Ask the Videographer – Part 3

In the old Paul Newman movie Cool Hand Luke, there’s a famous line delivered with heavy sarcasm: “What we have here, is a failure to communicate.” Sarcasm aside, it is so important for a bride to communicate with the people charged with capturing the big day on camera. (We’re going on talking about the videographer, but much of it applies to your photographer, too.)

Over the last two weeks we’ve talked about Meeting #1 with your videographer. We’ll call it the “Screening Meeting”, when you get to ask lots of questions as you decide if this person is right for you… can do the job you expect and hope for. This week, let’s assume you’ve chosen the man or woman who’ll be recording your wedding on video and made a down payment.

Now it’s time for Meeting #2, the “Get Down to Brass Tacks” meeting, and in this one the videographer gets to question you. (If for some reason it’s not being initiated on their end, call them up and get it scheduled.) You’ll want to set this meeting fairly close to your wedding, when you have pinned down almost everything.

Here’s some of what he or she will want to know:

1. When do you want the videography to start? A few couples want just the ceremony. Most want the reception covered too. And more and more brides today ask for coverage to begin well BEFORE the wedding—including arrival at the venue, preps, First Look and more.

2. At what point in your ceremony do you want the video to start, and will you want to see just highlights, or everything that happens from when the music begins to when the guests stand up to leave? An experienced videographer will not miss the big moments, but will be editing in-camera to an extent and approach those two end products differently.

3. Also, every ceremony is different and they can’t read minds unless they are informed. Will you be doing anything unique during your ceremony? This is increasingly important as brides and grooms tailor their vows and add custom touches and music choices. For instance, if you, your new spouse and your offspring are all going to pour sand into a central vial, the videographer would like to know that’s going to happen as it involves moving gear, changing angle, refocusing etc.

3. The same goes for the reception. ESPECIALLY the reception! Anything can happen at a reception: if you know ahead of time that you, your attendants or your great-uncle have something planned, please share with your videographer. He’s very good at keeping your secrets but he’d also like to anticipate those special moments to be sure to capture them when they happen!

4. Toasts. Ah, toasts. Always a wild card, even at the best-planned wedding. The matron of honor may break down and be unable to finish. The father of the bride may spontaneously jump to his feet to offer a toast no one was expecting. The DJ or emcee may jump the gun and introduce the wedding party or start the toasts before he’s supposed to, (and of COURSE while the photographer is changing lenses or the videographer is changing batteries.) Somebody’s toast may go long. (Somebody ALWAYS goes long.) The good videographer will roll with all this. But please, help ‘em out. TELL ALL you know about how the toasts will happen.

5. Which traditional reception events are you doing, which are you not doing, and what do and don’t you want captured? Announcement of the bridal party? Cutting the cake is inevitably covered, but do you also want garter toss, bouquet toss, etc? Or no? Maybe what matters most to you to see after the fact is your guests having fun. Will you want on-camera comments from your guests – well wishes, advice for a happy life, love and kisses? Be sure to ask for that!

Come prepared when your videographer asks you these questions, and then be ready for a relaxed and wonderful day – and the wonderful video to follow!