Nowadays, with professional wedding videography services costing anywhere from $1500 – $2500+, couples who are planning a wedding on a budget are throwing up their hands and saying “forget it” and resigning themselves to being happy with what friends or relatives shoot with their personal video cameras.
If you are one of these friends or family members who have been recruited to shoot the wedding video, or even if you’ve kindly volunteered, following our list of the top ten wedding video dos and don’ts will go a long way toward helping you capture the special day with near-professional results.
1. Do meet and communicate with all key participants
Talk to the bride and groom about what they want videotaped
Introduce yourself to the minister and get his approval for your presence in and around the altar.
If utilizing additional videographers, let them know exactly what is expected of them
2. Do gather and check all necessary video equipment.
Determine how many cameras you will use and how you will get them (borrow, rent, buy?)
Make sure to have all necessary cables, both audio and video
Have plenty of fully-charged batteries
Purchase sufficient blank videotape stock
3. Don’t skip the rehearsal.
This is your opportunity to check out all operating systems including cameras, lighting and audio before the actual event.
Scout camera positions.
Take note of any special ceremonies (e.g. lighting the Unity Candle) or props (e.g. floral canopy) that need to be videotaped.
Videotape pre-wedding interviews with the bride and groom (interview them separately)
4. Don’t leave the Date and Time function running on the camera.
Go through the camera’s menu to turn off so it won’t be imprinted on your videotape. If left on it will ruin the look of the videotape…it also screams “amateur.”
5. Do arrive at the church or wedding venue one hour before the start of the ceremony.
Capture any pre-wedding footage requested by the bridal couple.
Confirm shooting responsibilities with other videographers
Set audio and lighting levels.
Make sure all equipment is running properly.
6. Do introduce yourself and other videographers to the still photographer.
Assure him that you will stay out of his way and not interfere in any way with his job.
7. Don’t search back and forth through the camera for your shots.
Look for your next shot with your naked eye and THEN move the camera directly there.
8. Don’t narrate while shooting the reception.
This is very unprofessional and you will regret hearing your off-camera comments when you view the raw footage.
9. Do check to make sure to account for all your videotape cassettes.
Guard them with your life!
10. Do remember to have a good time.
Its ok for you to enjoy the party too. Take a break, have something to eat and drink until its time to start shooting the remainder of the reception.
Just remember…fear and anxiety come from not being prepared. If you follow these 10 dos and don’ts, you’ll be relaxed, confident and looking forward to capturing a once-in-a-lifetime event that the bride and groom will treasure forever.