First Wedding Recap

It’s been a while since E Leal Productions’ first endeavor into wedding videography, and I never got the chance to write up any form of reflection. I’m sure that since so much time has passed, I have inevitably forgotten some details that I would have wrote about if I had made this post months ago, but hopefully there hasn’t been too much that I’ve forgotten.

The wedding, which I talked about previously in Breaking into Weddings and Meeting Shauna and Chad, was our first attempt at wedding videography. One of our friends/colleagues from a previous media production course was gracious enough to bring us in to film her daughter’s wedding. We will always be extremely grateful for that opportunity.

Leading up to the job, we were researching away, watching example after example of wedding videos that we could find on the internet. At this point, the only other wedding experience that Erik and I had was editing a wedding video and partial spur-of-the-moment wedding video and photography coverage. Actually capturing the moment as it was happening and being the only people responsible for doing so? That was completely new territory.

For this first endeavor, we brought in two of our colleagues to help out. They would serve as extra camera operators to make sure we didn’t miss anything. I will talk more about this later, but I’m very glad that we did this for this particular job. One of our camera operators was our colleague Freddie, who we had worked with many times before, often as talent in our previous work. Freddie had filmed a bit for a wedding of an acquaintance recently, so he had an idea of what we wanted. Our other camera operator was our colleague Sarah, who has attended several weddings in the past and follows several wedding photo and video blogs/websites to know what clients are looking for and what trends are popular. Sarah definitely helped out a lot in preliminary brainstorming, and she helped us in asking our client the right questions.

On the day of the wedding, we felt that we had a good idea of how things were going to go. The groom had told us his plan to have his groomsmen deliver roses to the bride as she was getting ready and that he would let us know when that was to start, since he wanted to capture it in the video. We were told to be at the home where the bridal party was preparing at 2pm. We decided to show up a little earlier, and I’m glad we did.

When we pulled up in front of the house, the first thing I saw was a groomsman walking up to the house with a rose in hand. We rushed out of the car, setting up our cameras as we dashed up to the house. Freddie was able to capture the last of the rose delivery, and then we found out that most of the roses had been delivered already. This definitely took us by surprise since we had been assured that we would know beforehand. We were quick to jump back in to action where we filmed some footage of the roses that had already been delivered and the messages that had been delivered with them. We made sure to capture every rose delivery that was left. I feel it’s necessary to note here that the photographers showed up about 45 minutes after we did, and they were also taken by surprise that they had missed most of the rose deliveries (even more than we had).

After almost an hour of the four camera operators capturing footage of the bridal party getting ready, both Erik and Freddie left to film some of the groomsmen preparing and then for Erik to start setting up at the church. Sarah and I remained with the bridal party all the way through their bus ride to the church.

During this time, Sarah and I started having problems with our cameras. My issue was very slight, and all came down to me not being as familiar with the camera I was using as I would have liked. A quick call to Erik solved my problem of simply not knowing how to switch batteries. Sarah, on the other hand, was starting to discover that her camera might not be up to task for recording video at such a heavy rate. We found that her camera was overheating often, and had to continually be given breaks in order for her to use it. It’s a good thing I had the camera that I had.

At the church, Erik was making some last minute changes to the set up. The pastor had told us previously that we could record the sound from the microphones through the sound board, but on the day, the pastor had no idea how to fulfill his promise. Luckily, we had a microphone that we would be able to place in the groom’s pocket which captured audio for the groom, the bride and the pastor very well.

The ceremony was quite short, and we were able to get really good coverage for it with the four cameras we had. The coverage is multi-camera with a wide shot and medium shots of both the bride and of the groom. A fourth camera captures reactions from family in the pews as well as shots of the wedding party. It all came together really nicely.

After the ceremony, Sarah went with the wedding party to the bar they were visiting, and Erik, Freddie and I took that time to transfer our footage onto the computer we had brought with us, and to regroup for the reception. We’d had a handful of setbacks throughout the day so far, and the reception wasn’t going to be without its own set of problems.

The reception hall was extremely dark, and also extremely red. For the most part, only a couple of our cameras could get really good video in the room. We all had a light attached to the top of our camera in order for our shots to come out anything at all decent. The DJ for the reception did a really good job of communicating with us the order of events and when things were going to happen. I’m definitely thankful for that. We still had different people giving us mixed messages though which definitely hindered our ability to get the entrance and introductions of the wedding party in a way that we would have preferred.

Overall, the job was stressful, but still fun. It was definitely an experience. We all learned a lot from it that we can bring with us to future wedding jobs, if we get them. We’ll have more confidence to get the shots that we need and to fight for our right to do the job we were hired to do (I’m looking at you, drunken wedding guests!). I’m happy that we were given the opportunity to film this wedding.

At this point, we’re almost done with the editing of the video! That might be another post for another day.

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