You may remember watching the wedding tapes of your parents and relatives. Yes, the poorly compiled footage of your parents’ nuptials with awkward smiles of relatives, random chattering and blaring 1980s Bollywood music. While the primitive wedding video was a barely planned collection of wedding proceedings, wedding videography has certainly come a long way. Read on to find out all about the latest fad gripping the wedding planning industry…

The Backstory

With the introduction of camcorders in 1980, wedding video documentation went from an indulgence for the rich to having a mass appeal. Soon, a number of hobbyists began recording weddings for a living.  But the poor audio quality, fuzziness and poor color saturation hardly made for an appealing movie. Unlike today, the business was also flooded with inexperienced and non-technical videographers. In the past decade, all that has changed and how!

The Modern Wedding Movie

Fast forward a couple decades, and you will see that the mundane wedding footage has been transformed into an extravaganza with all the makings of your typical celluloid film. Gone is the tacky equipment and unskilled technicians, and in their place we now have high-definition video technology, DSLR cameras such as Canon 5D Mark III, and a professional wedding film crew. If the film is being shot on the same day as the wedding, the crew first scouts the location and sets up the cameras. While the proceedings are on, the cameras capture the various scenes, and in some high-profile weddings, even a crane or helicopter is used to get a convincing top shot. The chaos pretty much resembles a Bollywood crew at work, only this time it’s a real couple’s wedding being shot. They also take interviews of relatives, and capture the couple and crowds from various angles.  While editing, they come up with a suitable story line that goes with the footage, and voila! There’s your magical Karan Johar-style wedding movie!
Apart from the video being taken on the same day as the wedding, there are several types of wedding movies popular among couples. Some of them include engagement videos, proposal videos (often taken without the bride’s knowledge), and invitation a.k.a. “Save the date” videos. Another wedding movie that is a favorite among couples is their own love story captured for the big screen. It has all the elements of your favorite rom-com, right from the couple’s first meeting, to their courting days and finally, the proposal. 

Money matters

While wedding videos are a fun way to immortalize your wedding proceedings, they do come with a steep price tag. Picture this: the wedding industry is easily estimated to be worth $25.5 billion. Families spend anywhere close to 20 lakhs to 6 crores on weddings. This makes it a lucrative business opportunity for budding film-makers, even those ultimately looking to make the transition to mainstream entertainment. Professional wedding film companies charge about 1 - 5 lakh per day. A Save the Date video made by the most experienced cinematographers would cost about 70K per day, and would involve 6 hours of shooting. Filmmakers offer a number of standard packages that include a 90-second trailer, a short highlight film of 7-10 minutes and a 25-minute documentary. The couple can select music of their choice, and be as involved in the process as they wish. The final film is given to them two weeks after the wedding. 

Making memories for life

Expensive yes, but wedding videos are a great way to capture and cherish your most favorite moments. If planning to shoot a movie for your own wedding, it is important to keep a few pointers in mind. Decide in advance the type of movie you would like to shoot. There are a couple of interesting concepts for the Save the Date video; such as a fiancé carrying a “sculpture” of her beloved, and when it gets lost, the fiancé comes ahead to “save” the date. Think outside the box and come up with concepts and themes that are special to you both. Remember to script your videos well in advance and avoid any awkwardness in front of the camera. Wedding videographers often find it a nightmare to get relatives to be comfortable in front of the camera. Thus, you should get the crew in place a few days earlier and get them to rub shoulders with the guests and ask them to share interesting anecdotes. Keep tab of the latest trends in wedding filming, such as video booths. Video booths are similar to photo booths in the sense that they have props and a camera, but instead of pictures it captures your friends and you doing quirky stuff on camera with background music.
No matter what, remember, this is your wedding, your time to shine. So go ahead, and film your own crazy journey!