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You want the best wedding video possible, right? In this guide I will give you on the day wedding tips to help you get just that. I’ve broken up the guide into 3 sections: pre-ceremony, ceremony, and post-ceremony. Each section contains 5 tips. You’ll want to make sure your videographer is doing these things, so be sure to sit down with them and go over this list.
PRE-CEREMONY WEDDING TIPS
Keep The Room Tidy We’re not just capturing the people in the room, we’re also getting the surroundings. Leftover food, empty water bottles, torn up packaging, and other unsightly things will degrade the beautiful aesthetic of the bridal/groom preps
Turn Off Music & TV Keep in mind our microphones are rolling, so we’re capturing sound. We want to hear all the nice words being spoken. We don’t want them obscured by loud commercials or pop songs.
Face a Window During Hair/Makeup To get you looking your best we want to utilize the natural light as much as possible. It’s best to turn off the ceiling lights in the room as they have an unflattering yellow color. They also cast a downward shadow creating raccoon eyes on peoples’ faces. Open the curtains and let the beautifying daylight in!
Have a Card/Gift Exchange The most engaging part of your wedding film isn’t pretty drone shots, it’s the raw emotion, and a card exchange where you read each other’s cards has that in spades. The gift is optional, but I highly recommend sending over some nice words to your loved one before you walk down the aisle.
Have a 1st Look With Your Partner (and Dad) Just like with the last tip, the more content we have to use in your film, the better and more dynamic it is. A 1st look is a wonderfully intimate addition to your love story. Bonus points if your dad is available for one, too!
CEREMONY WEDDING TIPS
Time of Day The position of the sun can make or break the look of your ceremony. If you’re having an indoor ceremony without windows, then you’re in the clear. However, if the venue has giant windows behind you, or your wedding is outside, you’ll want to get the timing right. As the sun starts dipping, it gets really harsh and causes nasty shadows. The color also becomes very intensely orange on peoples’ faces. You’ll want your ceremony completed before that happens. That will also ensure you have enough time afterwards to get sunset photos/video after the ceremony. Use this calculator to find out the sun’s position on your wedding date: https://sunrise-sunset.org/calendar?location=Orlando
Everyone Should Wear a Lav Mic We want to make sure we get crystal clear audio on both partners, as well as the officiant. In the past, it wasn’t as common for the bride to wear a mic. The fear was it would ruin the aesthetic of the dress, but it’s becoming more common. We have white lav mics and cables, so they match the dress. We also have black for those goth dresses. The mic is hidden out of view, and is plugged into a tiny recorder that gets strapped to your thigh. It’s really ideal that everyone have their own mic. Factors like wind or a soft voice can inhibit quality audio if the bride doesn’t wear a mic and the other mics don’t pick her up very well.
Keep Guests Off Their Cellphones/Tablets There’s nothing like having your camera in the perfect position to capture the first kiss only to have someone in the pew in front of you lift their giant iPad in the air just before it happens. The best way to educate your guests so they leave the photos and video to the professionals, is to put up some signs asking them not to use their devices during the ceremony. It’s a good idea to have the officiant make an announcement, as well. If you don’t trust your friends and family to do the right thing, you can always collect them as they enter the space. Just kidding…sort of.
Personal Vows Much like the card exchange, this is a great opportunity to express raw emotion. No matter how great an officiant is, they can never express each of your thoughts and feelings as well as you can yourselves. Tell the backstory of how you met. Get creative or keep it simple, but definitely include them.
Schedule Enough Time The one thing that prevents a wedding film from being its best is a lack of time. If you try to squeeze everything into 6 hours, the day will be incredibly rushed. With too few hours, things like the first look have to get cut. This leaves you with much less footage to use in the film. Everyone will also appear stressed. I always suggest getting at least 8-10 hours of coverage. The biggest squeeze generally happens between preps and the ceremony. Even if you’re going over time on the pre-ceremony, the ceremony will still start as scheduled. If you’re rushing to get to the venue then the videographers won’t be able to capture the details or the guests arriving because they’ll be too busy setting up.
POST-CEREMONY WEDDING TIPS
Get Candid Footage at Golden Hour Golden hour is the time when the sun is setting and creates a gorgeous glow in the sky. It’s the best time to capture photo and video. Even if you’ve gotten photos and video earlier, make a point to get some more during golden hour.
Join Your Guests For Cocktail Hour One of the other big benefits of doing a first look is that you can get your wedding party photos out of the way leaving just the candid shots for after the ceremony. Because of the extra time, you can mingle with your guests before the reception. Once the reception starts it’s not as easy to get quality one on one time with your guests, so this is the best time to do so. It also makes for some great shots!
Light The Dance Floor This is something you want to make sure your video team does. A dim reception room is not going to do you any favors in getting you great introductions, speeches, and dancing footage. A couple of well positioned lights will make a massive difference in getting cinematic, well exposed footage.
Use a Mic Stand For Speeches Much like the last point, this is on the videographer or DJ to supply, but definitely use it for the toast makers. We can set up the most beautiful lighting, but if the person giving the speech starts wandering around, they walk right back into the darkened abyss. It’s also harder for the video team to keep them in focus and framed correctly, especially if they turn their back to the cameras. A mic stand not only keeps the speaker in place, it allows them to not worry about holding the mic. This frees up their hands to hold their speech and drink.
Have a Grand Exit This one is pretty self-explanatory. This shot is the perfect way to end both the wedding festivities, as well as the film. Otherwise it feels a bit anticlimactic.
So there are my 15 wedding tips for the big day! Follow these tips and your videographer will have plenty of awesome footage to create an amazing film.
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