We’ve had a fine selection of truly amazing weddings this year so far and learnt some valuable new lessons in the art of being a wedding videographer.
This year, more than any before, we’ve witnessed a slew of trends that directly influence how a videographer will capture the wedding day.
So, it feels only right that we should share our tips with those couples-to-be planning to their big wedding occasion.
Firstly, lest we forget, a wedding is a live event. It’s a moveable feast. Retakes are impossible as a videographer because they would just look fake, so it’s my job to capture your day as it unfolds naturally.
It’s my job to anticipate key moments and react accordingly but discreetly so I don’t miss anything important.
And although many parts of the day can be ‘controlled’ to ensure the optimum coverage there are ways that you AND your planner can help too.
All our clients have the benefit of my experience when planning the timings during the day. Brides also receive information and advice about the morning to ensure they get the best out of my team and me. Such as considering the location of where you get ready and the positioning of the makeup artist to make the most of natural light. You get beautiful makeup and we get beautiful footage for your film.
But, there are a few other things you can do to help us in the morning too.
Giving wedding gifts
Are you giving gifts to your wedding party or perhaps your Mum and Dad? Or maybe you’ve even given something to your future spouse to open on the morning of the wedding? I always advise my couples to wait until I am there. It’s a magical moment to capture and one your partner is sure to want to see. After all, they’ll miss it otherwise.
On too many occasions, I slipped out to gather some establishing shots of the venue or maybe the set-up of the wedding breakfast room and I returned to find that the bottle of champagne that was sitting on the side has been opened and the toast made.
Of course, it’s far from a catastrophe but those sorts of moments will look great in your film. As I’ve said before, unlike a photographer, I can’t ask you to re-chink your glasses… it’s just not the same and would look unnatural.
A further tip about the morning… As your lead wedding videographer at Story Of Your Day I am responsible for setting up the cameras and microphones at church or your venue for the ceremony. This takes time and care. This is a part of your day which we can fully prepare for. But not if we are rushed.
Your photographer will pretty much enter the place of ceremony at the last moment as they’re not using tripods and do not have to worry so much about positioning or audio. But to remain discreet, we want to find the perfect position and remain there throughout.
So, we need to be in position for the bride’s arrival. So, bear in mind that we may need to leave you a little earlier than you had anticipated. If you want me to film you getting into your dress or capture your Father seeing you for the first time, we must factor the timings in.
Those wedding surprises
Weddings are a day of happiness and joy and often your family and friends will have a few surprises in store. It may be a horse and carriage to take you to the service, or a sports car for the groom. These are all magical moments to capture.
Of course, you won’t necessarily know about them but I recommend you speak to anyone who might ‘spring’ something on you and let them know you have a videographer. A word in my ear that morning is all I need to anticipate the action later.
This also applies for bigger surprises, such as Singing Waiters. This is something we cannot film effectively ‘off the cuff’, like many other moments. In an ideal world, we’ll want three cameras filming… one of the singing waiters, you and reactions from your guests. We can set these up without your guests realising but we don’t want to ‘gate crash’ after the performance has started.
And remember that moment in Love Actually when the congregation got up to sing? Not to put too fine a point on it, we are not recording a Hollywood movie with a huge crew of cameras and sound operators…
Locations and timings
It’s just worth bearing in mind that a wedding videographer can’t just run into a moment and start taking pictures, moving about with ease, like a photographer. We need to consider positioning and audio to get the best out of these moments. For that we just need a little bit of time.
The one aspect of the day that many couples often don’t allow enough time for is between the ceremony and the meal. There is no right amount of time. But there is a wrong amount … too little.
Not only will your guests want a ‘bit of you’ but so will your photographer. You’ll have asked them for group shots and perhaps some couple shots too. We’ll happily tag along with the photographer to make sure you’re not taken away from ‘the party’ too long. But this always take longer than expected so leave enough time. If you’re not sure. Ask us as we’re here to help.
Speeches during the wedding breakfast
Another trend I’ve seen a lot of this year and it may be to do with the fact that I have covered many more destination weddings where the bride or groom or both are from the States. It must be a growing thing for speeches to be held during the wedding breakfast as opposed to the more traditional timing of either before the food is served or straight afterwards.
This too poses logistical challenges for any videographer who is working with more than one camera at this stage in the day. Here’s just a few things for you to consider…
It’s not cool to film people when they’re eating. Many people are self-conscious and won’t appreciate being filmed. Also, we just can’t get the best reactions to the speeches if people are eating. Secondly, consider your service staff who will not only have to dance around the cameras in situ but also every time they walk through a shot, it just doesn’t look good. Not to mention a bouncing marquee floor!
And finally, spare a thought for us. We would have to stand in the room ‘manning’ our cameras so we’re ready ‘to roll’ throughout your dinner. This is the first time in a very long day that we get to sit down and eat too (even though I never stop working as also use this time to back-up already filmed footage).
If you decide to bring your speeches forward, please remember to alert both your Videographer and Photographer. I’ve heard awful stories this year about people missing them because the timings were changed.
The first dance
How’s your first dance coming along? You might not have planned it at all, apart from the song and the time it’s going to happen. But if you’ve taken weeks to rehearse a choreographed dance then you’ll want to remember that and look back on it in your film so let us know in advance.
We all love spontaneity. And the experience of me and my team give us the skills to act quickly and discreetly in any given moment without a fuss. But there’s only so much we can and only with a certain level of speed and accuracy.
Yes, we can turn up to your day with very little information and just film what we see. But as you watch my films, remember that while they were not directed in anyway, there was planning that went into the filming to ensure you have an amazing film.