We often get asked by brides + grooms if there's anything in particular they can do to help make their wedding film the best it can be. While the most important advice might be to just relax, be yourself, and enjoy every moment of your day - it's going to go by faster than you think - there are a few things that would help us out as well as make your film (and photos) even better. So, here's our first installment of Tips For A Wedding Film That Rocks!!!
Let's start at the beginning...
1. PREPARATIONS... first off, have a clean area to get dressed in. While we can selectively focus our cameras, if the room looks like a tornado just blew through, it's going to look like that in your film. We can only disguise the background so much. Your preps will look so MUCH better in your film and photos if you do this one little thing. You want to enjoy your film/photos and not be reminded every time you look at them how messy your room was. Guys, this goes for you, too ;)
2. MAKEUP + HAIR... when getting your makeup and hair done, have your makeup artist place you where there is plenty of natural light (near a picture window or similar). This not only makes their job much easier, it will make you look BEAUTIFUL on film! Nothing beats the look of beautiful, natural light! When scheduling makeup and hair, it's usually best if the bride gets her makeup done last (or near to last). Scheduling your bridesmaids and moms first will allow them to get dressed and be all ready when it's time for you to get into your dress. Whoever you want near you when you get into your dress should already be dressed themselves. Speaking of natural light (I can't stress it enough, natural light is your best friend...), when it's time to get into your dress, pick a room with lots of natural light, you'll be amazed at how much better everything will look. We, as well as your photographers, can help you with this as well.
As far as PREPS TIME, we like to allow a MINIMUM of one hour to cover the bride and bridesmaids preps. This gives us time to film your makeup session, collect footage of your dress, shoes, rings, etc., as well as capture the excitement and anticipation of you + your bridesmaids in the room. The last thing we want is for you - or us - to feel stressed because we didn't schedule sufficient time. It's better to have a little more time than not enough. We also prefer that you have your hair done PRIOR to your makeup. We feel that your makeup session translates much better to film than hair. Obviously, if we're there for both, we'll cover both. But, if given the choice, we would prefer to film your makeup session.
3. MUSIC DURING PREPS... as much as everyone likes having music playing while getting ready, it makes it much harder for us to capture those special moments on film when there's an ipod playing in the background. If you want to have music playing before we arrive or after we leave, great. But, PLEASE, while we're there, no music. You wouldn't want your mom or bridesmaids saying something really special to you only to not be able to hear it because the music was too loud. Same goes for the tv or radio: off. If the guys are sitting around watching the game on tv, that's one thing and we can work that into the story. But, even then, we would ask that the volume be turned down while we are filming. When we create your film, we lay in a musical soundtrack of our own. It's much easier to do that if it's not competing with music (or tv dialog) recorded by our cameras. If you've ever heard 2 radios playing 2 completely different songs at the same time, you know it's not necessarily pleasant. Yeah, we don't want that.
4. At LTF, we may be unique in that we prefer to film the bridal preparations as a team. Meaning, your primary filmmakers (Lee + Lisa) film together as a team rather than splitting up with one following the bride/one following the groom. While this is not always an option, we feel this affords us much more complete coverage than separating. Bridal prep time is a very exciting time with lots of things happening simultaneously. For example, you're getting into your dress while, on the other side of the room, your mom is getting emotional watching. We prefer not to have to make a choice on which one to film. With 2 filmmakers present, it allows us to capture more of the action than with just one. If possible, we also suggest the bride + groom get dressed at the same location: a hotel makes a great locale. It makes it easier and much more convenient for everyone - wedding professionals included - when family and bridal party are all nearby.
Speaking of GETTING INTO YOUR DRESS... don't rush it! You've waited for this moment so take your time and enjoy it. We (as well as your photographer) need to capture a variety of shots/angles so, if you take your time, it'll work out best for everyone. Same thing goes for the groom, take your time. Enjoy the moment!
Which brings us to writing + exchanging cards/gifts, and your First Look.... next time!