Tips for Brides – How To Make a Better Wedding Video

A Laughing Bride

Brides can influence the quality of their wedding videos if they plan ahead.

Having a wedding video professionally produced for your wedding is gaining in popularity.  Only video can capture the visuals and combine them with audio – something photography cannot do effectively.  If you wish to capture the laughter, applause and emotion video is definitely the way to go.  And it’s easily shared with friends and relatives who could not attend via YouTube or other video sharing sites.

How can you assist your videographer to ensure you get the best video possible?  Here are some points to consider :

Lighting.  Proper lighting is critical for video.  Just think what your wedding photos would be like if the photographer couldn’t use a flash?  Churches and reception halls can be dark and subdued.  Sometimes that’s the mood you desire, however, without enough light to capture the video your results could be dismal.  Even professional video camcorders require significant light otherwise digital artifacts appear in the image – you’ve likely seen this on your TV when a dark street scene is filmed.  You can alleviate this by allowing the videographer to use supplementary lighting in the Church and reception hall.  Always check with the Clergy or reception hall Manager to see if that’s OK so there are no surprises.

Reception halls can be particularly problematic.  Podiums for speeches need to be lit.  If the hall does not have adequate podium lighting allow the videographer to supply additional lighting.  The head table should be bright, not dark, to allow pan-shots of the wedding party.  Often the videographer will wish to capture the reaction to speeches so one camera may be positioned towards the wedding party.

Setting  The Shot.  Consider you’re the videographer.  Where will you capture the action?  In the Church are there tall vases of flowers that will impede getting a shot of the vows, the kiss and the ring exchange?  Ensure the videographer has a vantage point not hidden by the wedding party, altars and flowers.  Likewise for the reception hall – all too often the head table is decorated with high vases of flowers hiding the faces of the wedding party.  Consider low vases of flowers that extend no higher than 20 cm (8”).

If you have an option where the podium will be situated consider where the videographer will capture the speeches.  Is there a suitable background where the speaker will stand or will there be an ugly door (or even an exit light)?

Keep The Videographer Informed.  Here’s where you can delegate duties to your Master of Ceremonies. There are key shots at the reception you will want to capture: cutting the cake, the first dance, the garter, etc.  You can’t redo the moment so by ensuring the videographer is in tune with the program will ensure opportunities are not lost.  The MC or other person can notify the videographer of the sequence of events and give him/her notice before the event actually happens.

Speech  Audio  Details.  The speeches are one of the most important parts of the reception and any good videographer will do their best to capture the audio in pristine quality.  The best solution is for the videographer to get a ‘feed’ or ‘lead’ from the soundboard of the audio system.  The videographer will discuss with the audio person how this can be easily achieved.  For brides, you can confirm with your DJ or audio person that a microphone will be available and tested before use.  I suggest you never allow the DJ to play music in the background during speeches.  Speeches can be moving and emotional.  The wrong music selected by the DJ can spoil the ambiance.  If you insist music is played during the speeches choose it carefully because this will all be captured in your final video!

Best Wishes. One last consideration is the Best Wishes segment.  This is where guests and family have an opportunity to speak into a microphone in a more private area and give best wishes to the bride and groom.  This is normally done during a lull in the reception.  The videographer can struggle trying to find a place to 1) plug in a supplementary light and   2) not compete with the loud music of the DJ.  Remember we need to hear the voices of the friends and family – if a lobby or more quiet area is made available you will give the videographer a big help in improving audio quality of your video.