A long overdue blog this one, earlier this year I filmed Joe & Bex’s wedding at Hargate hall in the Peak District, a lovely family run hall to host your entire wedding. I love venues like this, everything under one roof, not completely stress free but minus all the traveling it does take a weight off of your mind. Quite often the preparations, the ceremony, and then the reception are all at different locations, and whilst totally possible to film, not having the travel time, the set up and down time, is such a bonus for both the couple and myself. Relaxed isn't usually how I describe working a wedding but this day really was.
Having the venue from Friday afternoon I was able to come along that evening and grab some shots of the main hall taking shape, everyone was having a great time, and I think that really showed in their film. Quite often these shots aren't seen in wedding films but with Joe & Bex’s intimate wedding it was nice to show everyone pitching in and preparing everything together, definitely deserving of a few seconds air time and a fitting start to their wedding film.
Now what differentiates a photographer from a videographer, apart from the obvious, is set up time, especially for the ceremony. I usually ask for one hour at the ceremony location to, amongst other things, get location shots, set up multiple cameras, place audio recorders, liaise with staff. If this time isn't allocated I can either leave preparations later, and risk the quality of the ceremony footage, or leave on time to assure the ceremony footage but potentially missing the bride getting into her dress and all of the reactions that go with it. With a wedding that shares the same location all day this problem is completely eliminated. I can set up for the ceremony bright and early whilst waiting for hair and make up to arrive, start filming prep when they do, double check the ceremony, back upstairs for the dress, it's very convenient indeed.
The ceremony went by in a flash, with beautiful words from Joe & Bex and a great reading from the Groom’s father, which I used to narrate the opening sequence of the film. One thing I'm always looking for on a wedding day is great speeches, I can layer them over the film and it really makes each wedding even more unique, whilst not having many speeches on the day my job wasn't made any more difficult because each word was personal and overflowing with meaning. The farther of the bride shared some old stories, jokes, started welling up, it had everything. Also, check out the couples custom wedding invite, drawn by Joe's sister, it also doubled up as their wedding guestbook so I couldn't help but wonder back to it throughout the day to grab some shots, it was awesome.
The rest of the day flew by capped off by a glorious sunset, always my favourite way to end a film if weather & timing permits, just a spare 15 minutes can turn your wedding film (and photos!) from great into a magical. Magic hour is a fantastic time for film, soft, flattering, golden light makes everything look beautiful. Shooting midday in harsh sunlight can produce some equally harsh shadows, which can make us dive for the shade sometimes, but during the last light of the day everything always looks perfect!
I worked the day with Paul Chantry photography, I can’t recommend him enough if you’re thinking of planning a wedding up north.
All in all a fantastic day.