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!