streaming events. With this, you can stream directly to several platforms like FB, IG and YouTube so you get to hit many birds with one stone.
Whereas Danze says that anyone with a few skills and necessary equipment can do this, Muhindo differs from him.
“All these require a technical person, so you don’t just wake up one day and decide you want to host your wedding online. You need this person to run things in the back end so as to avoid glitches and interruptions. A technical person will ensure you have clear images, clear signal, help with the moderation and any other kind of thing while exchanging your vows in an e-ceremony. This person also guides participants on when to speak, so you don’t have issues of telling people to mute and unmute their microphones (in the case of Zoom).”
Previously, videographers have just been taking videos. Now, Kahill reminds us that we are in a time when you need to ask the videographer whether they can also provide a live media package as part of their other services, and she is positive that there are people who can offer this though it may also mean that they will charge you for the internet package.
Alternatively, a social media professional can also do the work.
Other platforms that can be considered. Check for privacy terms before use.