10 Tips to Take Your Wedding Film from Average to Amazing

Sometimes as I'm reviewing footage from a recent wedding I'll say to myself, "Arrgh, why did the bride/groom do that?" Or the remarkably similar, "Arrrgh, why DIDN'T the bride/groom do that?"

Don't get me wrong, it's never a matter of someone ruining the day.

But a certain shot? Definitely.

And many times it's that shot that would have added so much to the mood or the depth of your story. Or it's an otherwise gorgeous shot that just never ends up making the cut.

Why does this happen?

Most often, the couple just simply didn't know. And that's perfectly understandable. In fact, it's my fault.

Unless you happen to create wedding films in your spare time, how would you know?

You wouldn't. And that's why I decided to write this post.

To share with you the 10 best ways to take your wedding film from average to amazing!

  1. Warn your filmmaker throughout the day of upcoming events. Cake cutting, garter/bouqet, toasts, special dances. Really, anything that you might want recorded. Better yet, ask someone you trust (wedding planner, family member, friend) to alert your filmmaker whenever something important is coming up. Just a small, 5-minute warning will ensure we're in the right place at the right time to capture your moment perfectly.
  2. Don’t chew gum. We know you’re nervous and feel the need to be busy (and fresh breath on this of all days is no doubt important), but chewing gum ensures you look more Major League Baseball Player and less Kate Middleton. This goes for the wedding party too.
  3. Tell your wedding party & parents that we’re coming. Let them know that we don't expect them to put on a show. They should just be themselves. We're there to capture your wedding day as it naturally unfolds, spontaneous and unscripted.
  4. Talk. Have conversations with your family and friends. Chat about how you met, how the proposal went, what has gone into planning your wedding, etc. Don't force anything, but don't shy away from sharing how you feel.
  5. Turn down the radio/iPod while you're getting ready. It’s common for the girls to blast a wedding mix while doing hair and make-up, but this can easily mask a powerful piece of dialog that would add another layer to your story. It also creates an awkward background noise when a cinematic soundtrack is applied later (think David Guetta meets "The Notebook").
  6. Exchange gifts. Add a special moment to your day by giving each other gifts. You can have a bridesmaid/groomsman deliver them. It's a fantastic way to connect with one another on your incredible day, when you're in completely different rooms/areas/buildings.
  7. Have a first look. Your photographer will likely suggest the same thing. Seeing each other before the ceremony helps you with your nerves and creates a wonderful opportunity for you two to just say “Hi”. It's also an opportunity to capture the two of you alone which, believe it or not, is a rarity on your wedding day.
  8. Take a deep breath. When it comes time to deliver your vows take a deep breath, look into each other's eyes, and deliver your words from the heart. If you're writing your own vows, just remember that a little preparation and practice will go a long, long way. Make it count.
  9. The toasts. Ask your Best Man or Maid of Honour to not only talk about you as a person, but also about you as a couple. Have them share their thoughts on you two finding each other and getting married.
  10. Stay together. It’s not uncommon for the bride and groom to split up once the reception is underway. Grooms, get out there and dance with your new wife! Your wedding day is finally here, enjoy it together.

If you happen to have a suggestion, feel free to share!

How to Preserve that Emotional High from Your Wedding Day

Where does your wedding video stand in your priority list? If you're like most people, it's probably somewhere near the bottom.

It's one of those things that'd be nice, but is the first thing to go when the budget starts getting tight (okay, maybe releasing white doves is the first thing to go, but the wedding video isn't far behind).

But don't worry. Almost everyone makes this same mistake.

As the bride-to-be, you've spent your entire life waiting for and planning your wedding day. And as the groom-to-be, you may not have spent your entire life thinking about it, but let's admit that it's crossed your mind from time to time.

There are very few days in your life where you will invest so much thought, time and energy. Days that culminate with such overwhelming joy and happiness, celebrating with your closest friends and family.

But what happens after that amazing day, as the two of you ride off into the sunset?

The memories and that fantastic wedding afterglow fade with time.

You'll always remember being at your wedding. That goes without saying. But short of having a photographic memory, it's just not possible for you to remember all the little things that made that day so incredibly special.

But guess what? A wedding video can.

Video encapsulates that vibrant energy, that emotion. It packages that wonderful emotional high.

While wedding photos will preserve certain moments in time, a wedding video transports you back in time. It's like being there all over again. Reliving each of those incredible moments. A skilled videographer can help ensure those precious moments and that afterglow of the emotional high are with you for the rest of your life.

So, how important is a wedding video in your list of priorities?

In the end only you can decide.

If you found this post helpful, a colleague of mine, Erik Andersen of Love Story Media, wrote an article called Why you need a Videographer for your Wedding that you may also enjoy.

5 Tips to Consider when Choosing a Wedding Videographer

Choosing your wedding videographer, just like choosing your photographer, isn't easy. Your wedding video is one of those things that will remain with you for the rest of your life.

And having something you enjoy watching is the difference between making an "investment" in your wedding video or having your video simply be another wedding "expense".

Just like anything else, the more homework you do...the better your chance of a great result in the end.

A colleague, Paul Watton of Perfect Pair Media, put together a great article that should help point you in the right direction...5 Tips to consider when choosing a wedding Videographer

Baby Ben

babyben.jpg

There really is nothing like capturing the subtle movements and expressions of a newborn. Everyone around them is mesmerized by them. So perfect. So beautiful. It's a fantastic reminder of everything that is right with the world. Thank you to Blair and Kate for asking me to share in these moments with them. Filmed in Victoria, BC.

Sonia + Rav's Wedding Video, South Hall, Vancouver

Sonia & Rav's wedding was a fantastic celebration, capped off with a beautiful reception at South Hall Banquet & Wedding Palace in Vancouver, BC.

Sonia is honest. She tells it like it is. And though I personally like that, I can see how sometimes it might rub someone the wrong way. The funny thing is, it's the type of thing that might prevent someone from getting to know her. And that's a shame because beneath that outer layer of in-your-face honesty is this heart of gold.

Unfortunately I didn't get to spend as much time with Rav (or 'Rip' depending on how you know him) or his family because I was tied up filming Sonia's family. But you couldn't meet a nicer guy. Now I don't mean that in an "I don't really have a word to describe this guy so I'll go with 'nice'" kind of way. What I mean is that he's got a great heart. And when he speaks, he means what he says.

I guess that could be why they make such a great couple.

I'm so thankful to have been a part of their wedding, their families, and their lives.

Congratulations to you both.

Key Vendors:

Wedding Videography: Vincent + Theo Studios

Photography: Deo Studios

Bridal Attire

    Ladies' Party: Rani Fashions and Fabrics

    Wedding: Sunny's Bridal Gallery

    Reception: Almari Fashion Gallery

Hair & Makeup Artists Studio 26 by Racquel Lacson

    Ladies' Party: Leah Wendland of Studio 26 by Racquel Lacson

    Wedding: Navi Sandhu of Studio 26 by Racquel Lacson

    Reception: Thuy Denise Dinh of Studio 26 by Racquel Lacson

Decor: White Lotus Decor

Venues

    Ladies' Party: Fraserview Banquet Hall

    Wedding: Gurdwara Nanak Niwas

    Reception: South Hall Banquet & Wedding Palace

Amanjot + Shanu, Bollywood Banquet Hall Wedding Video

I finally understood. I've heard an Indian bride's family speak about the roller coaster of emotions that they experience during a wedding. I've even attended other Indian weddings where I've known the couple getting married. But I've never understood it.

I'm used to the more traditional North American style weddings. The "happiest day of our lives" kind of event. So I never understood why it wasn't simply a joyous occasion for Indian families.

This time, though, I experienced it on a much more personal level. Shanu is like family to me. And for the first time, I could relate. I could feel the joy and celebration of her new life with Amanjot and his family. And I could relate to the heartache as the family she grew up with let her go to begin a new chapter of her life.

And it was a beautiful thing.

As with many Indian weddings, Amanjot and Shanu's festivities occurred over the course of a week. Events were held at Crown Palace Banquet Hall, Khalsa Diwan Society Ross Gurdwara, and Bollywood Banquet Hall. They also hosted several events at their personal residences. Kudos to Sunny at Sunam Event Services who did a fantastic job transforming the venues with lavish decor.

UPDATE March 5, 2012:

After almost nine months, we caught up with Shanu and Aman. And they were more than willing to share their thoughts on their wedding video. They talked about the moments their video helped them re-live and enjoy. And they touched on how their wedding video compared with the full documentary video they had another studio produce.

Find out what they said here.

Key Vendors:

Wedding Videography: Vincent + Theo Studios

Photography: Deo Studios

Bridal Attire: Nawaz Creations

Hair & Makeup Artist: Vi Sekhon

Decor: Sunam Event Services

Venues

    Mendhi: Crown Palace Banquet Hall     Wedding: Khalsa Diwan Society Ross Gurdwara

    Reception: Bollywood Banquet Hall