10 Must Know Secrets to Producing Stunning Wedding Videos September 24 2013

Want to start down the wedding videography path, or just looking to hone your skills?


If you’ve recently made a purchase for your very own video equipment, you’re probably wondering how you can start to capitalize on it. One popular way to do so is to shoot live events like weddings. In fact, wedding videography is one of the most lucrative ways of maximizing your video equipment.

Our top ten secrets listed below will most likely benefit budding wedding videographers.- nonetheless, professional wedding videographers will may find it a refresher on what they’ve already known and applied in practice.



1) Choosing the right equipment

Technology is evolving more and more rapidly, and as a result, video equipment can quickly become outdated. Don’t let that scare you off though -  you don’t need to have high end digital video cameras to be a wedding videographer - all you need to do is to set yourself up with the basics - a digital camcorder or more recently a DSLR capable of shooting video, tripod, and microphone (a simple shoe mic can do to begin with). The higher the quality, the better the results, but learn to master the equipment before investing in the most expensive products in the market.



2) Backing up the audio

The accompanying audio to every wedding video adds emotion, atmosphere, and warmth to wedding videos, so, you need to have a reliable audio system. A common problem with this, however, is last-minute glitches. There might be instances when your microphones had picked up noise, yet when you play back the recording you discover that there isn’t any sound. Its scenarios like these when professional wedding videographers understand the need to invest in a highly dependable hard disc recorder.  These give wedding videographers the chance to back up the audio during the entire event, avoiding the risk of technical glitches wiping your recordings. Plus, they’re easy to use and almost unnoticeable- simply slip in a stationary minidisc recorder/mp3 recorder with a clip microphone into one of the pockets of the groom’s suit.  You’ll get the sighs, softly spoken words, and best of all, the “I do”’s, with perfect clarity!



3) Testing the audio

Set up is key when it comes to wedding videography - after all, you only get married once (right?!). It’s best to get into the practise of testing the entire audio system prior to the event start - which means you’d need to get there at least 2 hours earlier. This will give you enough time to set up the audio system, test to see if it is working perfectly, or correct any faults if there’s a problem or error. Make sure you take a pair of headphones if monitoring the quality of the audio, as you will need to make sure you can hear the quality of the recording.



4) Understanding lux rating

Lux rating refers to the measurement of the sensitivity of the camera. Put simply, this is the power of light/unit area. Video cameras with low lux rating are able to create better videos even in low light conditions compared to video cameras with high lux rating. In saying that, high quality videos are created using camera that have a high sensitivity to the light - that is, a low lux rating. Keep in mind that weddings usually happen in venues with dim or artificial lighting, such as churches synagogue and reception halls, so you’ll need to source a video camera with the lowest lux rating possible. The final video will look more professional, appear a lot clearer and a lot more crisp.



5) Attending the rehearsal

As a wedding videographer, part of your responsibility is to attend the rehearsal. Attending this allows you to plan ahead in terms of lighting and blocking. You can also use this time to plan the strategic placement of the microphones to capture the sounds, words and announcements of the ceremony and reception. Also, the rehearsal is the perfect avenue to iron out any impending difficulties and consult with the soon to be newlyweds. This is your last chance to clarify exactly what they want, to ensure you deliver a wedding video that has the shots, moments and experience they want to capture on their special day.



6) Getting “B-roll” footage

B-roll simply means the secondary or alternate coverage that makes the final video more professional. In wedding videography, B-roll footage is the process of setting up a tripod to take exterior shots of the venue, including the architectural structures and features (think pillars, statues, and stained church windows), the pre-wedding preparation (hair and make up for the bride, suit and tie shots for the men), as well as all the wedding paraphernalia such as flower arrangements and food presentation.

Apart from these, it’s also recommended you get some B-roll footage of approximately 20 minutes ahead of the ceremony itself to capture guests arrivals and departures. This  footage can often be used in time-lapse style shots, which can emphasise the planning, preparation and importance of the wedding day.



7) Focusing on the event

When creating a wedding video special effects can be used to add richness, structure and character to the footage. If you have some spare time, play around with the special effects functions in your video editing software to familiarise yourself with the possibilities and appropriateness of the special effects to your footage. However, special effects like slow motion and graphic layering might only work to a certain extent - shooting a wedding is all about capturing the special moments and at times, so keep in mind that subtle, soft and minimal effects are better. Your focus should be documenting the couple and the ceremony as well as the emotions of the people, and special effects should be kept for transition shots and giving subtle and contextual emphasis to your footage.



8) Concentrating on close-ups

Close-ups are paramount during weddings for a number of reasons; they capture more information in the shot and so appear sharper, and they capture more emotion in people’s faces, making for a much closer and personal video. During the wedding ceremony and at the wedding reception, ensure you get plenty of close up shots of the newlyweds, their family (parents and siblings), as well as footage of the wedding party and guests. Use these close-ups as frequently as possible, to ensure you effectively convey the emotion of the day to your clients.



9) Anticipating and following the action

Weddings are overflowing with so many heartfelt moments that you always need to be anticipating your next shot. Since you only have one shot at capturing someone’s wedding day, doing as much preparation as you can prior to the day is pivotal. Speaking to the soon-to-be-newlyweds at the rehearsal can help you prepare for the order of events, but you really need to be consistently observing the bride, groom and their guests for what will happen next, and making sure you capture as many of the heartfelt, unplanned and spontaneous moments as you can.



10) Finishing the job

So the wedding is over and it’s now time to finish the job. You should allow about one week for postproduction - this should give you enough time to transfer the footage from the ceremony and reception into your editing software, create a cohesive video, and deliver the finished product to your clients in a DVD or digitally. The most critical part of the process is prompt delivery of the final video - the newlyweds and their family will be excited to see your final product, so make sure you stick with your agreed delivery timeframes. Remember that your reputation and future prospects are at stake, and these will both depend on your ability to complete your wedding videos quickly and professionally. Ensure you put as much time and dedication into each video, as you are creating a timeless memory for your clients.




So there you have it, our top ten tips on how to create a wedding video, we hope you found these useful.

Do you have any other tips you’d like to share? What are some of the things you think are important in wedding videography? We’d love to hear from you!


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