How to keep calm on your wedding day // Advice from a wedding videographer

by | Jul 12, 2018

With all the best intentions and laid out plans, things do go wrong… but the key to avoid this ruining your wedding day is to let go of control on the day and accept that ‘what will be will be’.

Saturday evening:

I’m currently traveling from one Swiss wedding to another. I am on a train literally leaving the rain and storms behind me, working my way along the valley with mixed sunshine and cloud and heading right into 32 degrees of full sun and no doubt some very hot and sticky guests for tomorrow’s wedding.

I really cannot believe the way things turned out today. The groom had planned a helicopter ride for his bride, which I was so excited to be part of to film.

When I woke up in Zurich this morning I thought it couldn’t rain all day and by the time of the scheduled flight, luck would be on our side.

It wasn’t to be.

No helicopter ride in the Swiss Alps and worse still a day of wall to wall rain, which meant we couldn’t even make the most of the beautiful lakeside ceremony and reception venue, Villette, in Cham, on Lake Zurich.

It was still a beautiful wedding though and the point to make here was that it was Evon and Andreas’s day, which they’d both been planning for a long time. Who am I to be disappointed, apart from, for them?

Elaine is from Singapore and Alexander from Switzerland. Elaine had asked him to come up with an idea of where they could say their vows to each other as it wouldn’t be possible during the Swiss civil ceremony. He’d had his heart set on flying his bride to various locations around the lake, including Mount Rigi and Alp Ruodisegg.

I could see he was more disappointed than Elaine. After all it was a secret so she didn’t know what she was missing. The helicopter pilot agreed he’d postpone their flight to the following day, but I would miss out on filming it as I would be at another wedding.

I’d filmed lovely bridal preparation shots in the morning and captured the ambience of their intimate lunch with just seven guests and their beloved dog.

The ceremony had been a little challenging because initially I was told I wasn’t allowed to film but I persuaded the celebrant I would be extremely discreet and she relented … I’d had to set up a mic to capture her audio in a very inconspicuous place …. (I’m not revealing where)… but it was a short and formal ceremony.

So how could I come up with something under these circumstances that would mean that this lovely couple had something to remember their wedding by and that Elaine could show to her friends back at home in Singapore?

Well I decided to take advantage of their plans to do some sightseeing. I invited them to Wengen, where I live, in the hope that they might be tempted by the spectacular views of the North Face of the Eiger and the Jungfrau.

The were delighted and agreed.

Monday Afternoon:

Well what a day today has been. I met with Elaine and Alexander this morning and I took them up to Männlichen on The Royal Experience … a brand new cable car with a balcony on the roof, which I’d recently been commissioned to film.

I had booked the balcony to ourselves and although Alexander was a little nervous at first they both loved the high-flying experience.

Once on the mountain, they took lunch and we went off to do some filming with the stunning scenery and nature. Finally, with The Eiger and The Jungfrau as a backdrop they both told each other their vows, which they’d wanted to do on the Friday.

It was perfect and they were so happy that I made it happen for them. I can’t wait to share their wedding film soon.

The weather won’t be the only thing that can scupper your plans. And so I have a few tips for you to manage your expectations and allow you to have a great wedding, no matter what.

My top tips for staying calm on your wedding day

If you have a planner

My advice to you if you have a planner that has helped you throughout the process is to leave them to do their job and have faith in them that everything will fall into place. They’ll have a detailed schedule of the day and have everything mapped out. You shouldn’t need to worry about anything as a good planner will insure your wedding runs like clockwork.

I have great connections with planners all over Europe who deal with the whole wedding process and ‘on the day’ services too. Just contact me for a chat about who will work for you and your wedding.

If you don’t have a planner

I have filmed many many weddings and I have to say almost all of them run more smoothly with a planner. Even if the planner has purely been brought in to run and organise the day, it works better in most cases than no planner at all. Mostly because if there is no planner it’s usually the bride who’s worrying about things. From ‘is the make up artist running to time?’, ‘when’s the photographer and videographer arriving?’, ‘where’s the flowers, who will get them to the groomsmen?’, ‘what happens if speeches overrun and the caterers start getting agitated?’ … and the list goes on and on. So if you don’t have one, seriously consider getting one. Even if that means taking the venue up on their offer of an on-the-day coordinater … although I must stress these usually don’t compare to a first rate planner.

Determined not to have a planner

Let someone else delegate the day’s running order. Put together a comprehensive schedule – I’ve even seen brides do speadsheets. But make sure you have a plan with timings which you can hand over to someone to trust to make sure you aren’t worrying.

Trust your suppliers

If you commission Story Of Your Day I work with you on timings a few months before your wedding and can do do even more in advance if you need that support. My timings, or ‘call sheet’, is very detailed and put together based on the ‘wedding details form’ you will have filled in prior to our final chat about your day. I will then speak to most other suppliers to make sure all the timings are in sync. I will always call the photographer to make sure I have introduced myself and explained my way of working to ensure a harmonious working relationship on the day.

Check permissions ahead of the day

Make sure that ahead of the day you have ensured that videography (and photography) can take place for your ceremony. This is something I will also do the week before the wedding but it’s a bit late to pull out then if the vicar says filming isn’t allowed. It might be that there’s a licence or two that needs to be completed ahead of the day or you might even find you need to pay for video coverage.

The more venues the more that can go wrong

I am not denying it. For me, by far my most favourite type of wedding is the one where everything is in one place. That isn’t just for selfish reasons because I don’t have to stress about following my sat nav to too many unfamiliar locations with time constraints. But it also means I capture more footage on the day. If I am capturing more footage then if goes without saying you’re spending more time with your guests than in a car travelling from A to B or even C and D. If you do have several locations bear in mind that your videographer (and photographer) can only be in once place at a time so you might find if you don’t want to miss anything on film you’ll need two videographers. Finally make sure you factor in more time than usual to get from one place to another. There’s nothing worse than people panicking they’re going to be late or will miss something.

Factor in time for yourself (and for you and your other half together)

I see many brides on the morning of the wedding getting stressed that they’re going from makeup to hair, to getting into the dress, to walking out of the door with not a moment for themselves to just “BE”, enjoying the moment and taking it all in. Don’t let that be you. When planning the morning prep give yourself breathing space.

That also goes for spending time with your partner during the wedding. Don’t be that couple that goes from the church to the portrait photos, to the group shots to the wedding breakfast dinner without giving yourselves time with your guests. Only you can make that happen with good planning.

Accept that there are some things you cannot control

Like the weather!!! Try to come to terms that the weather might not do what you’re hoping … and that doesn’t just go for sunshine. Last year I filmed a wedding in St Moritz. The week ahead of the wedding everyone was praying for snow as it was a ‘winter wedding’ … it caused a great deal of stress because the couple had wanted to take their guest sledging the day before the wedding. In the end they got their wish … but they were the lucky ones.

Speak your mind or you’ll regret it

I’m certainly no expert when it comes to hair and makeup but I’ve seen a fair few brides, even very recently, disappointed with their ‘look’. Most brides had a trial and I’d advise you not to make any last minute changes but I would also recommend that throughout the morning just keep a check on how your hair and make-up is doing. I appreciate it’s often too late to make changes but just make sure you speak your mind. Your stylist will be able to tell you if she has time to make changes. But if you don’t ask you’ll never know.

The same goes for your photographer and videographer… if there’s something you want captured then make sure you say something so we don’t miss the moment.

Remember you only do this once!

Lastly, and by no means least. This should be a day to remember not a day to look back and wish you’d done it some other way. According to lots of research, including our own, a bride’s biggest regret is not having a wedding film. So make sure you won’t be the one on your wedding day wishing all these special moments were being captured for a beautiful film for long-lasting memories.

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