Helpful Video Tips for the Bride & Groom
cleared the use of video cameras at your wedding ceremony site?
Some churches and other
ceremony sites have rules for both the photographer and videographer.
Some rules may be as simple as not allowing lights or flashbulb pictures
(we do not use lights at the wedding ceremony.)
what type of video you would like.
The choices are basically:
or how the day actually unfolds. This style is very much like a
documentary movie and follows the timeline of the day. The
finished video is about an hour long.
video style. This style has some of the feel of the
documentary style but also includes moments of slow-motion, fancy
transitions, flashback scenes, still from the video,
picture-in-picture and special effects like fog, black & white or
color changes to the video. The finished video is about 35 to 50
minutes long. This is by far the most popular style of wedding
This style has many fast cuts and heavy use of effects. The feel
of linear time may or may not be present. This is the most
creative and time consuming style to edit. The final video is
about 25-30 minutes.
Video, we can combine any of the above styles to create your own
personalized wedding video. This is why our company slogan is
produce weddings in your style."
Give the videographer some time on the wedding day just for the
video without the photographer.
This may seem
like a trivial detail, but it is one of the top concerns of professional
wedding videographers. Posed shots of groups of people look nice
in a photograph, but only serves as a filler in video. People like
moving close-ups in video and that can't be done effectively from 15 to
20 feet away. If you give just 5 to 10 minutes of your time to the
videographer, your wedding video will be much nicer. The best time
for this is about halfway through the photo session. This could be
during the formals after all the large family shots are done. If
you wait until the end of the photo shoot (this may be up to 2 to 3
hours later,) you will most likely be all "pictured out" and your video
videographer know if there will be any special moments planned.
I'll give you
two examples of what I mean by this.
The first was
at a reception when I asked the band if there was anything special
planned. Even though the bride had filled out the 50+ questions
on our questionnaire (most are just yes or no questions,) she didn't
know that her brother had planned a surprise; he had written a special
song for the bride and groom and was to perform it during dinner with
the band. Both the photographer and I would have missed this
moment had I not inquired, as were were to dine on another floor at
the time of the performance!
Let everyone in
your immediate family and bridal party know that if they have anything
planned, like decorating the car with "Just Married" signs and
streamers, or Mom and Dad wanting to say something special to you on
your video, they need to tell the videographer ahead of time!. You
should also make every effort to have the photographer and videographer
in the same room as the bride and groom during the reception. You
never know when someone might get up and do a toast, tell a funny story,
or as in the case above, sing a song.
example of keeping the videographer informed happened right after a
Pictures in the Park session. The bride and groom said to me,
"See you later at the recption." These folks did not have
rehearsal, nor had they filled out our questionnaire. I decided
to follow the limo, which ended up at a cemetery! I figured that
maybe they were going to visit a grandparent's grave, so I asked the
bride if she wanted me to film it. She was happy that I was
there; she had thought that maybe I wouldn't want to be bothered with
this part. I assured her that I could record it and that she
would have the final say as to whether or not it would be on the
finished video. She smiled and said, "That's really nice of you
to offer to do that for me."
Well come to
find out it was her father's grave that they were visiting. He
had died just a few months before the wedding. As the bride,
groom and the bride's mother approached the gravesite to put flowers
on the grave; the groom whispered to his new wife, "I want to say
something." The bride, puzzled at first, whispers, "Like what?"
The groom then held his bride's arm and put his hand on the
gravestone. Tears began to gently flow down his cheek. He
proceeded to say how he wished the bride's father was there to enjoy
this great day, and that they all missed him greatly. The there
was a pause as he tried hard to keep his composure. Barely able
to speak, he asked for her father's blessing and said that he promised
he would always take care of his daughter for him.
mother put her cheek on the grooms shoulder and gave him a hug and a
kiss. The bride then reached over with her hand and gently
turned the groom's head. By this time, she too had tears running
down her cheeks. She said, "Thank you, that was beautiful," and
gave her new husband a nice long kiss.
The bride was
very happy when she got her video. She said that moment would be
cherished forever: by her, her children and and her grandchildren!
It was one of the most emotional spontaneous moments that I had ever
recorded. And think about it ..... it almost didn't get
captures the special moments that will last for generations.
you want "pass the mic" sessions and plan them in advance.
Nothing is more
awkward for both your guests and the videographer than when asked to do
cold interviews. If someone came up to you at a wedding and asked,
"Would you like to say something for the bride and groom's video?" and
stuck a mic and camera lens in front of your face, you would be pretty
uncomfortable, right? Only folks that are used to public speaking
or ones that have had a few too many drinks will end up on your video.
There are two
good ways to do interviews if you really want them on your video.
The first is
to have the videographer set up an area at the reception that is off
to the side, away from the dance floor and guests. The band or
DJ would then mane an announcement several times during the night that
if anyone would like to say something for the bride and groom's video
to please see the videographer and to let the guests know where they
are set up.
The second way
to guarantee good interviews would be to choose the folks that will be
interviewed ahead of time. You can tell the interviewees hours
or days ahead of time that you have asked only a few people to say
something on your personal video, and that it's not going on network
TV, it's just for you! This gives them plenty of time to think
about what they will say besides "Good Luck." If you have a
story that you want them to tell, like how they helped get you and
your husband to go on a blind date together, then you should let them
know! Funny high school and college stories are great too.
Don't forgot Mom and Dad, grandparents, and siblings.
choose to have the mic passed down the head table. This is usually
done at the reception right after the toast and blessing when everyone
is still at the head table and looking their best. Again, this
works will if everyone at the head table is told ahead of time when it
will happen and given a suggestions as to what to talk about. You
might suggest keeping the stories only a few minutes long.
you want table shots
There are three
types of table shots.
type, general shots, are food if you are having 200 to
300 guests, as either of the two just won't fit on the video with that
many tables to cover
option—panning of both sides of the
table—is fine for parties with 20 or less tables.
Sometimes, guests will ask to say something to the camera, which is
fine but may or may not make into the finished video.
The posed table shots are
the most disruptive and most time consuming. Sometimes, if the
tables are very close to each other, posed shots are almost impossible
Do you want the receiving line, cocktail
hour and waiting room videotaped?
The more things you request to shoot, the
more time will be taken away from the dancing segment on the video.
We always include some of each of the above in the final edit but only
once were we asked to videotape the whole receiving line. The
bride wanted to know who came to the ceremony and who just went to the
Do you want
a long or a short form video?
Over 17 years
ago when I first started videotaping weddings, finished videos were 2 to
2½ hours long. That lasted until
about 1998 when computer editing became available to videographers at a
price less than $100,000! (LRL
was one of the first few videographers to use computer editing at that
time.) These new non-linear editing computers enabled up to tell
the story without all the filler. The other thing that happened
was brides just didn't like 2 hour wedding videos anymore. They
told videographers that then they had gone to friend's houses to watch
their 2-plus-hour-long video, and had to keep the remote in hand to
fast-forward to the good parts! Thus the 30-45 minute edited
wedding video was born.
Video we make a VHS copy of all the viewable footage that we take
on your weding day, just in case there was something that you wanted but
didn't make it on the finished video. Almost all other
videographers will not do this. We tell brides and grooms to
enjoy the finished video for about a month and then, on some rainy
night, pull out the raw footage. They then realize how artfully we
put together the finished video!
Last but not least, enjoy your wedding day!
This may seem like a given, but some brides
get so involved with the details that they forget to have a good time!
We had a bride one time that had the whole day broken down to 5-minute
intervals as to exactly what was to happen when. After about an
hour of seeing her upset that the toast didn't happen at 7:05 pm. etc.,
I quietly asked her "May I offer some advice? She said with tears
in her eyes "Sure this is turning into a disaster!" I replied,
"Let the professionals that you hired do their jobs. You did a
wonderful job in planning this beautiful wedding…Stuff is gonna
happen…let it go, get out of planning mode and enjoy your party."
I then told her "Every bride says the same thing, the day went by so
quickly, so enjoy the day, enjoy your family and friends! They
came to see you on the happiest day of your life!"
The next time I talked to her about it was
when she picked up the video. We watched it together and she said
"Wow you were right, I missed so much, the time just flew by." I
asked her if what I said about enjoying the day helped her. She
said "I was a mess before that, thanks for setting me straight with that
little talk. It made a huge difference." The she said
something that took me by surprise. "Ya know…that took a lot of
courage, everyone else, my family, friends, the other vendors, even my
husband all saw how I was being a bridezilla, you were the only one that
cared enough and was brave enough to try to help!" Smiling, I said
"I just didn't want a video with an upset bride on it. I've never
had one before. Besides, who would show that to their kids!"
She laughed and agreed, "I can't wait to show this movie to everyone!"