How to get the most out of your DIY wedding video

Wedding videography. It’s one of those things that you know you want (without video, toasts tend to be lost to the ages), but for a lot of us, it’s just not in the budget to pay a professional. So, then what?

The team from Highlight Videos  – which hires out cameras for DIY wedding videography and then turns the footage into videos – has edited thousands of hours of footage and shares their tips on how you can get the most of your DIY wedding video.


Let there be absolutely no confusion as to who will be primarily filming at your wedding. Even if you’re asking a friend or relative, you want to make sure to have a clear conversation with them about being your “primary videographer.” They can make sure they capture key moments like the ceremony and speeches. Then, have a bridesmaid, groomsman or relative, wander around the reception with another camera.

Guests are relaxed by then, so they don’t mind the camera being there. And it works wonderfully because the person filming is already part of the celebration. So they can do little interviews, ask people to share advice, get great shots of clapping and cheering and also capture the fun stuff, like people having a laugh or the couple’s mothers on the dance floor after they’ve had a few champagnes. The dance moves can be quite amazing.


A tripod is an absolute must-have piece of equipment no matter what camera you are using to film your wedding day (seriously, this might be the most important of our wedding videography tips). One of the biggest things that ruin handheld video is the very fact that it is handheld. Basically—it’s shaky, unstable, and makes everyone watching it get motion sickness. Any video that is going to be longer than forty-five seconds should be done with a tripod. Speeches, vows, the kiss, all best filmed with a steady camera. Fortunately, most cameras have a universal attachment and will work with most tripods, big and small.


Video by Highlight Videos

Your friend that will be doing the video needs to know that the ultimate goal is to have steady, usable footage. They’re not responsible for making an artful or cinematic movie of your wedding day. They just need to put the camera in a spot that captures what’s going on and make sure it’s recording. Unless they have experience with video camera work, then they should move the camera as little as possible when it’s filming. Sure if the subject moves out of the frame, follow them or zoom out—slowly—but the overall goal is to not move the camera at all. So no moving back and forth between people speaking and no attempts at anything resembling an action shot. Their filming should feel like it’s “just the facts.”


Video by Highlight Videos

Since your friend that’s doing the video won’t be moving that much, they probably won’t get in the way of your photographer. If you’ve hired a professional photographer, then they will most likely be happy to give tips on where the best spot is for your friend to set up their camera. This will also ensure that your photographer knows to generally stay out of the video camera’s line of sight. Ideally, your photographer will work with your friend doing the video as if they’re team—because they are!


Image by My Heart Skipped Wedding Photography 

The only thing worse than having shaky handheld video is being unable to hear anything being said. We’ll watch a bad video with good sound, but we won’t watch a good video with terrible sound. The easiest way to make sure your camera is picking up sound is to position it close enough that you can hear the person speaking. Unless everyone is talking into a microphone that’s blasting through speakers, don’t position the camera far away from the action. If you can hear the person well then the camera probably can too, and that’s how close you need to position your camera on it’s tripod.


Hit the record button at the beginning of the ceremony and don’t hit stop until long after the ceremony is over. Hit the record button before the first dance starts and don’t hit stop until thirty seconds after the first dance is over. Hit the record button before… well, you get the idea. What you want are complete clips of each event from start to finish. No cuts in the middle and no missing sections. Even if the camera has to move to a better spot, just keep recording. One continuous take even with a small section of blurry movement is better than possibly missing something important.


Video by Highlight Videos

If your friend made complete recordings of each exciting event at your wedding then the editing process becomes super easy. Ceremony footage? You just need to decide when you want it to fade in to start and then fade out to end. Since it’s just one clip you don’t need to line up audio and overlap multiple clips together to make a usable shot. It’s basically done and you just need to decide when you want the video to start and end. If you’ve used Snapchat, or Vine, or Instagram then you’re already doing this type of video editing.

If you’re wanting to synchronise shots to music, or have smart edits between scenes, or if your friend just feels there’s a bit too much pressure to make a video, then you can always get a professional to edit the footage.


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