While not all of our packages include a full length video of the ceremony, we still record the full ceremony with at least two cameras. We do this so we have the special moments of the ceremony for your highlight video, but also so you have the option of adding the full ceremony video later (up to one year after your wedding date).
Watching ceremony videos can give you an idea of where the cameras can be, but this article is to help you understand what’s included and what you can add on.
Here’s a detailed layout of how we typically set up for and capture wedding ceremonies at venues that do not have limitations on where we can go during the ceremony. Some churches will limit the photographer and videographer from moving to different positions during the ceremony or requiring that we stay behind the very back pew or row of seating. Be sure to check with your venue about any rules they have and let us know before the wedding, preferably in the questionnaire that we send 30 days before your wedding. Many churches will require that we sign an agreement or list of rules before we’re allowed to attend. It’s up to you to make sure this is sent to us to review and return to the church.
If your venue has limitations, some of the setup will change from what is described below. Let us know so we can plan the best places for our cameras.
I’ll start with how our single videographer coverage is set up and then show how additional cameras or an additional videographer can help with your wedding ceremony video.
We start with a camera at the back of the venue, usually on the right side of the aisle. We call it the “wide shot” or “safe shot”, because it’s the angle that we’ll cut to if the other camera(s) gets blocked, needs a new battery or memory card or if the videographer is moving to a different position. This camera is on a very tall stand (about 8-9′), which is to reduce the chances of the view being blocked by guests standing or the photographer being in the aisle (notice that the photographer is in the example below, but not blocking the view of the couple?). This camera is unattended, but we try to check it during the ceremony, in case a guest accidentally moves it, but we can’t always make it back there to check.
The second camera is the “A” camera, which is attended by the lead videographer.
For the processional, the lead videographer usually kneels down in front of the first pew or row of seating on the right side of the aisle and records as the wedding party walks in. Kneeling is important so that we’re not blocking anyone’s view and limiting our visibility to our other camera(s) or the photographer. We try to stay out of the photos and videos captured on the wedding day, but sometimes we’re seen.
A note we like to add that will help us capture the processional: We want to make sure we’re getting video footage of each member of the wedding party as they walk in. If they’re too close to one another, we may not be able to adjust focus or even see them before they walk by. Please ask your coordinator (or whoever is sending your wedding party down the aisle for the processional) to allow at least 10 feet between each of your wedding party’s procession. As they walk, they should be aware of their speed, keeping pace with whoever is walking before them, so they’re not getting closer to who is ahead of them. If this doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world! We’ll just have to use the wide/safe angle.
The same applies for the recessional.
As the bride (or groom) approaches the altar, the lead videographer will continue recording as he or she stands and slowly moves to the right side.
When the officiant begins and the lead videographer will move out to the side aisle on the right to frame the bride’s (or groom’s) face for the vows.
We try to move far enough back to see the ring exchange, as well as the officiant’s face, but this isn’t always possible.
IMPORTANT: If you’re planning to have a special tradition, such as blending sand, unity candle, etc; LET US KNOW! Not just that you’re having it, but WHEN during the ceremony it will be.
This will affect whether we’re able to capture these moments adequately.
After vows, ring exchange and any special traditions that we’re aware of, the lead videographer will move to the back of the aisle (usually next to the photographer, as to not block their shot and not allow them to block ours) to record your first kiss as a married couple! Yes, we’re just as excited as you are!!
The officiant will announce you and the lead videographer will record your recessional, including the wedding party and immediate family.
A note we like to add that will help us capture the recessional: As mentioned above for the processional, we want to make sure we’re getting video footage of everyone as they walk out. If they’re too close to one another, we may not be able to adjust focus or even see them before they walk by. Please inform your wedding party and family to wait until those walking out before them have reached the end of the aisle before they join in the center and begin walking. If the aisle is considerably long, have them wait until those walking out before them reach the middle of the aisle. This will allow us to get everyone’s face as they walk out. If everyone is close to one another, it’s difficult to adjust focus before they’ve walked past us, which will result in blurry/unusable footage. We want to make sure we’re getting video footage of each member of the wedding party as they walk out. If they’re too close to one another, we may not be able to adjust focus or even see them before they walk by. As they walk, they should be aware of their speed, keeping pace with whoever is walking before them, so they’re not getting closer to who is ahead of them. If this doesn’t happen, it’s not the end of the world! We’ll just have to use the wide/safe angle.
Additional Videographers & Unattended Cameras
Two cameras for ceremony is often sufficient, but you may want additional angles for special traditions or just to see more than one of your faces during ceremony. The lead videographer can only capture the person on the left side of the altar (as shown above), so if showing the person on the right side of the altar is important to you, you can add a third camera (unattended). This camera is placed on the left outer aisle and framed to where the person on the right of the altar should be standing, but because we set up before the ceremony, the framing may be slightly off. There’s a slight chance that someone could stand in front of this camera (yes, it happens 😭, see below) or someone could bump into the camera, changing the framing and/or focus.
Fortunately, the guest was only standing for a moment and our lead videographer’s shot was great.
Additional cameras can be placed in other places as well, such as in the arbor/chuppah, near the table for the unity sand/candle or with the wide/safe camera, but more zoomed in, to give a view of the bride or groom’s reaction as his or her betrothed walks in (example shown below).
As you can see above, unattended cameras can result in missed moments for various reasons. An additional videographer nearly eliminates the chances of that happening. Not only can the videographer adjust framing and focus when needed, he or she will move to different places (where permitted), similar to how the lead videographer moves after the processional.
In most cases, the second videographer starts at the back of the aisle, generally on the right side and pans the camera as the processional happens.
After the processional, the second videographer will move to the left outer aisle and frames on the person standing on the right side of the altar.
It’s no fun watching your ceremony if you can’t hear what’s being said, so capturing great audio is EXTREMELY important.
Our packages include two (2) recorders with lavalier microphones, one for the officiant and traditionally, one for the groom.
If there are two grooms or two brides, you may decide which of you will wear the microphone. What your wedding day attire consists of may make this decision easy, as it’s much easier to clip the mic to a jacket lapel and place the recorder in the jacket’s inside pocket or clip it to a belt.
If you’re both wearing dresses, we can bring an adjustable band (similar to a garter) to clip the recorder to and clip the mic to the dress before you put it on (don’t worry, it’s way easier than it sounds, but we want you to feel comfortable, so feel free to send us any questions you may have). Please let us know before the wedding, so we can bring the necessary equipment. In most cases, you will be facing one another for your vows or letter readings, so the person not wearing a microphone will be picked up by the person who is. If you’ll be apart when speaking, you may want to add an additional audio recorder.
Will you have readings, singers or musicians during your ceremony? If so, there are a few options for additional audio recorders.
Scripture and poetry readings are often done at a podium or stationary microphone. Rather than each person reading, we would put a single recorder at the podium (often sleeved with the microphone that is provided by the venue or DJ). This allows us to capture the sound directly from who is speaking.
Can you record from the DJ or Venue’s equipment during the ceremony?
Yes, but only as a back-up source. Most of the venues and DJs we work with are FANTASTIC, but even the best in the business can experience technical difficulties.
If those occur, our audio recording can be affected and TBC