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Our Best 5 Tips For A Great Wedding Video

Inside each of us is a natural-born storyteller, waiting to be released.” — Robin Moore, author

Tip 1: It’s all about your story!

As you have probably noticed from our wedding video trailers, we love our films to tell a story: your story.  Like any good Hollywood film, the story is what makes a good film into a great film.  It’s all very well having lots of beautiful shots from the day (and we love filming these!) but during the editing process we like to craft a story from the footage, so when you watch back the film in years to come, it’s like watching a movie rather than a music video.

YOUR STORY THROUGH SPEECHES

As this day is ultimately about you both and your connection, we love if our couples are a part of the storytelling process.  The way we normally do this is by using some of the after dinner speeches (groom and/or brides) as a narration track- so it’s always useful if one of you decides to tell the tale of your relationship leading up to the wedding day, as this helps bring our wedding videography to life.  The more detailed and emotional, the better, as far as we’re concerned, to give us plenty to work with!  Rather than just reeling off a list of compliments (nice as they are!) it’s always better if you can release your inner storyteller and really set the scene- how you felt when you first set eyes on each other, what the weather was like, what was playing on the radio, what were you wearing/thinking etc.  All these little details help us build up a picture of your relationship to showcase on screen.  Take a look at this film to see one of our favourite weddings from last year for inspiration.  If you’re not sure about how to go about putting together a speech maybe take a look at this helpful wedding site which offers top tips for writing a speech.

YOUR STORY THROUGH THE VOWS

Other than the after dinners speeches, another part of the day when we are able to take some great audio is during the ceremony and one perfect way of expressing your feeling for each other during this important part of the day is through personally written vows.  Not only are you making the ceremony more personal and letting all your family and friends how you feel about each other. you are also giving us the tools to tell your story- so do let us know in advance if you are writing your own vows, as these words you say to each are possibly the most important words you will ever say and we want to make sure they are a part of your film.

 

YOUR STORY THROUGH THE READINGS

Now, you may decide public speaking is not for you, and though we highly recommend you telling your own story, readings are also a great storytelling tool.  Whether it’s a poem, a beautiful piece of writing or even better, something written especially for the occasion by a close friend/family member, a reading can be a very emotional moment for both the reader and you both, so we highly recommend having readings during your ceremony and making sure you let us know in advance, so we can capture these properly.  Take a look at this link for wedding readings for some inspiration!

 

YOUR STORY THROUGH CARDS AND LETTERS

Another great way to express your love, without having to stand up in front of everyone to say it, is to write each other a card or letter to be opened during the morning preparations.  If you decide to do this, please make sure to open it while we are there so we can capture your reaction.  Also if you read each other’s letters out loud we can use this audio to help tell the story of your day in your voice.

Tip 2: A great video is made up of great moments!

A wedding day is full of so many great visual moments and we love the new and varied ways people choose to celebrate their love.  We love our work to have a natural and authentic style, so we avoid stage managing any parts of the day, rather allowing it to unfold naturally, however you can help us in a number of ways to make sure we capture all those special moments.

wedding preparations at Blake hall

PLANNING

Sharing your plans with us is key, whether you are planning your day yourselves or have a wedding planner, it is so important that we know every detail of the days(s) you have planned, that way we can make sure we are in the right place at the right time with the appropriate equipment.  If you are having live entertainment, a wedding car or if one of you is planning a surprise for the other it is imperative we know what is happening and when.  This is why we always try and have a pre-wedding meeting with all of our clients around a month before the big day- whether in person over a cup of coffee (or a glass of wine!) or via Skype/phone it is always a good idea to chat with you about your plans in advance of the day.

PREPARATIONS

The morning preparations are a great time for us to capture some special moments, it’s generally the calmest part of the day when we can take a bit more time to capture some cinematic shots, so it’s always good to wait for us to arrive before opening any presents or reading any cards/letters from each other.  Not only can we capture those visual moments, it may also be possible to get some nice audio for your film.

Blake hall wedding video

COUPLE SHOTS

It is always great if you can build some time into your afternoon reception to allow us (and the photographer) to take you away for some portrait shots of the two of you.  Not only is it often the only part of the day you get some time to yourselves, it also means we have some great footage to work with during the editing process.  After all, our wedding videos are about you and your story, so having some shots of the two of you together helps to tell this story.

bride groom couple shots

SPEECHES

If you’re still undecided about when to have your wedding speeches (before or after the wedding breakfast) we would very much advise having them afterwards, that way we don’t have to spend a portion of the afternoon reception setting up equipment for the speeches, which can otherwise be done towards the end of the wedding breakfast.  The longer we have to film in the afternoon, the more footage we have to work with during the editing process.

wedding speeches at Blake hall

FIRST DANCE

For a lot of couples, the first dance is something to be endured rather than enjoyed and, not being dancers ourselves, we can sympathise!  However, though it may be tempting to ask your DJ/Band to invite your family and friends on to the dance floor after 30 seconds, it really doesn’t leave us much time to get the shots of the dance  we need for your film, so the longer you can spend dancing together the better from our point of view, and you never know, you may just enjoy it!

wedding videography Blake hall

 

Feel free to contact us, as we’re happy to go into more detail about the sort of things that work on film!  Alternatively please comment if you have any further tips you’d like to put forward or share this article with your friends via the social share buttons below!

Tip 3: A picture tells a thousand words but sound tells a thousand more!

Any great film is made up of great visuals and great audio, both are of equal importance, which is why we wedding videographers have to carry more equipment around than photographers- we are trying to capture both at the same time!

Recordings

On the wedding day itself, as well as capturing great visual clips of your day we are also thinking about sound.  One of the most important sound elements on the day is of course speech, which is why we like to mic up the people speaking during your wedding breakfast with professional lapel mics (like those worn by tv presenters).  This means, even if we have to film from a distance, we here every word of the speeches loud and clear!

It’s also always worth telling us about any live music you are having on your wedding day as, though we can’t always guarantee to capture all the sounds of the day, like bands/string quartets etc, as capturing this type of audio on the fly can be tricky, we always try and capture a flavour of it to help build up a picture of your day.

Music

During the editing process, as well as using any audio we have captured on the day, we always use music to stir emotions and help the film flow and, as you may have seen from our portfolio, the sort of instrumental music we choose very much suits our elegant and classic filming style.  It is for this reason that we prefer to choose the music we think best suits our films, rather than leaving this to you.  We also want to make sure your film remains timeless, so always avoid music which may be popular at this moment in time, but could be dated in the years to come.

Lastly, there is the issue of licensing- it isn’t possible to use any commercial music in videos online, without paying a hefty fee, which is why we pay to have access to high-quality royalty free music libraries for all of our films.  Using this relatively unknown music means it becomes the soundtrack of your day, not simply a song everybody recognises and associates with their own memories.

 

Toby Sleigh-Johnson is an award winning wedding videographer based in Greenwich, London and specialising in timeless, elegant and cinematic wedding videography. He has been filming weddings for over 10 years across the UK and overseas.

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3 COMMENTS
  • The Son Of Thom
    2 years ago

    Great tips Toby!

    • tobysleighjohnson@me.com
      1 year ago
      AUTHOR

      Thanks! They’ll be more to come soon!

  • tobysleighjohnson@me.com
    1 year ago
    AUTHOR

    Thanks Dan, yeah I agree, so many people regret not having a video!

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Instagram

  • Another beautiful image captured by @jessicakobeissi it was a pleasure to work alongside her at the wedding of Felix and Marzia!
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  • Here’s a little teaser from my latest wedding video for @pewdiepie and @itsmarziapie filmed at the beautiful Kew Gardens @kewevents - it was a beautiful day filled with love and laughter.  Full film coming very soon!
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  • It was a pleasure to be part of @itsmarziapie and @pewdiepie magical day at @kewevents - they were clearly very much in love! 
Thank you to @jessicakobeissi for this stunning photo.
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  • Check out my InstaTV for the film!

Jade and Louis are classical musicians and the contacted me saying they wanted something more artistic than a normal wedding film and I couldn’t wait to take on that challenge! 
With only five guests to their day and a long couple shoot with a pair so clearly in love, I was given plenty of time to flex my creative muscles and I couldn’t be happier with how the film turned out.

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  • Jade and Louis are classical musicians and the contacted me saying they wanted something more artistic than a normal wedding film and I couldn’t wait to take on that challenge! 
With only five guests to their day and a long couple shoot with a pair so clearly in love, I was given plenty of time to flex my creative muscles and I couldn’t be happier with how the film turned out.

#scottishwedding
#weddingvideography #weddingvideographer #junebugwedding #rubybay #destinationweddingvideographer
#elopment #elopementwedding #weddingplanning #scottishwedding #scotlandwedding #scottishweddingfilm #luxurywedding
  • A dramatic Scottish wedding with only 5 guests and a unforgettable couple shoot!
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 #weddingvideography #weddingvideographer #junebugwedding #rubybay #destinationweddingvideographer #weddingplanning #scottishwedding #scotlandwedding #scottishweddingfilm #luxurywedding
  • Not only were the speeches truly heartfelt at Aisling and Dominic’s wedding, the backdrop for them wasn’t bad either!  Stunning capture by @beatriciphotography .
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  • Aisling and Dominic were married at the stunning Palazzo Belmonte in Southern Italy on a beautiful July day filled with friends, family, heartfelt speeches, sparklers, sunsets and fireworks- so a visual treat!
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