There are a few things that you will need to be aware of, and a professional can help with a lot of things that you may not have thought about. As well as your official photographer or videographer, many of your guests will also bring along cameras or smartphones with in-built cameras so they can shoot some footage of your big day. This does sound like a wonderful way for your guests to share your celebrations, but remember that they may want to share their recordings on social networks such as Facebook or Twitter.
There are legal considerations to take onboard when any filming of a public event takes place, especially if you have hired live musicians or are using music that may be captured while recording. There could be issues over copyright and performing rights with your musicians, so it is always better to check out that your venue has the correct licences in place well ahead of time.
Things to consider before filming your wedding
If you are planning to have music playing during your ceremony, it may affect copyright permissions – this can also include poetry readings or any other creative works in copyright. Before you commit to anything, check to see if you need to obtain permission from the owners of the copyright, or that you are covered with a copyright licence. Church weddings are usually covered by a Church Copyright Licence from CCLI, so it is worth checking with your vicar beforehand to see if there is a licence in place, and if so, that it is up to date for your wedding day.
A Church Copyright Licence allows you to record live music playing during your ceremony, and also allows you to make a limited number of copies. If the church doesn’t have a copyright licence, then you will need to get a Limited Manufacture Licence from PRS for Music. Again, your vicar can advise you about this and if you will need to get one. You may need to get a Limited Manufacture Licence if you are planning to have pre-recorded music playing during your ceremony, such as a CD containing a favourite song for example.
This licence will also cover any live streaming of your wedding through Skype. Many couples getting married have close relatives that live too far away for them to easily travel to the wedding, so live streaming is becoming more common in these circumstances. Make sure you check your requirements though because you may need a Limited Online Music Licence in some cases.
Professional wedding videographers are very knowledgeable about the correct licences and can help you to make sure you are covered legally for your copyright needs. Even when using a wedding videographer service, it will still be your responsibility to make sure you have the right licenses or permissions in place. Civil ceremonies held in hired venues such as Town Halls, hotels and country houses will normally have the correct licences in place, but it is always sensible to check beforehand to make sure. Some venues may opt to not allow filming in some locations due to the complexity of licences, or they may have a house rule to keep cameras out of certain rooms within a building.
To avoid any misunderstandings happening close to or on your big day, it is worth double-checking in advance to make sure you are aware of any filming restrictions. It may be that a musician, organist or church choir may be entitled to additional fees if their performance is recorded. There have been cases where recordings of live musicians performing at weddings have been shared across social media, and the musicians went on to sue for breach of copyright.
Looking and feeling good on film Once you have made sure all the relevant licences and permissions are in place, then all you need to do is to concentrate on making sure you are looking your absolute best for the camera on your big day! We all know how much preparation goes into the bride’s hair and make up for the big day, but don’t forget that the groom needs to look good too!
Make sure that everything is in place in the mirror before the ceremony, and get one of your trusted groomsmen to give you the once-over for the sake of the camera. Check for fluff, stray hairs, undone buttons, laces done up, crooked tie and buttonhole straightened – and check your fly is not open. While you are getting ready, it is always a wise move to rehearse your speeches one more time to yourself in the mirror, or to someone in the room with you. Having someone to practice your speech on can be very helpful, especially if you have a habit of looking down too much while speaking, or keep nervously scratching your ear or nose. They can point out these little foibles and help you to come across better during your speech as well as on film.