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Top Ten Things to Avoid For a Great Wedding Video

So you're planning your big day and you're think about hiring a videographer for your wedding. You've just combed through the best videographers in your area and put all of them under the heat lamp and finally picked the one you feel is the most qualified and valued for your money. Now off to the rest of your planning right? WRONG! When planning the day, especially planning to have it all captured on film, there are certain things to keep in mind to assure that you have a great wedding video. It's not really fair to leave the things on this list to chance, because you'll regret it later when you're watching the video. And as much as you'll want to, you can't go blaming the camera crew. Here's my list of things to avoid for a great wedding video.

10 - Long breaks between the wedding and reception

I know I know. You're getting such a great deal the earlier you have your ceremony and the later you have your reception. Problem is, when you have those long breaks, you're generally not going to be doing anything entertaining for the camera during that time. Sure you'll take pictures and maybe go for ride, and go to the bathroom a few times. But if you give the video guys too long of a break, they may miss something that you may have wanted captured on film unless you're going to have them following you and yours to be the WHOLE time.

My advice, if you're going to give the video crew a break between the ceremony and reception, give them time to do any kind of maintenance on their equipment, stretch their necks, and head to the reception for set up. Allow time for them to eat as well if you aren't providing a meal for them at the reception.

9 - Having the limo ride recorded with a "shy" bridal party

There's nothing worse than a limo full of your closest friends and that annoying person in the back with the camera on. Sure, you and yours to be may wink and wave at the camera for a while, but the best man and the maid of honor are just staring blindly at each other because they are too embarrassed that the cameras are running.

My advice, have the limo ride recorded when you know you have a fun interactive group who won't mind the cameras rolling. They may even give you something to laugh at later when you watch the footage back.

8 - Having the bridal party enter from two different sides

In theory it seems like a good idea. Having the men come from one side and then the women come from the other, then they'll meet in the middle and walk down the aisle together. Yes! That's it. It's so beautiful. It's so perfect. It's so...hard to make look good on video! In order to get the shot to even seem non-nauseating, you're going to need one camera on the men, one camera on the women, and one catching them coming down the aisle. Anything less than three cameras will cause for a whole lot of panning and zooming which can cause your video to look unprofessional.

My advice, be privy to the amount of cameras you will have at your ceremony and be sure each one is able to capture the most important shot at the time. Don't have 10 things going at once unless you have 10 cameras capturing it all.

7 - Using a window as a backdrop during the day

This is for when you have a big window that the sun is shining through and you think it will be great to have your vows said there, the head table there, or set up the unity candle there. The problem comes in when the sun comes shining through, you are now blinding your audience and causing your video guys to readjust their lenses so you don't get overexposed and turned into a silhouette on your video.

My advice, use the window lighting as your friend. Place things in it's path so you can use the daylight as your lighting guide. Placing things on the opposite sides of windows where the sun shines in makes for great shots and gives your video crew the best lighting source to work with and capture your fabulousness on film.

6 - No lighting at the head table

Yeah I know what you're thinking, the camera people should have a light on their camera. And although this may be true, do you want to have to go through the whole night with a spotlight in your face? Or better yet, not being able to be captured on film correctly because you only have two candles lit at the head table?

My advice, keep in mind the mood you want to set when it comes to lighting your reception, but also make sure that your guests will be able to at least see and enjoy your faces. If it's too dark for the crowd, it's not much the camera can do for you.

5 - Deciding not to mic the groom

Now this is a wild card. If the ceremony location comes with a microphone in place already for the bride and groom, great. Or if the officiant is going to be miked and you're going to talk loud enough to be heard through their mic, then great. Or if the video camera will pretty much be right up there with you guys, then cool.

But if these situations don't apply to you, and the video camera is away from the action per se, then you might be in for a surprise later when you're watching the tape and you can barely hear what you guys are saying. If the video crew has the ability to mic the groom in this case, go for it.

My advice, think of the video camera as a guest who can see you from far away, but may not be able to hear you from that same distance. Chances are if the guests had a hard time hearing the vows, then don't think that the camera caught them.

4 - Having an outside wedding without a sound system