TIPS / THE ULTIMATE WEDDING EXPERIENCE GUIDE, PART 3
In Part 3 of The Ultimate Wedding Experience Guide, we are getting all your audio visual bits and pieces sorted. The soundtrack of your entire day and ways to remember it forever.
T H E P H O T O G R A P H E R
With Mandy Ryan from MNDY Photography
What is the ideal length of time to have a photographer at a wedding?
It totally depends on you. If you just want to tick off the key moments and make sure mum and dad have some pretty portraits to hang on the wall, then a few hours to cover guest arrival, ceremony and some family/bridal party portraits will be perfect. If you want the photos to tell a story, document the day from start to finish, then around eight hours is about right.
Will a photographer plan the photos or does the couple need to brief what they are after and set the times?
Hiring a professional photographer can be a daunting task, so we certainly don't expect the Bride and Groom to do all the work, scheduling times and choosing locations. I like to meet with the couple in person before the wedding day and would ask the couple to provide as much as they can on the days timings, must have family photos and any styled photo ideas they have in mind also. From here I will put together a full day shooting schedule. I'll email the schedule to the couple prior to the wedding, but will also take a few minutes to go through the schedule with the Bride or Maid of Honour when I arrive on the day.
There are so many photographers out there, top tip to find the right one?
A good place to search when looking to book a photographer is with your venue. Looking at photographers who have shot at your wedding venue should give you confidence that the photographer has a pretty good idea on locations, lighting and angles, and perhaps some secret special spots for your bridal party photos. Familiarity at a venue is a huge advantage.
What is the key thing to consider when choosing a wedding photographer?
Pretty much any professional photographer can take beautiful photos, ultimately it is most important that the photographer's style, personality and overall vibe, blends well with yours. Your photographer is with you 90% of the time on the day, so you want to make sure that you're happy, comfortable and relaxed around this person. If you're comfortable on the wedding day this will definitely come through in your photos.
You should get a pretty good feeling on this from the photographers website and social media. If you log onto their Instagram page and are loving their vibes, chances are you'll be pretty comfortable around them on your wedding day. If you feel like you don't get to know enough about the photographer from info online, don't hesitate to ask a photographer for an in person or Skype meeting prior to making a booking with them.
T H E V I D E O G R A P H E R
With Josh Hamilton from The Edit Suite
What's so special about a video as opposed to photos of the day?
I think they are both just as important as each other to have but serve different purposes. With photos you get a snapshot that can be treasured and looked at everyday as most people will have a print by their bedside or on the wall and with video it's something to watch together or show your grandkids when you have them. A lot of people do have regret not having a video of their day to look back on. Especially these days now that it is so easy to send a private link with the highlights of your day to friends and family that couldn't make the day.
What the standard length of time a videographer should be booked on the wedding day?
I personally like to arrive to capture the bride and the groom getting ready then I usually stay until the dj really kicks in because by that stage everyone is usually getting a bit tipsy but I do also stay to the very end. It all really depends on budget as it can be a very long day of none stop work so most videographers will generally charge more to shoot from the very start till the very end but most should offer different packages anyway.
What can a wedding video be used for?
Like I mentioned above, I think the best wedding videos for friends and family to watch are highlight videos from the day of between 5-10 minutes long and then the bride and groom can look back on all of the ceremony and speeches in their own time as there will be hours of footage there.
What are the new technology advances in wedding videography that couples may not know about?
Drones are big right now and a lot of people are getting them at their weddings. They can really add some production value. The same goes with handheld stabilisers to get that really silky smooth gliding look. I love all these new toys that are out now. My bank account does not though.
What's the number one reason couples should have a videographer on their wedding day?
Again, I talk with so many people who really regret not getting their wedding recorded. Photos are amazing but without that movement and audio some memories tend to fade away. It really is a no-brainer I reckon.
T H E M U S I C
With Andy from Jake & Andy
What sections of the wedding day should have a handpicked song by the couple? At the very least a Bride and Groom should specify the exact song they would like played for; - The Bridal Processional (start ceremony: the boss lady & her squad walk down the aisle) - The Bridal Recessional (end ceremony: the power couple & their super-squad exit the alter to much fanfare) - The Bridal Entrance (power couple & super-squad are officially introduced to wedding reception/party) - First Dance (the surrealest few minutes where you’re surrounded by loved ones, and completely alone) But really, the more songs you pick, the better. At the very least, your song selections give your music provider *cough-Jake-and-Andy-cough* a better understanding of your musical tastes, and allow them to play the most suitable set-list for the event’s proceedings… but we can guarantee that you’ll love hearing those songs, and thinking of those specific moments, for the rest of your life. There’s also; The Document/Registry Signing at the ceremony, The Cutting Of The Cake, Father Of The Bride/Mother Of The Groom Dances, Exit/Last Song Of The Night, even songs cued as introduction for specific speeches. We also encourage couples to try and think of specific songs that Mums, Dads, Grandparents, Kids (etc) really like, so that when it comes to the DJ/Dancefloor portion of the night, we know that everyone is catered for.
Any tips for selecting the first dance song?
For obvious reasons, this is a super personal decision. We’re more than happy to throw some song names up for consideration when consulted. But we’d never presume to know what should be played for YOUR special moment. Many couples have the song selected in a snap. Others deliberate over it until the big day is scarily close. To make the decision a little easier, first decide what type of first dance you want. Are you going to hold each other close & sway slowly, soaking up the magic of the moment. Or are you more of a burn-up-the-D-floor with a high energy, tightly choreographed routine kind of couple? Both versions are awesome.
Just make sure you do what’s right for you as a couple. Be true to you, and it will be perfect.
Are there any songs that are an absolute 'no go’ for a wedding playlist?
Like the First Dance song, it’s YOUR wedding so do what you want. However, it is worth considering all of your guests. You might love you some Skrillex, but will your relatives (think Grandma/Grandpa) feel a bit alienated when this magical day turns into a warehouse rave at 10pm? And would your day really suffer if it didn’t get played?
Having said that, we’ve also been privy to some seriously alternate wedding day playlists that worked brilliantly. So there’s definitely no hard & fast rules. But… if you’ve got a badass nephew who’s guaranteed to request Sepultura after a few beverages, make sure your music provider *cough-Jake-and-Andy-cough* knows that there’s certain guests’ requests that they’re allowed to respectfully decline.
What song should a wedding reception playlist never miss?
These are probably pretty obvious. No matter how hip, alternate, glamorous, rustic or refined a wedding is, there’s certain songs that ‘that guy’ (‘that guy’ is generally many guys & girls) will want to hear. A couple that come to mind both have animals you’d find on a farm as their titles. Hint: they rhyme with ‘courses’ & ‘boney’.
How long in advance should the music/artist be booked?
We can’t speak for other suppliers, but the bulk of our bookings are 8-10 months in advance. I would assume that possibly only a venue needs to be booked prior. Certain venues only allow certain configurations of live music set-ups. Some have very strict noise restrictions & cut-off times. Some are more relaxed. These are all things that will determine what we as musicians can add to your day.
We’re more than happy to take late-notice bookings. But bear in mind that all wedding vendors have a finite amount of available days per year, so the earlier you get organised and make contact, the more likely it is that you’ll lock in your first choice supplier.
These three items can be some of the most pricey on your wedding day, so hopefully these tips have helped you to tick these off your "Wedding need to book" list. The next post in this series will give you some insight into the things that smell good, taste good and feel good.