There’s no doubt that if you can afford it, having your wedding day filmed is a wonderful idea.
In fact, most of my clients tell me that it’s the best investment they made.
More and more couples are catching on to this and realising a good film enables them to bring the day back to life and cherish for years to come.
But this is a substantial investment as part of your wedding day budget.
Or at least it should be.
Brides sometimes approach me saying they love my films but they can’t afford a Professional Videographer and that they were willing to ‘risk it’ and have their friends film their day.
Whether they’re using newcomers or complete amateurs this, to me, is a scary prospect.
I’m not saying that couples with smaller budgets should discount the idea of a wedding film altogether as there are plenty of up-and-coming Videographers keen to develop their portfolio.
But the wiser investment, on this very important day is for couples to book professional and experienced Videographers who are already proven in their field.
It’s all in the planning…
All experienced and reputable Videographers know that it’s ill-advised to turn up to a wedding and not be prepared.
It starts with the couple.
I gather as much information as I can about the wedding beforehand and usually solidify the details with a consolation a week or so before the wedding itself.
It’s essential I know what elements of the day are important to them, which guests to film and what moments they’d like captured.
You only get one chance at a wedding… if you miss a moment you can’t ‘stage’ it again.
I’ll always call the relevant venue and suppliers before the day and introduce myself.
Sometimes it’s about getting more detailed timings or discussing technical issues which may arise.
But it’s also about alleviating any pre-conceived ideas that other suppliers may have about Videographers.
Unfortunately it only takes one bad-mannered Videographer to stand in the way of a Photographer at that crucial moment to ruin their perception of the rest of us, more considerate Videographers.
One of the foundations of my business is to build trust between myself and my clients and all their suppliers.
I also contact the venue beforehand to go through logistics.
And what about your protection?
Any reputable Videographer should have a contract between you both to protect you as well as themselves.
It will ensure you know exactly what you’re getting for your money.
All venues will require the Videographer to have public liability and indemnity insurance in order for them to film.
This is something that all Professional Videographers should have as a matter of course.
On the day…
Experience is crucial.
I have more than twenty years experience in filming and editing.
But when I filmed my first wedding it was a real eye-opener.
Of course I put together a detailed schedule for the day but essentially any good Videographer will be filming the day as it unfolds naturally, responding to moments as they happen and being able to recognise those moments and then film them.
No amount of planning will help with that.
Experience gained from filming lots of weddings enables me to second-guess situations before they even arise and then being able to discreetly film them without being intrusive of ruining that moment.
I also have experience of many different technical challenges.
Nothing phases me anymore.
I am able to overcome all challenges that arise with confidence … whether that be anything from technical issues to building a quick rapport with a reluctant registrar or celebrant.
In the making…
When you select your Videographer, other than price, it’s their films which will have won you over.
All weddings are different and every Videographer will have their own individual style.
If a couple want to book me but ask me to emulate a film from another Videographer I generally tell them we’re not right for each other.
It’s not that I won’t be able to but my advice to people is that they book the Videographer whose work is closest to the look and feel they want their films to be.
I pride myself for being different from the rest and I would doubt that many Videographers could ‘copy’ my films effectively.
How I film on the day determines the end result.
It’s a whole way of filming that enables me to make beautiful films.
Many wedding films can seem similar in their style but I don’t follow a ‘recipe’ so every film we make is unique.
The end note…
I carefully select audio from the ceremony and vows, the speeches and moments of laughter and emotion throughout the day.
The power of natural audio married to the creative imagery of film and wonderful music will create a true reflection of the day.
But what about the music?
Have you ever watched a wedding trailer on the internet and just loved the way Sam Smith swooned along to the day.
Well stop right there.
It’s highly unlikely that song was paid for and licensed.
Despite huge lawsuits in the States and viewing platforms, such as YouTube and Vimeo, cracking down on this, some Videographers are either blissfully ignorant or still taking a risk and using ‘illegal’ music.
Please don’t fall into this trap.
Along with all other reputable Videographers, I’ll always use licensed music for your trailers and you can choose whatever music you like for your discs and that’ll have the appropriate license too.
Music licensing is a whole new blog article in itself … but it just about sums up this one.
With everything in life, you get what you pay for so make sure you invest wisely in your Videographer and they will invest in you and your day.
If you don’t want to take my word for it, I’ll leave you with some kind words from Cate and Sam, who’s wedding I filmed in August this year:
“Sam and I just watched it!!! You had us both in tears!!!weve watched it over and over ever since, can’t get enough!
Thank you so, so, so much for such a wonderfully captured collection of memories; it means so much to us, and will definitely be special for my sister and my American guests unable to attend in August.
We absolutely cannot wait to see the full film you create.
There’s no doubt that Story of Your Day was an phenomenal, timeless investment.”