Lee and I were married at the Hillbark Hotel in the Wirral. On a not so sunny August bank holiday (it rained so heavy in the afternoon, it was well timed thankfully as we sat down to eat!!) surrounded by all 44 of our wonderful wedding guests.

We had our wedding photographer and video handy friends there to capture it all and despite our highlights being a tad cheesy, because lets not forget it was the first ever wedding film I’d edited, it means so much to us now we can look back at it all…

photography credit: Philip Gilman (this is by no means a recommendation…)

Today and Lee and I celebrate 8 wonderful years of being happily married.

Don’t worry, it’s not a gushing post that’s going to make you feel a little sick (though honestly it’s been the best 8 years and I swear it just gets better!!!!). I thought I’d take a little time to reflect on what our own wedding video taught us about wedding videos.

After all, it was my own wedding video that taught me all the basics I needed to know to go on to film my first ‘actual’ wedding!

Hating the sound of your own voice…

I do. I really do. So much so I edited out my own vows on my wedding video. Yes. Really.

At the time I couldn’t stand to listen to myself. Now…I regret that. I watch our longer film and it makes me sad that I couldn’t see past it. That I couldn’t see how much joy would be brought from hearing us say our vows again.

All I thought at the time was how much I hated my voice. Me. No-one else, just me.

The reality is that after the day, it’s not about the bits you hate (be that your voice or some wobbly bits you think everyone can see).

It becomes much more than that.

large group shot of family and friend with bride and groom at a wedding at the Hillbark Hotel

It’s the moments you didn’t realise happened on the day, the conversations, the funny bits, the sneaky kisses and whispers, the looks from your guests as they witness how in love you are, how beautiful you both look together, that ring…how perfect the whole day is.

So consider this.

If you’re unsure about a video, or maybe not so keen on the idea of them being there to film you getting ready with no make-up on or hair done…think past that.

Think about how much fun you’ll have with your girls, all that laughter and silly banter that only you lot get. Think of that moment you give your Mum that thoughtful little gift you spent so long searching for and hoped she would like. The one that makes her cry all her make-up off she loves it so much.

I watch Keri and Tom’s wedding morning (where I had the amazing privilege of being Maid of Honour) and I know they were so glad we could be there to capture all that excitement (and occasional nonsense) before the actual wedding…

For me I wish we’d have filmed our wedding morning too (and it’s the sole reason we film every Bride and Groom’s morning as standard, learn from our regrets!!). I vaguely remember wishing someone had been there to film my sister in law (to be at the time) walk in to a cloud of perfume spray with her mouth open but I imagine it’s the moments I didn’t see and have long forgotten that I wish had been caught on video…

Here’s my longer wedding film if you’re up for more cheese and slow mo (but sadly no getting ready. sob). The end is pretty special though (around 16-17 minutes), we had hip hop dancers surprise our guests after our choreographed first dance…

It’s perfectly fine to not have a clue about wedding videos…

You know you want to see things back, you think you’d like it filmed but then you know you don’t want some epic (and probably boring) 4 hour video like your friend did.

You know you don’t want to feel like you’re being filmed for some dodgy ITV2 documentary (that was Lee’s main concern, though he likened it to a Peter Andre doc haha) and have guests comment on the video people getting in the way (yes, I’ve heard that happens with some other videographers!). You want some thing natural, something that helps you feel relaxed and that you’re not even being filmed!

The best moments tend to be the unplanned and unrehearsed ones. The fluffing of the lines during the vows, someone shouting out during the speeches or that moment when your best friend doesn’t realise anyone is watching her do the whole dance routine to the Britney song that’s just come on…

You want to find someone who can capture the whole story, the whole day and do it in a way that’s discreet enough to get those nuatural moments you wouldn’t even think to ask for.

From those nerves in the morning (and it’s always so nice to see both of you getting ready) though to your guests throwing their best moves on the dance floor. Trying to save money by having a shorter day or getting them to start later because you don’t want to see you without make-up may lead to regret like it did with us…

Do it your way!

When we planned our wedding I think we stuck to the magazines more than we realised and I wish I’d had the confidence to do what I wanted and not what I felt it should be. The one example that sticks out is my hair. I spent 3 years growing out my bob to have ‘wedding hair’ only to cut it all off again a few months later…why???

Thankfully a lot of other things we went for it with what was ‘us’!

I requested not to have the typical wedding car that came with the wedding package because it just wasn’t me. I wasn’t all Bridezilla about it but thankfully they totally got me at the Hillbark and the owner turned up in his stunning 1930’s black vintage Rolls instead of the pink one!

Lee didn’t want off the peg for his wedding and ended up getting a suit tailored (that went on to cost more than my dress, I don’t go on about that at all…honest) and he was happier for it.

I quite happily spent a whole day cutting, curling and sticking tiny little daisies on to our 4 tier wedding cake. Oh and I made the cake topper too (I still have that on my desk!) because I wanted to do something myself with the cake.

We couldn’t bring ourselves to do a wedding shuffle and those ‘spontaneous’ wedding dances were becoming far too popular. So, we opted for dance lessons ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ style and learnt a (basic) quickstep to non other than Love Gets Sweeter by Finley Quaye.

Oh and to top it off we then had hip hop dances turn up and do a cool routine to some of our favourite songs…

You can make your wedding day so personal in so many ways if you get creative (and I don’t mean D.I.Y, simply thinking of crazy things and obsessing over Instagram and Pinterest!). Lee still regrets that he didn’t know sweet tables were going to be a thing and if we got married now he would LOVE one of those haha.

We made sure we passed this all on to my sister in law Keri who married at Mitton Hall not long ago. They took it and ran with it, adding so many amazing elements to the day that were so ‘them’ it made their day memorable not only for them but for their guests (like this surprise first dance…)

 

If there’s something niggling at you…

It was only a few weeks before the wedding that I managed to persuade Lee to let me have some professional media friends video our day.

He hated the idea but I knew I wanted some sort of video of the day.

Being the perfectionist that I am I had to have proper cameras, it could’t be close friends doing it as I wanted them to enjoy the day too and not worry about forgetting to press record or setting the white balance (I don’t even think they’d know where that was). I pitched the idea over and over and eventually the talk of living to regret it swayed in my favour.

We knew we’d only do it once so based on assurances they wouldn’t be obtrusive the video was a go!

I think I pushed the matter more because friends who married before us spoke of regrets. One friend said since a little girl she’d always wanted a horse and carriage on her wedding day but they went on to spend the money elsewhere and she later regretted not going for it. I’m so stubborn and I knew I’d regret not having a video. We are now so thankful we did even 8 years on!

Then when you’ve done all that and you know you’re going to have an amazing wedding day make sure you’ve picked that awesome wedding videographer that loves to capture it all from beginning to end… 😉