Guide to Wedding Video Editing
We’re only a few months into 2020 and already, you’re bombarded by one thing: wedding videos. Immaculately edited and absolutely pristine, they’re giving you the wedding itch, and with good reason!
From the most picturesque of proposals to the most romantic date spots, everyone’s got romance in their brains. Of course, click into your Internet and suddenly, #WeddingInspiration is plastered across your screen: dresses, cakes, flower decorations, and inimitable vow ceremonies are just the tip of the #WeddingPorn iceberg that everyone’s absolutely enamoured by.
By the time their big day hits, most people have already planned out every last deal of their perfect wedding. They’ve tasted cake upon cake and carefully crafted the vision for their wedding video, the one they can’t wait to show off to family, friends, and loved ones.
As a wedding video editor, the pressure is immense, to say the least. In your hands lies the most precious material of a couple’s life and while all the captured moments are bound to be no less than beautiful, it’s your job to weave those moments into a carpet of memories that’ll carry a husband and wife throughout their exciting life journey ahead.
It’s a tall order but with some helpful hints and easy tips and guide to wedding video editing like these, you can make the perfect video to represent an even-more-perfect day:
Shooting the Video
The hard work starts long before you sit down in the editing studio. In fact, it begins the minute you begin to follow the couple, video camera in hand. With so many variables in place, how do you make sure that you capture every touch, every smile, and every once-in-a-lifetime emotion?
1. Communicate effectively with the team:
This ladies and gents is where the prep work really begins. Sit down with the couple weeks or, if possible, months before the wedding date and really get to know them. Which moments are the most important to them? Are they going to have a flash mob, a mannequin challenge maybe? What elements of sentiment will be woven into the wedding? By taking detailed notes and being as prepared as possible, you can make sure that you don’t miss a single, special moment.
Don’t forget to coordinate with venue personnel as well. Since each venue has its own rules and regulations, with religious venues being particularly stringent at times, you want to make sure that you have your bearings straight.
It’s also equally important to network with the rest of the team, from the wedding coordinator and the DJ to any other photographers that the couple may have hired. Not only does this help the entire event run smoothly, but it also lets you meet others in the industry and, hopefully, build your brand!
2. Prepare your audio with equal care:
What’s a wedding video without the sound of family and friends cheering the bride and groom on as they drive away, happily married? And not to mention, without the beautiful vows that the couple painstakingly writes? Make sure you’ve got multiple audio devices recording and at the ready!
3. Take the traditional shots (even if you think you might not need them):
As a creator, you want to experiment. After all, this reel is your canvas! But your couple is going to want some standard, classic captures as well – the vows, the first dance, the kiss, the cake cutting, and the list goes on. The more you document, the happier the couple will be!
4. Be ready for anything:
Weddings make for great stories to tell in the future, and there’s a reason for that. They bring together the most eccentric of characters who, oftentimes, are sparked into vivacity with a setting such as a wedding! It’s a fun time for everyone involved, including you, but it also means that no matter how much you prepare, there’s a chance that something might just slip your eye.
Alternative venues, such as art galleries and dark rooms, for instance, can pose unforeseen light challenges. Not to mention those reception halls, lit only by disco balls as dinner winds down, can pose their own host of challenges. And in the midst of all this, you want to make sure that you don’t get in the way of fun, laughter, and memories being made!
As we stated earlier, this is where preparation can come in handy. Always visit venues beforehand, and ensure that the equipment you have is exactly what you need to capture every heartwarming moment.
5. Capture enough B-roll (and then some!):
We’re almost there: the stage where you can sit down with a set of beautifully-captured pictures and video and get to editing it all into a stream of happiness. But sometimes, the last step is the hardest, largely because of one oft-overlooked challenge: not having enough footage!
A wedding is about the bride and groom, sure, but they’re not the only people there! Make sure that part of your team is equally dedicated to capturing the crowd: the antics of the bridal party, fun frolics and side moments that are happening away from the stage, and just intricate details that might come in handy later! When you sit down to edit, these visuals might just be your saving grace.
Phew! It’s a lot to take in, we know, but shooting the video was only half the battle. The real work is what comes next: editing. Luckily, with our own video editing guide below, you’ve got everything you need to make the most impeccable wedding montage.
Editing the Video
You’ve sat down to your computer and after connecting your hard drive, notice that there are thousands and thousands of items that you’re sorting through. The list is endless – and that’s just for the ceremony! It’s a blessing in disguise: you know you’ve got enough footage to create the perfect assortment of memories. But where to start? Luckily, that’s where we can help.
1. Use a discerning eye:
The true skill of a video editor is knowing what not to keep. Did you get 30 shots of the bride and groom feeding each other cake? You probably don’t need all 30 for your montage. The same, then, go for video – which angles show your bride and groom in the best light, and what video moments cover those little twists that the camera simply didn’t grab?
Make sure to include variety when prepping materials for editing. There’s nothing worse than watching a video and wondering why half the ceremony is missing! Don’t be afraid to do this in multiple rounds and take many breaks in between your editing process. A fresh perspective can add wonders to your final output.
2. Choose the perfect soundtrack:
Think back to those initial discussions with your bride and groom: chances are they had a ‘vibe’ in mind for how they wanted their big day to be documented. Part of that vibe –a huge part, actually – is the music.
It’s no secret that music plays a vital role in any relationship. The bride and groom probably have their special songs that traverse all points of their beautiful relationship but as a videographer, your job is to let those songs speak and, in non-melodic moments, use music to accompany the rest of that precious video.
Primarily, you want to use music that means something to the bride and groom: what were they first listening to when they had their ‘aaha’ moment? What song was playing in the car when they had their first kiss? This is some of the most powerful material that you can use when it comes time to string together all the visuals you’ve captured.
Of course, it never hurts to suggest some ideas, too! Are they having a hard time deciding on the most important melody to play in the background? Know how you’d like the video to present itself in the end – after all, you’re showcasing a cohesive journey, here, and your project needs to flow.
Visuals come to life with the power of sound, be it glasses clinking, crowds cheering, or violins playing as the couple shares the first dance of many to come. You might have to dip into your sound engineer bag-of-tricks but once you do, that’s when your video truly comes to life.
3. Compartmentalize and create:
Sure, you need to have a discerning eye, but no couple wants special moments left out of their even-more-special day. In this case, it might be helpful to take a multistep approach.
Want to give guests and relatives a glimpse of all the fun that went down? Create a trailer, of sorts! Then, with the complete material, you can create a wedding series that takes the audience from proposal through marriage and onwards to what’s to come!
A wedding video is much more than a simple documentation of love. It’s a love language in and of itself! The beauty, then, lies in the unique heart and soul of every wedding story. One is never like the other, and by appreciating the magic that each wedding holds, you, as a videographer, will be able to capture a collage of moments and memories that have the couple saying ‘I do’ for the rest of their lives.