Meet David and Kristina: an award-winning husband and wife filmmaking duo called Trinity Wedding Cinema based out of Tampa, Florida. They’ve been filming weddings since 2001, and have shot over 1,000 weddings – earning them multiple WeddingWire Couples’ Choice Awards in the process.
We sat down with the talented team to ask about their wedding live streaming experiences, share a few pro tips they’ve learned along the way, and learn about how they used Teradek products such as Vidiu X, Vidiu Go, and Airmix to create professional streams.
“Florida is a popular wedding destination. A lot of people get left behind, and weddings tend to be smaller,” David explained.
Since many of their clients’ guests were not able to travel and attend in person, they made the early jump to live stream wedding services – even before the demand of the pandemic.
The Demands of Wedding Live Stream Services
Filming any wedding requires you to quickly adapt and make split second changes – all the more challenging with a small crew. You’re dealing with a personal event, so you want to run lean and nimble. Many prefer to keep the crew down to two people, like David and Kristina usually do.
“Weddings are a run-and-gun environment where every second counts,” said Kristina.
The stakes are even higher for live wedding streaming, where your audience will see the results instantly. While the pressure is high, a well-produced live stream brings immense value to the wedding day.
Why Live Stream Weddings?
To begin, live streaming delivers an instant asset. It is created as the event unfolds, saving hours of post-production work and negating the wait time for the client to receive and share their video.
For the client, the value is multifold.
“It’s all about sharing with people who can’t be there,” David described. “One-third of our live stream packages are last minute add-ons. Grandma can’t make it, brother is a marine, bride’s sister is pregnant...It’s an option that has a lot of emotional value.”
Discovering a Better Wedding Streaming Solution
David and Kristina are also focused on filming for a post-produced video, so it’s crucial that the live streaming rig does not bog them down – in both weight and setup time.
They had been using Livestream broadcaster for three years until they discovered Teradek products for a robust and lightweight live streaming solution.
Airmix (then Live:Air) allowed them to connect to Teradek Vidiu Pro encoders for live switching and streaming with multiple cameras right from an iPad. No clunky switcher setup full of wires and setup time – and much better suited for their wedding live streaming needs.
The Wedding Live Streaming Gear: Then and Now
Their 2018 setup consisted of:
3 Cameras (2 Sony PXW-70s and a A7SII)
3 Teradek Vidiu Pros
1 iPad with Live: Air
1 Teradek Link
1 Teradek Node
1 3G Cell Modem
Trinity Weddings live streamed weddings with a Teradek Link to connect all the Teradek devices onto one wireless network. Then they used a cell modem for live streaming the ceremony and reception to the internet, and a Teradek Node for exceptional connectivity when the cell signal was weak.
With the advancement of technology from Teradek, Trinity Wedding Cinema have since upgraded their virtual wedding ceremony setup.
So, what does their gear look like today?
Their 2021 setup consists of:
3 Cameras (2 Sony PXW-70s and a Sony Alpha 7S III)
2 Vidiu Xs
1 Vidiu Go
1 Teradek Link powered by Sony NPF batteries
1 4G ATT Nighthawk
1 iPad Pro 2020 with Airmix
They have since upgraded from their Vidiu Pro units to a Vidiu Go and two Vidiu X devices, but keep the two Vidiu Pros as backup encoders. With the upgrade to the new Vidiu Go and X, not only are the boot up and connection times faster, but the video quality improved and workflow on the day of a shoot has simplified.
When asked, “How does the Vidiu Go and Vidiu X compare to the Vidiu Pro, in your use case and experience?” They replied:
“Holy smokes. I knew the next generation of encoders would have some improvements, but I did not expect the level of improvements we saw. The boot time is significantly faster. This is so important for our application of streaming weddings. Weddings are a ‘run and run’ environment where every second can count. The time it takes for the X and Go to boot up, and connect to Airmix is significantly less. Then there is the most important difference - image quality. We noticed an improvement in image quality that alone would have made the upgrade worth it. Build quality is also noticeable - more so on the Go which given its higher price point is understandable. The Go has exceptional build quality but at the same time is not excessively heavy. The X also has improved build quality. We also have had zero syncing issued with the newer encoders, even though we are mixing two X’s with a Go. Previously we had occasional sync issues (usually never more than a few frames) on the Vidiu Pros. This was easily solved using the sync feature in Airmix, but not having to manually sync the newer encoders is yet another time saver.”
Trinity Wedding Cinema’s Live Stream Wedding Workflow
Let’s take a look at a sample wedding streaming workflow. David and Kristina place their Vidiu X and Vidiu Go encoders on three cameras, located in key locations during the ceremony.
Back of House
Down the Aisle
Right of House
When the wedding party walks down the aisle, David and Kristina have their cameras pointed at the groom for his reaction and another at the bride walking down the aisle. Once the ceremony begins, they position their cameras to the above locations.
All of this feeds into an iPad with the Airmix app, where they can switch between angles to get the best moment throughout the wedding and cut around camera repositioning.
With their camera coverage, streamlined setup, and switching capabilities, David is able to pull off his double duty as both camera operator and switcher.
“This next part is going to sound crazy. It’s really only possible because we have shot over a 1,000 weddings and we have streamed over 200, so we have the process down extremely well. Every shot is planned and every step I take is more or less already known. With that said, I’m able to operate Cameras B, C, and D, AND handle the switching on Airmix,” David explained.
With both of their hands full, David and Kristina need to be in constant contact with each other to make sure that they don’t reposition their cameras when their camera is “hot” – or when a camera is feeding the current stream.
For quick communication that allows both to talk simultaneously without cutting each other off (known as “duplex”), they use Eartec headsets during the live stream.
Having a compact setup allows them to give their live stream wedding audiences a better view of the event, and a front row seat. As a plus, Airmix allows them to add graphics and overlays to give live streams that extra polish.
The Growth and Future of Live Streaming Weddings Post-Pandemic
There has been an obvious increase in demand due to the pandemic.
For Kristina and David, their wedding streaming package sales have increased 60% since 2018. While Trinity Wedding Cinema expects demand for wedding streaming to fall post-pandemic, they still expect levels to remain above pre-pandemic times.
”We believe that post-pandemic demand for streaming weddings and events will be 25-30% higher than the levels we saw before the pandemic,” David stated. Tools like Vidiu X, Vidiu Go, and Airmix will continue to help them deliver professional quality wedding live streams that their customers expect.
Are you ready to capitalize on the rise of virtual weddings?