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Unforgettable wedding memories

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Wedding videosIt’s your wedding, the day you’ve dreamed of since you were little and you’ve hired a videographer to capture the memories. A great wedding video can be a happy memory year after year, but a mediocre one will be watched once and then tossed under the bed with your soccer trophies. How can you ensure that your wedding video will be watchable on your fortieth anniversary?

Here are some tips and ideas to consider when planning out your video with your videographer.

Choosing the Right Company:
The flashiest demo reel is not always the best indicator of a good company. How did they get that footage, were they intrusive, bossy, sticklers for ‘their system’? Get some references and follow up on them. You may want to trade the flash of the demo tape of a large company in for the willingness of a smaller company to work with you. Something else to consider when looking at wedding video demo tapes is if the company has ever shot a wedding where yours will be held. How did they handle it, how did it look?

Many video companies are now offering a ‘Love Story’ and it might be fun to consider. These are 15-20 minute ‘movies’ that proceed the wedding on the finished tape. Love Stories generally deal in a fun way with how you and your finance met and fell in love but can really cover anything that you want. If nothing else, it’s a fun way to break away from the stress involved in planning a wedding. Your only limits are your own wants and creativity

Assign a relative or friend to act as a liaison. Someone whom the videographer can go to with any questions or problems. This liaison can also point out important relatives and friends who should not be missed by the camera.

Insist that the videographer attend the rehearsal and shoot some footage. This will help them make lighting and camera position placements in advance.

The Ceremony:
Depending on your personality and the type of video you are looking for, you may want to ask the videographer to capture the musicians, people entering, the florist preparing the altar, the official finalizing their notes and other ‘behind the scenes’ views of the day.

It’s best to permit the videographer complete access to the bridal party on the big day. Although it may sound intrusive, some of the most memorable moments are those candid shots that occur before and after the ceremony. In a related vein, the bride may want to have the videographer over to her house before the ceremony.

If the ceremony is an inter-religious one or there will be events occurring that are ‘out of the ordinary’, you will want to alert your videographer well in advance so they can make the proper adjustments and preparations

Ask if the videographer can plug directly into the DJ’s sound system so the music can be picked up and played back exactly as it was heard that night.

There is nothing more boring than watching static shots of people dancing for an hour. Let your video team know that they are free to get into the middle of the party, shoot people from the floor up or while standing on a table, get pictures of people’s feet while they dance or their faces while the videographer dances with them. If you are afraid to annoy guests, you needn’t worry as most people enjoy the camera in these situations but if you are concerned, put a small mention ‘…that a video is being made and the help of the guests is appreciated’ into the program.

A common wedding video segment is ‘Greetings’ from guests. Guests, though, can tend to grow uncomfortable when a mic is shoved into their face as they sit at their table. To remedy this, have the videographer set a camera in a hallway so that guests can come up and give a greeting when they feel the most comfortable.

When Everything is Done:
Don’t insist on a lot of effects in the final product. Simple works best and won’t lend itself to a dated look ten years down the road (like your tuxedo will).

Consider a ‘highlight’ reel as a gift for your parents, wedding party or family. A ‘highlight reel’ is the ceremony and reception condensed to three or four minutes, perhaps you can even have it set to a favorite or ‘theme’ song.

Do you plan on having a video camera with you on your honeymoon? If so it might be fun to have your videographer include a few shots of the trip on the end of the tape.

It also might be of interest to you to see about purchasing all of the footage that is shot. The days events will most likely be distilled down to two-three hours which leaves plenty of footage unused. The unused footage makes a fun keepsake and will make for an interesting look back someday. On a related note, you will want to inquire about procuring a digital master of the completed wedding video. This will come in handy down the line when you accidentally tape a Sesame Street episode over your vows.

Yes you are paying someone to shoot your wedding and it should be their job to consider the above items and discuss them with you. But unfortunately many companies shoot several weddings a day, your special moment is job number three to them. This is why you must sit down with your videographer specifically to plan out your wedding video. Without your input and interest, the chance is good that your wedding will be shot and edited to look like the 100 other weddings the company has done. You’ll want to have everything laid out ahead of time, because there are no second takes.


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