How To Film A Wedding

How To Film A Wedding

Having edited so many weddings now, I have a good idea of what makes a recording of the day good opposed to just OK, and even more so what makes one really special.

How To Video A Wedding:

A lot of these points are really obvious and yet so many people seem to get it wrong.

1. Film too much. It’s very easy to cut out unwanted material.

2. Always start the camera early and leave it running after the action. For example, after the end of the speeches, the guests will applaud, keep filming leaving the camera where it is until the clapping fades out. This will allow the editor to fade to the next scene at an appropriate pace rather than having to rush it.

3. Use a tripod. A little hand held footage may be OK but generally the camera needs to be still. Even a monopod (a single pole stand) would aid stability of a shot.

4. Try to use more than one camera, preferably similar formats (both widescreen, HD etc). Then for the service for example, one can be left static as an overview shot, and others used to move with the action. Therefore whilst camera 2 moves position, the editor can dip back to the static shot.

4. Zoom in with care. If you have more than one camera then you can afford an occasional zoom, but too often amateurs can’t resist regularly panning the congregation and pulling in and out, making the viewer feel queasy. If using just one camera, then  you may want to move it occasionally, but be very careful.

5. Think of the sound. With multiple cameras, you can choose one and keep it static in a place with good overall sound. All too often, a camera operator moves around and goes from guests singing a little too loud (and out of tune) to being near an organ that’s so loud the sound becomes distorted. This can be the same for your own breathing or noise you make moving the camera. Don’t wait until afterwards to take this into account!!

6. Consider using guests’ video footage to mix in with your own.

7. Use of official wedding photographs or guests’ photos can make lovely montages as part of the film.

8. Be aware of what the full running order of the day is. Don’t be taken by surprise and have to fight with the masses at last minute for position for the cutting of the cake.

9. Make sure you have permission at the ceremony venue to film. Some churches for example will allow it but only if you are discrete.

10. And finally, be practical. Make sure you have enough battery power or have sought out power points.


Making it Extra Special:

Have a look on YouTube using the keyword wedding. There are plenty of examples out there to inspire you.

Clearly many are shot in beautiful locations, by a professional multi-camera operation and the cameras might have been quite intrusive. However, if the couple in question want something with a more contemporary feel to their wedding film, consider some unusual shots and angles.

Before everyone arrives at the reception for example, some shots of the venue decorated but empty can help, perhaps with the camera entering the room. Have some low and high placed camera shots, and arrange beforehand some set pieces you are going to film. Maybe some close-ups of rings, glasses, flowers, the bride’s shoes. You’ll need to have visited the venue and planned position thoroughly.

Consider how much of the preparation you want to film and how much of this will be set to music and how much general ambient noise you will include or will most of the atmosphere be set by the music.


Talk to the couple in question. What do they want?

After all…   …it’s Their Special Day