1. Keep the speeches on topic.
Rambling speeches are no fun for anyone, and they’re not great for your film content either. Great speeches, on the other hand, do the heavy lifting in terms of telling your ‘story’, and can really hold the flow of your film together. We see the best results when couples give their speakers a bit of direction in telling the story of who you are as a couple, not just as individuals.
Some ideas to get your started:
Ask the Father of the Bride to talk a little bit about the bride’s personality, the story of when he was first introduced to the Groom, and, if applicable, how the Groom asked for permission to marry the Bride (the last two are usually pretty funny!).
Ask the Father of the Groom to talk about the groom’s personality, then about when he first met the bride. Ask him to cover how the groom has changed since meeting the bride, such as a cute story about how he never ironed his shirts before he met her, but since they moved in together he does the ironing for the both of them.
It’s probably worth mentioning to the parents that though this is certainly a perfect opportunity to brag on their child, often the best and most heartfelt part of any speech is when they take the time to describe their personal take on you both as a couple and what you bring to each other, rather than a blow by blow of your childhood achievements.
The Best Man/Maid of Honour are going to be the best for the “how you met” stuff. Ask them to talk about how they first found out about their friend’s new love interest, any funny or touching stories of watching their friend fall in love, and a bit about the proposal if they were involved. The Best Man and Maid of Honour generally have the most insight into what you guys are like as a couple day-to-day, which is often the best material!
Often times the Celebrant will cover some of the story of how you met, but we really encourage you to ask your speakers to tell their versions as well. Guests will have forgotten most of what the celebrant said by the time speeches roll around, and while it's ok for us to use some of the celebrant's content in your film, it's always much more meaningful coming from a close friend or family member. As an alternative - typically, there are also special guests who are asked to get up during the ceremony to do a 'reading'. Why not ask them to make this a 2 minute mini speech instead? Something far more personal, and a chance for your friends and family to tell parts of your story as well.
This list is neither comprehensive nor entirely necessary - don’t stress if your speech crew can’t touch on all of these points within the time allowed. This list is more intended as a general idea of what we’ve seen work so well before.
2. Personalise your vows.
It can definitely be daunting getting up in front of everyone you know and declaring your love for each other, but it's totally worth it ! Particularly for the Bride, who typically doesn't make a speech on the day, this may be your only moment on film where you, face to face, each get to express the depth of your love and commitment to each other. If you prefer to go with traditional vows, then we encourage both Bride and Groom to get up on the mic during the speeches to say some words to or about each other.
3. Choreograph your first dance.
This doesn’t mean learning the choreography to Single Ladies or spending 6 months practicing the Dirty Dancing lift. Although feel free, it would make great footage! More likely though, you’ll just want to learn a few simple moves and practice dancing together to the song a few times so that, on the day, you’re not awkwardly swaying and shuffling around waiting for it all to end. A few gentle spins you learnt on Youtube or a cute Jive you picked up at an evening class can make for some beautiful footage. The more you practice, the more comfortable you’ll look with each other, and the less you’ll look (and feel) like a pair of rabbits caught in the headlights.
A side note - a number of our previous clients who spent time taking choreographed lessons with a professional dancer have told us that the experience of learning a new skill together was super fun in and of itself. And we can vouch for the results in their wedding films!
4. Be open to showing emotion.
A lot of us find public displays of emotion uncomfortable at the best of times, let alone when all eyes are on you. But if you’re ever gonna drop your guard and feel all the feels, this is the day to do it! The excitement, happy tears, the nerves - share it all with your partner and loved ones. This is your chance fully express your love an appreciation for the people who do life with you. Just let it all out, baby!
5. Spend time with the (extra) important people.
Because our films are moment-based, not content based, we set out to capture the atmosphere and the feeling of the day. Rather than staging family shots to tick them off the coverage list, we aim to film you and your loved ones in your natural interactions on the day. This means our videos have lots of hugs and kisses, laughter, and genuine moments of connection with family and friends.
Hopefully, you’ll have noticed our moment-based approach already, and that’s why you’ve chosen to work with us on your wedding film. Of course, we will always do our absolute best to include all important guests in your coverage, but if there’s someone you really want featured in your film, then we encourage you to make sure you spend a bit of time with them on the day.
6. Get your lighting right.
Living in beautiful sunny Perth, it's pretty common for couples to have amazing open-air ceremonies, which we LOVE. Be mindful, though, that day lighting around 2/3pm in the full sun can be very harsh. It’s not the end of the world, but the shadows are harsher and the overall look is less forgiving so if you have the option of finding a shady spot under a tree, or if you can push your ceremony back to late afternoon, you will usually get more flattering results on film. You can have a chat with us or your photographer about what would be the ideal time for your ceremony based on the time of year you wedding is being held.
Also, outdoor or marquee receptions are our jam! A combination of festoon lighting, diffused lighting, and natural light makes for a gorgeous ambient atmosphere that the camera just loves. We have covered some indoor receptions and find the lighting to be a little patchy and at times, quite unflattering. Having said that, we will work with you to make sure that, whatever your set-up, we make you and your guests look as fabulous and glowy as possible!
7. Choose the right photographer.
Usually, couples have already have booked a photographer, or at least have a pretty good idea of who it might be, by the time they get to us. That's completely fine, and often couples end up booking photographers who share a similar aesthetic and attitude to shooting to us, which is awesome.
As we’ve already covered, we shoot in a very natural way, capturing the ‘in-between’ moments. While all photographers have to do at least some posed shots with you on the day, it's important that the photographer you choose leans more towards directing you in an attempt to bring out some genuine, less staged moments. This will ensure you get not just better photos, but that your film and photos will complement each other stylistically.
If you're undecided on a photographer and would like some recommendations, you can always reach out to us via email, or check out the photographers on our Recommended Vendors list.
8. Leave the music choice to us.
Of course we are always open to suggestions on music style from you guys, but bear in mind that we’ve been doing this for a while and we are certified pros at picking the perfect tracks to go with your video! Please fill us in on your particular music preferences (e.g. hate folk music, love floaty indie tracks), and if there’s a track or two you especially liked from a previous video of ours make sure to mention it. We will still send through the tracks that we have selected to make sure you’re happy with them (all of our clients have been pretty happy with our music choices to date), but this is one of the departments where we ask you to trust our judgement, so that we can deliver the best possible video for you.
9. Have a stylist/planner.
This is more something for an overall awesome day, not just an awesome video.
Stylists and planners are by no means necessary for a great wedding day - sometimes it’s just not in the budget, and we’ve seen plenty of incredible weddings pulled off without a planner. However, if you have the luxury of engaging a stylist/planner, we strongly suggest it. We notice considerably lower stress levels of the couple and bridal party when a planner is on board.
Ideally, it’s best if the Bride and Groom can concentrate on being present with each other and their guests on their wedding day. The last thing you want is to be worrying about why the wine barrels haven't arrived yet, and why are the chairs facing the wrong way, and where is the Page Boy we need the rings! If having a professional planner is not an option, consider asking friend who is not part of the bridal party to oversee the nitty gritty things on the day, because a relaxed couple makes for a great day and a wonderful film.