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Thread: wedding filming question

  1. #1

    Default wedding filming question

    Hi Guys & Girls,

    First of all let me introduce myself, my name is Chris and I am a VFX artist who has decided to jump ship and set up a wedding cinema business.

    I have been slowly building up my equipment, knowledge and editing techniques ect, and am planning for my first wedding which is booked for Feb 2015. However, today I was sent an email from the client which is actually from the registrar regarding the ceremony.

    This email states that if the couple are planning on having the wedding filmed, only one camera (static) and one camera man (static) is allowed at the ceremony. This email seemed to me to be more guidlines than orders but my question is, is this a usual email to be sent from the registrar/venue, are rules like these adhered to and if so, how is it best to go about filming a compelling ceremony with only one camera?

    Would love to hear from anyone who has had this kind of problem or anyone with some advice.


  2. #2


    These aren't (UK) carved in stone, more . . . registrar's personal preferences, probably based on a poor experience with the band of wandering minstrels known as 'The arty hand held guys'.
    These muppets are a huge distraction in any ceremony and no doubt think everyones watching them 'being arty' when everyone should really be concentrating on the ceremony itself. Hence the restrictions on any professional covering a wedding at the same venue/registrar afterwards.
    My solution would be to arrive in plenty of time and offer the hand of reassurance to the registrars. Explain you will have both cams on a tripod and won't be moving from the allocated spot at all during the ceremony and won't film the 'live' signing of the register either. (I always do anyway, but on a wide shot and looking nonchalantly elsewhere).
    Once they accept you are genuine and keep to 'their rules', they may allow you a little leeway and allow other serious video producers a little slack too Good luck!!
    My opinions are just that . . . Mine. It's not personal, but is based on my emotional and professional reaction to requested critique. If you choose to ignore constructive comments, I'll just assume you're a vanity poster and not posting to improve your filming and editing skills.

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  3. #3


    I'd like to echo everything Zero said.

    I've shot hundreds of weddings (I've now shot my last one!!) and have never had a problem, once I let them know I was there to act professionally and not cause any distraction.

    When ever I meet the vicar / rector / priest / registrar for the first time I'd introduce myself, and before they get chance to say anything about their rules I'd tell them I want to be totally discreet, (and the next bit is important) NOT move around, not make a sound and never cause a distraction, as long as I can get in a good place to film I'm good to go.

    Almost without exception they'd ask me where I wanted to be and I had the pick of the place, much to the chagrin of the photographer who turned up late, scruffy and was banished to the back and told to be quiet and not move. I even had one Catholic priest who told the photographer to wait outside the church, he couldn't come in and take any photos during the ceremony, yet I'd placed three cameras around the place.

    Only once did a (lady) vicar say to me, just one camera, right at the back, don't move, not even one inch or I'll stop the ceremony and throw you out. Same to the photographer Hmmm.... OK, no problem I said at the rehersal, but what I actually did was bring in two cameras and put them so close together she didn't notice, one wide and one close and got everything I needed. I had the same vicar two years later, she remembered me and said you know the rules, I remember from last time, do what ever you did before and we'll be good - so this time I brought three cameras (one at the front this time), told here that's what we'd done last time and she was good to go! Yay!

    Basically, if you're genuine about being discreet, turn up smart (not jeans and T-Shirt) and do what you say you'll do, don't push it, and I've found registrars to be very friendly.

    Also to echo what Zero said about the muppets, one vicar was very nervous about having video in the church. Only one month before he'd had a videographer with a mechanics trolly, the ones they use to slide under cars..... well basically he'd got on one of these and slowly slide down the isle on it backwards to try to get an 'under' shot of the bride and groom exchanging rings!!! He had stopped the ceremony and thrown him out.

    So, don't go pushing it, explain to the B+G you will get the absolute best you can within the rules you are given and they will love what ever you can given them. Make it steady (not hand held), well exposed and even more importantly, get good audio (lav mic on groom's label and another recorder hidden in the flower on the table if they have them). Poor video can from time to time be forgiven if there's good reason, poor audio can't.
    Last edited by David Partington; 10-17-2014 at 11:33 PM.

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