In June last year I was delighted to film the wedding of Ellie and Peter in the beautiful area of West Wycombe in Buckinghamshire. The couple chose videography coverage starting at St Lawrence’s Church which sits on National Trust land with spectacular views of the surrounding villages. It’s well worth a visit! The church was wonderfully light and spacious meaning it was possible to get a really good perspective on events.Read More
Whoever you're planning to marry in the not-so-distant future, finding the right suppliers that suit you as a couple is an important consideration.
See my blog 'How to choose the perfect videographer for your same-sex wedding' over at The Big Gay Wedding Directory - I'm Mr September!
When Claire and Simon contacted me about potentially filming their wedding in Italy, it was an offer I couldn't refuse. Having made wedding films in Tuscany in previous years I knew it would be an outstandingly beautiful location which would be visually different to the films I make in the UK.
Prior to leaving, I met the couple to talk through the schedule and find out their expectations for the day and the details which were most important to them. Claire and Simon have two small children which, as well as the couple, were an important focus for their wedding video at Fattoria Mansi Bernardini.
I arrived in the town of Lucca with one full day clear before the wedding. I always recommend this as it allows time to re-arrange travel if there are any issues at the airports. It also means I can scope out the venue the day before and film any 'B roll' footage. In this case I filmed some aerial shots of the villas and the stunning landscapes meaning I could concentrate on filming people on the day itself.
In the afternoon, the couple met their guests for welcome drinks at Piazza Cittadella in Lucca where the groom's father works as an artist. This was covered as part of their videography package and serves as a fun, informal introduction to the weekend's events.
On the wedding day itself, Claire and Simon were both getting ready in different villas on the estate meaning I was able to jump between both properties and film bride and groom preparations simultaneously.
Then around lunchtime, guests gathered for an outdoor ceremony in front of Villa Bernardini before a lunch was served on the elevated terrace overlooking Lucca plain. The day before I rehearsed an aerial shot showing the side of the villa which allowed me to quickly set-up and film during the reception on the actual day.
One of Claire and Simon's ideas for the wedding day was that guests would be taken on a journey from one location within the estate, to another as the day progressed which I wanted to show in their wedding film. So after a surprise opera performance by some family friends, attendees were lead along a shaded path to the marquee which had been decorated by the florist and Gemma, the wedding coordinator.
After the meal, speeches and a brief dive into the swimming pool by a few friends, we then proceeded to the outdoor evening entertainment provided by the incredible band, Brightlights who had journeyed from France to perform at Claire and Simon's wedding.
Following their first dance to 'Stand by me' surrounded by a sea of sparklers, the evening swung into action with the dance floor packed for the entire duration.
Take a look at Claire and Simon's Italian adventure below!
If you're planning a destination wedding and are looking for a videographer to capture your family celebration to be viewed forever afterwards, get in touch and tell me about your plans.
Having filmed many weddings at South Farm since 2014, it's been incredible to watch the changes the venue has been making to further delight their couples and guests from season to season.
When I arrived to film the wedding of Fiona-Jayne and Christopher in March, I noticed new block-paving surrounding the house and gravel courtyard, making the venue more accessible for guests (and my roller bag!) The Granary has also had a makeover and now features a stylish bar too.
At South Farm, it's possible to have your ceremony off site, or alternatively you can get married in the outdoor Summerhouse or indoors the Old Dairy and barn. Even with a multitude of options, when it comes to wedding videography, the venue is merely the back-drop whilst my attention is placed on the couple and their guests. It's fair to say that no wedding is ever the same and I make sure every video is reflective of the couple, not a just a 'cookie cutter' video which looks identical to the last, just with a different pair of newlyweds!
September 2017 saw the wedding of Emma and Sam who fell in love after meeting at a dance music festival. Despite the weather threatening to move the ceremony indoors, Emma took a chance on an outdoor ceremony deciding shortly beforehand. South Farm were on standby with blankets and umbrellas if necessary, but they needn't have worried as the threatening clouds dissipated as their friends and family were seated.
Following their vows, Emma and Sam danced their way down the aisle as a rehearsal for their 'first dance' later that evening where the couple set the dancefloor on fire with a glittering performance. As wedding favours, guests were given a CD containing tracks that shaped their romance from their meeting up until that day.
In Spring 2018 it was the turn of Fiona-Jayne and her fiancé Christopher to exchange vows at the farm. The couple opted to include bride and groom preparations as part of their wedding film and the day started with the couple getting ready with their entourage in separate areas of the venue whilst guests gathered in the Old Dairy for the ceremony.
Christopher and Fiona-Jane have been a couple for over 11 years so it was a poignant moment when the bride entered the ceremony room in a blush-pink wedding dress by Naomi Neoh accompanied by her father. The couple opted to set-out the Old Dairy in a horse-shoe seating arrangement which created an intimate atmosphere for their close family and friends.
As is the usually the case with March there were some frequent showers, but this didn't stop us getting outside for a group photo and a couple-shoot later in the day. The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of their guests who partied the night away with OJ's Soul Band who provided uptempo classics loved by everyone.
Shout out to Liz Greenhalgh! You can see her photography from the wedding here. Hope to work with you again soon!
When speaking with clients, I'm often asked how I back-up recordings after a day's filming. Where in the past you used to see and hold a tangible cassette tape, these days all weddings are recorded to tiny SD memory cards which I still find quite a strange concept (even though I was not working during the tape era.) It seems like data can be erased or lost in a matter of moments on a tiny piece of plastic.
In this post I thought I would just explain my process for looking after your wedding footage during and after the wedding day. I should say, to start, that no system is infallable but it's my aim to follow a system which is as robust as humanly possible.
LOOKING AFTER YOUR WEDDING VIDEO FOOTAGE ON THE DAY
As years go by the capacity of memory cards has increased significantly. When I first started cards generally came in a maximum of 16GB which on my camera, recorded about 40 minutes of HD footage. These days cards come in sizes of 128-256GB and you can film for an entire day without having to change the card once.
Aside from the benefit of not needing to pause filming to swap over, the safest place for the cards is inside the camera. Although tough enough to withstand being driven over or chucked in a muddy puddle, using a single card could avoid me spending time at a wedding on my knees tweezing a memory card from a gap in a floorboard under a strobe light with guests dancing around me.
The negative aspect of larger memory cards is that all your eggs are in one basket. If one memory card fails, you have lost the entire day's filming. Luckily (touch wood) this has never happened in my time filming nearly 100 weddings. But here again, new technology can assist with reducing the risk that this holds.
I film weddings using the Panasonic GH5 and GH5s cameras which feature dual slot recording. This means that everything I record is being backed up to a second card simultaneously in the camera, meaning a card failure is not the end of the world. This combined with using very high quality SanDisk Extreme PRO cards means that I can be confident that your footage is safe.
Needless to say, I don't let the cameras out of my sight and always drive very carefully home on the evening of the wedding!
ONLINE BACKUP WITH BACKBLAZE
On return to my office, all footage from the wedding is immediately labelled and backed up to a 16TB vault drive which is stored in a locked cupboard. This data is then backed up to the cloud using the Backblaze service which encrypts and uploads your files to their secure data centre. If required, you can download the backed up files, or they post them back to you on a hard drive.
For a casual user, your data will back up quite quickly, however backing up 400GB of raw footage can take up to 5 days even with a fast upload connection, so this is a small window of extra risk where a fire / burglary could cause a loss. Although a concern, my weddings are mostly at weekends and I work from home during the week. I'm also lucky to live in a pleasant and safe neighbourhood! In a 'worse case scenario' I might have to start editing from scratch using the backed-up footage, but this is certainly a price worth paying,
If you're interested in cloud storage for personal use, backup plans start at $5 a month and you can get a month free by using this referral link
In addition to the 16TB vault drive and corresponding online back-up, I also make a second copy to a local hard drive meaning I have a back up if the 16TB fails in any way and avoids the hassle of retrieving the files from Backblaze and reduces the risk of loss if the wedding is still in the process of being uploaded to the cloud.
I also keep the wedding on the original memory cards and only delete these prior to the following wedding having cross-checked that each clip has been transferred.
Finally, I edit on an Apple iMac and the 'time machine' function makes a constant back-up of all the projects I'm currently working on. This is handy as if anything should happen to the computer, I can restore to a backup made earlier in the day and don't have to start from scratch.
POST DELIVERY OF THE WEDDING FILM
After the couple has received the film, original footage is stored locally and in the cloud for six months before being deleted to make space for new weddings. The finished edited clips are kept by me permanently as a fallback incase the customer loses their film. As I now deliver all my films on USB it's now easier than ever to make your own secure back-ups by copying for other family members or uploading to a cloud drive - I encourage everyone to do this!
I APPRECIATE THIS IS AN INCREDIBLY BORING BLOG POST
Whoever films or photographs your wedding, having a backup process is vital. The memory cards and raw footage are the most important part of the kit. Everything else can be replaced on an insurance claim, but we can't recreate your wedding day, there's only one chance! I understand that this won't be the most fascinating thing you've read all day but it's an important subject matter and something to check when booking a videographer for your wedding.
Leanne and Nathan could not have wished for more perfect weather on their wedding day in August 2017, which became one of the hottest days of the summer.
Getting ready at The Dower House within the grounds of the Estate, Leanne and her bridesmaids decided the best spot for their bridal preparations was outside in the courtyard which provided some lovely natural light for the makeup artist and for the introduction to their wedding film at Knowlton Court.
Whilst guests took their seats in anticipation of the outdoor ceremony, Leanne and her entourage were applying the finishing touches in the main house before walking up the aisle. The ceremony was filmed using three cameras all hidden out of sight. One at the rear and side of the aisle, with the main camera operated myself, which combined, captured the moment Leanne and Nathan took their vows in front of their friends and family.
During their wedding video, you'll also spot some aerial footage which was kindly supplied by Leanne & Nathan's friend and drone pilot, Rojie Carney. Rojie used the DJI Mavic Pro drone to capture some spectacular and skilfully shot scenes of Knowlton Court and the countryside. Once I'm CAA qualified (only several weeks away hopefully!) you'll start to see more aerial work within my films.
Following the ceremony, it was a quick change with the cameras for a religious blessing in the estate's on-site church before drinks and canapés on the lawn.
Leanne's family roots are Iraqi so guests enjoyed a Middle-Eastern feast for their wedding breakfast in the marquee a short distance from the house. As part of the evening entertainment an enchanting bellydancer also performed for the couple before the DJ provided tunes as the sun set late in the evening.
Still images supplied by award-winning photographer Andrew Billington. You can see some photos of the day on his blog post.
If you're looking for a wedding video at Knowlton Court for your own celebration, get in touch and tell me about your plans!
The end of a year is always a time to reflect on the previous twelve months and I've been so lucky to film a record number of weddings in 2017. To celebrate the year's newlyweds, I've compiled a selection of real and heartfelt moments from some of the many weddings I've filmed.
In 2017 I was lucky to return to South Farm, Langshott Manor and Farnham Castle - all beautiful venues where I've filmed previously. New locations included Notley Abbey, Wrest Park and Knowlton Court, to name but a few.
I was also pleased to film the wedding of Jonathan and Phil at The Gherkin. They rose to fame after their proposal video at London Pride went viral last Summer. Highlights from their wedding were broadcast on TVNZ in New Zealand where Jonathan is from. It was great getting to know the couple and of course, I was thrilled when my work was shown on television!
Looking forward to this year, I have my drone flight assessment at The Aerial Academy in Norwich in January meaning that means (finger's crossed) I'll be introducing aerial footage to some of my wedding videos this summer once I'm fully CAA certified. Until now, any drone footage has been supplied by external companies so it will be great to offer this myself in the future. Many thanks for those skilled drone pilots who helped me out in 2017!
As I write this, there are now just a handful of spaces left now for next year and I'm very excited to be filming an even more diverse range of weddings in 2018, from Kew Gardens, Villa Bernardini in Tuscany, Botleys Mansion, Hedsor House, plus many weddings hosted by families in their own homes.
Many thanks to all my couples who made my 2017 such a fantastic and memorable year.
Cheers to 2018!
South Farm Open Evening
Thanks to everyone who came to the South Farm Open Evening yesterday. Despite a few drops of rain and a persistent biblical gale, the event was a great success!
As well as discussing wedding videography with couples getting married at the farm, I was filming the event - you can see the video above.
It was great to also meet fellow suppliers from South Farm's recommended list
- Chris Jennings MC
- DJ Gary - South Farm house DJ
- Tom Halliday - Photographer
- Dapper Magician - Matthew Le Mottée
- The Sam Lewis Wedding and Party Band
- Fleur de Lace Wedding & Events, Decoration, Prop Hire, Hand-painted Signage
- Origins Floral
- Drives of Yesteryear
- Happi-nest - Wedding Creche
South Farm - The distinctly different wedding venue on the Cambridgeshire / Hertfordshire Borders.
I can't believe it's exactly a year ago since I filmed Jenny and Darren's wedding at The Hoste Arms in Burnham Market. It was lovely to be back in North Norfolk again as this is an area I know well having grown up in nearby Norwich.
Jenny and Darren chose The Hoste after visiting on a weekend break and it served as the perfect location for their intimate summer wedding by the coast. During the day I was accompanied by acclaimed Norfolk photographer Rob Dodsworth, you can see his images from the day here.
Whilst Jenny and Darren prepared for their nuptials in the bridal suite and nearby Railway cottages, I was able to prepare my camera equipment ready for the ceremony in the outside courtyard where I was able to subtly position microphones and two cameras at the rear to compliment my main camera I used at the front. After the ceremony in front of their friends and family, the couple were surprised by the arrival of a chimney sweep! I later found out that this is a 200 year old tradition and is a symbol of good luck on your wedding day.
After the drinks reception, guests enjoyed a wedding breakfast in the Garden Room consisting of locally sourced Norfolk produce. As the sun set, the guests gathered outside for sparklers which was the perfect finale to Jenny & Darren's wedding film in Norfolk.
It was a pleasure working with Jenny and Darren and I'd like to wish them a very happy first wedding anniversary. You can see their review and wedding film at The Hoste below.
As a wedding videographer I cover many areas of central, southern and eastern England and regularly provide wedding films in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex.
Hosting a wedding at home can be a daunting task, but when I arrived at Chloe's family home in Surrey to film her marriage to Mark last month, I arrived to a very relaxed atmosphere where everything was prepared and organised.
As the wedding reception and bridal preparations were taking place at the same location I was able to capture both the wedding party getting ready as well as the final finishing touches being made to the marquee and garden. Chloe has many talents including an artistic flair which you'll spot in the hand painted signs which feature in the wedding film. At the wedding I took a photo of Chloe's welcome sign and adapted it to use as titling in the video.
Following the wedding ceremony held at St Mary's Church in West Horsley, guests arrived back at the house to be treated by a performance by Berkshire Brass who were playing during the drinks reception in the garden. Despite being April, guests enjoyed several bursts of spring sunshine!
After dinner and speeches in the marquee the wedding party continued into the night with a band and Chloe and Mark's DIY photobooth in the summer house.
Whether you're getting married at the venue already or are looking for the perfect setting for your English country wedding, South Farm invites you to their open evening on Tuesday 6th June 2017 from 4pm until 8pm.
Entrance is free and staff will be on hand to guide you around the farm whilst offering complimentary canapés to visitors. There'll also be a chance to talk with local suppliers from South Farm's carefully curated wedding directory.
As one of South Farm's recommended videographers I'll have a stand displaying some of my recent wedding films for couples to view. If you're getting married at the venue and are looking for a wedding video to capture your occasion, come and say 'hello', tell me about your plans and check availability for 2017 / 2018 - you'll also see me at work as I'll also be filming during the evening.
South Farm is an exclusive use wedding venue situated in Shingay on the Cambridgeshire / Hertfordshire boarders. For more information about South Farm and the Open Evening on June 6th, see their blog post here. See you there!
When Lauren first contacted me about videography for her wedding at Botleys Mansion, it was clear that something truly incredible was in the making for her marriage to Joe at this beautiful country house in Surrey.
When I arrived at the bridal suite Lauren's family were so welcoming and by the end of the day I felt like her whole family had become personal friends! In planning the wedding, one of Lauren's key areas of focus were the lavish floral displays both in the church and in the house. You can read more about them on the NuBride blogpost 'Wedding Floral Extravagence: Botleys Mansion Wedding Flowers with Amie Bone Flowers'
After the ceremony at St Peter's Church in Chertsey, the guests were transported back to the Mansion in a vintage open top bus. Filming the guests on board was a challenging and harrowing experience as we passed under many low branches en route! Armed with honking horns and champagne, the passengers were in good spirits when we arrived back for the drinks reception.
In the week prior to the wedding Lauren's sister Christie called me to let me in on a secret performance she had planned during the speeches. At the end, guests took part in a specially written rendition of Pharrell's 'Happy' which came as a great surprise to Lauren and Joseph. At that point the conservatory was full of people and I knew it would be a challenge to film everything myself. Therefore I threw my full arsenal of cameras at the performance capturing it from every conceivable angle whilst I filmed each individual table as they joined in. It turned out well in the end!
Just as I thought things could not get any more unpredictable I caught wind of another surprise which would have totally caught me off guard, had I not known. Much to the total astonishment of everyone, Mary, the Bride's mother had arranged for Strictly Come Dancing stars Giovanni Pernice and (yet to be crowned) 2016 winner Joanne Clifton to perform at the reception. I knew that they would be appearing midway through the first dance and I wanted to capture the couple's reaction as they arrived whilst still filming the first dance as usual which is always an intimate moment for the couple. Again, backed up with some strategically placed cameras, I caught this moment as it happened. I love it when a plan comes together! It was such a fun day, made even better for working alongside acclaimed photographers Susie and Harley, you can see their stills from the day here
Having watched their Botleys Mansion wedding film at a special screening party, Lauren sent me these kind words in a card.
Honestly Andrew we can't thank you enough and we're not sure how you managed to be in so many places at the same time to capture it all! I'm certain it was not the easiest of jobs with all the impromptu speeches and songs! But you always looked so on the ball and we knew we were in safe hands - so thank you for providing us with so many memories we will always treasure. I do hope we will get to work together again in the not too distant future and thank you for sharing your incredible talent with us and helping our wedding memories live on!
Lauren & Joseph
Lauren and Joseph's wedding was an unforgettable day for all of us who attended, all thanks to Lauren who unbelievably planned everything herself - a future wedding co-ordinator in the making! Much love to the couple, wishing you many happy decades together!
Lauren & Joseph's wedding film at Botley's Mansion, Surrey.
After always saying how much I disliked drones at weddings, I've recently changed my mind. Over the last couple of years there has been a huge step forward in technology which has shaped the way these devices can be used. Until only recently drones have been large, noisy and the often shaky footage was mediocre quality at best. When I looked through wedding videos online using aerial footage it was mostly shoehorned in to add a sprinkling of 'epicness'. You can't help wonder whether guests thought they were under attack eating canapés whilst this machine buzzed loudly above them in the sky.
I've always tried to produce story-led wedding films which give a true and personal account of the day with the couple and their guests at the centre. This is surrounded by establishing outdoor shots of the location and snippets of the venue and decor to add context. When I watched videos featuring aerial shots, the high viewpoint was often ostentatious and powerful - similar to the aerial shots used of London in the BBC 'Apprentice' series. Impressive perhaps, but it was not the look I wanted in my videos.
Nowadays so many TV shows use drone videography that the viewer barely notices. It's no longer a tool to add drama, but a method of creating very smooth subtle movement shots from a viewpoint not possible if you were just holding the camera. With a strong story, I think aerial footage applied correctly will add an extra dimension to an already good production.
Recently I've filmed two weddings where drone pilots took aerial footage throughout the day and both were kind enough to give me their recordings on USB to use in the final wedding video.
At Alpheton Hall Barns in Suffolk, the owner Nick Willcocks flew his DJI Phantom 3 at Renu & Sachin's 2015 wedding reception. From the footage I used clips which I retimed and reframed. (from about 2 mins in)
Jenna and Jack had a team of aerial drone operators at their wedding using the DJI Inspire and DJI Phantom 4. I used the footage as an opening scene showing the Cambridgeshire countryside, a simple rising shot during the group photo and and a quick birds-eye view during the drinks reception.
I really appreciated receiving the aerial footage from these weddings and I'm now planning on filming aerial footage myself, allowing me to achieve a look that blends seamlessly into the style of videos I produce.
Introducing the DJI Mavic Pro
The DJ Mavic Pro is incredibly compact and folds to the size of a water bottle. It's size means it's quieter than previous models and features a 4K camera.
Of course you can't just get a camera like this, send it up into the sky and think it's going to give you amazing shots straight out of the box. Firstly in order to use the drone safely and within the law as a commercial operator, I'll need to accumulate 10 hours of test flying before undertaking a certification course allowing me to apply for a Permission for Commercial Operations (PfCO) from the Civil Aviation Authority. I'll also be practicing using the camera element to achieve different tracking shots and effects - expect to see me in the local park over the coming months.
How might aerial videography be used at my wedding?
It won't be possible to use the drone at every wedding I film. Obtaining aerial footage will mostly be possible at rural 'exclusive use' venues as laws restrict drone use in urban areas near traffic or near people who are not part of the production. The weather conditions and the timings of events throughout the day will also dictate which cameras I use.
Generally I expect to get some nice establishing shots of the venue before guests arrive and again at quieter times during the day if appropriate. If there's something happening with guests outside, the drone could provide an alternate view, but I'd want to keep filming as brief as possible as the propellors make a sound. It goes without saying that no one should be using a drone during an outdoor ceremony or speeches!
I'll be posting updates on the progress of my training over the coming months with the view that I'll start to introduce aerial footage in some of my videos towards the end of the summer.
December is a popular time to get married and it's clear to see why. People are winding down for Christmas and there's a general feeling of cheer and merriment in the air. Kathryn and Dominic captured the magic of the season in their festive wedding film at Gildredge Manor in Eastbourne.
As a videographer I've filmed many wedding videos in Kent and we started the day at Kathryn's parents home in Eastbourne where the bride and bridesmaid's prepared for the ceremony at the local church. At the ceremony the couple exchanged vows and the guests sung some classic Christmas hymns before the couple drove away in their cute decorated Fiat 500. Meanwhile the guests enjoyed a tour of the seaside town in a red routemaster bus.
At Gildredge Manor there was a chance for Dominic and Kathryn to pose for a few couple photos before joining their guests at the cocktail reception. The venue was beautifully decorated by the couple who created a romantic atmosphere by using twinkling candles, Christmas trees and a jazz singer who entertained the guests.
After an intimate wedding breakfast and speeches, Kathryn and Dominic rounded off the evening with some sparklers outside before partying the night away. It was a pleasure to work with the new Mr + Mrs Douglas and I was delighted to receive a lovely card in the months after!
Although it's currently April and spring is in the air, if you're planning a winter wedding and are looking for a wedding videographer to capture the magic of your occasion - get in touch and tell me about your plans and ideas!
When I first met Carl and Rebecca in London to discuss their plans, I knew filming their wedding was going to be a lot of fun. Their happy and relaxed demeanour creates a very natural and fun wedding film at The Hop Farm in Kent.
The Hop Farm near Tonbridge caters for both indoor and outdoor ceremonies and on 3rd June it was touch and go which it was going to be. As the hour of the wedding approached it seemed as though the ceremony would be held within the venue's converted oast barn when it started to rain. However in the final minutes before the ceremony the sun began to appear and the bride and groom made the call to take their vows outside. The wedding planners at the farm were excellent in allowing this kind of flexibility and the punt paid off - it remained dry and sunny for the rest of the day.
It was a pleasure to work alongside the photographer Jamie Flood who captured the occassion beautifully - you can see some pictures he took of the occasion here.
If you're looking for a Kent wedding videographer, get in touch and tell me about your plans.
Rebecca and Carl's wedding video at The Hop Farm, Kent.
As a wedding videographer my aim is to capture a true account of your wedding day with you and your guests being their happy, natural selves. I don't set up any staged shots such as making you and your partner run towards each other in slow-motion or enforce a game of peek-a-boo behind a tree - It's a bit cheesy, not real and stops you from enjoying the time with your family and guests.
I will film the day and remain in the background, but these simple wedding film tips can help give your finished production a little visual boost.
- Natural Light Although I arrive at your wedding with lenses that can create a fantastic image even in low-light situations, natural light is always best. If you’re having your bridal preparations filmed, find an area near a large window or use a conservatory if at home. Letting natural light fill the room is the best thing you can do to make yourself look great on film.
- Clear up stuff Make sure there is nothing unnecessary in the background of your film. Put a bridesmaid, groomsman or helper in charge of making sure any debris (plastic bags, drink cartons etc) are cleared away from your preparation area whilst you are getting ready. Likewise, at the reception, ask the catering staff to do a full sweep of the head table before speeches commence. Removing excess glasses and bottles gives the videographer a full, clean view. If not, you will notice these objects in your film!
- You are never in the way Tell the wedding party and your guests not to worry about moving away from the camera, I will move around you. My greatest aim is to create a natural looking film and the best way to do this is when people move around freely.
- Relax I will never use a shot where you don’t look your absolute best. If you find yourself sneezing, eating, talking to a friend about a guest’s questionable taste in hats, it won’t be in the final film. I shoot hours and hours of footage so only the very best bits will make it into the final cut.
- Top Table Lighting As you’ll be the focus during the speeches, consider the lighting where you are seated. In low light, having some extra candles on the table will provide a flattering uplight and gives a natural and romantic effect to your video.
- Chewing Gum I love chewing gum, it has breath-freshening qualities and for people giving up smoking, the nicotine variety can really help kick a habit. However, it doesn't look great in your wedding film. If possible, spread the word amongst the bridesmaids and groomsmen to avoid this activity during the wedding day. Of course you can't tell your guests to ditch the gum and I will always avoid using shots of guests doing this!
Much of my wedding film business comes from recommendations from former clients. So when Jo contacted me about her church ceremony and marquee reception in the garden of her family home last May, I knew we had met before.
In 2014 I filmed the wedding of Emma to her husband Ian at Hengrave Hall, Suffolk and in 2015 the marriage of Sarah to Charlie at the The Tythe Barn, Oxfordshire. Jo was a bridesmaid at both Emma and Sarah's weddings and now it was their turn to help and assist Jo at her marriage to Brendan in May 2015.
As a Buckinghamshire wedding videographer, Jo and Brendan's wedding in the villages of Little Kingshill and Prestwood was close by so I was able to attend the rehearsal in the week before. The church was going to be filled to capacity on the day with family and friends, not to mention the string quartet and trumpeter, therefore it was a really useful opportunity to plan my camera placement. It was also important to the family that video coverage was as un-intrusive as possible, especially during the church ceremony. With this in mind, I was able to completely hide two cameras behind the font at the rear which gave a clear view up the aisle, but were unnoticeable from the front. Meanwhile I was able to capture a clear view of the nuptials from the side near the musicians.
I'm always impressed by couples who host their own weddings and at Jo's parents home they had the most incredible marquee in the garden which incorporated a bar area with seats to relax, a dance floor, banqueting tables and a kitchen area. Jo created all the decorations and also a special motif which featured on the stationery, her pyjamas and even the cushion covers! The dedication shown by Jo and Brendan to the details of their wedding are an integral part to their film. It's rare that a family home hosts an occassion such as grand as Jo and Brendan's wedding so it was a great opportunity to create a production that captures both the sentimental location and the joining of two families at this unique moment in time.
Although there was a few brief moments of rain on the day, this didn't dampen the spirits of the guests who celebrated with Brendan and Jo at a truly distinctive occassion - a testament to all the hard work and planning by the couple and their families.
See Jo and Brendan's testimonial about my wedding videography here
March 2016 saw the marriage of Stephanie and David who planned a wedding which played tribute to their love of all things Disney, Harry Potter and Starwars! During the organisation process I had a couple of Skype chats with the couple where we talked about their hopes and expectations for the day and my ideas for their wedding videography at Mountains Country House in Kent.
The day started with the bridal preparations at the family home in Essex. Stephanie told me that her dogs were very special to her so I made sure they featured in the wedding film, even though they couldn't make it to the ceremony at Mountains.
During the day I worked alongside photographers Laura Debourde and Marianne Chua and you can see many of their photos of the day in the feature by Whimsical Wonderland Weddings. We had such a good time that we were even persuaded into the Photo Booth at the end of the evening!
In the feature, the couple also spoke about their reasons for hiring a wedding videographer and how they came to choose Andrew Collin Wedding Films - an excerpt below.
It was really lovely to get to know Stephanie and David and provide a bespoke videography package that catered for their exact requirements. As they approach their first wedding anniversary, I'm sure they'll be watching their wedding film at Mountains Country House again to celebrate the occasion. If you'd like to find out more about their wedding, including photos, suppliers and the story behind their wedding film, check out the feature on whimsical wonderland weddings
Planning a wedding requires making many creative decisions and organisation, however when some of your plans are surprises for your guests there's also the task of keeping secrets to be revealed on the day. Having had several conversations with Matthew I was able to plan filming to capture these and also the reactions from the guests.
Before the helicopter landed carrying Matthew and Stephen, I set up cameras pointing towards the sky and also pointing towards guests gathered having drinks on the terrace. I really wanted to capture the reaction of Matthew's mum and also the boys exiting when it landed which required a quick dash from the house to the field. I think this came out pretty well, although for the future I learned that the blow-back from a helicopter is very strong. Luckily there was a quick moment for me to re-do my hair before the ceremony.
Following the marriage vows in the Queen's Gallery, guests enjoyed champagne and canapés in the courtyard. During this time I filmed the children playing, adults chatting as well as the photoshoot taking place nearby. Taking a step back means I can capture many natural moments without guests feeling like they're being filmed or observed.
After the wedding breakfast everyone gathered outside for sparklers, but were totally surprised by a spectacular firework show. When filming fireworks, you never know quite what will happen but I wanted to film as much of it as possible. For this part I used several cameras, one locked on a statue of a deer so you could see the fireworks as the background, a wide-angle on the entire display which left me to get shots of the couple and the guests.
A really fun day which will remain in their families' memories for many years to come. You can see Matthew and Stephen's Gosfield Hall wedding film below. Organising something special and out of the ordinary? Let me know - tell me about your plans.
I've been lucky enough to film two weddings at South Farm and it's a venue I really like and admire. The quality of the service and facilities are flawless, but the farm still has a natural charm which is neither pretentious or ostentatious.
From 2017 I'm pleased to join the supplier list of recommended wedding videographers for South Farm. There are many benefits to the wedding couple for choosing suppliers who have worked at the venue previously. As a videographer I know the best locations to film and where to set up my cameras for the ceremony and speeches. Furthermore, I reside close to the farm and have a good relationship with the staff at the venue.
Even though I've filmed at some wedding venues several times, no wedding is ever the same and every couple requires a different approach to make a wedding film that's unique to their occasion and personality. When looking for a videographer it's wise to look at many providers and find a videographer with a style that fits with you as a couple, whether that's from the a venue's recommended supplier list, a recommendation from a friend or a photographer, or a videographer who has examples on their website of a style and quality that you like.
If you're looking for a South Farm wedding videographer, or if you're getting married at one of the many other fantastic venues locally in Hertfordshire and Cambridgeshire get in touch and tell me about your plans