Wedding Filming Guidelines

I have written this page to clarify what is recorded to avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions as much as possible about my role as videographer at your wedding. Whilst all weddings usually follow a pattern and sequence of events, each one is unique in the way it happens and will often need adaptation and improvisation as the day evolves.

As a general rule, the final disc will reflect the order of the day as it happened, ie. from start to finish and will follow this order:

1) Bridal preparations (if this option was chosen)

2) Arrivals at the ceremony

3) The ceremony

4) After the Ceremony – signing the register, greetings, formal and informal photos etc.

5) Coverage of the Photoshoot with your photographer

6) The Reception

7) The Speeches

8) Cutting the Cake

9) Some of the evening’s Dancing

My Style:

 My style overall is documentary, ie. first and foremost, documenting the day as it happened in a natural, non-staged, non-posed way. In this way, I rarely ask couples to specifically do anything for the camera, unless it seems appropriate at the time. As an example, some shots of both of you walking hand in hand looks good, but your photographer may already have this in mind too. I’m one to suggestions if there is something in particular that you want captured, though as I work closely with your photographer this may already have been covered. My aim is for you to feel as relaxed as possible and enjoy your special day.

This documentary style is particularly true of the ceremony, the speeches and evening’s dancing. Alongside this, parts of the day are presented in a more artistic, creative way set to music, with subtle use of video effects, such as slow motion, where appropriate to tell the story of your day.

Bridal Preparations (Optional):

Shots of make ups, hairs, dresses, shoes, jewellery, the informal interactions and general feel of what happens. This does not include getting into the dress or leaving the house (as I will need to allow time to get set up for the ceremony). These can be covered if a second cameraperson is contracted to do this, which will cost extra, and as long as sufficient time in advance is given to get someone to do this.

Before the Ceremony:

This can include footage of guests, groom and groomsmen, bridal party, decorative aspects of the venue, such as flowers, candles, decorations etc.

Please keep in mind that filming of guests and bridal party before the ceremony is dependent on the weather and time available. At a lot of weddings people arrive a few minutes before the ceremony starts, which can make it hard to get a lot of footage of them as bridesmaids and bride will take priority.

The footage recorded will be presented as a short montage set to music, usually around 3-5 minutes in length.

The Ceremony:

I aim to capture as much of the ceremony as possible but must abide by and respect the rules and restrictions that are placed on me by the person officiating at the ceremony. In this respect coverage of the ceremony is determined by the freedom I have to film. (This also goes for all parts of the day, including the reception).

I normally edit the actual ceremony down to around 30-45 minutes to include:

  • Bridal party walking up the aisle 
  • Readings
  • Homily/sermon 
  • The actual vows as spoken 
  • Any other important parts specific to your own wedding
  • Reflection readings and ending of ceremony

I like to keep the ceremony as natural and ‘live’ as possible and don’t add recorded music to it. However, on occasion I may include the bridal party entrance in the pre-ceremony Arrivals montage.

Sound Recording During the Ceremony:

I like to attach a small wireless microphone to the groom for the vows only. It is not broadcast across the PA system in the ceremony and is just to capture the vows more clearly as they can get lost in the background noise of the room. The recording is then switched off after the vows.

I will endeavour to record the overall sound during the ceremony as well as possible given the amount of time I have available to set up microphones and the size of the room.

Music During the Ceremony

Some of the music will be heard on the final video but you may not actually see the musicians on it as they may be located a long way from the cameras, eg. on a balcony, or behind a pillar etc. If the music is important to you, eg. if friends/family are playing, please let me know and I will do my best to make arrangements to include them on the video. Similarly, during the signing of the register there is normally very little time to set up cameras for specifically recording the musicians and there may be very little space for cameras. Again, if this is something that is important, please let me know.

After the Ceremony, Photoshoot and Reception:

This includes the footage recorded after the end of the actual ceremony up to when you are called for your meal and speeches. It is a balance of signing the register, photos, coverage of room decorations, informal shots of guests etc. A large part of this will normally be spent with your photographer(s). My aim is not to duplicate each photo that the photographer takes but rather to capture my own perspective, getting the overall feel of what happened on the day, and may include some of the formally posed shots and the informal ones that occur more naturally.

The footage recorded will be presented as a short montage set to music, and will vary in length according to time available before you are called in for your meal and speeches.

The Speeches:

This usually includes your entrance to the room (normally to some music provided by the hotel) and may be of yourselves only or including the bridal party. The speeches are recorded in their entirety as much as possible, though on the final edit may have any long pauses or breaks cut out if necessary to keep it flowing. If speeches are excessively long then they may be edited, though I will discuss this with you before doing so.

Evening:

Filming of your first 3 dances or more if you have asked for more of the evening to be recorded. Equipment I Use:

I use professional High Definition cameras. During the ceremony, speeches and dancing I use multiple cameras to capture different angles and/or for back up. Often these cameras are set up unmanned and controlled by remote control. However, this is always subject to having sufficient space to set up cameras and also only if it is safe to do so without causing risk to others or to my equipment.

* Lighting – as much as possible I try to use the natural light available. During the speeches and on the dancefloor, I may use additional lights if the lighting conditions are too low to record.

Final Presentation of the Wedding

As standard, your wedding is presented on a USB flash drive, which comes in a small wooden presentation box. This allows you to play the video on a computer/laptop or on (most) Smart TVs.

Editing:

The final edited version of your wedding will contain a mixture of natural sound from the day and pre-recorded music. I mostly use appropriate licensed music in the final film. These can be instrumental music or songs. I can incorporate suggestions for music if you have a specific piece of music that you would like included, but this may cause a copyright claim if published online. I retain artistic freedom to present the final wedding video disc in the best manner according to my own creative style.


 I have tried to cover as much as possible, but if you have any questions or comments about anything written here, or something I may have omitted, please do ask.