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Wedding Videography: How to Shoot the Reception

The ceremony is done, but the big day isn't over yet. The reception is an important part of the wedding day. We show you how to light the dance floor, use the best techniques for interviewing guests, and find the best b-roll to shoot for a great wedding production.

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Video Transcript

Making sure that you're capturing all the best moments at and before a wedding is very important...but it's not the only thing that makes a wedding video special. In order to make sure that your effort has the emotional impact you want, you'll need to know some tricks for making a compelling edit that your client can cherish forever.

One of the hardest things to gauge when it comes to weddings is what kind of services you should offer. Budgets can vary extremely from one wedding to the next, so you'll want to make sure you make production packages that even those on tight budgets can afford. It would be best to have a list of the prices for clients when discussing the wedding. In order to be competitive with your pricing, do some research online and at trade shows to see what other people in your area are charging and price your packages similar to theirs. Sample wedding packages might include a bronze package with one camera covering the event and 5 finished DVDs, a silver package with two cameras covering the entire day and 10 DVDs, and lastly a gold package with three cameras covering the whole day along with a memory slideshow, love story, and 15 DVDs. Either way, by having packages that work for almost every budget, you can assure that you'll have enough business.

Diversity is the key to any successful business and weddings are no exception. Because of this, it is a good idea to offer special services such as love stories and memory slideshows for your clients. The best part of all is that they can be done before the wedding even starts! Typically love stories are short video stories detailing how the bride and groom fell in love. It will include interviews of the bride and groom while showing video of them together in a romantic setting. On the other hand, a memory slideshow is typically pictures of the couple from the time they were young until the time they got engaged, set to music. For emphasis, these photos are typically moved in a video editing application using keyframes for scale and position. These videos can give added value to your production and are very enticing for your clients as they can see it right at the wedding itself.

With the power and speed of video editing laptops getting better every day, you may want to think about offering a same-day-edit. Same-day-edits will give you an edge over many other wedding video services as they allow the bride and groom to see highlights of their wedding before the excitement of the day wears off. Pulling off same-day edits requires some pre-planning and extra equipment. You'll need to have a powerful laptop that you can set-up in an area close to where the event is happening. While the reception is underway, you can pull the footage from your camera and edit it to a template that you have previously made. Once you've done that, you can connect your laptop to a projector and show everyone at the reception an artistic perspective on the wedding day.

Now that you've captured everything, you've come to the next important step: editing the ceremony and reception. This is the step where you can turn your footage into something special. If you've shot the wedding with multiple cameras, then your first step will be synching up each piece of footage with your audio. To make this process easier, some companies have designed plug-ins that can analyze the audio from each video track in your production and synch them automatically. If you don't have this luxury, you can synch your cameras by placing markers where camera flashes occur in your video and then shifting your footage so that each camera flash lines up with one another. Most professional editing applications also have a multi-cam feature that will allow you to cut your video much like a director would at a live event by clicking on the footage you want while playing back the video. Once you've done that, you can go back in your timeline and add common transitions to your edit such as cross dissolves, additive dissolves, and fade to blacks.

In order to give your wedding video a professional touch, you may want to think about making a themed menu system that allows you to get to the most important parts quickly, along with a personalized wedding graphic printed to the DVD surface. In order to make a themed menu you might want to think about customizing a template found in a popular DVD authoring program. From there, you can add chapters to your videos at areas of interest such as the exchanging of rings, and the bride's entrance. Once the DVD is burned, you can use inkjet printable discs in order to print a graphic on the front of your DVD which will help it look more professional. Since the DVD cover and menu is the first thing your clients will see, making it look professional will get you started off right.

There's nothing more rewarding than seeing the joy on people's faces as they watch the magic of their wedding day. By knowing some helpful tips for how to put together wedding videos right, you can make sure that every one of your videos is as special as the wedding day itself.


imbatman49's picture

Hi Nest, I am the same as you, and looking to collaborate with others as well. What kind of production are you mostly involved with wedding? Or, all phases? I have my own production company called smitten productions.
Anonymous's picture

Interesting, but nothing new in detail about weddings. Mitch Lang introduced these essential shots some time ago. i expected more innovative details.