Live stream etiquette

posted 4 months ago in Etiquette
Post # 2
665 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2021

We’re having a small wedding too! 25 people in October. We’re considering having a live stream or some kind of virtual attendance option. Some people have given us a hard time for inviting so few people, but the truth is (pardon my language!), I do not give a single fuck what the “etiquette” is on this issue. We’re in a pandemic. I’m not going to host a superspreader event and put myself and my loved ones at risk. So if someone is upset that they only got invited via livestream and not to the in-person event, I really don’t care! My opinion is that any adult should be mature enough to understand that keeping the event small is not some kind of personal slight, but a reasonable response to a public health crisis.

So I wouldn’t worry about it either way. If you want to add a live stream for people who aren’t invited in-person, just go for it! Those who love you and want to support you will be happy to attend your wedding any way they can, virtually or in-person (and if they’re upset about you being responsible and trying to keep everyone safe, it’s not your problem anyway).

Post # 3
14165 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Nothing has changed in terms of medium or large gatherings and I’d hesitate to do anything at all if there are people who are high risk and or unvaccinated. Personally, I wouldn’t do an indoor event until numbers are way down and we’re ahead of the variants. 

I’d be very comfortable with a livestream if you are consistent and it’s intimate. It’s a nice way to include people. Once you start discriminating with an A and B list of friends, or including some cousins, aunts and uncles but not others that’s when you run some risk of offending people. 

Post # 4
831 posts
Busy bee

The way I see it, the live stream is a way to allow people to see the ceremony even if they aren’t there in person.  There doesn’t need to be a live stream, and the alternative (just like it was until recently) is for guests not invited to (or unable to attend) the ceremony simply not seeing it.  It doesn’t change anything about the guests you invite or don’t invite. 

A guest not invited to an in-person ceremony is just not in the top tier for that bride and groom, there’s no sugar coating it, but many times it’s also justified.  Questions about inviting people and guest lists are among the most common questions we see about weddings.  You can’t invite everyone, there’s only a limited budget, there’s often only a limited amount of space or seating at the venue, and in COVID times, there’s a limited number of people safely able to be there (and many times, allowed by law).

Post # 5
1679 posts
Bumble bee

I don’t know where you live, but here, there are still likely to be restrictions on numbers into next year at least.

There is nothing wrong with having a small wedding and inviting other people to watch the live stream if they would like to.  Even if restrictions lift so that you could invite everyone in person, you still may have vulnerable guests for whom a large gathering would be unwise, or overseas guests who can’t afford the time or money to go through the quarantining process.  Livestream enables them to still ‘be with you’ on your special day.

It can also mean that people you would not normally have invited (e.g.due to cost or venue size) are able to participate.  We originally planned our wedding for 30 people.  We had to postpone due to lockdown and got married just after first lockdown lifted, but restrictions meant only 13 could be present.  We live-streamed for the 17 who couldn’t be there, but loads of other people ended up hearing about the livestream and asking if they could watch it, or view the recording after.  

Post # 6
408 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2019

I personally wouldn’t be surprised if live streams are here to stay. We attended one wedding via live stream last April, right when covid exploded, and it was kind of awesome. We still got dressed up and I poured us some drinks. We were able to comment on the ceremony as it was happening and it was nice to be in the comfort of our living room. I think it’s a cool alternative especially for elderly guests or guests unable to travel, young nursing moms, etc. Long live the live stream!!

Post # 7
227 posts
Helper bee

I would just have it taped and send the video to people afterwards so they can watch it at their own leisure and not set aside time to watch live. But that’s just me

Post # 8
7660 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2013

I would not invite people to the live stream that I would not invite pre pandemic. So if you would have had an intimate wedding pre covid, I wouldn’t now invite an extra 100 people to watch via the internet.

Heck, if it wasn’t planned already and sized down I don’t think I would do it either (for example a June 2020 wedding size down to ten people and inviting the rest that were originally invited to view it). 

I would invite the planned number to the actual wedding and if people turn it down, invite them to the livestream. If someone who wasn’t invited asked, I would be happy to provide the link.

Post # 9
1076 posts
Bumble bee

I have had nothing but positive experiences with live streams during the pandemic.

In addition to watching friends’ weddings that we expected to attend, I’ve also watched some weddings of people who were less close to me, and I wouldn’t have been expected to attend. One of my mum’s good friend’s kids got married in March, my mum passed on in the link in case I wanted to watch. I did. It was a nice way to spend 30 minutes. My mum’s had this close friend for about 25 years, and while her daughter is younger than me/we aren’t friends, it was super nice to watch.

I likely wouldn’t invite anyone who you wouldn’t invite to the reception if it was non-covid times.

We’re planning June 2022, and hoping to have 100 people (we shall see). I doubt most of my extended family who lives in Scotland will be able to make it/I assume travel restrictions may still be in place, so we’ll likely live stream – guaranteed it will be passed on to friends of friends who I vaguely know.

Post # 10
823 posts
Busy bee

I agree with PP that I think it makes the most sense if the in-person guest count has to be lower than planned for some reason – whether its restrictions or guests not feeling comfortable traveling or attending. We postponed a year and will still need to cut the guest list way down from those to whom we sent Save the Dates, so I would consider a livestream if I had the energy to arrange it. I wonder if it’s something photographers/videographers have started thinking about including in their packages.

Post # 11
1679 posts
Bumble bee

View original reply
@girlfriendphd:  A lot of photographers & videographers have started to offer this during Covid, so I’d be surprised if they didn’t continue to do so for as long as there is demand.

Also, you may find some venue do it.  

It doesn’t have to be anything fancy.  My friend’s son got married a few weeks back and just got one of those present to livestream from their phone.  Our wedding was a week after first lockdown lifted, and the church we were getting married in had set up livestream for their lockdown services and offered to livestream our wedding for us, which was great as we didn’t have to do anything!  Obviously, neither of these options produced the same video quality that a professional would provide, but if you’re just wanting something simple to accommodate those who are no longer able to come in person, that should be fine.  Otherwise, check with your photographer – ours was offering a ceremony-only livestream/recording for Covid weddings.

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