To an onlooker it seems very easy to film a wedding, but it is as tough as filming an important news story. Most of the key events in a wedding can only occur once, such as the new couple taking their vows, so no chance for a reshoot. That is why you have to be well prepared.
1. You need a video camcorder you are really familiar with, so as to eliminate the chance of fumbling.
2. Bring sufficient tapes, and the number of fully-charged batteries must be sufficient for a whole day of filming.
3. Take a small light which fits on top of the camcorder to handle dark situations; normally a 40W unit would be sufficient.
4. If possible, bring a camera-mounted, directional microphone for recording conversations without getting them drowned out by ambient sound.
5. You will find occasions where you have to film large groups of people, so take a wide-angle auxillary converter lens.
1. The videographer has to be completely familiar with the whole procedure of the whole day, the ceremonies, rituals and customs. This is vital for capturing the best shots. The videographer has to be a few steps before everyone else, for instance he has to be indoors before the new couple enters, and the camera positioned and running when the rings are exchanged.
2. Way beforehand, establish what the families require out of the film itself. Should you be given a complete freehand? Would it be necessary to have every guest in the film? Are there any special requirements for filming in the church? Can the videographer position himself near the altar? These are essential groundwork for a successful shoot.
3. The basics of filming have to be observed too; I have penned several articles on the subject, regarding issues of taking brief shots for editing, or leaving the camera running, etc.
4. Basically, automatic exposure and focussing should be able to handle most circumstances, but make sure that exposure compensation is applied when appropriate.
5. Don't forget that you are charged with the responsibility to document a most important, joyous occasion in two people's lives, so you need to make the film happy and touching. When appropriate, request the new couple to interact with the guests, do something or share a joke or two, so as to make everyone beaming with joy.
6. You can also trawl the net and see what others have done as reference materials too.