Thinking about filming your own wedding day? We asked Andrea McDowell, founder of Shoot It Yourself, how to get perfect results from your DIY wedding video that you’ll want to watch again and again…


Who’s filming?

Choosing to film your own wedding is a fantastic opportunity to capture your big day from your friend’s and families’ perspective but it’s important that you think carefully about who you’re going to trust with this important task. At Shoot It Yourself, we recommend you pick five or six different friends and make sure that they feel happy to do some filming. It’s important to tell them that you’re not expecting them to be your ‘professional wedding videographer’ throughout the entire day, too. If they are close friends or family members they will want to do a good job for you and it will make them feel as though they have an important role in your celebration – which they have!

Give them a brief

The last thing you want to be worrying about on your wedding day is whether the video cameras are being used. Before the day arrives, make sure that you give your filmers different sections of the day to capture – for example, the bridesmaids and groomsmen film themselves in the morning, hand the cameras to Sarah and Jeff to film the ceremony and so on. There are lots of video tutorials in the Filmer’s Area of the Shoot It Yourself website but take a look at this one about interviewing your guests. And don’t forget our handy Camera Timetable download a copy to amend for your own big day!

Continue reading below…

Leave messages

The best wedding films we edit are those where the bride and groom have actually sat down together before the big day and thought of things that they would like to include in their wedding video. You could agree to leave a message to each other the night before, arrange for your presents to each other to be opened on camera or have little chats with the camera throughout the day on how you’re feeling, together and individually. It’ll be these moments that you’ll look back on when you’re old and grey and will give you goose bumps!

Set some challenges

Aimlessly wandering around filming everything that moves does not a great wedding video make! The best filming is always done with a purpose and works best if it’s done in 10 to 20 minute bursts. Why not arrange for one of your friends to film a marryoke, capture 10 people doing a silly dance or set up a video diary in another room at your reception with funny questions for your guests. They’re simple ideas but definitely make your wedding video more personal once it’s been edited.


Use the tripod

Even the most experienced wedding videographers with the steadiest of hands would struggle to stand in one place, holding the same shot for a long time. With most ceremonies and speeches going on for at least 30 minutes each, it’s best to have the tripod set up ready to start recording ahead of time. Make sure that the tripod and the camera is always as close as possible to the person speaking in order get the best sound and that the shot from the tripod is a good one, then your filmer can keep an eye on it without worrying about any wobbles!


Don’t turn the camera on its side!

If you’re anything like us, we’re forever whipping out our smart phone to take videos – however unlike a smart phone, our videos will be playing on a TV which cannot be turned on its side! Footage filmed on a video camera on its side will come out with big black bars either side when you put it on the TV so remember to keep the camera straight and if you want to fit more into your shot, just step back!


Beware of the zoom

The ability to zoom in is certainly an awesome feature although be careful not to over zoom on the big day. When the video camera is zoomed in as far as it will go, it makes the footage very wobbly indeed and a little bit grainy (especially if you’re in a dark room). Our top tip would be to just move closer to the object or person you want to film.

Find some inspiration

Like most things when it comes to wedding planning, the more research you do, the more inspiration you get! With over 700 wedding videos on the Shoot It Yourself Vimeo channel, there are enough ‘film your own’ wedding video examples to get your creative juices flowing. Finally our top tip is to make sure you have fun! Spin around the room as a selfie, run and jump over the camera on the floor and use the lens as if it were a mirror. The ideas are endless and the more you have, the better your edited video will be… And remember, there’s nothing wrong with a bit of nudity, either!

For more DIY wedding inspiration, check out our Planning section and Real Weddings right now!