Celebrating Differences in your Couples

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One thing I take very seriously when it comes to wedding filmmaking is celebrating the differences of my couples. Every couple is different, so I strongly believe that their wedding films should reflect that.

So how do we do this? How do we celebrate our couples differences?

First, we need to have the understanding that each couple and their wedding has a unique story, vibe, and setting. A wedding that is being filmed in a mansion will be completely different from a wedding happening in the Northwoods. A couple who has known each other for 10 years has a completely different story from a couple who met in the last two years. Having this understanding already puts you in a better spot to create something unique for each couple.

Something that is absolutely crucial is getting to know your couples prior to the wedding day. This can be done in a variety of ways, but I strongly recommend having a questionnaire that you can send to your couples before the wedding day. In the questionnaire you can ask them questions about how they met, what their vision is for the wedding day, what colors they’ve chosen, what the vibe they are going for is like…and the list goes on. By being intentional about the questions you ask your couple, you can get a good understanding of who they are before the wedding day, which can frame the way you approach both filming and editing.

Another thing I like doing is sitting down face to face with my couples. If we are located close enough, I like to meet up in person for cocktails or coffee. If we are not located close enough, I’ll do a Skype session or video chat. During this meeting time, we do go over logistics of the wedding day and important information like that, but we also spend time just getting to know one another. By meeting with them ahead of time, we are able to see how they interact together and get comfortable with each other.

The next thing I take into consideration is the setting of the wedding. As I mentioned before, a wedding that is taking place in the Northwoods is going to be completely different from a wedding in a Catholic church and/or mansion. Even if you as a filmmaker have a distinctive style, those two settings are going to (and should) affect how the story is told. Those settings and the vibe of the day can change your lighting, your color grade, the music you choose, and the timeline of the story.

For example, I filmed Danielle and Sal’s wedding in the Northwoods and I chose to use moodier lighting, more intense music, and a richer color grade. For Jessica and Matthew, who were married in a Catholic church followed by a black tie reception, I choose a crisper color grade, softer music, and softer lighting. Those choices made sense for the settings AND made sense for the couples.

The other difference between these two couples that determined both how I filmed and how I edited was the fact that their personalities were vastly different from one another. Both couples are beautiful and unique and deserved to have unique representations of WHO THEY ARE.

As you can see by watching those two films, they are very different from one another. I think rather than trying to fit our couples into the box we want them in to create videos, we need to be celebrating their differences and capturing them authentically. So my challenge to you going forward is this: notice the differences between your couples. Let them be who they are and celebrate that uniqueness. Capture them authentically and tell their story in a way that fits them, and no one else. They deserve it.