A Wedding Guide by a Videographer

 

A Guide to Weddings from the perspective of a Wedding Videographer

 

As a professional wedding videographer, my amazing job has already taken me across much of Devon and Cornwall, The South West of England, and even as far as Cyprus. By this time next year I expect to have travelled across much of the UK and many new and exciting wedding destinations. I’ve learnt many lessons very quickly, and combining this with years of experience working in a professional function band, performing at hundreds of weddings, I could no doubt answer many questions that brides and grooms to be may have. So I thought it would be good to share my lessons and some tips that may help you plan your wedding and get the absolute most out of your day. Most wedding suppliers will have their own tips, tricks and guides, having learnt lessons from their own personal experiences and the role they play on a wedding day. Some times you may find that advice from various wedding suppliers will conflict, therefore I recommend taking note of all suggestions from everyone concerned and compromising accordingly. The purpose of this post is to provide couples with advice specifically from the perspective of a videographer. 

 

IS WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY WORTH THE COST AND IS IT AFFORDABLE FOR ANY BUDGET?

First of all, should you consider hiring a wedding videographer in the first place? This question is answered in detail on another of my recent blog posts HERE. However, to answer the question briefly, I absolutely believe that you should. Combine a stunning wedding film with a quality photographer, and you will end up with the perfect keepsake. A wedding video captures the essence of your day in a way that (in my opinion) photography alone cannot, yet your professional photography is an absolute must and perfect for mounting on a wall. I honestly couldn’t recommend one above the other as I believe each to be equally important. Every couple has a budget, but a wedding photography/videography combination can be affordable and well worth the cost. After all, what could be more important that capturing those memories so they can be relived for years to come? 

HOW DO I APPROACH WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY?

So how, and why, do I do what I do? My ambition is for Rowe Films to be the best wedding videography business out there. Ambitious I know, but I like to aim high! My passion for the art of cinematography is unrivalled and combining this with the satisfaction of providing couples with a lifetime of memories simply cannot be beaten. In order to be a top videographer, you have to do a fair bit more than turn up with a camera and shoot away. You will end up producing something that looks and feels more like a home video than a high end wedding film. My films are modern, contemporary and cinematic. I have a real, genuine commitment to quality throughout the production process, from shooting the bridal prep on the morning of the wedding, right up until the final stages of the edit. Making a film feel cinematic is a long and complicated process, however there are a few key points. Making use of light, having the right equipment, dynamic camera movement, cinematic ‘colour grades’, high quality audio recording and selective use of cinematic music. Of course, the importance of having a natural eye for composition and catching those key moments, cannot be understated! 

WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY GUIDE, TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

On booking Rowe Films as your wedding videographer, I would sit down with you and have a good meeting to go over all the details and help you plan your day, however here are a couple of tips to get you started. My tips are from the perspective of wedding videography and intended to help you get the most incredible wedding film ever! Naturally, they will also mean you have the best time on your wedding day too…

Venue - Wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes. From manor houses to marquees, golf clubs to hotels, log cabins to teepees. The choice is truly endless and each couple will have their own preferences and requirements when it comes to venue choice. It is perhaps the most personal item to consider when planning a wedding, and therefore a videographer’s perspective might not be particularly important on this point. Even so, I believe it useful to provide our perspective. One thing that many people would not necessarily think to consider would be lighting. From a videography point of view (and photography too), the more natural, balanced light the better. If a room is bright and airy feeling, chances are it will fair well through a camera lens too. I would also recommend checking what the artificial lighting looks like after dark. It is a good idea to think about where the ceremony is taking place and how much space is there for a videographer to operate? Also, if you intend to book a live band, it would also be worth asking the venue manager what the acoustics are like where the band will be performing. Whatever venue you choose, a professional videographer will work with it, and I always bring my own portable video lights in case they are required. A professional will always do their upmost to ensure the venue looks at its very best on screen. Even so, I would certainly recommend at least considering lighting, space, and acoustics when it comes to venue choice. This way you will end up with the best photographs, the best wedding film, and the band will sound at their best too!  

Timings - Perhaps the most important point to consider from the perspective of a videographer. Wedding videography is extremely fast paced and therefore it is important for the day’s events to be well thought through. When I am shooting a wedding, I'm always looking ahead to the next shot, the next event, and the next stage of the day. A videographer has to ensure they (and their equipment) are always in the right place at the right time, ready to capture those all important moments and to ensure nothing important is missed. This can be a challenge, given a videographer will usually have much more equipment than a photographer. For example, a videographer will need to consider when they will put microphones on the groom, father of the bride and best man, ready for the speeches. They will also need time to set up a second camera ready to film them. I recommend giving the timings some real thought and consider advice given to you from all of your various suppliers. Photographers and videographers will often have very similar needs and requirements, so I recommend working with them both very closely when planning out your wedding day. The main points will be the times between each of the day's events, and of course to make the most of natural light (especially so in winter when daylight hours are shorter). For me personally, I always recommend making a note of the time the sun sets at your location, and on the day of your wedding. Make sure no other event conflicts with this time and if possible, the hour leading up to it. This part of the day is known as the “golden hour” where the light is low and warm, and weather permitting, it’s the most perfect time of day, as anyone who works behind a camera will tell you! Unfortunately in the UK, we are not blessed with a stunning sunset every day and cannot guarantee it, but it’s still worth making a note of the time. Fingers crossed! We’ve all seen those stunning sunset shots, so if it is at all possible, try to make sure the bride and groom don’t need to be anywhere else during the hour before the sun finally dips below the horizon! 

My third, final, and probably single most important tip that I could give to any bride and groom, would be to make sure you enjoy yourselves as much as possible on the day. Goes without saying, right? The number one comment all wedding suppliers hear from newlyweds is that the day flew by and some tell us that they weren’t able take it all it. As a wedding supplier, our number one priority should be to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible and that you ENJOY yourselves. Weddings can be intense and at times stressful for some, so I highly recommend doing everything possible to avoid any kind of stress or worry. Allocate jobs to others, and let them deal with anything that may come up. This is your day, so make the most of it. As a wedding videographer, my favourite part of the whole wedding is without doubt that short amount of time we get to spend alone with the bride and groom. Not only because it is our time to do what we do best, get creative and arty, but it’s also our opportunity to give the bride and groom a few minutes to themselves, take a breather, reflect on the day so far, and most importantly take a few minutes away from your guests to enjoy each other’s company! Trust us, you will not have many opportunities to do this so take full advantage of it. When everything is said and done, you will be glad you took this time out. The enjoyment factor is the most important point for me with any wedding booking. I want my clients to be relaxed, excited, overjoyed, and I want the video shooting itself to be fun. At the end of the day, this is going to give me the most natural footage and result in the most beautiful wedding film. Win win! 


So there we have it. Just a handful of tips for brides and grooms to be. I hope you found this content useful, and if you haven’t done so yet, why not check out my wedding films and then drop me a message to see what we could do for your big day?

Tommy Rowe