Helpful Video Tips for the Bride & Groom

 

  1. Have you 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.)

  1. Decide what type of video you would like. 

The choices are basically:

  • Documentary style, 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.

  • Traditional wedding 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 video.

  • MTV style.  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.

At LRL Video, we can combine any of the above styles to create your own personalized wedding video.  This is why our company slogan is

"We produce weddings in your style."

  1. 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 will suffer.

  1. Let the 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.

  • The second 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.

The bride's 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 recorded.

 

LRL Video captures the special moments that will last for generations.

  1. Decide if 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. 

Many brides 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.

  1. Decide if you want table shots

There are three types of table shots.

  • The first 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

  • The second optionpanning 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 to do. 

  1. 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 reception!

  1. 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.

 

AT LRL 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!

  1. 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!"

 

 

© 2003 LRL Video, Guilford, CT  06437 All Rights Reserved
Revised 01/19/2004 10:24 PM -0700