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Wedding videos are something that the happy couple can treasure from the special day for the rest of their lives! Wedding days are one off events which means that getting the details right is essential and that includes the videography and the locations of the shots.
Not all of the video footage has to be shot on the site at the wedding venue and increasingly couples are wanting to shoot footage at other locations as well. These shots can then be included in the final wedding video to add context, tell a story or simply for their aesthetic appeal!
Nonetheless, the location of a wedding and the chosen sites for any videography and photoshoots is one of the most important aspects of the event since it forms the backdrop to the entire ceremony! Different locations will have an enormous impact on the whole event and so making the right selection for the wedding videography is vital.
In many cases the couple will leave a lot of the decision making process to the videographer themselves, trusting in their professional skills and artistic vision. There’s no right answer when it comes to choosing the best locations for wedding videography but there are some general things that you should keep in mind when considering the choice.
The Style of Wedding Videography.
Depending on the chosen style of wedding videography different locations will be more suitable. If you are doing a classically elegant video for the event then you will want to find a location that is timeless with subtly under spoken backdrops and possibly impressive architecture. Alternatively, if you were creating video that was more retro or movie inspired then an American diner or open highway might be a better choice!
The Personality of the Couple.
The videography for a wedding should, first and foremost, represent the personality of the couple. As a videographer you really need to speak with the couple and find out from them exactly what they might be envisioning. Try to gauge the overall look that they are going for and work with them to create this.
If the couple are bubbly and fun then you might want to create a very different type of look to a couple who are more serious and austere! As a videographer you have to use your common sense and interpersonal skills to establish these parameters in order to deliver results which will meet the client’s needs.
Lighting For The Shoot.
Without good lighting the footage will never be up to standard and this means that it’s a vital consideration to take into account. In all likelihood you’ll have to work with the natural light that is available which entails that you should be cognizant of the time of the day that you are shooting.
The best time for shooting is during the Golden hour – an hour after dawn and an hour or so before sunset. This will bring out the natural skin tones of the couple and give the footage warm, mellow tones.
Of course, if you’re working indoors and the lighting is a bit harsher you can make up for this in post production with color grading to soften the tones and create a more flattering look.
Work with the Couple’s Plans.
When you’re shooting videography for a wedding then you need to work with the plans that the couple have already made. You want the footage – shot before and on the day of the event – to fit smoothly together in one consistent piece.
Choose Locations that Mean Something to the Couple.
When you’re putting together videography, or planning it beforehand, then you will more than likely want to incorporate places that have a special meaning to the couple. The first place they met, where they went on their early dates or a shared hobby that they enjoy – all of these can be tastefully included in the final cut.
When selecting locations it’s better to find places that have a genuine meaning to the couple rather than just going for a cliched choice which may look great on film but have no real significance for them. If you’re working with multiple locations then you may want to try to bring them together by using common motifs and themes. This will help to maintain the coherence of the final footage and create a better sense of narrative in the video.
It’s also important that the couple feel comfortable on location because this will really show in the final cut. The only way to make sure about this is to speak and consult with the couple as you work through the shoot.
As a videographer you should always be trying to get a good deal of B-roll while you’re on site in the various locations that you’ll be shooting for the wedding video. This will give you plenty of extra footage that you can splice into the final cut to give greater context and move smoothly between scenes.
The Venue For The Wedding.
You are naturally going to be filming on site at the wedding venue but you may want to consider meeting the couple there in advance to shoot some extra footage. This may take a few hours and will give you a chance to capture some great shots which can be cut into the footage of the actual day. This way there won’t be any guests to worry about and you can concentrate on capturing some stunning footage without any distractions.
Make sure you check the weather forecast before you arrange the shoot because the last thing you want is to try to shoot footage in the pouring rain! If you do find that the weather is turning and you want to continue with the shoot you can still get some great footage indoors at the venue. Once again you can use this later in the editing suite to cut into the final footage because this type of multi faceted shoot will give the final product extra depth.
Popular Locations for Wedding Videography.
If you’re looking for inspiration for some of the most popular places to shoot wedding videography then as well as speaking with the couple themselves there are several classics that you should keep in mind. Of course, depending on your own location and the topography of the region not all of them will be feasible however wherever you are working and no matter where the wedding is taking place there will be some perfect sites nearby that you can utilize for the shoot.
Filming the couple walking on the shore of a beach is one of the most romantic places that you can find to shoot some wedding videography. The sea breeze will give the bride’s dress a lovely flow in the footage and the soft light reflected from the water will add a beautiful hue to the shoot.
Remember to consider the time of day when you head to the beach because this is somewhere that can really benefit from the magic of the Golden hour. It’s also worth considering the direction which the seashore faces – so if you want the sun over the water and if it’s West facing you’ll want to go in the evening and vice versa, if it’s East facing then the early morning will have the sun over the water.
Museum or Art Gallery.
Museums and art galleries can make a fantastic location for some wedding videography and although you’ll have to consider the public for the shoot there are workarounds. You can, for example, arrive before or after the public opening times – with the permission of the venue to avoid this.
This is a great choice if the wedding is planned during the winter and the lighting within it will usually be pretty good as it is. If you’re concerned about the lighting you may need to test your camera settings in advance. Museums and art galleries always provide a charming and quaint backdrop to shoot some lovely footage of the couple to be.
This is a great choice for a wedding video shoot, particularly if the couple have a shared history there. Some of the most attractive times of the year to shoot in a park are during the autumn months when the trees are full of color and during the spring which not only has excellent symbolic value but is also bursting with life and flowers.
Before the shoot take some time to explore the park a little bit and make sure you use any features such as statues, flower beds and scenic views in the footage to make the most of this idyllic location for wedding videography!
Fountains and Water Features.
Many towns and cities have ornate fountains and water features which can be utilized in wedding videography. Footage of the couple in front of these can be visually stunning and the splashing water creates a beautiful backdrop for the scene.
Fountains and other water features have the natural effect of bringing people together and this speaks to the viewer on a subconscious level – people have always met around watering holes! Play around with different lens settings and even frame rates to change the feel of the footage of the couple and the moving water.
Farms, Vineyards and Orchards.
As far as outdoor wedding videography locations go a farm, vineyard or orchard is a classic choice for a shoot. These are often set in gorgeous landscapes where you can get off the beaten track amongst the beauty of nature. If the site has some rustic farm buildings then these can be incorporated in the footage and always keep an eye out for meadows of wildflowers which make the perfect setting for some stunning footage.
Ideal Locations Vs Popular Locations.
When you are selecting a site for your wedding videography then you are always going to have to balance the absolute ideal location with more practical but still popular sites. Factors such as budget, time and the realistic possibility of being able to shoot at the absolute ideal site all have to be taken into account!
Let’s face it, weddings aren’t cheap as it is and so couples may not want to spend the extra money to arrange a shoot at their ideal location; however, if they are, as a videographer, this can represent an incredible opportunity to shoot some unforgettable footage while making the couple’s dreams come true!
Wedding Videography Locations.
Wedding videography is becoming a central part of the event and so selecting the right locations for the video footage can make a huge difference to the couple’s special day.
When you are choosing a site to shoot wedding videography there are no strict rules and it’s always best to work closely with the couple to consult on the type of places that they would like. If there’s somewhere that they have in mind then of course you should go with their suggestion but you can also present them with some of the options you have in mind. You can shoot at multiple locations as well of course!
As a videographer who is working in the wedding sector of the industry you should have a premade list of several dozen suitable locations in your area. This means that you can run through your list of potential sites with the couple to see if any of them feel right! You can also practise your shooting at these sites in advance and get a feel for the best places to get some idyllic footage.
Which is your favorite location for wedding videography?