7 Tips To Elevate
Your Wedding Film
Our style of wedding film is created by discreet filming and capturing the moments as they happen, so to help us create the very best wedding film we can, here are 6 handy tips which will help elevate your film and enable us to capture the very best footage and audio.
1. Don’t Have Speeches Between Courses
I don’t like to start with a negative, but this is a BIG no for wedding films. Speeches between courses cause a number of issues for filming. Camera’s and microphones need to be setup and removed after each course, which adds time to each speech. If someone starts their speech early, there is a risk we may miss the beginning. Food is served starting with the top table, so when you have finished the course, many other tables won’t have finished meaning you have to wait to start the speeches or people are still eating during a speech. This creates a lot of additional noise in the background which affects the audio. Waiting staff are also moving about more which means they often block cameras or move/touch them. Guests will get up and leave the room before each speech which also slows them down as you wait for them to return. Whilst the idea might seem different, the reality is that speeches between courses significantly increases the meal time and always leads to a compromise in the quality of the film and audio. Speeches before or after the meal work better, with less interruptions and a much better ‘flow’ as the speakers follow on. The key to successful wedding speeches is to aim for 8 minutes per speech, it’s the perfect length. I’ve only had a couple of weddings where this has happened an speeches between courses created significant issues for the wedding films.
2. Turn off the lights
Light is so important for a great wedding film, so you may think why would you turn off the lights? Well, wall and centre lights are usually a warm orange and they create a ‘flat’ light source that warms everything up on screen. The best light is natural light and almost every room that anyone gets ready within has a window. To make the most of this, have your hair and make up done close to the biggest window in the room you’re getting ready within. Make Up artists also love natural light. If you’re in window light then turn off the centre lights, this helps to create interesting lighting options. If you ever look at TV and films, the light is always setup to be interesting, creative and flattering.
Whilst I won’t control the light like a TV or film would, if you’re using natural light then your film is going to look so much better. Here’s a couple of examples from a wedding at Mitton Hall where the centre light was on and then turned off. People will always assume we want lights on but let everyone know that the lights will be off in the room that you have your make up within. One exception to this is conservatories, whilst they let in lots of natural light, they let in too much light, ideally it needs to be a room in the house with a large window
3. Get Ready in the best room in the house/hotel
If you’re getting ready at home, get ready in the best room, the largest room with the best window light, so have your make up in the living room and get in your dress here. Usually there is more space in the living room than a bedroom, this helps with creating the space to allow filming from a variety of angles. If you have more than one make up artist or hair and the room is tight, use separate rooms if possible. Be mindful of what will be in the background of the where you are sat. Some venues have make up rooms dedicated for you to get ready, if they don’t have windows and space use another room.
4. Create space around yourself
Wherever you setup your Make up to be done, give yourself a metre of clear space around the chair, if the MUA has kit bags, ask them to store them in another room or out of the way, once they have all the kit they need out and ready, keeping a clear area helps to make it look less cluttered and allows us to film around you without having to move items or compromise angles.
5. Exchange gifts during bridal preparation
Our wedding films use audio from both the speeches and service and from what people say during the day as it happens. Almost all wedding films will use speeches and service in their films (as I do). This is monologue. It’s someone talking at you. What makes for really interesting audio is dialogue, that is people having a conversation. It’s dynamic, interesting, personal and often emotional and funny. One of the main parts of the day that creates dialogue is opening presents. So if you are planning on exchanging presents, do this on the morning of the wedding when we are filming. It will add a whole extra dimension to the film. Importantly though, try and time this so it isn’t rushed, I would recommend doing this during hair and make up, before the dress and suits go on (as things usually get a little hectic). Real dialogue and moments like this help us create storytelling moments in your films that will elevate it above every other film you see. Here’s an example of using the presents for storytelling from one of our films at Owen House Wedding Barn.
6. Choose personal readings
When choosing your readings, choose something that resonates with your as a couple, your personality or your life. If you’re struggling, write your own or ask someone to write one for you. Anything personal will mean so much more to you and create wonderful reactions and emotions for the film. This part is hard, finding something unique is a challenge (I cannot even tell you how often I have heard the reading from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin but it’s a lot), so I know it’s tough, but the more personal, the better. If you are having a church wedding, whilst some readings will be religious, still try and get one that is personal to you. It will help the film be more personal and meaningful as the years go by.
7. Confetti Cannons
If you’re allowed confetti, grab a couple of these, they really add to the moment. If you can fire them during your first dance, they look amazing.