Smith Wedding

Shooting a Wedding

This was my first time videoing a wedding. I prepared for this project by first looking up examples and tips from professional videographers and photographers on YouTube a few weeks before the wedding. On the day of the ceremony, I brought with me; three video cameras, a boom mic, a Tascam, a wireless mic, a battery charger, and plenty of batteries. I was at the wedding from before start to finish, a total of nine hours, and was paid fifteen dollars per hour, for recording and editing.

I started by capturing the atmosphere of the location with one camera. The wedding was held at an old mansion. I filmed some of the scenery of the house like plants, an old swing, and more. By the time I had enough b-roll of the scenery, I was able to go into the bride’s room before she made it to the house and get film of things like the dress, her shoes, and more things special to the bride. Soon after that, the bride showed up and so I made my way over to the groom while the bride started on her hair. I wasn’t able to get the groom ‘suiting up’, but was able to get him and his goomspeople pinning flowers to their suits. I then checked back with the bride and was able to film her getting her makeup done and to see more things she had brought like her earrings and plush unicorn to keep her calm.

I didn’t get any more footage until the ceremony started. At this point, I was assisted by Dustin Prine in setting up three cameras, the boom mic, and the wireless mic. We set one unmanned camera on the second-floor balcony of the house to get a wide crowd and entrance shot. The second camera we set at the back of the audience and filmed people as they came down the aisle, then moved it to get a straight shot of the bride, groom, and pastor. The third camera was set up closer to the front to get another angle as people walked the aisle, and when the ceremony started it was repositioned to focus solely on the bride’s face. The wireless mic that the pastor was supposed to use disconnected as he made it to the top of the stairs that were used in place of a traditional pulpit. Unfortunately, we got no sound from that mic, but thankfully we set up the boom mic and Tascam before the ceremony began, so we were able to get audio from there.

After the ceremony was over, Dusty left and I was back to one camera. The bride and groom had some time in the sitting room after the ceremony to receive congratulations and take pictures with family and loved ones. After that, the bride and groom took some time to change and then came back out to cut the cake and give a toast. The final event of the night was the sparkler send-off. I will admit I was unprepared for this because I had assumed the sparklers would light them up enough, but they didn’t. If I could change anything about this project, I would have lit up the married couple as they left.

Editing a Wedding

The editing was fairly simple. I received many of the photos that the photographer took, and after making a slideshow with them, I used them as a general guide for how to place the clips I had shot. The storytelling went as follows; scenery, back and forth between the bride and groom getting ready, the ceremony, the sitting room moments, the cutting of the cake, and then the send-off. It was just putting clips in order in the timeline with slight adjustments to stabilization, color, and sound. I used a few licensed songs, but the video below is unlisted on YouTube, and the married couple and their choice of the family are the only ones with full copies of the extended video. I made sure to give credit to the artists, the photographer, and myself at the end of the video. 

How This Project Was Different

After finishing the video fully, I sent the bride a digital version she could download. I then began to burn twenty-five CDs with the video that she paid an additional five dollars for each to be made. I sent the bride the invoice shortly after and was paid about$420 for the project. That is a little lower than most videographers make on the low end, but seeing as this was my first wedding and the bride was a friend of Dusty’s, I settled on fifteen dollars an hour as a fair enough price.