From the bridal party dancing as they get ready to when the groom first catches a glimpse of the bride; there are many magical moments on your wedding day that you will want to remember forever.
It’s my job as a wedding videographer to capture the fun, excitement, romance and laughter from your big day in a film that you will want to watch again and again for years to come.
But there are a few things couples can do – or shouldn’t do – to ensure they get their perfect wedding film.
Here’s the 10 biggest wedding videography mistakes couples can make… and how to avoid them.
1 Not researching wedding videographers
Don’t just go for a wedding videographer who suits your budget – do a bit of homework first to see if they suit you too. You’re going to be spending one of the most important days of your life with this person, so it’s essential you get on and you are confident they will deliver you the result you expect and deserve.
I always offer couples enquiring about my services a free, no-obligation face-to-face chat with me, so we can establish if “we are a match”. I share examples of my previous wedding films, so couples can get an understanding of my style but also see how all my films are so very different depending on each couple.
You should also listen to venues, wedding planners and other wedding suppliers – they will only recommend a videographer that they have a good working rapport with and know from experience that they deliver great results.
2 Thinking you don’t need a wedding videographer
There are reasons why people decide they don’t need a wedding videographer – “it’s not something we’ve budgeted for”… “it’s extravagant”… “our photographer will capture everything”. Yet, couples that overlooked booking a wedding film will often say it’s something they later wish they had organised.
In fact, there’s a wedding survey that’s often quoted, which reveals 98 per cent of newlyweds say not booking a wedding videographer is their biggest regret.
Weddings go by in a whirlwind and a film captures special moments and special people. Even the best photographers can’t capture those wonderful moments, such as when the bride started to laugh because of something her father said in his speech, or when the groom whispers “let’s get married” as the bride arrives at the altar.
3 Getting a friend ‘who’s good with a phone camera’ to do it
Asking a friend who owns a nice camera or takes good Facebook photos to film your wedding is certainly a way to cut costs, but is more often than not, at the expense of a quality film. A professional wedding videographer will work discretely, understand how to make the best use of natural light throughout the day, and know filming and editing techniques that will result in a beautiful, timeless, high-quality and cinematic wedding film that you can enjoy for years to come.
I won’t just make a wedding film full of pretty moving pictures, I will tell a story – a couples’ individual story -at every wedding.
4 Waiting too long to book
Quite often, booking a wedding videographer seems to get pushed back sometime between deciding on table decorations and settling on napkin styles! Couples will take their feet off the wedding planning pedal after booking ‘their essentials’ of venue, photographer and attire.
But with some couples booking their videographer years ahead of the big day, you could be missing out on getting the best wedding film that is exactly how you imagined it would. A good quality videographer doesn’t adopt a ‘sausage factory’ production process and will limit the number of weddings they film each month so that when it comes to editing your film it will have their undivided attention and it will not be rushed.
5 Falling for video trends
From vintage style films in sepia to letting your dog shoot your wedding via a camera attached to its collar – wedding trends come and go all the time. What you may find funny and quirky now, may not be something you like in years to come. A good videographer should not imitate the styles of others nor follow fads.
6 Not sharing important information
It’s important for wedding videographers to get to know you as a couple and understand what is important to you. If you are nervous about being filmed, they can help you feel at ease. Make sure your videographer is aware of any important family dynamics, such as there are two cousins that don’t speak to each other, or that the father of the bride is hard of hearing.
7 Not finalising wedding day timings with your videographer
Nobody wants their wedding to be like a military procedure, but it is ideal to have time frames in mind when planning your day. If you have a schedule or running order for when you would like things to happen, don’t forget to share this. If you are planning any surprises for your partner, don’t forget to tell your videographer, so they can be there to capture those priceless moments.
One bride wanted me to capture the moment when she gave her bridesmaids special gifts but she also wanted the moment her vintage car arrived. Unfortunately these were scheduled at the same time. Knowing timings ahead of the special day means we can also let you know that the order would be better juggled around.
Also some brides don’t leave enough time between their ceremony and the start of their wedding breakfast and then want to squeeze in a receiving line with 150 guests before they sit down. This limits the amount of atmospheric and mingling footage that can be captured, let along any portraits with the couple.
Which is why I always have a Skype session with my couples just before the big day to run through the events of the wedding.
8 Not giving enough time
Some couples have lovely ideas of how they want their day to go, but don’t think about the practicalities. One bride really wanted to get footage of her ‘dress fitting’ and the moment her corset ribbons were tied at the back by her mother. Unfortunately, by the time it came to the dress fitting, everything was running late and the bride’s mother had to rush in half dressed and with curlers in her hair – not the romantic finish they were hoping for! But in some cases, the videographer may have had to leave and miss that moment altogether because setting up for the ceremony, and allowing time to get there, takes time and should not be rushed.
Another common mistake is leaving your ceremony too late on in the day in the winter months. If you’re getting married at 2pm, let’s say, then you’re only leaving yourself a few hours of daylight for the photographer and the videographer to capture you and your guests in natural daylight.
9 Consider what you’re wearing to get ready and where you get ready
We film your wedding day from early morning preparations, capturing all those special moments and the fun of getting ready. Do you want to be filmed in your old dressing gown, that has a tea stain on the pocket?
Many brides like to get ready in their family home, but is your bedroom big enough to fit your bridal party in, as well as a photographer and videographer? Is it light and bright enough to get film and photographer in natural light. And do you really want all your old childhood cuddly toys in the film?
10 Not communicating with ‘amateur videographer and photographer’ guests
This is probably one of the main points that can ruin a good wedding film and, as well as the images from your photographer. Wedding guests standing in front of you holding their mobile phones, cameras and iPads are never going to look good in a film, or photograph. Imagine watching your wedding film, ready to see the moment your partner first sees you arrive down the aisle, only for Aunty Maureen to block the shot as she stands up to shoot with her iPhone.
Consider having an ‘unplugged wedding’, where people leave their devices behind, or perhaps you could politely ask your guests to not take photos or films during the ceremony or at key moments.
If you feel uncomfortable about that ask your celebrant to do it for you before you step into church. He’ll have the guests undivided attention and very few people will ignore what they’re told at this point.