God I’m Glad I Don’t Do Wedding Anymore!

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    • #47013

      I know how valuable wedding videos are, even if the bride doesn’t. I worked the wedding circuit and I’m so glad I’m out. Bridezilla! Everyone who works wedding know who I’m talking about. I don’t care about the cash, I’m so glad that I’m not employed trying to fulfill someone’s stupid fantasy of what they wished they were. I’d be happy and proud to take video of their wedding if they realized what it was, a milestone in the history of their family, a precious historical artifact. I am tired of telling them the reception line is more important to video tape than some ridiculous beach fantasy. I have enough live theatre recording to keep me busy and I take my summers off. Gerry in Calgary

    • #193573
      Grinner Hester

      I found my wedding days to be a great stair step toward video production. The money was poor, the hours were long and the content was unrewarding but it was a due that I’m glad I paid. I never met a bridezilla. They were always just another client to me. Today is no different. When a client revises something… even when not nice about it. This is what they pay me for. I have no problem with that. Water off a duck’s back. I don’t even mind typing their name in the credits as if they made the show. Again, that’s just part of my job.

    • #193574

      You never met bridezilla! You must be a very lucky guy. I suspect from your posts that you make a good share of your luck by your attitude. Live theatre was always my bread and butter and now I don’t need to do weddings. I like live theatre. The day is shorter, I never have to deal with wireless and I’ve always got interesting subject matter to shoot. Gerry in Calgary.

    • #193575
      Grinner Hester

      I did have one mother of the bride/chack writer watch the final and instead of revisions, her critique was “Why does my daughter look so heavy!?” Now, I could have lied and done the ole cliche “the camera adds ten pounds” thang but honesty took over…

      “cuz she’s fat.”


      I think most will agree that wedding gigs are good steps toward fields most vidiots want to work in. Some stay there but in most cases, it’s because they are afraid. At least speaking for myself, overdressing for an under-paying gig that lasts too long and isn’t much fun was never an aspiration. I always wanted to work in ther entertainment industry. I think my wedding gig days made me better at what I do today, both in the craft and the very required people skills.

    • #193576

      ” I don’t care about the cash, I’m so glad that I’m not employed trying to fulfill someone’s stupid fantasy of what they wished they were.”

      Oh Mr. Prost you just made me laugh! I can SO relate. My husband & I used to do weddngs (still photography)…Note the words “used to do”. Bridezillas – dontcha love ’em. And yes, dealing with these lovely ladies (and their entourage)can indeed build character…But then, so does shoveling out horse stalls. Ha!

    • #193577

      I just recently shot a wedding (first one after about 5 years!) I approached it differently not as a ‘wedding video’ but as a documentary film and called it that at all times. All the stuff we shot prior to the wedding was actually fun despite the usual hard work of carrying gear, setting up, etc. The actual ceremony went well because everyone knew we were actually making a ‘film’ we were given a lot of leeway.

      What actually sucked was ‘after’ the ceremony was over. Parents not controlling their little kids (or themselves) around cooling lights, well-wishers popping a squat or chatting in areas where we taped off for their protection (and our gear’s) and the usual stress of trying to get everything done with less hands as one of our assistants went down with the flu the day before the ceremony.

      Am I going to put up ads that I’m shooting weddings again? Nope.

    • #193578

      Every gig has its upside. Every gig, its downside. There’s no more a predominance of “whatevers” from hell or “whateverzillas” in weddings than birthdays, funerals, corporate shoots or any other production where somebody other than ourselves has a vested emotional, personal and financial interest in the outcome – AND wants to get as much as possible for as little. Don’t we all?

      I once heard a motivational speaker tell us we cannot control how people react to us, we can only control how we react to them. That is probably as close to the solution for how to handle uncomfortable situations with clients as any. We NEVER seem able to actually and objectively look at things from the client’s perspective – and in many instances who really wants to, right? But…

      As independents we have the option to do what we want when it comes to accepting or rejecting a gig. True, there’s not ALWAYS a choice, especially when the repo man is at the door, the collection agencies are calling, or a note is due yesterday and there’s no food in the fridge. Our choices are often dictated by financial needs over common business sense or practice. If we go into a situation brought on by anything other than total choice then resentment often sets in and we do poorly on the production as well as on how we handle the more demanding client.

      I learned early on that wedding video production, on the whole, is perhaps the lowest pay-per-hour-invested gig possible (though that is arguable when I think of some of the commercial gigs I’ve accepted and the Alpha types I’ve had to deal with during the process – sometimes NO compensation is adequate). But wedding video still has its place, obviously, in the independent professional video services provider market.

      I do not particularly care for the amount of work and emotional investment wedding video production often tends to require, but I’ll do them. After 18 years in the business I’m STILL not in a position to refuse business during “feast” times, knowing how quickly a famine can come. But, as an independent I can elect to accept, or not, someone with whom I become intuitively or otherwise uncomfortable during the interview process. I can refuse to do business with whom I wish, no shirt, no shoes or otherwise.

      Weddings can be a boon, a bummer or a bust just like virtually any other video or non-video related business operation, but there have been occasions when I sometimes might say “Thank God” there’s a wedding gig on the books this week. I am also an equal opportunity gripe, so in my mind or under my breath I often have said a few choice words of frustration during a video production, even if it wasn’t a wedding.

    • #193579

      I have started my career in video and TV as a wedding cameraman in 1991. I thought I was burnt down after 3 years of doing it day in and day out. I wanted out of it and into a “real” world of TV or more “honorable” production projects. So I was lucky that everything had turned out the way I wanted.

      It was a smooth transition rather than an abrupt change of a field. After all I have had an honour to work for BBC World Service and for CHUM TV National News Bureau in Ottawa ON Canada. It’s been big time fun. And all these years I have been shooting wedding videos – not too many, but constantly some.

      And looking back I realize that all the stuff I shoot at work today is in tomorrow’s garbage bin. Often the same day as soon as the show is over. But how often I bump into my wedding customers in the street or during shopping hours, when people approach me to say how they like their video, and how they enjoy watching it again and again.

      One couple admitted that they have been watching the 5 min recap every night before going to bed 3 or 4 years after the wedding day. Besides money, what is more rewarding?

    • #193580
      Grinner Hester

      The satisfaction of knowing I made a show the best it could possibly be, givin the circumstances is a rush for me. Often I’ll have a producer hand me 3 betas, a handful of jpegs, a cut of tunage, some minimal verbal direction,and a deadline 4 hours from that moment. I enjoy watching their face when they watch it. After doing this for 20 years, that’s still my favorite thing…w atching my client watch the piece for the first time.

    • #193581

      Do people who hate doing weddings get a perverse pleasure in subscribing and following a forum devoted to Wedding and Event production?

      Don’t misunderstand me, I’m happy to read your views, even if I sometimes disagree with them, and much of what is written is enlightening – (for example I can share grinner’s reaction to the situation he describes) – but for me it would be like subscribing to a thread on bullfighting or needlepoint.

    • #193582

      “Do people who hate doing weddings get a perverse pleasure in subscribing and following a forum devoted to Wedding and Event production?”

      I re-read the posts here and did not see where such a forum was pointed out. Also, just as in your quote, “event” would be another side to the coin of a “wedding and event” production forum.

      It is also ethical to “hate” doing weddings. I “hate” taking out the trash, washing the car or scrubbing the bathtub, but I do those things because they’re often/sometimes necessary.

    • #193583

      I’m not fond of shooting weddings because they are a pain compared to other types of production. With a wedding you are dealing with someone’s hope’s, dreams and fantasies and the pressure to deliver that is quite high. That part of it I can live with, but you also have to deal with the politics of the families as the often posture and jostle to be seen as the most important blah, blah, blah. If you are not of a temperament to deal with that, the possibility of potential safety issues of undisciplined excited children (and adults) flailing about your gear and the BS that sometimes comes when it’s time to get paid, then the odds of you ‘hating to do weddings’ is quite possible.

      Actually, a ‘bullfighting thread’ would be quite neat. My mom used to needlepoint so there’s not much I want to know about that!

    • #193584

      Actually BS, not bull… (well, when you say it THAT way) …fighting is something we could all learn more about 😉

    • #193585

      Hi – regarding the very first post (the very first comment of the discussion on the top) – I understand you at 100 % ! While not making videos myself, but rather concentrating at photography (but still sometimes working in a team with a cameraman), I do perfectly know the situation ! Sometimes the desire // the vision of the brides // grooms are not only of no level, but even – as a photographer – I really retain myself from making shots upon some request in order not to fall below my level ….

      photographe mariage Metz

    • #193586

      I started shooting wedding videos approx 18 years ago. Burnt out and moved to Wedding Photography. Burnt out and moved to Wedding DJ, and In between I played live music in Bands. I burnt out completly and stopped for years. Now Im back doing it all except the live music, I hated coming home at 3 in the morning. I must like it? I must LOVE it..


    • #193587

      To Weddingmaster – wow, great experience ! You must not love it, you must be obsessed with it 😉

      I hope not to change the approach though – at the current stage, I would prefer to continue my activity as wedding photographer 🙂

      photographe mariage Luxembourg

    • #193588

      I love weddings. I’m a wedding videographer and my wife is a wedding photographer. Our lives are about weddings, it’s our passion!! We love what we do and we mostly have fantastic couples to work with and can make a lot of money doing what we do!!

      Our clients pick us for our approach and style and we in turn have to like them in order to work with them. i have no problem turning a couple away if I feel they are going to be difficult to work with.As a story teller I can’t make their wedding something it’s not. I can only use whats around me and what unfolds on the day.

      The way we keep weddings fresh is by filming lots of different types. We film & photograph english weddings, indian weddings, greek weddings, sikh wedding, chinese weddings and many more. I love variety which I think is a real key to continue enjoying what we do.

      But we love the satisfaction of telling someones story of their wedding day in a creative and emotional way and them loving it and sharing it with all their friends and family. Very satisfying!!

      Beautiful Life UK: Wedding Video and wedding Photography

      WEBSITE: http://www.beautifullifeuk.com

    • #193589

      I admit sometimes you can tell by the tone of just an email how difficult a couple will be to work with. But you also cannot just judge a book by it’s cover. One bride-to be sounded a tad picky via email but nothing extreme. Once she sent me the contract (she preferred to set everything up solely by email which I really do not mind) the contract was so picked apart with notes etc that I was scared to death to head to the shoot. Come to find out she was an attorney which explained a lot! She ended up being one of my best clients.

      There are brides though that you just get that gut feeling the way everything is worded and how much they want to twist around what you have to offer that they will be more work than it is worth when it comes to the wedding day. Sometimes I just throw in the towel and tell them I am already booked. I always offer to meet – but so many are tech crazy these days that I do not deny email only consultations and this comes with a down side.

    • #193590

      The last wedding I did was the couple from hell.

      I can laugh about it now.

      They got divorced in one year.

      Says everything you need to know.


    • #205398



      As mentioned, if you treat your job as documentary maker instead of videographer for a wedding, you'll get infinitely more respect.  Let the participants involved know (especially the one paying for video/event) your requirements and limitations as a film-maker, for instance, needing others to stay away from equipment; out of restricted areas, etc.


      The bride and groom will surely play their part for best performance, but it's the other participants that you can often count on to jump in and ruin the event. 


      Differing opinions on how things should be staged and filmed can hinder a good video.

      The best move is to listen to what the participants want and then explain how it's going to be done as you are the professional. 



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