Want to look and sound great on camera? Here are some easy-to-follow inside tips straight from the pros.
Do Look At Each Other. Many videographers report that lots of brides and grooms go through the wedding ceremony with eyes glued on their officiants. While it is customary and courteous to look at the person who is speaking to you, don’t forget—you are marrying each other. If possible, turn your bodies to face another during the wedding ceremony. From that position, you can listen respectfully as your officiant speaks, turning your face towards them at appropriate times, but you’ll spend most of the ceremony gazing at your soon-to-be-spouse. Trust us, you’ll be much happier with a video that shows you exchanging meaningful looks with your groom rather than your officiant.
Don’t Chew Gum. Nothing ruins an otherwise beautiful video faster than a bridal party full of gum-chewers. Picture this: A row of impeccably-dressed bridesmaids, softy and earnestly chomping through your wedding ceremony. Or the best man’s moving toast, punctuated by a glob of goo stuffed into his molar. Or worse yet, a beautiful bride and dashing groom gnashing through their vows. While a skilled videographer will edit unflattering moments out of your video whenever possible, a pack of gum means a lot less great footage to choose from. Mints are fine and quick-dissolving breath strips are even better. Just make sure your bridal party understands your wedding is a gum-free zone.
Do Stay Sober. Yes, you’re nervous. Yes, you’re celebrating. Yes, you’re tipsy. And yes, you’re likely to say or do something less than, well, bridal on camera. While it’s not uncommon for a bride to sip a little champagne as she prepares for the ceremony, or for a groom to take small swigs from the flask tucked into his tuxedo, please keep the indulging to a minimum. Remember, you’ve brought in a talented videographer to capture every last spontaneous moment. Make sure he or she gets to see you at your best. For posterity’s sake, save the imbibing until the reception begins.
Do Make An Announcement. You’ve hired a videographer to capture your event on camera, perhaps even asked them to gather well-wishes from your guests, so let your family and friends in on the request. As your reception begins, have your band leader or DJ make a brief announcement explaining that you’d love to catch your guests’ smiles and sentiments on camera and hope that they will cooperate. And here’s a tip: if you want to get something more than the standard “Congratulations, you guys! We love you!” from specific friends and family, pull those people aside and let them know you’d like to them to videotape a special message for you. That will give your loved ones time to come up with the perfect little something to say. And to make sure you get footage of everyone most important to you, don’t forget to give your videographer a list of the names of the people you especially want him or her to talk to.
Don’t Be Left In The Dark. This is how it looks in your imagination: You and your groom hold hands as you say your vows in blue twilight, the sun a small speck on the horizon. This is how it looks on video: A white dress floats alone in a sea of darkness. Cameras need light, so if you want to capture an outdoor ceremony on video, make sure it takes place while the sun is still shining or else is illuminated by plenty of extra lighting. Same goes for cavernous churches, temples and other ceremony sites. Most likely, your contract makes you responsible for providing your videographer with enough light to shoot the video, so as you finalize details with your videographer, be candid about what the wedding environment will be like and listen to his or her lighting recommendations.
Do Mic Your Soloists and Readers. Your best friend is thrilled to be singing at your ceremony, your brother has been practicing your favorite poem for weeks, and your sister-in-law-to-be has memorized a Native American wedding blessing. They all have strong, clear voices, so there’s no need for a microphone, right? Wrong. By miking your soloists and speakers, not only will your guests will be better able to enjoy what’s being said and sung at your ceremony—your video will clearly record it. Without a microphone, recorded solos and readings sound extremely distant and small, or are lost completely, especially if your ceremony is outdoors. If friends and family are uncomfortable or unsure about using a microphone, arrange to have one available at your wedding rehearsal to practice with.