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How to Shoot Great Wedding Videos: Complete Beginner's Guide

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Mar 27, 2024• Proven solutions

Every videographer dreams to cover a wedding but a good number of them usually fail miserably. This is indeed a sore realization given that you have only one chance to take the perfect shot and there are no retakes like in the other forms of shootings. The videographer thus has a noble duty of ensuring they don't just capture good shots but also the best highlights of the day to remind the couple and inform generations to come about that one special day. Maybe this is something you hope to make:

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Presented here is a complete beginner guide that anyone can use to become an instant pro at shooting wedding videos.

The Couple's Expectations and Promises

It's not possible to capture every minute of the wedding and this is one thing your clients or the couple need to know. Don't explode their expectations by promising to cover everything but rather let them understand the important parts that you will be covering. These include the preparation, the ceremony and the reception. As a matter of fact, most wedding videos usually last between 45 minutes to about three hours and this is not adequate to cover every second of the event.

Decide on Your Equipment and Style

Essential equipment for a wedding shoot includes a camera, tripod, headphones, batteries, video tape microphone and probably different kinds of lenses. You also need other nonessential but highly recommended items such as on-camera lights, half-bowl tripod and a wireless microphone. You may be tempted to carry the whole lighting kit but this is not recommended since you need to be light and very mobile during the video shoot. Besides, using the available light will be less invasive and give natural results as compared to incorporating professional video lighting.

The tripods and monopods are a must have as they will come in handy and help in stabilization to avoid shaky shoots. They will also be useful in holding the cameras in the right posture if the ceremony goes for long and your hands become tired. Equally important are the various kinds of lenses you will use. Decide on the suitable lenses with the appropriate focal lengths and apertures. These should be dictated by the style you will adopt for the shooting.

Getting the Right Shots

Once you have your equipment ready and you have settled on the preferred shooting style, it's time to get the cameras rolling! As the videographer, you should not get to the venue with the wedding parties at the same time. You need to arrive early and consult with the wedding planner or the officiating clergy over the wedding program.

The essence of this is to let you know where both the bride and the groom will enter the venue, the various sitting arrangements and if there is any special activities out of the normal planned during the day. With this information, you will decide on the best places to have the cameras stationed and you will also know where you should be and at what time to get the best shoots. As a tip, always have the wedding program with you.

During the Ceremony

Before the ceremony begins, you need to have your camera trained at the entry which will be used by the bride and the groom. Ideally, you need to set up somewhere behind the alter so that you get good and direct shots of the parties as they walk in. Before the parties make their entry, be sure to take some close up shots of the decorations, the flowers and part of the audience.

While the parties make their entry, shoot them while they are walking down the aisle. Do not follow each individual with the camera unless they are doing something unique worth capturing alone. Otherwise, be in a fixed place and take medium shots while allowing each one walk in and out of your focal point.

On capturing the bride's entrance, you should have the cameral already focused at her entrance. As she walks down the aisle, take medium shots of her. Once she gets to the alter and exchange pleasantries with the groom then walks towards the officiating clergy, change your position to either left or right of the alter. This is where you will get the best shots of the bride and the groom especially when they will be exchanging the vows.

Here are some of the shots you should never miss during the actual ceremony-:

  • Bride's entry as she walks down the aisle
  • The groom when he first lays his eyes on the bride
  • The vows
  • The Kiss
  • The newlyweds as they walk back after exchanging the vows.

The Reception

The reception is usually a bit casual with a lot of funny things worth capturing. It is recommended that you get to know the reception venue beforehand and decide on the best places for you to set up your equipment. Be sure to capture all the highlights such as the couple's entry into the venue, the cutting of the cake, the toast, first dance and also the bouquet toss. Don't forget to take some close shots of the venue, the registration book, the cake before they cut it, the table settings, the invitations and any other thing which might look conspicuous and worth capturing.

It is also recommended that you don't give much attention to people eating or messing up themselves with food. It would be embarrassing for such people to see themselves once the video is out and your conduct and professionalism may be doubted.

Follow the Photographer

Finally, it would be a good idea to follow the photographer. During the ceremony and the reception, the photographer will take certain posed photos and this would be a good chance for you take candid video of the party as well as the newlyweds. Again, you can take advantage of the photographers and take a few seconds poses after they take their shots.


Once you have the raw shots from the field, the final video will be determined with the kind of editing you will have to make. This needs to be in a structured manner to keep the story flowing and follow the chronological order of events for that day.

In order to have a fine output, it is important to invest in a decent and professional video editing software. There are a quite a number you can use including Filmora Video Editor, AVS Video Editor, Adobe Premier Elements, Final Cut Pro X, iMovie and many others.

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While editing, be careful not to use copyrighted images, video clips or background music. Only use the royalty free ones or the ones which you have or have obtained copyrights for. A simple search on Google will reveal to you a plethora of sources where you could find the royalty free materials for marketing

Ultimately, you need to remember that this is the most important day in the couple's life. Respect and professionalism must go hand in hand. Strive at all times and dedicate your thoughts, efforts and energies in getting the best shots. At the end of the day, you will have a wedding video that the couple will love and you will always be proud of your work and contribution to the success of the big day.

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Shanoon Cox
Shanoon Cox is a writer and a lover of all things video.
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Shanoon Cox

staff Editor