What does a typical wedding day look like for the team? That’s a good question! While every single wedding is different, and unique, we have processes in place as your wedding videography team. I’ll try to sum it up as best as I can!
1pm - We arrive at the venue, Ponte Winery. We check in with the bride, the photographers are just arriving to her suite as we are arriving. I ask the lead photographer if they’ve seen the groom and groomsmen yet. They say no, but that they’re about to walk over there. I offer to go with the second photographer while Nan stays and starts to capture what’s going on in the bridal suite. She finds the wedding dress and the shoes and works together with the photographer so that they can photograph and video these items. Then, she starts filming the girls getting ready. I have checked in with the guys, but they are not even close to being ready and ask me to come back in 30-45 minutes. The first look is scheduled at 3:00, so I feel ok about the time line. I return to the bridal suite and start pulling aside bridesmaids to do little mini interviews - stuff we might use in the edit to drive the couples’ story.
1:45 pm - I head back to the grooms room. I ask him to put on his coat and tie. I capture little details of his attire (cuff links, bow tie etc). I ask the guys if they could do a toast, and then pull aside a few guys for their mini interview. It’s super impromptu and as minimally awkward as possible. I joke around so they feel more at ease. They do great!
2:30 pm - Its time to put on the dress! I head back over to the girls (yes it’s a lot of running around!) Nan is doing close up shots and I’ll do wide shots. Once the dress is on we talk about the first look with the photographers!
3pm - We coordinate with the photo team to choose a perfect spot for the first look. Shady and secluded, this spot will be a beautiful place for our bride and groom to see each other for the first time. The moment comes and we all have our spots pre planned so we avoid photobombing each other!
3:30pm - We do some romantic shots with the couple alongside the photographers. Nan is on the steadicam getting walking shots, and artistic shots moving around the couple. I am firing up the drone. Sometimes there isn’t time for the drone during photo sessions but today there is and it makes me super happy because flying the drone is on the top of my list of favorite things to do. I fly over the couple, and follow them with the drone. I also get some venue overview shots.
4pm - We head over to the ceremony site to set up. Sometimes I’ll get a head start while Nan continues to take video during the photo session. Set up is usually fairly quick, but it’s important to be set up in advance! I set up three tripods (two in the front and one in the back). I put long lenses on the front cameras to get nice closeups of the bride and grooms faces. The back camera will have a wide lens so I can get the whole wedding party in the frame. I find the person running sound for the ceremony, and ask to plug into the sound board. Once plugged in, I like to test it out by recording a quick sound check. That way I can catch any issues in advance! Next, I find the officiant and put a personal recording device on him or her. (Backup!) Then, I put a recording device on the groom. (More backup!) All set up, and ready!
5pm - The ceremony! I make sure everything is recording and we capture everything continuously on all three cameras. Occasionally we might have an opportunity for a fourth camera (in a balcony maybe!) but not today. We have solid coverage with all three cameras. Nan and I take turns discreetly walking to camera 3 to make sure everything looks perfect.
5:30pm - Wedding ceremony ends and we split up! I break down the gear and move what needs to be moved to the reception site. There I set up the light stands and lights, and plug into the DJ for speeches. Nan covers family and bridal party photos, and additional couple photos. After I’m set up at the reception site, I head to cocktail hour where I get solid coverage of the guests enjoying and having fun. I like to avoid people eating / chewing which can be a challenge at times. If it’s a long cocktail hour I’ll fly the drone again, sometimes people will wave and interact with the drone. Again, it’s one of my favorite things in life!
6:30pm - Guests are seated, and we get set for grand entries. I typically shoot the wide shots and Nan does close ups.
6:45pm - Grand entrance happens and then goes right into first dance. Nan circles the bride and groom once or twice with the steadicam. It looks so good in the wedding video, it’s definitely worth the effort!
7:00pm - Dinner! Everyone eats including us. We scarf our food though because toasts are coming and we don’t want to miss a thing!
7:45pm - Toasts begin. We cover these with two angles, and capture the audio through our recording device that’s plugged into the DJ. We also stick a backup recording device on the mic.
8:00pm - It's time for the parent dances! We shoot this with both cameras, with a close up shot and a wide shot.
8:10pm - Dances are done, and we quickly transition to cake cutting. Nan grabs the steadicam, I grab the monopod and the light and we capture this moment.
8:20pm - Dancing begins! We film close ups, wide shots and are generally on alert for anything fun or funny that happens.
9pm - Our coverage ends. We start packing up, and say our goodbyes to our lovely couple. We tell them to expect their wedding within 12 weeks, though it’s usually sooner. It’s been a fun night and another successful wedding video in process!
Nikki Lopez contributes articles about wedding videography that are funny, fun, and useful to couples as well as other videographers. She hopes to educate and inspire.