7 ways to help your Wedding Videographer on your Wedding Day
7 ways to help your Wedding Videographer on your Wedding Day
Spring has officially arrived and wedding season is here! We filmed Hollie and Zack’s wedding in Cullman a few weeks ago, and have Madilynn and Garrett get married in Nashville next week – so we thought what better time than ever to post a blog to share with all current and future AMP brides to help make their day the best that it can be! We have been part of hundreds of weddings over the years, but you only get one wedding day and we hope to impart some things we’ve learned along the way to make sure your video is the best that it can be. Today’s blog is shared with you from the UK’s AK Films over in the London. I must give the credit to Arran Kenny, who wrote the original post, but trust me when I say, this is exactly what I’d write if he hadn’t done it first (and I have updated it with lessons learned as I go along).
So without further adieu, here’s the real deal. You make the memories, we make them last forever…
“I know you’re busy planning your big day right now, and the last thing you want to do is read yet another list (I’m sure you’re making enough of your own as it is). But honestly, what’s the point in all that planning and all that money if your wedding film doesn’t have any speeches because your videographer missed them? What’s the point in writing those custom vows if your faces aren’t visible in the ceremony? So please, take note of our advice, and give your videographer the best chance possible of making your Wedding Film amazing!
1) Tell us EVERYTHING
We’ve all heard the old adage: fail to prepare, prepare to fail. Well, I cannot stress this enough: a prepared videographer is a good videographer. There is nothing worse, from a videographer’s point of view, than somebody deciding to deliver an impromptu speech at a wedding – chances are, if we didn’t know about it, we didn’t put a microphone on them so they’re going to sound really bad in your film. Likewise, don’t surprise your partner with a gift or an ensemble of stormtroopers without letting us know beforehand so that we can capture their reaction for you! The more we know, the better prepared we can be, and the better your film will be. The best rule to follow is: if in doubt, tell the videographer!
- A note from A Morales Production: All of our brides receive a questionnaire 30 days out from the wedding that asks questions to help this process happen. We truly believe all information is good to know so we work with you closely to make sure this comes naturally.
In addition, make sure you keep us informed throughout the day. I know quite often videographers are almost invisible – you don’t notice us capturing those intimate moments, and that’s the way it should be! But please don’t forget about us. When you’re going to cut your cake, just give us a heads up so that we can get cameras set up. It’s likely we’ll want to have more than one camera rolling for these important moments, so that we can cut between different angles in your film, so tell the DJ to wait for our nod before cuing your Ed-Sheeran-first-dance-medley. Additionally, if you’re going off with the photographer for some shots, it would be great to let us know, too. Sometimes the photographer forgets because they’re so focussed on getting some beautiful photos of you, which is absolutely fine by us. But chances are, you’ll want some beautiful shots in your film too, so just give us a heads up. Maybe the photographer wants 15 minutes alone with you – that’s cool! All we ask is that we get some time alone with you, too.
2) Get ready by a window
Whether you’re a bride or a groom, getting ready by a window is crucial. I’m sure your photographer will agree that this just gives us so much more to work with in terms of light. Artificial light is really yellow and makes the colour of your skin and EVERYTHING ELSE look weird and unappealing. Natural light, on the other hand, is both flattering and true to real-life colours.
Ladies, when your make-up artist arrives, chances are they’ll sit you by a window (after all, it makes sense for them to have loads of light too in order to work their magic). But if they don’t, maybe try and suggest moving. Some make-up artists will bring their own lights, and will prefer to work in front of them than in front of a window, and that’s okay! Any worthwhile wedding videographer will be able to work in artificially lit conditions – all we’re talking about here is how to foster the ideal conditions for the most best Wedding Film your videographer can produce.
Gents, chances are your videographer will spend less time with you when getting ready, simply because it doesn’t take as long for you to get ready, and there are only really a few shots we want to get. For example, a shot of you (or your father/best man) doing up your tie is always great, as is a shot of you putting on cufflinks and throwing on your jacket. These can be relatively mundane shots in a dimly lit hotel room. But stand by a window, and we can position you such that there are all kinds of interesting shadows occurring, and it’ll just make the shot much more interesting and appealing. Plus, it means we can get some awesome silhouette shots, too!
3) Turn to face each other in the aisle
During your ceremony, the officiant will, at some point, ask you to turn and face each other. This is usually for the vows and the ring exchange. Please please PLEASE turn fully. A lot of videographers like to get a shot down the aisle (it’s a really beautiful shot because of the symmetry and because it captures both your faces at the same time). But if you don’t turn to face each other all the way, you’ll end up being kind of diagonal, and we’ll get more of the back of your head than your faces and miss the part where you start blubbering into your own veil/pocket square. So turn to face each other head-on, so that your officiant is on one side, and your guests on the other, gaze into each other’s eyes and let us capture the magic!
4) Have an unplugged ceremony
Bear in mind: just because you and I are doing everything right, that doesn’t mean your guests won’t get in the way still.
Whether it’s Uncle Trevor and his new Nikon, or Stacy the Serial Insta-Storyer, there will always be somebody watching your ceremony through a screen. And while that’s a shame for you because you invited them there to be present in the moment and enjoy your day, it’s an even bigger shame for us, the videographers, who have to try to shoot around the DSLRs and the iPhones leaning into the aisle. It’s for that reason that we always recommend an ‘unplugged’ ceremony. In essence, this is a ceremony where you ban people from taking photos or videos. I’ve been to quite a few unplugged ceremonies, and the effect is fascinating: people actually sit and watch your ceremony with their own eyes! And I can get a clean shot of your ring exchange without having to have a word with Uncle Trevor – win-win!
- A note from A Morales Production: Our brides often do this, and some neat ways we’ve seen it addressed kindly to guests is to have the officiant make an announcement at the beginning of the ceremony or create a sign at the entrance like this:
5) Don’t try and hold back your emotions
Speaking of blubbering, please don’t try to hold back your emotions. This one applies to men more than women; because of the whole ‘man up’ thing, we’ve found that men are generally reluctant to let their emotions show. When they see their significant other gliding down the aisle, radiating beauty, a lot of men do want to cry, but only a courageous few let that happen. The rest of you try to bottle it up, which results in some of the strangest faces you will ever pull (which isn’t ideal on what is potentially the only day you’ll ever have a professional camera pointing at your face). So don’t bottle it up… let it all out and cry like there’s nobody watching – it will make your Wedding Film ten times better. Plus, it’s a fact that the sight of a man crying is more likely to set somebody else off than the sight of a woman crying; so chances are that, once you start, someone else in that room will join in before long (and, if they’re anything like me, it may well be your videographer).
As of August 2021, we have added a few more to the list, so here’s a couple lessons learned from Jason of A Morales Production:
6) Make Sure The Bride Brings Everything With Her To The Getting Ready Location On the Wedding Day
Often, the Groom has the rings – which makes a lot of sense. But, usually we meet the Photographer at the Getting Ready Location where the bride is and the first thing we do is take shots of the details. We’ve experienced times when the Groom isn’t arriving until later with the rings which can relay cause delays in the schedule. So, make sure the bride has all the “Details” stuff such as rings, stationary, jewelry, shoes, heirlooms, gifts, etc with her when she arrives at the venue. That way the photographer and videographer can get shots of these before the day gets started… once it starts, it doesn’t stop! so we try to get there an hour early to document this stuff.
7) Don’t Seal Your Letters
If you’re exchanging letters, it’s very likely that we’ve already discussed by this point whether the bride and groom are willing to read them on camera. We can do this one of two ways – where the bride reads the letter she wrote to the groom out loud, and the groom reads the one he wrote. The other way is when the bride reads the letter she has received, and the groom does the same. Whichever way you prefer (we are open to both, but usually err on the writer of the letter reads the letter they wrote when the couple has no preference) so it’s helpful to that process if the couple doesn’t seal the envelopes prior to reading them on film. We try to schedule this to happen RIGHT BEFORE the First Look (unless otherwise determined) so we have the bride reads hers first, then go let the Groom read his before we bring him out for placement at the big moment. We can always open the letter carefully but we know you guys put a lot of thought and intentionality in how things look, so when possible, we’d love the envelop not to tear or get ripped because we have to open it since you’re going to read it. Leave the letter accessible, then we’ll let you seal it right before the exchange.
So there you have it – 7 ways you can help your Wedding Videographer to make your film the best that it can be. Again, these aren’t essential, and they won’t ruin your film if you neglect to follow them, but they will help to foster the ideal conditions for your videographer to work their magic and make you a fantastic Wedding Film that you’ll be proud to show family and friends for the rest of your lives.