Tips for Improving Your Wedding Video

Professional methods to consider implementing.

Tips for Improving Your Wedding Video

Photo: Bob & Dawn Davis Photography

It takes more than great filming and editing to make a fantastic wedding video. Just a little preplanning with your wedding videographer can make every frame count. Looking at things through a videographer’s eye while considering everything from lighting to positioning is essential when planning unforgettable moments.

Industry secrets every bride should know:

Give your videographer the heads-up about your venue’s lighting. This will help your videographer get the clearest possible images.

Video generally looks better if the lights at the ceremony and reception aren’t turned down too low. If the location is dark, the most unobtrusive choice for your videographer is to use a low-wattage, on-camera light. Ask that he diffuse the light. This will spread the light evenly and prevent squinting, which doesn’t look good on video. Also, pre-arrange with the emcee to turn up the venue lights for traditional moments such as toasts, cake cutting, and bouquet tossing and garter removal. If no lights are used in a dark venue, your video could result in grainy images.

An outdoor wedding will look much better if the bride and groom, as well as guests, aren’t in direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will wash out vibrant colors. Shady areas or canopies that let in some light work best.

Even the most thoroughly rehearsed weddings can make it difficult for your videographer to get the best shots, especially if you not aware of your positioning. Including camera positioning techniques in your rehearsal can keep key moments intimate and ensure the best shots.

Wedding party
Inform your bridal party ahead of time to be aware of the camera, especially if the ceremony area is crowded. This is especially true when there is a chuppah in a small area with attendants holding the poles.

Vow exchange
Facing your guests during the ceremony, or facing each other (instead of the officiant), will give you the best unobtrusive shots. If neither is an option, ask your videographer to use small hidden cameras strategically placed throughout the ceremony location for multiple camera angles.

Key moments
If you are lighting a unity candle or including a sand ceremony, be careful not to block the candle or vase by standing directly in front of it. Standing off to the side at an angle where the candle is between the bride and the groom will give the videographer the best shot. The same is true for the exchange of rings.

Guest management
Your videographer should never block the view of your guests; however, the same holds true for guests who often block the videographer’s shots. Consider requesting that your guests stand behind the official videographer and photographer during key moments such as the ring exchange, the kiss, the bouquet toss, and cake cutting. Overzealous guests and even young children can easily block these important shots. As your guests are seated, the ushers can discreetly remind them of your request, and you can include a statement in your printed program as well.

Little Things Mean A Lot

When capturing beautiful memories, it’s the little things that count. Being aware of actions that can ruin your video will guarantee your lasting impressions are memorable for the right reasons.

What not to do
Smoking, eating, and chewing gum generally look terrible on video. Also, request that your bridal party not chew gum, and provide them with mints instead. Most professional videographers know not to record people while they are eating or smoking, but feel free to mention it just in case.

Sound bites
The groom usually will wear a tiny wireless lavaliere microphone, and it is important he doesn’t turn it off or adjust the set-up. Be assured that the guests won’t hear his private comments. Most videographers know to be discreet when editing. You can feel comfortable knowing that anything embarrassing, whether on audio or video, will not become public.

Acting natural
Try not to react to the presence of the camera. The bridal party usually becomes accustomed to the camera after the first hour during the bridal preparations. Never turn your back on the camera as this usually renders the footage unusable. When in doubt about whether to look at the photographer or videographer during traditional shots, always look at your photographer unless the videographer specifically requests otherwise.

Every wedding is different and these tips may not fit every situation. Pick and choose what will work best for you on your wedding day.

Opening photograph by Bob & Dawn Davis Photography