Lesley and David's Wedding
After being booked for Katy and Barbara's wedding, and deciding to give this wedding videography a proper go by investing in the required equipment I wanted for filming a wedding, I decided to reach out to Lesley when she put a post up about how close her wedding was. She very kindly agreed to me filming her wedding and that set the preparations going from my end! Again, another summer holiday wedding meant I would have plenty time to prepare for it, and I once again visited the venue ahead of the wedding to see what the set-up would be like. I also did a pre-recording of the vows with Lesley and David just as a backup. I was a lot more confident that I would be able to use the ceremony audio this time for the highlights video, as it was going to be a small ceremony with no young children. This made me keen to try and do something a bit more creative with the edit, so the excitement of that got my creative juices flowing!
What made this wedding particularly unique for me was not only is Lesley a friend and ex-boss from my co-op days, but I also teach her son! So the pressure was on not to mess it up or I'd not only have ruined their wedding video, but I no doubt wouldn't have heard the end of it from her son!!
I was really pleased with being able to film this wedding, as not only would it have doubled my portfolio, but it was also completely different to my first wedding: bride and groom, a smaller venue, much smaller ceremony, a smaller reception and less preparation shots to consider as Lesley wasn't interested in having herself filmed at all during the morning of the wedding! I felt a lot more relaxed about this wedding, probably predominantly because of having the experience of filming one, but also the fact this was much smaller and also that there were no microphones being used for the speeches or ceremony, so that meant from an audio perspective it was purely down to my choice of how to record the audio - so I didn't have any worries about someone else's equipment potentially not working etc.
In the morning, everything went very smoothly, and into the ceremony I thought everything would be able to run fine too. One of the issues I had at my first wedding was the position of my safe camera up at the back of the aisle. For this wedding, I decided to have this camera slightly off to the side, out of the aisle and behind the seated area. There was plenty of space for this and it meant I wouldn't need to worry about moving it into position or out of position between Lesley and David's entrance/exit. The problem however was the the officiant had the guests all stand up during the ceremony for the majority of it! So this back camera was pretty useless in that position. I considered moving it mid-ceremony, but the officiant also had Lesley and David facing forward for the vast majority of the ceremony (my first wedding had the couple face each other throughout). This was something I was perhaps a bit naive to, in not knowing to ask the officiant how they would be positioning the couple throughout, but certainly a learning point for my future weddings (conveniently I had the same officiant at my fourth wedding so I knew how to expect that ceremony to go). Due to the lack of space elsewhere in the room, my second camera angle was also not really in a useful position - as it was off to the side, also blocked by the guests standing most of the time. With this being on a tripod, Lesley and David were so close to the front of the room, the position wasn't useable even with the tripod right up against the front wall. This left me a little frustrated as it meant I basically had to rely on my gimbal camera for almost all of the ceremony footage - this was the only camera I could get into a position to see Lesley's face. David's face was difficult to get as I felt I would have been too intrusive had I walked right across the centre to get round the other side, so I just did the best I could with what was a bit of a limited position. After the ceremony, we were off to Johnston Gardens for some photographs/group shots - but I was still a little annoyed/frustrated with how the ceremony had gone as it didn't go perfectly in terms of getting lots of different angles to work with.
I was very quiet throughout the entire time at Johnston Gardens - at one point Kelly (the photographer) even jokingly said "is Simon still here?!" and I was just trying to remember that I had the audio captured from the ceremony, and if I got enough good footage elsewhere, I could use my creativity to make a good highlights edit - but my frustration was still there. Fortunately I didn't let it show! At the time I didn't realise it, but once I got home and into editing, I feel I managed to get some really good footage from Johnston Gardens - I love using random leaves as foreground interest/something to reveal from or hide behind!
The speeches for this wedding were very low stress, as it was a small room, low numbers, and I was using my reliable little zoom H1 recorders to get the audio. Jim (Lesley's father) put in a brilliant speech which had a lot of funny moments in it so I was delighted with that as it was going to give me some options to be really creative later - little did he know that might involve catching some of his "epic dance moves" later on!! David also delivered a great speech, and his had a lot of emotion in it, so again I knew this was brilliant as it meant I could have a couple of different angles/themes to work with in the highlights video. I even got a mention in David's speech!!
Finally the reception (or should I say informal parents night!!). It started with the first dance, which went well although in a tighter room I maybe should have used my 50mm lens instead of the 85mm - again another learning point for future weddings in smaller venues. The dance floor took some time to start filling up, and initially I was getting a little worried we didn't have many guests who liked a bit of dancing! It did get going though and I managed to get some "epic dance moves" from not only Jim but others as well! Jim had no idea what I knew was definitely making the highlights video at this point!! As the night went on, it turned into a bit of a parents night with a few of the guests recognising me as their child's current/previous teacher! Fortunately I'd like to think I have a good relationship with the vast majority of pupils and parents, so it was all good natured and we had a laugh. One parent also declared "I want to vet anything you film of me before it goes in any video!!" It goes without saying that my target from then on was to make sure I got something good of her to put in! Not looking forward to the next parent's night!!
Once I felt I had got enough footage, it was off home after a second successful wedding on the whole. After editing, I can honestly say I am absolutely delighted with what I've managed to put together for this one. I tried to be a little more creative with this edit, and selected music to fit with the nature of the audio of the ceremony/speeches - and feel it has come together really well. I'm very proud of this edit!
You can see Jim's epic dance moves and more here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eBDHqaPMy00
Next up for me was an Elopement wedding at Dunnottar Castle!