Do you know biggest regret of most real brides? Well it’s not the wedding dress they wore, or the venue they chose. It’s the fact that they didn’t book a wedding videographer.

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Wedding videography has come on leaps and bounds since the days of huge shoulder mounted betamax recorders and dodgy slow motion cross fades. Nowadays there are companies that will let you hire broadcast-quality video cameras for the big day and then professionally edit the footage for you. It’s a brilliant middle ground between hiring a professional wedding videographer and getting your uncle to film the wedding on his handicam, in the hope that one day someone will get round to editing it.

But is this a concept that can really work in the real world? We spoke to Andrea McDowell, founder of the film your own wedding video concept and MD of Shoot It Yourself, as seen on Dragons Den.

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What’s the difference between this and hiring a wedding videographer?

The film your own wedding videography concept lets the friends and family film the wedding day from their perspective. By giving the video cameras to your guests we found that people are more comfortable talking to the camera and engaging with the person doing the filming because they are friends.

This means that while every shot may not be perfectly composed, the footage is more fun and personal to the couple because it features their friends and family being themselves rather than feeling self conscious about being filmed by a stranger.

http://vimeo.com/60165112

How will my guests know what to film?

All good film-it-yourself wedding video companies have online video tutorials that show the guests how to use the cameras and what to film. Always ask to see these before committing to this style of wedding videography because they’ll help dictate what your friends will be told to film on your wedding day and they are also a good indicator of how professional their editing is.

If the video tutorials that they’re sending out to the friends and family are poorly filmed and not very well edited, it doesn’t bode well for your wedding video!

What should couples consider when choosing this form of wedding videography?

When deciding on whether to film it yourself or hire a professional videographer, you need to first decide which style of editing you prefer for your wedding video. There are some extremely talented wedding videographers in the UK who make beautiful wedding films but the good ones are expensive and while they do a fantastic job of capturing your wedding from a ‘fly on the wall’ perspective, they do lack personal interaction with the guests.

Film-your-own wedding videos are very different because they are being shot from within the wedding party itself and from the guest’s perspective. The finished edited video is more up close, personal, funny and a more accurate reflection of what really happened on your wedding day – lots of your best friends and family having an amazing time!

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How do you pick the right ‘Film your own wedding’ videography company?

Similar to picking any other wedding supplier, you need to do the same checks to make sure they’re credible, reliable and trustworthy. We’re always amazed by how many people don’t do their research on a company before handing over their hard-earned cash.

Unlike traditional wedding videography, you don’t meet the people who are going to be responsible for sending you the video cameras or editing your video so you’re putting a huge amount of trust in a business to deliver what they promise. Make sure that you check their credentials and their background; who are they and if they have only just started this business what did they do beforehand and what qualifies them to be able to offer this service?

Do they have credible reviews on independent websites and genuine Twitter followers and Facebook likes. We always encourage our couples to leave reviews and it has taken us a long time to get over 45 five-star reviews on Hitched.co.uk.

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Why would we go for this style of videography when we could hire a professional for the same price?

We have found that this question comes up every now and again and we think it’s a good one. A huge amount of work goes into a Shoot It Yourself wedding video, from the maintenance of the cameras and the safe backup of the footage, to the attention to detail in the editing process and the encoding onto a professional DVD.

We courier the cameras two days before the wedding to ensure that those filming have time to check them thoroughly and make sure that they are happy with how to use them. We’re also on the other end of the phone if they have any technical questions.

Our website gives our customers their own unique client area where they can upload photos, tell us their music choices and leave us editing notes. Once the video is live they can upload their relatives’ email addresses and we’ll email them with a link to the wedding video and the password where they can not only watch the video but order copies of the edited DVD, comment using Facebook and download the video for £1 to their phones or computers.

The most important thing that sets us apart, however, is our editing style. Having played no part in filming the wedding video, our editors have the task of watching ALL of the footage before deciding on the very best, personal bits to include and setting it to the client’s choice of music.

http://vimeo.com/33666436

What are your top 5 tips for filming your own wedding day?

  1. Always make sure that there are three or four different people throughout the day who are willing to do some filming. This ensures that no one feels that it’s their responsibility and the filming can be shared to make sure that no one gets bored of doing it!
  2. Make sure that you use two cameras to cover the ceremony; one as a static shot on a tripod close to the couple and another one midway down the aisle. This makes editing much easier as you are able to cut things out without the shot jumping.
  3. Don’t stand too far away from the person who is speaking during the speeches – directional microphones are very good but if you’re stood at the back of a noisy room full of 100 guests the sound is going to be picking up the clapping and atmosphere more than the speaker.
  4. Interview people! Ask other guests for a personal message or ask a group of people the same three questions which can then be edited back to back in the video for comedy effect.
  5. Sing a marryoke. At the reception why not ask the guests to all sing a line from a song which can then be edited to the actual track? VERY funny especially when you include the out takes.

Shoot It Yourself was started in February 2010 by former TV director Andrea McDowell who appeared on Dragons Den in September 2011, successfully securing investment from Hilary Devey. For more information on their amazing services, visit their website.

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