Our best "take it or leave it" advice. We've been to plenty of weddings and have seen a few things. We thought the advice below might make it easier to get the most value out of your videos and photos.
ON THE DAY
FOLLOW THE LIGHT! | COUPLE SHOOT
Try to schedule your couple shoot around the best light - this is the last hour before sunset.
TOP TIP - MANAGE FAMILY PHOTOS | COUPLE SHOOT
Family photos usually take WAY longer than you anticipate, and this cuts deep into the couple shoot time. Prepare a set photo list before the day and have someone from your bridal party assist the photographer in rounding the groups up. For good reason, this is out "top-tip".
YOU DO YOU | COUPLE SHOOT
Just be yourselves, legit.
We'll put in the work to make you look good and to bring out the natural moments. There's no need to force anything, or think you're doing it wrong.
GIVE YOURSELF TIME | COUPLE SHOOT
Give your couple shoot as much time as it deserves. Maybe we need to drive to a pretty location? Perhaps you also need that time to just breathe and take it all in. Those are also the real moments worth capturing. We recommend forty-five minutes, not including family photo time. Remember, the photographer and videographer share this time too.
GOWNS | PREP
If you got 'em, wear 'em! Wear those specially made "bride tribe" t-shirts or official gowns from the start of the day. The photos and videos flow better when all the girls take part in the fun from the start.
DO YOUR MAKEUP SOONER | PREP
We start shooting when we arrive. Consider doing your makeup or at least hair sooner, and definitely not last. This allows you to be "camera-ready" from the start and allows us to use all your footage without discontinuity.
HAVE YOUR "DETAILS" TOGETHER | PREP
"Details" are shoes, jewelry, perfume, belts, ties, cuff links, cigars, etc. - they are all the dress and suit elements, as well as your small gifts to one another.
KEEP YOUR ROOM NEAT | PREP
This goes without saying, but it is easier to shoot in a room without distracting clutter. If it's a viable option, consider booking an adjoining room so that one room can be dedicated to makeup, hair and bridesmaids, while the other can be used to get changed in for photos.
GUYS, C'MON NOW! | PREP
Make sure your full kit i.e shoes, belt, cuff links, etc. are all together. Make sure they're with you at the venue. Really, check. Have you checked they're in your bag? Just check again to be sure. Get there earlier than you think you need to, and be showered and fresh before the photographer and videographer arrive.
TOP TIP - ONCE THE PARTY STARTS | RECEPTION
Once you open the dance floor, close it as few times as possible. Usually, the crowd dies quickly if you keep interrupting the vibe and putting on the main lights. Consider doing the bouquet and garter toss sooner rather than later, and after the first dance, leave the people to jol.
SPEECHES | RECEPTION
Less is more. Steering your speakers to deliver a five minute or less speech is absolutely perfect. Your guests will thank you.
SPEECHES | RECEPTION
Serving any food during the speeches usually means that you will have waiters/guests walking through the camera shots, or bumping into the cameras. Also to keep in mind is that the microphone does pick up the significant symphony of cutlery scraping against plates and will either be distracting on the day, or whenever you rewatch the videos. Just saying.
CONSIDER CUTTING THE CAKE EARLY | RECEPTION
Instead of leaving it to last, consider straight after the ceremony and serve it with the canapés. The love and effort that goes into your cake could be shadowed by the dessert that your venue offers as part of your menu.
STATIONARY LECTURN | RECEPTION
Although we can and will track the person talking, it can affect the sound and visuals when they lurch out of frame. Remind your master of ceremonies that there are videographers doing their best to film the speeches as smoothly as possible.
OPEN BAR | RECEPTION
Give your guests bar-coupons at their table seating so that one person doesn't blow the ENTIRE budget on a bottle of 20 year Jamies e.g a coupon for 2 beers/glasses of wine and a shooter.
SPACE IN FRONT | CEREMONY
Don't cram the front of the chapel with so much decor that everyone struggles to move. Besides both of you and your officiant, remember all the things that need to fit in the front - the groomsmen, the bridesmaids, the photographer and our three cameras on tripods. We're also hovering between our cameras constantly and need to be able to reach them easily.
LED AND FAIRY LIGHTS | TECHNICAL
They are very pretty, but just be aware that they cause strobe effects in the footage. We can manage our camera settings if there are a few, but if they are your main source of light, it can have a weird effect on the video.
BRIGHT LIGHTS BEHIND THE SPEAKER | TECHNICAL
If there are very bright lights behind your lecturn, it is difficult to expose the person correctly.
BE MINDFUL OF COMBO DEALS | SERVICE PROVIDERS
If you're set on choosing a combo video-and-photo deal, make sure your service providers are great at both offerings. Rather choose two separate companies if you're not happy with the quality of either the photos or videos. Rather choose people for what they're good at. You might feel it's less convenient, but quality pays off.