DIY Wedding Videography

Do it yourself wedding video

DIY Wedding Videography
  • Professional wedding videography is not in my budget.
  • I don’t want a long, boring home video.
  • I’ve got a few friends that can help.
  • I need a non-tacky DIY guide to film my wedding video.

So, you don’t have $1,500-2,000 lying around for a professional wedding videographer, but you want your wedding recorded. You don’t want something long and boring that you can’t sit through, and you’ve heard about brides waiting years for their film student friend to finally edit their wedding video. Is there an alternative? Absolutely!

Are you ready to roll your sleeves up and take on an epic do-it-yourself wedding video? Great! With this guide, you will get to leverage the knowledge from a seasoned wedding videographer with some very clever cost saving shortcuts. This is not a replacement for a professional filming your wedding. However, you will find helpful, easy-to-follow tips, tricks and advice for your DIY wedding videography project. This guide goes beyond the simple checklist of what to film. It covers simple filming techniques, tips on how to best film your ceremony and inexpensive yet quality equipment recommendations (and where to buy it). Along with shortcuts and hacks I’ve learned from filming over 500 weddings in 10 years, you’ll also find a free guide on how to find an inexpensive, quality (and timely) editor that will turn your DIY wedding videography project into something you will want to watch again and again.

DIY to the Rescue?

DIY is a way to turn hard work and creativity into a beautiful wedding on a budget. There as so many DIY wedding projects from chocolate candies wrapped in vintage comic book pages to table decorations, invitations and more. There are loads of DIY wedding ideas on Pinterest and on popular wedding forums.

It only makes sense that you carry this DIY theme over to your wedding video. Table decorations, invitations and party favors can be started and finished before the wedding day comes. However, a wedding is a one-time, non-repeatable event that must be filmed well. There can be a lot of stress there, but if you are willing to do some prep work before the wedding and assemble a few people to film, this can be done flawlessly. The purpose of this guide is to help you do exactly that.

How much prep time do I need?

As with most DIY projects, the more time the better, but you will need at least three weeks. You will need time to familiarize yourself (and your team of helpers) with the guide. You will also need time to buy/rent your equipment, test your equipment and, if needed, return the equipment and get replacements. Although you are not going to edit your wedding video – I have a much better plan – you will use your computer to store and make copies of the audio and video files. You’ll want to make sure your computer recognizes your audio and video devices before your wedding date. It is best to correct any computer issues you may have before you start your DIY wedding video project. Think of this as the dress rehearsal; the more you practice the process the better. Remember, once the wedding day is done, it’s done. What you have recorded is all you are going to get, so help put your mind at ease and walk into this project knowing you can capture the footage on your computer before the cameras even start rolling.

How much help do I need and who should I pick?

Someone with filming experience is a huge plus, but they must be dependable! Like a maid of honor position, this is not a job for a flaky friend. It is also prudent to have a back-up person that could fill in at the last minute, obviously not someone who is in your wedding party or has any formal part in the ceremony or reception. Two key people with three back-ups is ideal, but one person can take on the entire wedding video if that is needed. All of my earlier wedding videos I produced were done solo.

No matter how many people you have on your team, it is highly recommended that whoever films your wedding needs to read the guide at least twice. If this does not happen, or if a last-minute fill-in is given the task of filming, an easy checklist is included with the guide.

You should be in charge of ensuring the safety of the wedding video footage after the wedding as well as making copies of the footage on your computer and communicating with your editor. This will streamline your project and reduce the chances of losing footage or the project falling in limbo. The guide also goes into the important process of saving your footage in more detail.

In short, there should be two videographers as well as yourself to be in charge of:

  • Borrowing or purchasing equipment
  • Testing equipment and your computer
  • Making sure your helpers read the guide
  • Storing and making copies of your wedding footage
  • Getting the project to your editor

These are simple steps and the guide goes into more detail at each step.

What if I don’t have much computer experience?

Being a computer whiz is not required. Taking files off of audio and video devices and making copies on your computer is a straight-forward process. Using older equipment or having an older computer can sometimes complicate things, but those issues can be resolved by finding updated software or getting newer devices.  Making copies on external hard drives is an easy task as well.

Are your equipment recommendations really expensive?

No, these are going to be affordable and sometimes used consumer/pro-sumer equipment that I have tested and even used for many of my video projects. My video camera and audio capturing devices run in the thousands of dollars. My video camera was $4,000 alone, but I am a professional that makes his living on filming wedding videos.

The purpose of this guide is not to teach you how to copy the results that I get, but to help you make the most of the budget that you have. The results that smaller and far less expensive video cameras give in well-lit areas are really stunning. Couple that with the inexpensive LED dimmable camera light, and you’ve got yourself a stunning video! There are low cost alternatives to the wireless mic that perform amazingly well (if you choose the right ones). The expense of the equipment I recommend in the guide is reduced even further if you can resell the equipment afterwards.

Your wedding is a one-time event, and the biggest regret people have when the day is done is not having a video made. The very first wedding I filmed was for free, and it was for a couple who had no interest in having the wedding filmed. After the wedding, they expressed a great amount of interest in seeing the video as time passed. Fortunately for them, they had a video to look forward to seeing and I was told it was watched many, many times. If you can’t have a professional film your wedding, you need to make the effort to having it recorded in some way. This guide is the start-to-finish guide to making that happen for you.

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