To shoot a wedding video takes decent equipment and a lot of practice/preparation.

I recently shot my brother in laws video and while stressful it was rewarding. This is what I discovered: 


1) Read your camera manual and identify white balance features and quality settings shoot on best quality and hopefully use automatic functions. It really is hard to change on site. I also lowered zoom speed. Remember don’t pan or zoom often and when you do go slowly.

2) Practice in same lighting as church and reception.

3) Set up a script for finished video such as:

a. View of outside church pan down and zoom out from steeple. 10 seconds for overlay of title

b. Bride gets ready. close moments with mother in church makeup room.

c. Groom Arrive and gets buttoner pined on by mom in lobby…

Watch many wedding videos on you tube and copy what you like. My initial script is to long to print and while it changed having a script allowed me a more professional production.

4) Attend rehearsal the ideal setup is a camera on stage on far right slightly back so it can get brides face (she will be looking towards the groom or the paster so towards you) attending rehearsal allows you to find a sweet spot to get best coverage. I asked the pastor where do you want me this befriended him and he really told me were to shoot. I somtimes leaned on the wall watching my view screen with my camera on the tripod people say I blended in to the background. During the rehearsal often the groom blocks the bride mention it and they will adjust slightly. Talk to wedding planner or MC and make sure all lights are on all the time and cameras on tripods are not to be moved or blocked (My 2nd camera was blocked by doors closed). Watch video of rehersal and adjust settings if necessary. 

 Start filming

1) Get staged action most will be dictated by photographer (follow them). Don’t just rely on video but also take your own still photos with a seperate camera once in a while for insertion into your video.

2) Move to set position on stage early to prepare and start filming.

3) On reception watch for reception intros they work well into video

4) Interview guests during dinner and between action. I told each table I am the videographer and would be back later to tape anything they would like to say to the Bride and Groom. When I came back guests were prepared and it kept my voice off the tape.


 I used PowerDirector7 Deluxe  and was very satisfied. if using still photos it allows a pan/zoom function (aka ken burns effect) that is more pleasant in a video segment. Also my first edit was ruined after a bad save. I learned to save under different names to keep back ups at various stages of editing. On editing don’t go crazy a fade right is the best transition it blends both sound and video.  The Cyberlink power director also has a magic creator that makes a quick edit of video you can change its edit points and transitions but its a nice place to start. 

Make a full version DVD of wedding and a 2nd compilation Dvd for party viewing.  The compilation includes getting ready, wedding and reception (the three chapters on my dvd). My compilation was 30 minutes long so viewers wouldn’t get bored. 


A Good video camera I used a digital Canon FS100 Flash Memory Camcorder which got great outdoor but indoors was grainy it needed more light especially during the wedding dance, still people were happy. A better choice on recent research is the Sanyo VPC-FH1 HD 1080p Camcorder  with its excellent low light abilities and filming in full 1080 p it’s sister camera the Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD2000 ( pistol grip version) was rated higher then the Canon VIXIA HFS100 HDÂ Camcorder which costs twice as much. 

Extra batteries, tape, memory card, memory card reader. I used an 8 gig and a 4 gig card for my camera. I used the 4 gig for getting ready then 8 for wedding and reception. Used stock battery only but was plugged in during wedding.

Tripod. You need at least a 60″ tripod with pan and tilt 72″ is better. A tall tripod is necessary because you are so close to action and zoom ins can go straight to faces if at the perfect height. I used the tripod completely during wedding when I had to move it I lifted tripod, camera and all. The wedding is about 30 minutes of mostly filming bride and groom with a couple pans to audience, singer, and close up of bride or groom this all can be done from 1 location with little moving so use a tripod and avoid shaky video.

A Mic, most professionals use mike input but I picked up everything with cameras built in mic, brides voice was muted though. Don’t use outside tape sound its hard to keep indexed to video. Extension cord and charger: On the stage there was a convenient plug right were I wanted to be no worry about battery life. Since you’re stationary you might as well be plugged in.

Editing software: I used PowerDirector7 Deluxe because it was inexpensive and did all the special effects I wanted. 

Your done! At this point if your like me you redo your video 20 more times. Well at least you now realize why videodraphers charge what they do.