Thursday, 27 May 2021

The Walled Garden - 5 Stars

On Saturday 22nd May 2021 I had the pleasure of being invited along to film the wedding of Ricky & Leah at the Walled Garden in Kincardine. I had no idea what to expect, but hoped for a dry day so the couple could have a pleasant outdoor wedding and I could enjoy editing a ceremony taking place in natural light. 

They deserved a decent day due to all the to-ing and fro-ing of the past 14 months, and I don't think they were disappointed. I always tell my clients that the weather at weddings in Scotland is usually surprisingly good - mostly due to the combined 'well-wishing power' of all the guests crossing their fingers and toes for them. And it works! I think I've only been to one wedding out of 130 or so when the heavens opened and it poured the whole day, and that wasn't even the one on Friday 13th! (when my drone broke, but that's another story)

Anyway, back to the Walled Garden. It was an easy drive up from Livingston (I even washed the car) up the A801 onto the M9 near Falkirk and then up and over, taking the turn off towards Airth Castle at junction 7 and over the Kincardine Bridge. From then it was just a case of staying on the main road keeping the Firth of Forth on my right and following it along until I came to the parking lay-by on my left, after which the couple had warned me would be the turn off for the Walled Garden. So I pulled in after the P sign to attach my Go Pro to the bonnet, and stretched my legs before continuing my journey.

It was an overcast jaunt up the long drive through the forest and through the gates to the venue, and after being unsure exactly where to park, I was welcomed by the gentleman who owns the garden, whose name I never found out. He pointed me in the right direction and I walked through the little door into the Walled Garden proper.

Walled gardens always hold a kind of mystery and intrigue for me, probably after reading or watching 'The Secret Garden' by Frances Hodgson Burnett, so I was quite looking forward to discovering what would be found within this one.

Amazingly the whole place is solely managed by the couple who own it, which is not impossible, Anne, the lady of the garden assures me, as long as you stay on top of it all year. Apparently a walled garden is always a few degrees warmer than the surrounding area, and has two south-facing walls, two north walls, two east walls and two west walls, meaning a wide variety of growing conditions for a huge panoply of plants. 

Built in 2009, the venue is well laid out with indoor areas, tents and gazebos-a-plenty should the weather take a turn. It's also set in acres of forest and countryside, with a breathtaking view of the valleys and mountains to the north. Frolicking lambs, buzzing bees and twittering swallows are all in abundance. Unlike my vegetable patch, no baby weed nor slug is even permitted to gain the slightest foot or toe-hold.

The weather was dappled sunshine for the outdoor ceremony, after which it became slightly overcast and a few tentative drops of rain fell before the speeches beneath the canopy, but for the most part the whole day was dry, bright and fresh. 

The first couple of dances was also outside on the slabs where the ceremony had taken place now the chairs were cleared away. Drinks no doubt flowed into the evening but by then I was already on the road back over the Kincardine bridge on my way home to begin editing.

So give the Walled Garden near Kincardine a look if you're searching for a venue that's a bit different this summer.

Contact Chris at 
By phone /text 0789 9718 775
Follow us on twitter @WOWeddingFilms
Or on Facebook 

Sunday, 24 January 2021

How I Film Weddings

Hi, My name’s Chris Young of White Orchid Wedding Films, the wedding video department of Raptor Filmz Ltd.  a small videography company based in West Lothian, Scotland. We’ve been filming weddings since 2011,  have completed about 130 so far, and have lots of nice five star reviews on our Facebook page to show for it. Today I’d like to talk to you about how to film weddings, or, at least, how I film them. Most of the weddings I shoot are between brides and grooms, so I’ll be using those terms throughout this video, but I’m perfectly happy to and have filmed several same sex weddings or civil partnerships. 

Shooting weddings is great. It’s one of those jobs that doesn’t actually feel like work, like serving drinks in a bar on a Saturday night, because everyone is having a good time and it’s all about love, friendship, commitment and happiness. Weddings that is. Not Saturday night bar work. Although everyone is different, and every couple is different, and therefore so is every wedding, there are some similarities, patterns and useful policies to have in place when filming them.

First things first:


  • At least two HD cameras that can film in 1080 or above.
  • Two tripods, one as tall as possible
  • a steadicam of some sort, with quick release
  • Three microphones which are cordless and can record internally
  • Transportation. I use a Toyota Hybrid
  • Smart attire
  • a computer and editing software. I use Final Cut Pro X on a macbook Pro
  • at least one onboard LED light with a dimmer switch
  • A 4 way plug extension with USB slots if possible
  • Energy snacks (fruit, nuts, orange juice, Irn Bru)
  • Bonus – a 4k Go Pro with suction mount
  • Sd cards and Micro Sd cards

I never use just one camera. First and foremost, you could film everything and then drop your camera in a pond, or the card could be scrambled, or anything could happen. What will you do then? Secondly, filming any event with two cameras gives you better editorial control. If someone makes a mistake, or coughs or sneezes and you want to remove it, then to avoid a jump cut, all you have to do is cut the part out, switch from one camera to the other and hey presto! It’s gone. Thirdly, having a second angle is advantageous because if the person you’re filming happens to turn in that direction, then you’d probably want to use the clip from that camera.

I put my second camera on a tall tripod (taller than most people’s heads so they can’t inadvertently block the picture) and set it up so it has a nice stationery wide shot of the ‘stage’ . Then I leave it there, only coming back to check it’s still recording occasionally. This is my back up number two camera in case number one is shaky or I have to change position. I put it in a place where people won’t trip over it and it won’t get knocked by guests or interfered with by children.

You need some kind of stabilisation with your number one camera. Smoothcam processing is pretty good – I use it a lot on Final Cut Pro X – but it has its limitations, especially if the shake is really bad, there’s some flash photography, or someone walks in front of you. So I use a Merlin Steadicam. These came out a few years ago and are not so expensive any more. You can probably pick one up cheap on Ebay for a couple of hundred pounds or less if you’re lucky. But depending on your camera, they can be heavy. So it’s worth doing a bit of weight training in advance just to make it easier to hold steadily for long periods. A bit of weight training and general fitness also comes in useful when you have to carry heavy equipment around.

After your camera, probably your most important piece of kit is your microphone. I’ve picked up three over the years while film-making in Japan. It may be hard to believe, but this little thing is my number one mic. It has a lapel mic on a pin that attaches snugly to the groom’s waist coat. It’s a self contained mp3 recorder so there are no signals being emitted that might distort other mics. I press record, put it on hold and then slot it into the groom’s inside or watch pocket and synch it all up later. This mic will then pick up the bride and groom’s vows much clearer than a mic on a camera yards away. Trust me. You don’t want to use the audio from your cameras except to synch stuff up, for background audio or in emergencies.


  • Get yourself a facebook page and a website
  • Research market prices
  • Charge low-to-nothing for your first wedding to get experience and in exchange for footage to use for promotional purposes. 
  • Join lots of Wedding groups on Facebook to see what the chat is and get your name out there
  • Spend a bit on Facebook and Gumtree advertising
  • Tell your friends and family – maybe they’ll help you spread the word

A Month Before The Wedding:

Preliminary Meeting

Once you’ve found your first couple and taken a 20% deposit, have a (sit down or virtual) meeting with them and go through their plans for the day so you are not caught out. What kind of questions to ask? More on that as I go.

The Week Before The Wedding

Dry clean your formal wear. This may seem obvious, but if you’re anything like me, your wardrobe will be full of half-used suits.

The Day before

  • Charge up all your batteries
  • Empty all your camera cards
  • Ensure there is space on your laptop to import a couple hundred GB of footage.
  • Ensure all mics have enough space for a couple of hours audio.
  • Put all your equipment in one place (not in your car in case it gets stolen that night)
  • Fill car with petrol.
  • Get the numbers of the AA/RAC and of some other kind videographers who might be able to jump in last minute should you get sick or have an accident.

On the Day

Leave in plenty of time to ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before you need to start filming.

The further away the wedding, the more chance of an accident or roadblock on the way, so you need to factor this in. Always give yourself time to deal with any issues (a puncture, detour etc)

For me, driving is work, because it takes concentration, so I need a break before I even start filming. That’s why I like to arrive in plenty of time, have a coffee and a reconnoitre, adjust my tie etc.

Bridal Prep

Some weddings involve filming the bride and/or groom getting ready. So arrange a time to turn up that works for both of you. It might feel a bit awkward standing around in a cramped space pointing a camera at people in various states of undress, but it’s just part of the job and some great, sometimes emotional footage can be captured to help add to the story of the day. With a bit of luck the couple will be getting ready near each other, so when things get a bit slow at one location you can say, “Okay, I’ll just pop over and see how your other half is getting on,” and vice versa. Then it’s just a case of going back and forth capturing good footage and culminating in the money shot s of the bride coming down the stairs in her full dress, and the groom and his groomsmen all dressed up  and ready to go. Bonus points for shots of the cars, flowers, rings, shoes etc, the little details that the couple have put into the making of their big day.

The Venue

If you can, try sticking the Go Pro on the front of your car just before pulling into the venue. This usually yields up some great footage of a long drive or the grounds leading up to a castle or stately home.

Guests Arriving

I try to get to the venue at least an hour before the ceremony start time, because I have to set up cameras on tripods, liaise with the photographer, celebrant (or equivalent), wedding planner etc, as well as catch my breath, before filming the guests arriving. Timing is everything here, because you don’t want your mic batteries to run out halfway through the ceremony, or your camera cards to fill up with footage of empty rooms, or to miss the bride arriving in her car. 

Let’s say the ceremony is to start at 1pm. This is an example of times I’ll aim for:

12 noon: Arrive, get steadicam shots of venue interior, set up Camera 2 on tripod.

Get nice shots of groom arriving, guests, photo with groomsmen, rings

12:30 Switch on Camera 2 to get guests filing into venue

12:35 Mike up groom

12:40 Switch on microphones

12:45 Final shots of groom and best man at front

12:55 Be at the front ready for bride to arrive in car (Camera 1on steadicam) Precede her backwards into the venue. (but don’t walk backwards down the aisle. Go down the side and find an unobstructed view of her approaching down the aisle towards you (while trying to stay out of your own shot (camera 2).

The Ceremony

When the bride comes in I usually film her coming down the aisle with camera 1 at the front next to the groom, then move backwards and round when everyone sits down. Depending on the size of the ceremony room I might detach camera 1 from the Merlin and fix it to the Merlin Quick release on a nearby tripod I’ve set up in advance. Then I can zoom in from afar without any shake or wobble and can give my arms a rest. If it’s tight up the front I might have to just remove the steadicam and stand there doing my best as there might be no way to go up the back without drawing too much attention to myself.

Usually the celebrant, priest, minister, humanist or registrar will do most of the talking, so zoom in on them for the most part, only to pan away for reaction shots. More religious ceremonies might have the bride and groom facing away from the guests towards an altar, so it’s  good to be ready for this and set up a camera in advance in the ‘Holy Zone’ aiming back the way. Discuss in advance at the meeting, or even get the couple to sketch the inside of the venue if you’ve never been there.

During the vows I usually like to be closer to the couple and get over the shoulder shots of each if possible. This may involve a bit of running back and forth. Hair can also be an issue. If someone has hair hanging down one side of their face it might be necessary to change position to get the best shot of their facial reactions. Key points are the vows and the first kiss – these are high priority moments and must not be missed. 

During the signing of the register I try to get footage of the bride and groom actually signing, but some churches don’t actually allow this so just take it as it comes. While the photographer is doing their thing and after re-attaching the steadicam for exit of the happy couple ,I might try to flit about getting good shots over the photographer’s shoulder or of the guests. Editing the signing of the register I switch to music video montage mode, interspersing shots of the signing with black and white flashbacks of the highlights of the ceremony so far. 

As the person in charge of the ceremony is wrapping up, I’ll position myself at the end of the aisle shoulder to shoulder with the photographer, in order to get an unobstructed view of the couple coming down the aisle towards us. Then I’ll walk backwards tracking them (carefully looking behind me as I go) for as long as possible. This is especially rewarding if they walk down a long, well-lit corridor. I also ask the bride and groom for a ‘Cheers to the camera’ which always looks really nice because they’re glowing and happy and it’s a privilege for the audience to be able to share that moment with them. 

And that’s the hardest part done. Some key points to remember are to never cross the line of sight between the guests and the couple, to stay discreet and courteous, and to be helpful if needs be. Also, I try not to make any jokes during the wedding day, because my off the wall humour can sometimes be taken the wrong way, so rather than risk that I smile, nod and hold my tongue, choosing instead to let the photographer run the show. 

The Photos

Some people might think, ‘What’s the point of filming the photos getting taken? You’re going to have the photos anyway to remember that part, right?’ Yes, that’s correct. Unless of course the photographer’s photo card gets corrupted and he contacts you to see if you can send him some stills.  But the truth is, a nice music video montage of the photos getting taken slots really nicely in between the Ceremony and the Speeches chapters. Plus a lot of funny, nice or aesthetic candid stuff goes on behind the scenes that the photographer may or may not catch. Guests hugging, people clinking glasses together, the canapes being taken round – little details that look nice on the day but quickly fade from memory. Also, a slow motion confetti throw looks great on video as well as frozen in a photo.

The Speeches

Next up are the Speeches. In advance, figure out where the speakers are gong to be sitting. Usually there are name tags, but when in doubt ask the wedding planner or Master of Ceremonies. I have two mics that can be placed down on the tables in front of the speakers, and put the lapel mic on the Best man this time to give the groom a break. I usually put this Zoom H2  down in front of the groom because sometimes the bride or other people around the groom say something nice or funny in reaction and this is multi directional. Some microphones pick up nasty buzzing from nearby smart phones – especially this one -  so I usually ask people around the mics to switch theirs to airplane mode if possible. 

Again, as with the ceremony, I’ll set up a couple of cameras around the room on tripods, or attach this sucky 4k go pro to a window or mirror. Then, when the happy couple are being piped in I’ll precede them backwards with the steadicam (after confirming with the wedding planner which way they’ll be approaching the top table.) You should also ask in advance when they’ll be cutting the cake, because some weddings the couple might pause and cut the cake on their way to the top table. In others they’ll cut the cake just before the first dance. This is why it’s always advisable to have a sit-down meeting to go over the itinerary with the happy couple so you know what to expect. It also helps to build rapport so if one of your jokes does happen to slip out during the big day, they’ll have more of a chance of understanding where you’re coming from.

Once the happy couple are safely seated, retreat to the tripod with the Steadicam Quick release on it, switch camera one from Steadicam to tripod, train it on the first speaker, stand back, stretch your muscles and relax. Usually the order in the UK for wedding speeches is: Father Of The Bride, Groom, Best Man. But sometimes there are multiple best men and occasionally the head Bridesmaid might say something, or even, in one great case I had, sing a song. You need to check all this in advance at the preliminary meeting. Also, will the speeches be before the meal (usually they are) or after (more traditional)? Or both? Another important point is to make sure your camera two is zoomed out enough to catch the speakers while stood up, and not just while seated. Otherwise their heads will be chopped off when they are giving their speech and that backup footage will be unusable if you have to adjust Camera One.

For this reason I always assume that the camera I am using is the only camera in operation. Zoom in slow, zoom out slow, pan slow. This also maximises usable footage and makes things much easier should there be a problem with the other cameras. But mistakes happen. That’s why I always periodically double check my other tripod cameras. Is the red LED still flashing on the Go Pro? If not, why not? Can I fix it without sticking out like a sore thumb?

Once all the speeches have been completed I like to try and catch the hugs, shaking hands and congratulatory after-glow before retrieving the mics and switching off the cameras. Then I’ll remove the cameras and tidy up the tripods so the happy couple don’t think they’re being recorded while eating, which could lead to unnecessary indigestion!

And that’s the speeches. If you’re lucky the bride and groom might have organised some dinner for you (another reason to have a preliminary chat, so you can discuss this in advance) and I like to begin import of the footage so far and have a skim through it while I’m eating a) because I want to check everything looks okay b) to duplicate the footage for safety reasons c) to free up space on the cards for the evening and d) it saves time later. Now is also a fine time to charge up your batteries (literally).

The Evening

This is the chill out time between the Speeches and First Dance when everyone’s relaxed and the evening guests arrive. 

The Cake & First Dance

The ceremony and speeches are arguably the two most important parts, the third being, in my humble opinion, the cake & first dance.

Eight times out of ten here in Scotland, the cutting of the cake will take place on the dance floor just before the First Dance, so that the evening guests can witness it. Plus everyone’s already gathered round, so it makes sense from the venue’s point of view. 

I set up two cameras on high tripods looking down at the dance floor in preparation for the First Dance, and I might even parade around a bit on the empty dance floor and check how it looks in the camera. Rule of thumb for filming the first dance – it’s better to cut the couple off at the knees than at the neck. The main concern during the FD is also lighting. For some reason people like nice dim mood lighting for this part of the day. Unfortunately it means your cameras won’t pick up a damn thing. So have your lights ready. In fact, I’m toying with the idea of using lights anyway – a three point lighting set up will make your subjects stand out all the better. Use back lighting to separate them from the background for extra WOW factor. The lights will have to be organised in advance because there won’t be time between the cake and the first dance.

So, the guests have gathered round, the cake is about to be cut. Where should you stand with camera one? I crouch down in front of the couple aiming up at them. This serves two functions. One, you get a nice, clear, unobstructed view and Two, so do their guests, over the top of your head.

Then the cake is whisked off and it’s over to the band or DJ. You’ll know which when you ask the at the preliminary meeting. If it’s a band, why not capture their audio to use on the Wedding DVD?

The Dancing

This is a nice part of the wedding day which is often cut short or even overlooked entirely. ‘Who wants to see people after they’ve had a few drinks strutting their stuff on the dance floor?’ Well, I do.  After the stiff, formal part of the day is over, it’s great to see people relax and let their hair down. Also, you can rest assured that (unless the clients really want it to) any footage that makes people look anything less than impeccable, will not be included in the video. I don’t sell video clips to You’ve Been Framed, or upload them publicly on Youtube. Because that would clearly be bad business practice. 

Messages From Guests

Sometimes the client will express an interest in this chapter, and sometimes they’ll specifically request for it not to be included. It’s a bit like the Marmite part of the wedding video. But the important thing is to not pressure guests into leaving a message. What I usually do is leave a camera or two running trained at the dance floor, and if things are quiet will wander around to find a quiet spot where I can politely invite guests for a short interview. I usually use the Rode mic with big furry cat skin on for this, connected by XLR cable to the camera, in order to cut down the noise of the music in the background, plus the guests usually find it amusing to use as a prop.

The Last Dance

Only rarely are we invited to stay the whole night until the last dance, but this is always a pleasure to witness and it really feels like we’ve been invited along as a guest to take part in the whole day. Yes, you’re tired but if you’ve been charging batteries and importing footage on the hoof then you should be able to go the distance and be able to provide this final special keepsake for the bride and groom. Runrig and Rabbie Burns will probably be there to keep you company.

And that’s it! That’s the whole day filmed. Now all you have to do is get home safely (maybe have a can of redbull in the car just in case it’s a late finish and you’re tired) and import the rest of your footage from cameras and mics (in the car on the way home if you have enough battery on your laptop). I usually set this running overnight, so everything is imported by morning. Always take the cameras inside – don’t leave them in the car overnight.

Once you have the whole library in one central location, copy it all over to an external hard drive so that you have two copies at all times. Then (and only then) you can wipe the footage off the camera cards in preparation for the next shoot.

The rest is up to you. I might do another video on editing weddings, so please subscribe for notifications of new videos. I hope you found this interesting and useful. If so, a like and a share would really help me build up this channel. If you have any tips on filming weddings that I may have missed, please let me know in the comments. Thanks again, and happy filming!

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Frequently Asked Questions

Ever wondered about booking a videographer for your wedding but not sure whether to go ahead? Below are some Frequently Asked Questions and our answers.

Q. Our budget is already stretched to breaking point and we don’t think we can afford a videographer. Most of them are very expensive. How much do you charge?

A. Yes, there are a wide variety of videographers out there covering the full spectrum of costs. We charge from the ground up rather than the max down and our prices begin at £515 for our Silver Package. In contrast to other videographers who might ask for the full balance before your wedding day, we help you spread the cost by asking for a 20% deposit to secure the date with the remainder spread out over three more payments before and after your big day, like this: 30% before wedding, 30% after wedding, final 20% once your DVDs are ready.

Q. We are a little shy and/or so are our guests. We’d rather not have another stranger there with a big VHS camera into people’s faces making them self conscious.

A. A lot has changed since the videoing of weddings of yesteryear. And I personally am quite pleased with my ability to get awesome footage while staying relatively discreet. At the preliminary meeting I always check to find out how much of a presence you’d like me to have and to get an idea about you and your guests’ feelings while being in front of a camera. I can blend right into the background if you like, and even offered to pose as long lost uncle from Australia at a wedding in order to bring the visibility factor right down. At the end of the day if we give you a video where everyone looks stressed and annoyed this reflects badly on us, so what I like to do is get as many candid shots as possible, by zooming in on people at the opposite side of the room. That way everyone looks natural and relaxed. Also, cameras have changed a lot. Some of my cameras are tiny Go Pros, that stick onto windows or attach to light fittings and you probably won’t even notice them! I get many comments from clients saying they hardly even saw me. Have a look at our five star reviews and see for yourself :) 

Q. It’s going to be a small venue with lots of people, and the last thing we want is a bunch of cables everywhere. Heath and safety?

A. Yes, we take health and safety extremely seriously. We are fully insured (certificate available on request) and use batteries for our cameras and lights almost all the time. We may charge them up at an out of the way wall socket, but everything would be tucked away safely and out of sight if possible.

Q. What if there’s friction between the photographer and videographer?

A. As with everyone in the wedding industry I’m sure we all want you to have the best day possible, and I think most people realise the optimum way of doing that is to work together in a friendly manner as a team. I’ve worked with and learned from great photographers over the years. I usually let them do their directing and get their shots and follow them around just recording everything quietly. It’s acceptable to have the photographer in the video, but not the other way round :)

Q. What happens if there is a second wave of Covid-19 and we have to postpone our wedding to another date. Isn’t this just another wedding supplier we’d have to juggle and perhaps even lose our deposit?

A. If you book us and wish to change the date to one that we have available in the future due to Covid-19 related problems, we’d be very happy to accommodate at no extra charge. Please ask us for our available dates before re-booking your wedding. If, however, we are unavailable for your new date, we will refund 75% of your deposit.

Q. I saw a wedding video once and the guests had to leave a message and they were uncomfortable and embarrassed. We don’t want video messages.

A. That’s fine. What I usually do is just ask people in passing if they’d like to leave a message and if they say no, just smile and say, “thanks anyway.” Or I ask the DJ to mention it. But if you’d rather not have video messages I’d be more than happy to remove this from your package as this saves me going outside my comfort zone :)

Q. Do we have to provide a meal for the videographer as well as the photographer?

A. Not at all. Some people have it in their contracts but I’m as happy to have soup and a sandwich at the bar as in my car :)

Q. Oh god, not another meeting!

A. One phone call or Zoom chat sometime before your big day – 40 minuntes tops – that’s all I ask :) But if you’re too busy and trust me to do the best job I can, we can even forego the meeting and I’ll go over everything with the venue or wedding planner on the day.

Q. Can we see the video to suggest edits before it’s all finalised?

A. Sure. Once you’re all paid up I can send you links to preview your wedding chapters online and even share with friends. Let me know if you’d like to alter anything and I’d be happy to oblige.

Q. Do we get the full film as well as a highlights version?

A. Yes, that’s right. We edit together a full film of your wedding day lasting between 50 and 90 minutes, and we also cut together a short music video of all the best clips from your day. This will be in high definition and uploaded to be shared online with friends and family as you like. This is actually one of my favourite parts of the wedding video process.

Q. Can we hear the vows and the speeches or is it music all the way through?

A. Some of the chapters will be music only, for example, arrival of the guests, the photos, the first dance etc., but the ceremony and the speeches will of course have audio from the three microphones I’ll have dotted about the place. For the ceremony I usually clip a lapel mic on the groom – an internal mp3 recorder which fits snugly in an inside pocket, and this will pick up both your vows nice and clearly. For the speeches I place three mics down on the table in front of the speakers. 

So that's it! I hope that's answered a few questions you may have. If you'd like an more information about us filming your wedding in Scotland, please contact Chris by phone or text on 07899 718775 or email me at . You can also message our Facebook page :)

Tuesday, 2 June 2020

Coronavirus & Weddings

The effects of the coronavirus on weddings, as with almost all other industries, has been pretty much catastrophic, I'm sure you'll agree.

From 23rd March onwards large gatherings of people have been banned and weddings have been postponed to future dates. This must be very stressful and in some cases expensive and frustrating for brides, grooms, their families and their wedding suppliers, causing a knock-on effect all down the line from venues to caterers to florists. The whole wedding industry has been rocked from March to - who knows when?

Small outdoor ceremonies might be the way forward this summer.

To be honest I had no weddings booked between February and July this year anyway, so I've been lucky, but not everyone has been so fortunate.

According to, in Northern Ireland measures seem to be relaxing slightly with weddings being permitted where one partner is terminally ill. Also in NI, outdoor weddings of no more than ten people may be allowed from 10th June. Inspired by this the UK government is looking into the possibility of allowing small weddings to take place from the end of this month. As long, presumably, as there is no second wave.

So what does this mean? Several of my clients who booked me to film their big day this year have asked if I'm available in 2021 and 2022, and happily, I've been able to accommodate their rescheduling with a minimum (actually zero) of fuss and/or expense. I can only imagine how agonising something like this can be and am very happy to help where possible.

However, if you're really keen to have a 2020 wedding later in the year it may be necessary to look at small, outdoor ceremonies. How would that work? One solution might be to have two events : the legal/spiritual one with just your closest family and friends in a garden this year (with live video links?), followed by a larger friend and family reception with speeches, dancing etc next year or beyond.

My wife and I got married in Japan in 2008. Our son was already on the way, so we had to kind of speed things up a bit because it's not so easy to register children born out of wedlock in Japan yet, and there are still stigma involved compared to the UK and other western countries. My father and sisters could attend in person, but unfortunately my mother had a bad back and couldn't fly over from Scotland, so I attempted to live-stream the ceremony using my laptop and Skype over a wireless internet connection. 

Good idea? No. 

Just watch out for hay fever!

On paper this might sound like a plan, but unfortunately, as old Murphy was fond of saying, "What can go wrong will go wrong," and in this case did. Tip #7: Never try to film your own wedding.

The internet connection was intermittent at best on the lead up to the ceremony. We did see each other on the screen for a brief while, but then the inevitable happened. Mum had her hopes up and all her friends with her in the middle of the night, only to have them dashed when the connection crashed almost immediately, and I wasn't able to tinker with it because - ahem - I was otherwise engaged. I couldn't really stop the priest and say, "Sorry, just a sec. Mum! Can you hear me now? How about now? Damn, where can I plug this in? Do we have an ethernet here in this lovely rooftop venue? Oh dear, my wife-to-be's water just broke. Let's get on, shall we?"

Joking aside, nowadays live-streaming has become much more achievable and commonplace. Just don't do it yourself. Please. Ask your videographer. What would it take? A strong dependable ethernet connection, an encoder, and a youtube or Vimeo channel would probably do it. It might cost a little extra to get it done properly, but with all the uncertainty in the world today - technical gremlins notwithstanding - it must be well worth it.

Anyway, our wedding went without further mishap (apart from a few tears on my mum's side) and happily our son was born a couple of months later. Then we set up a reception back in Scotland for all our UK friends which you can see a video of here.

Our family wedding reception in 2010

We were able to enjoy seeing all our family and friends at this second gathering without the stress of the ceremony, had a few speeches, and made some nice memories. It was actually pretty great and I'd recommend it.

Anyway, whatever happens, I hope your wedding takes place with a minimum of fuss and that you can enjoy it as the wonderful, love-filled, friend and family involved, food and drink laden, humorous speech entailed day and night it should be - whether spent over one day or two :)

If you'd like to enquire about our availability to film your wedding please email Chris at or call/text 0789  9718 775.