I remember when Steph first got in touch to enquire about booking us for her wedding on the 20th December 2014. She found us through a recommendation on one of the Facebook Wedding Groups; I think this one was the Kent Wedding Swap Shop. Right from the get go I could tell she was super organised. She asked lots of goods questions… One particularly memorable was “Would it be difficult for you to get there especially if there is a bit of snow in December?”… What did I tell you!? Super Organised! :D
I’d been in touch with Steph on several occasions throughout the year, confirming details, updating addresses etc… As with all the wedding bookings, they seem so far away when booked. Steph’s wedding almost a year and half away, but as always the time flies by.
The 20th December 2014 soon arrived in the form of a beautiful, bright, crisp winter’s day – a film makers dream. Our first stop was the Old Manor House in Brasted, Kent; a stunning historic manor house where we would meet Steph and her party to shoot bridal preparations. A more charming, romantic and idyllic location; you’d struggle to find… 00:19 in the video says it all! :)
Carrie & I pulled up outside the Old Manor House at just gone 10.30. We were pleasantly surprised to bump in to our good friends Hollie Carlin & her assistant Rhianna Ingram – two of our all-time favourite Kent Based Photographers. We set to work capturing “Setting the Scene” shots. I used the Glidecam to capture Steph having her makeup applied through the gorgeous picture window (00:15). Glass can be a great medium to use in film because of the way it interacts with light; creating abstract reflections. I also used the Glidecam to shoot the Green & the Old Manor House itself, making use of an imposing old tree for an added dimension of movement (00:19).
Next we moved inside the house to capture some general prep footage (for the full length video) along with some more artistic shots to be used in the highlights video (00:24 – 00:43).
With time creeping by, Carrie & I moved on to our next stop – the church, allowing plenty of time to liaise with the Vicar and set up the cameras. St Botolph’s Church is on the north west of Sevenoaks nestled amongst the southern slopes of the North Downs. The church is prime example of English beauty with a charming Lych gate that we put to good use in our Setting the Scene shot (00:45). After liaising with the Vicar we were slightly disappointed to learn we would not be permitted to shoot the ceremony from the front of the church. Luckily we have large zoom lenses, so this doesn’t pose too much of a problem.
With the equipment set up and ready to go, I took the second camera, the Canon 5D MK ii mounted on the Glidecam to capture a few shots of Tim and his Groomsmen apprehensively waiting for the arrival of the Bridal party. Next I moved outside where Steph soon arrived in a luxurious white Rolls Royce accompanied by her Father and Bridesmaids. Arrivals complete, I hurried back into the church ready to shoot the ceremony.
When filming a ceremony, I’m typically situated at the front, just off to one of the sides. When the ceremony is being held in a church, this is normally in-between the choir and the vicar. I have a second shooter, stationed at the back of the room with the zoom lens to capture an alternate angle. A disadvantage of this setup is that I’m stuck on tripod capturing a basic, but important “overview” shot. We heavily rely on this footage for use in the full length edit; it’s also used to record the audio.
With Steph & Tim’s ceremony I manned two cameras at the rear of the church. This gave me the freedom to try out a few new shots. One shot that I felt worked particularly well was 01:07 – 01:12 & 01:19 – 01:30. I used the zoom lens to focus on Tim as he first set eyes on Steph as she walked down the aisle. The second camera was used to create a panned out overview shot which cover both Steph & her father.
In fact I liked this shot so much that we have since changed the way we shoot ceremonies. I now stay at the back to give me more freedom to be creative, whilst my second shooter mans the camera up front.
Ceremony complete we moved on to Westerham Golf Club. Opened in 1999, the clubhouse provided the perfect warm and cosy atmosphere for Steph & Tim’s winter wedding reception. We’d shot a wedding in the clubhouse a few years back, and like then Westerham has class and elegance about it. From the food & staff, right through to the toilets. Every detail is carefully considered making the venue as a whole work exceptionally well!
The wedding breakfast & speeches all went swimmingly; bringing us on to Steph & Tim’s first dance. The ambient lighting at the Westerham is pretty good. I liaised with good friend Ian Gladwell the DJ to decide on the best combination for lighting. Carrie also followed me around the dancefloor with our handheld light panel to pull up the light on faces.
Tim had secretly arranged a firework display for the evening as a surprise for Steph. We hung around a little beyond our time to make sure we captured a slice of that, and anyway, who doesn’t like fireworks!? I managed to sneak a clip in at the end of highlights video, which coincidently worked well with the “firework sounding” audio effects at the end of the track.
Hats off to Steph for pulling off such a beautiful, snow-free ;) winter wedding and a massive congratulations to you both. Wishing you all the best for the future, Ryan & Carrie.
A Little Message From Mr & Mrs Jones
Ryan, Thank you so much for capturing our wedding day on video. We are really pleased with the footage and have watched it so many times. The highlights video is particularly beautiful with the background music. You are a great Videographer and we wish you all the best! Love from Mr + Mrs Jones x