DIY Wedding Videography Done Right – Part One

Lachende Braut

The bride and groom have their special day coming up and they’ve asked you to produce a video of their wedding.  Something cute, romantic, with music.  No problem, right?

Not so fast.  Even if you have wedding videography experience and access to good equipment, wedding video production can be a daunting task. Don’t strike the wrong chord with an amateur-looking wedding video, make everyone think you’re a pro! If you’re compelled to accept this challenge but not sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.

For this first installment of this three-part blog series on DIY wedding videography I’m going to start with the gear you’re going to require, no matter where the ceremony may be. Whether it’s on the beach, at a venue, or in a church, here is a list of the equipment you’re going to need to get started:

1. A video camera.  Preferably one that shoots in wide screen and can handle low-light.  This way, your first dance scene won’t be grey and grainy silhouettes set to music.

2. A large memory card.  If you’re shooting with a DSLR or still camera on video mode, video files take up a LOT of space.  Get the largest card you can afford because it will get used up quickly.  If you’re using other media to record on such as Mini DV tapes, bring extras – lots of extras.  When it comes to memory, it’s better to be safe than sorry. How do you know how much memory you will need? Find out how much your camera uses in 1 hour, and multiply that by the number of hours you plan to be shooting for.

3. A power supply. Make sure you capture the whole party by bringing batteries or a power cord and extension cord. The average wedding is at least 6 hours and the average battery life is 2.  Also, make sure any equipment that uses disposable batteries has been equipped with new ones, especially the microphone.

4. A tripod.  There will be times when you’ll need to grab the camera off the tripod and get some cool shots on the dance floor.  However, for the bulk of a wedding, you will want the camera to be steady and secure.  This prevents a lot of pain in the upper arm and will spare your viewers the sea-sickness that shaky footage tends to induce.

5. A wireless microphone and headphones.  Buy, rent, or better yet, insist that the happy couple provide a decent quality lapel or lavalier mic for the wedding.  Without it, when the bride and groom return from the honeymoon and watch the video, all they will hear are the sounds of the coughing and seat adjustments; the actual vows will be inaudible.

6. A second camera.  If it’s possible, it’s always nice to have a second camera.  This gives another perspective that you can use in the editing process, plus it works wonders if somebody walks in front of the main camera and also serves as a backup.  Note: A smartphone with a large memory card can double as a second camera.

7. Video Editing Software. We’ll be going into more detail about editing later in this DIY wedding videography series, but you are going to need some video editing software. If you aren’t already using it,  go ahead and grab your free trial of VideoStudio Pro.

Well, I hope this has given you a solid start and made the task of filming a wedding a little less overwhelming. Please check back next week for part two of my  DIY wedding videography blog series where I’ll share my top 10 helpful hints for recording the video.

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