As a married couple, it’s been so fun for me and Collin to shoot the three weddings we’ve been fortunate enough to work on! They’ve all been so unique from one another and so special in unexpected ways. While I’m no expert after only three weddings, I’ve certainly learned a lot in a short amount of time and usually on-the-job. Here are my top five lessons learned.
1. Brides are not monsters.
As a past bride, I was careful to avoid being a “bridezilla.” And even though three brides does not a large sample size make, I’ve found that brides are the least likely to cause a scene on their wedding day. In fact, they glow with a peaceful joy I strived for on my own wedding day. Seriously, how do they do that? I attribute their calm to their support system: from planners to parents to bridesmaids, everyone is there to pitch in and the bride knows that.
There must be a serenity in knowing that the day is (mostly) out of the bride’s hands. Knowing that, Collin and I try to get as much information about the day ahead of time and any information on the day from someone other than the bride. Which brings me to my next point:
2. Communication is a necessity
Weddings have so many moving parts. It’s a production with a ton of collaborators all making it look the way it should. So as much information as we get ahead of time, nothing can truly prepare us for what the wedding day will bring. That’s why it’s crucial to ask questions. If we’re not sure, one of us asks someone (again, not the bride or groom if it can be helped). Who’s giving a toast and when? Ask a wedding party member. Is there a sound system we can plug into? Ask the band or DJ. Where can we set up our equipment? Ask the venue manager. Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to introduce myself or interrupt someone who’s already doing something, but without communicating what we need, we wouldn’t be able to make the best wedding video for our clients.
3. Prepare, prepare, prepare
This may seem obvious, but it seems worth noting on this list since it’s of such importance. As I said before, there’s a lot going on during the course of a wedding day. Our wedding questionnaire sheet along with an initial meeting is crucial to our prep process. It lets us know what’s happening where and who’s who, but more importantly it allows us to get to know the bride and groom as a couple. I didn’t have this meeting before my first shoot and it made for an uncomfortable introduction to the bride, a very nice woman who wasn’t expecting my early arrival and didn’t recognize me. Not an ideal situation.
The other important prep is gear prep! Collin is our gear guru and without his meticulous lists and packing set-ups, we would arrive to gigs with who-knows-what! Everything is packed and accounted for the night before we leave for the wedding. Additionally, gear that’s left behind can’t always be recovered, so reviewing an inventory list is important before leaving a wedding shoot. If we’re over-prepared, we know we’ll be okay.
4. Enthusiasm goes a long way
It’s a fun day! Treat it like a fun day! Be excited for the bride, groom, friends, and family. While it’s a job for us, it’s a really special day for the couple. Being too serious or intense may get the job done, but it may also bring the mood down. Plus, shots of fun, relaxed moments really stand out in a wedding video. We like to stay professional (you won’t see us toasting with champagne or breaking it down on the dance floor) while also keeping up a positive energy with everyone. Everyone is there to have a great time and I love being a part of that.
5. Food is IMPORTANT
At our last wedding, we forgot to bring food. Of course we were put in the catering numbers for dinner that evening, but that left us from breakfast until dinner on empty stomachs, all while running around a large venue area from wedding party suites to ceremony spot to reception area. It wasn’t even that I was necessarily hungry (I was too busy to be hungry!), but that I was getting low on fuel and starting to sputter like an old car. That evening, I wolfed down pizza with speed that would impress a competitive eater—and then had to film the dancing feeling overstuffed. We will definitely be adding protein bars to our list of gear for our next shoot.
I am SO excited to keep filming weddings. It really is an amazing opportunity to be a part of someone’s wedding. I love the fact that we provide such a beautiful heirloom to couples that will help them remember the details of their wedding for years to come.