David Stone shares his tips for a successful wedding from beginning to end given his many years of experience as a top destination wedding videographer. We realise that all, if not almost all brides are planning their wedding for the first time and have no previous experience to go on.
So, it is really valuable to get top wedding tips from those in the know.
This wedding videographer has seen it all and has this advice for you.
Tip 1: Your wedding dress to hang on a beautiful clothes hanger
Wood or fabric covered clothes hangers look classy, but NOT plastic or wire which can look tacky. Your beautiful, expensive wedding dress is filmed and photographed by professionals and needs to look amazing. Please consider how you want to present your stunning dress.
Tip 2: Bridesmaids dresses to be clearly marked with names
Often bridesmaids’ dresses are identical. However, body shapes and sizes are not. To avoid a tragedy, please mark each dress clearly with the bridesmaid’s name inside. Somewhere visible or near the zipper.
The reason for this is that in a sudden rush to get the dress put on I have seen people grabbing the wrong dress, forcing it on and popping the zipper whilst trying to close it. This is a disaster if the zipper is totally broken or the dress is damaged.
Getting it off the wrong bridesmaid once again can be another challenge. The true owner of the dress is by now in tears as well as the mistaken wearer. A disaster to avoid!
Tip 3: Have spare needle and thread available for all your potential colour needs
Have a sewing kit on hand. All colours to be considered, including a reel of cotton matching that of the mother-of-the-bride’s dress. I have witnessed broken zippers and tears that happened as the entourage was ready to exit the hotel room. On one occasion the mother-of-the-groom had to be sewn into her dress as the whole back popped.
You want your wedding day to go smoothly.
Tip 4: Choose a large room for your wedding preparation
The bride on her special day needs space and lots of light!
Your room will be filled to capacity with videographer, photographer, hair and make-up professionals, a mother or two and bridesmaids. The more space you have, the better the photographic and film outcome will be.
Consider too that you must be positioned at the window for maximum natural light. Nobody photographs well in a dark corner with a bright flash.
Tip 5: Keep the room tidy
Please ask your bridesmaids or the hotel staff to assist with keeping the room free of dirty glasses, dishes, empty bottles. Ditto for towels. These can be hung up neatly or removed. None of these items look good in a photo.
Please remove all travel bags or hide them away and definitely don’t have them lying open with the contents spewing out for all to see or trip over. The contents of a travel bag is of no interest to anyone and will make your photo a mess. Remember videographers are looking at their camera screen not the floor!
Hopefully those have been useful tips from a videographer for the start of your big day as you and your bridesmaids prepare. Next up is the ….
Tip 6: The ceremony seating to have wide enough corridors
The centre and side aisles need to be wide enough to accommodate some movement up and down for film and photos to take place. Be generous. Your guests will have a better view if you can allow some space so that they are not bumped or their view encumbered by professional film and photo service providers or their equipment.
Often weddings both indoors or outdoors happen in the summer months and it is hot. Give your guests space and room to be comfortable.
Tip 7: No cellphone (mobile phone) policy – an unplugged wedding
We have seen the bride’s arrival nearly destroyed by guests who jump up together to get a snap of the bride off a mobile as she walks down the aisle. We say “nearly” because if these happens we pick up the gear and RUN past all the mobile phones!
So please don’t allow it!
With money being spent on professionals and our cameras set up, there is nothing more upsetting for the couple than having shots messed up by people standing up infront of a camera. The way around this is to ask the celebrant to mention that guests should please not stand up. Furthermore, that they may not use mobiles until you have arrived (or another agreed time).
Equally distressing for us (and we try to hide this ugly reality from our clients by not including these in a shot), but often times guests are on their mobiles during speeches. Either tapping away and not listening to what the speaker has to say or actually on a call! We see it first hand! Consider asking guests to turn their phones off completely during your speeches.
This is a very personal moment and nobody has the right as an invited guest or service provider to be there and not be interested in the speeches.
This is our humble opinion.
Tip 8: Signing of the register
Please have a good looking pen ready! this moment is filmed and photographed and it needs a stylish pen to be in hand.
Tip 9: Do include the children, don’t hide them away
Children add a wonderful dimension to a wedding and we love to include them in your wedding video.
Often charming, unexpected shots capture their delight and curiosity. The only exception to this is during the speeches. Best to give them a quiet activity to keep them busy or let children be in an adjoining room enjoying their meal. Noisy children and the pitter patter of little feet on flooring that resonates can be heard on recording devices and can spoil your speeches.
Wedding Reception (speeches and party time)
Tip 10: Flower and candle table décor
Very large floral arrangements hamper wedding guests’ conversation. Big, beautiful arrangements will end up being taken off the table by guests who are trying to talk. So keep them low and practical.
Very high candelabra also mean people are ducking and diving between the tall candles to see each other or the connection across the table is lost.
This is good.
One modern approach we like are hanging flowers dangling from above. This is stylish and very effective and acts as a sound buffer resulting in less echo for perfect wedding film recording.
Tip 11: Inform kitchen staff that during speeches they should please be quiet
Its important to convey this to the organisers that during speeches there must be quiet from the kitchen. We have often had to go into the kitchen and bring this to their attention. All noise is recorded. Wanted and unwanted!
Ensure that your venue manager understands this too.
Tip 12: Plan an activity to add dimension to your wedding video
Consider a fun add-on activity to your wedding day such a sunset drinks and canapés boat trip for you and your guests as our clients did on Lake Garda in Italy. Or if you want something less chaotic, a trip on a Riva boat with just the two of you such as this lovely couple who eloped at a beautiful ceremony, on Lake Como also in Italy.
A pool party the day after your wedding as these fun clients did in Umbria. Another wonderful idea for a destination wedding is a pre-wedding shoot which can be anything from going to get an ice-cream from the local Gelateria or walking down a quaint street in the small village you have chosen for your wedding.
Enjoy your wedding planning! Let us know if these practical and easily applied wedding tips are useful to you.