It’s lucrative, hectic and often emotional, but there’s often nothing more nerve-wracking than shooting a wedding. Here are some wedding video tips.
The couple will want and expect you to get all the iconic shots – the vows, the kiss, the dance and the rest – and you’ll only have one chance at each (and these days will probably have to contend with an iPhone-wielding aunt popping into the frame).
If it all sounds a little daunting, then don’t fret, because we’ve put together a quick video overview of the essential steps you need to take in order to get wedding footage a bride and groom will love.
To build your wedding videography skillset, practice will (almost) always make perfect, but you don’t have to wait years and years to reach your potential. Simple tweaks to your filming and post-production process can quickly take you from good to great.
In some cases, it’s updating your kit. In other cases, it’s slightly adjusting your camera movements. But either way, these small and easy-to-implement improvements will help you stand out among peers and potential clients — without breaking the bank.
Today, I’ll walk you through ways you can quickly refine your wedding videography skillset by your next shoot.
Need a Wedding Video Company for your special day? Look no further, Vogue Ballroom have you covered.
Table of Contents
- 1 It’s all about your story!
- 2 A great video is made up of great moments!
- 3 A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand more!
- 4 Tips for Improving Your Wedding Video
It’s all about your story!
As you have probably noticed from our wedding video trailers, we love our films to tell a story: your story. Like any good Hollywood film, the story is what makes a good film into a great film. It’s all very well having lots of beautiful shots from the day (and we love filming these!), but during the editing process we like to craft a story from the footage, so when you watch back the film in years to come, it’s like watching a movie rather than a music video.
Your Story Through Speeches
As this day is ultimately about you both and your connection, we love if our couples are a part of the storytelling process. The way we normally do this is by using some of the after-dinner speeches (groom and/or brides) as a narration track- so it’s always useful if one of you decides to tell the tale of your relationship leading up to the wedding day, as this helps bring our wedding videography to life. The more detailed and emotional, the better, as far as we’re concerned, to give us plenty to work with! Rather than just reeling off a list of compliments (nice as they are!) it’s always better if you can release your inner storyteller and set the scene- how you felt when you first set eyes on each other, what the weather was like, what was playing on the radio, what were you wearing/thinking etc. All these little details help us build up a picture of your relationship to showcase on screen. Take a look at this film to see one of our favourite weddings from last year for inspiration. If you’re not sure about how to go about putting together a speech maybe take a look at this helpful wedding site which offers top tips for writing a speech.
Your Story Through The Vows
Other than the after dinners speeches, another part of the day when we are able to take some great audio is during the ceremony and one perfect way of expressing your feeling for each other during this important part of the day is through personally written vows. Not only are you making the ceremony more personal and letting all your family and friends how you feel about each other. You are also giving us the tools to tell your story- so do let us know in advance if you are writing your vows, as these words you say to each are possibly the most important words you will ever say, and we want to make sure they are a part of your film.
Your Story Through The Readings
Now, you may decide public speaking is not for you, and though we highly recommend you telling your own story, readings are also a great storytelling tool. Whether it’s a poem, a beautiful piece of writing or even better, something is written especially for the occasion by a close friend/family member. Reading can be a very emotional moment for both the reader and you both, so we highly recommend having readings during your ceremony and making sure you let us know in advance, so we can capture these properly. Take a look at this link for wedding readings for some inspiration!
Your Story Through Cards And Letters
Another great way to express your love, without having to stand up in front of everyone to say it, is to write to each other a card or letter to be opened during the morning preparations. If you decide to do this, please make sure to open it while we are there so we can capture your reaction. Also, if you read each other’s letters out loud, we can use this audio to help tell the story of your day in your voice.
A great video is made up of great moments!
A wedding day is full of so many great visual moments, and we love the new and varied ways people choose to celebrate their love. We love our work to have a natural and authentic style, so we avoid stage-managing any parts of the day, rather allowing it to unfold naturally. However, you can help us in a number of ways to make sure we capture all those special moments.
Sharing your plans with us is key, whether you are planning your day yourselves or have a wedding planner, it is so important that we know every detail of the days(s) you have planned, that way we can make sure we are in the right place at the right time with the appropriate equipment. If you have live entertainment, a wedding car or if one of you is planning a surprise for the other it is imperative we know what is happening and when. This is why we always try and have a pre-wedding meeting with all of our clients around a month before the big day- whether in person over a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) or via Skype/phone it is always a good idea to chat with you about your plans in advance of the day.
The morning preparations are a great time for us to capture some special moments, it’s generally the calmest part of the day when we can take a bit more time to capture some cinematic shots, so it’s always good to wait for us to arrive before opening any presents or reading any cards/letters from each other. Not only can we capture those visual moments, but it may also be possible to get some nice audio for your film.
It is always great if you can build some time into your afternoon reception to allow us (and the photographer) to take you away for some portrait shots of the two of you. Not only is it often the only part of the day you get some time to yourselves, but it also means we have some great footage to work with during the editing process. After all, our wedding videos are about you and your story, so having some shots of the two of you together with bits of help to tell this story.
If you’re still undecided about when to have your wedding speeches (before or after the wedding breakfast), we would very much advise having them afterwards, that way we don’t have to spend a portion of the afternoon reception setting up equipment for the speeches, which can otherwise be done towards the end of the wedding breakfast. The longer we have to film in the afternoon, the more footage we have to work with during the editing process.
For a lot of couples, the first dance is something to be endured rather than enjoyed and, not being dancers ourselves, and we can sympathise! However, though it may be tempting to ask your DJ/Band to invite your family and friends on to the dance floor after 30 seconds, it really doesn’t leave us much time to get the shots of the dance we need for your film, so the longer you can spend dancing together with the better from our point of view, and you never know, you may enjoy it! Feel free to contact us, as we’re happy to go into more detail about the sort of things that work on the film! Alternatively please comment if you have any further tips you’d like to put forward or share this article with your friends via the social share buttons below!
A picture tells a thousand words, but sound tells a thousand more!
Any great film is made up of great visuals and great audio, and both are of equal importance, which is why we wedding videographers have to carry more equipment around than photographers- we are trying to capture both at the same time!
On the wedding day itself, as well as capturing great visual clips of your day we are also thinking about sound. One of the most important sound elements on the day is of course speech, which is why we like to mix up the people speaking during your wedding breakfast with professional lapel mics (like those worn by tv presenters). This means, even if we have to film from a distance, we hear every word of the speeches loud and clear! It’s also always worth telling us about any live music you are having on your wedding day as, though we can’t always guarantee to capture all the sounds of the day, like bands/string quartets etc., as capturing this type of audio on the fly can be tricky, we always try and capture a flavour of it to help build up a picture of your day.
During the editing process, as well as using any audio we have captured on the day, we always use music to stir emotions and help the film flow and, as you may have seen from our portfolio, the sort of instrumental music we choose very much suits our elegant and classic filming style. It is for this reason that we prefer to choose the music we think best suits our films, rather than leaving this to you. We also want to make sure your film remains timeless, so always avoid music which may be popular at this moment in time, but could be dated in the years to come. Lastly, there is the issue of licensing- it isn’t possible to use any commercial music in videos online, without paying a hefty fee, which is why we pay to have access to high-quality royalty-free music libraries for all of our films. Using this relatively unknown music means it becomes the soundtrack of your day, not simply a song everybody recognises and associates with their memories.
Find the perfect wedding video company to help capture those special moments here.
Tips for Improving Your Wedding Video
Give your videographer the heads-up about your venue’s lighting. This will help your videographer get the clearest possible images.
Video generally looks better if the lights at the ceremony and reception aren’t turned down too low. If the location is dark, the most unobtrusive choice for your videographer is to use a low-wattage, on-camera light. Ask that he diffuse the light. This will spread the light evenly and prevent squinting, which doesn’t look good on video. Also, pre-arrange with the emcee to turn up the venue lights for traditional moments such as toasts, cake cutting, and bouquet tossing and garter removal. If no lights are used in a dark venue, your video could result in grainy images.
An outdoor wedding will look much better if the bride and groom, as well as guests, aren’t in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will wash out vibrant colours. Shady areas or canopies that let in some light work best.
Even the most thoroughly rehearsed weddings can make it difficult for your videographer to get the best shots, especially if you not aware of your positioning. Including camera positioning techniques in your rehearsal can keep key moments intimate and ensure the best shots.
Inform your bridal party ahead of time to be aware of the camera, especially if the ceremony area is crowded. This is especially true when there is a chuppah in a small area with attendants holding the poles.
Facing your guests during the ceremony, or facing each other (instead of the officiant), will give you the best unobtrusive shots. If neither is an option, ask your videographer to use small hidden cameras strategically placed throughout the ceremony location for multiple camera angles.
If you are lighting a unity candle or including a sand ceremony, be careful not to block the candle or vase by standing directly in front of it. Standing off to the side at an angle where the candle is between the bride and the groom will give the videographer the best shot. The same is true for the exchange of rings.
Your videographer should never block the view of your guests; however, the same holds for guests who often block the videographer’s shots. Consider requesting that your guests stand behind the official videographer and photographer during key moments such as the ring exchange, the kiss, the bouquet toss, and cake cutting. Overzealous guests and even young children can easily block these important shots. As your guests are seated, the ushers can discreetly remind them of your request, and you can include a statement in your printed program as well.
Little Things Mean A Lot
When capturing beautiful memories, it’s the little things that count. Being aware of actions that can ruin your video will guarantee your lasting impressions are memorable for the right reasons.
What not to do
Smoking, eating, and chewing gum generally look terrible on video. Also, request that your bridal party not chew gum, and provide them with mints instead. Most professional videographers know not to record people while they are eating or smoking, but feel free to mention it just in case.
The groom usually will wear a tiny wireless lavaliere microphone, and it is important he doesn’t turn it off or adjust the set-up. Be assured that the guests won’t hear his private comments. Most videographers know to be discreet when editing. You can feel comfortable knowing that anything embarrassing, whether on audio or video, will not become public.
Check out our post on Is a wedding video worth it?
Try not to react to the presence of the camera. The bridal party usually becomes accustomed to the camera after the first hour during the bridal preparations. Never turn your back on the camera as this usually renders the footage unusable. When in doubt about whether to look at the photographer or videographer during traditional shots, always look at your photographer unless the videographer specifically requests otherwise.
Every wedding is different, and these tips may not fit every situation. Pick and choose what will work best for you on your wedding day.
And there you have it! Four simple and relatively inexpensive ways to up your wedding videography game without years and years of experience. Of course, like all things, the more you practice, the better your films will become, but pair that practice with these tried-and-true tactics and you’ll be well on your way to wedding film success.