On your wedding day

Yay, you’re getting married! Our
top priorities are making sure that your most special memories are captured and preserved and that you have FUN on your wedding day.

We know there are a million and one things to worry about when planning your wedding, so we put together this guide to give you a better idea of exactly what you can expect from your filmmaking team and provide you with some tips and tricks along the way.


Our style focuses on motion and emotion. We’re here to capture the real feelings, the laughs, the cries, and everything in between. For most of the events of the day, we take a documentary approach and capture those candid and emotional moments. However, there are parts of the day, such as during portrait sessions, where we will be more intentional with how we compose each shot.

We will never pose you and have you hold a pose though, as this does not translate to interesting video. We will give you directions and movements, and as always, we try to keep things fun so you feel fabulous and natural.

Let’s be real, it’s not every day that you have multiple cameras pointed at your face all day. That’s why we strive to make you feel as comfortable and natural in front of the camera as possible. We are your professional third and fourth wheels for the day, and we are always ready with an arsenal of dad jokes if you need a laugh.


We will usually start out the morning by getting detail shots. These are the items that are most important to you such as your rings, dress, veil, shoes, invitations, bouquet, jewelry, etc. It is completely up to you which details you want included in the video!

tips and tricks

▪ Have all of your details together in one place in the morning. Make sure you have both sets of wedding bands and any engagement rings handy.

▪ Treat yourself to a pretty hanger for your wedding dress. Think about how it is going to look in your pictures, or maybe even get a custom hanger with your name. A simple wooden or wire hanger looks better than a plastic one.


We absolutely love it when couples choose to read letters or personal vows! When included in your film, it really helps to set the emotional stage, tell your story, and make your film truly personal. Talk to your boo about whether you would like to share letters or recite private vows before during or after your ceremony.

There are so many different ways to include personal words to each other in your films. And there is definitely no right or wrong way! We recommend doing what makes you feel most comfortable, even if that is doing no letters or vows at all! 

Scroll down to read about some of our favorite ways to include personal words in your film and watch some video examples.

If you are feeling a little shy to share your vows or letters in front of a crowd or each other, sitting down separately to read your letters is the perfect option. If you choose this route, we will record you reading the letter you wrote your partner and your partner reading the letter they wrote you out loud.

If you are planning on reading letters out loud for your film, make sure to schedule extra time for this, as this can take anywhere from 10-20 minutes per person. 

separate letter readings

If you are planning to do a first look or first touch, sharing your letters or vows while standing back to back is a super sweet intimate option. This can be done right before you turn around for your first look, or if you would like to save your first look for the aisle, you can read your letters during a first touch.

Typically when you choose this option, we will hide a microphone underneath your dress if you are wearing a dress and place a microphone on your lapel if you are wearing a jacket. 

back-to-back letters

Another great option if you would like to write personal vows but are too nervous to speak in front of a crowd is to recite hand-written vows to each other in private. This also provides a super intimate moment to spend with each other on your wedding day.

You can read your vows to each other in private either right after your first look or right after your ceremony.

face-to-face private vows

For a more traditional approach with personal flair, we love when couples recite hand-written personal vows during the ceremony.

If you choose this option, we will speak with you during our meeting about whether you are comfortable with wearing a microphone underneath your dress to get the best possible audio.

personal vows during ceremony

first looks

We love first looks, and we also understand that whether or not you choose to do one as a couple is one of the most important decisions you will make for your wedding day. Whether you choose to do a first look or not, the first moment you see each other on your wedding day is likely to be one of the most emotional moments you will experience.

If you choose to do a first look, here’s a few things for you to know from our end:

▪ We will place a small mic on whoever is wearing a jacket to capture good audio.
▪ We will collaborate with the photographer to choose a location for the first look that will provide us with a good setting, lighting, and audio.
▪ We will work discreetly to make it feel like we are not there as much as possible.

▪ Although you will have family and friends who might want to watch the first look, we recommend making this a completely private moment so there will be no distractions from your time together.  

tips and tricks

Getting Ready

Getting ready shots help tell the story of your full day and set the tone of anticipation and excitement before you say “I do.”

How much of your getting ready process you want captured is completely up to you, but we definitely make sure to at least get you putting on your dress, shoes, jewelry, and/or your tie, jacket, shoes, whatever you are wearing!

tips and tricks

▪ Decide who, if anyone, you would like to help you get dressed, and make sure they are dressed before you are. If you would like to do a first look with your bridesmaids, parents, children etc. make sure they are dressed before you are as well.

wedding party / family photos

Whether you choose to do wedding party and family pictures before or after the ceremony, here’s a few things to know:

▪ We will give your wedding party fun things to do and movements for the video, as posed group shots are not very dynamic in film.

▪ We do not typically shoot posed family pictures for the same reason. People standing still is simply not that interesting for video. The more intimate moments interacting with your family are the ones you will want to remember. However, if there are any family members you absolutely want included, let us know. If you want to make sure Grandpa Joe is included in your film, we will try to make sure we include a special moment between you.

▪ However, if you order an extended film, we will typically shoot the family group shots so that we can try to include all of your family that attended in the longer extended film.

Now for the main event! Your ceremony holds so many moments you will want to remember for a lifetime—like your partner seeing your face as you walk down the aisle, your first kiss, and the moment you are pronounced as a married couple.

We want to make sure we do everything we can to preserve each of these memories to the best of our abilities, so it is VERY important that we have at least 30 minutes before the ceremony to set up our cameras, tripods, audio, etc.

We will place a small lapel mic on both the officiant and whichever partner is wearing a jacket in order to record clear audio. Even if the DJ is also using mics for the speakers, the mics we use are just for the video.

The Ceremony

COUple'S PORTraitS

Whether you are planning to do your couple’s portraits before or after the ceremony, make sure you plan a lot of time for just the two of you. It is easy to get caught up in all of the other events of the day and forget what the day is all really about…you and your new spouse! The time during your couple’s portrait session is a great time to just enjoy being with each other and take a moment to breathe.

▪ Even if your couple’s portraits are not planned during sunset, we always suggest planing at least a little time during sunset to get that amazing dreamy light. You can always sneak away from your guests for a few minutes and get a breath of fresh air. 

▪ Most importantly…remember to have fun and enjoy!

tips and tricks

We will give you lots of prompts and things to do during this time in order to create movement. This is the time that we really love to get creative and take our time to compose some fun and beautiful shots.

The Reception

We will need a little bit of time before your entrance to reset and make sure all of our equipment is ready.

Depending on the logistics and lighting of the venue, we may  set up video lights for the entrance, first dances, cake cutting, speeches, etc. We may also use lights during the reception dancing in order to get clear footage, but we try to do this minimally so you can keep your party vibe.


It is VERY important that we have at least 15 minutes before speeches to set up audio, tripods, and lighting. We recommend doing speeches sometime after dinner so that we have plenty of time to set up. This also gives your guests a chance to get settled and fed before listening to the toasts.

Let us know if you are planning an exit and what kind (sparklers, bubbles, etc.) so we can be prepared. If your exit is at night, we will likely need just a few minutes to set up lighting.

The Exit

tips and tricks

If you are worried about having enough coverage hours with us or the photographer, you can always plan a “fake” sendoff earlier in the evening. This also gives you a chance to make sure more guests are present to give you a proper celebration. Afterward, those guests with an earlier bedtime can go home, and you can go back inside and continue partying.

hOW WE WORK With PhOtOGraphErs

You may be wondering, with both a photo and a video team, how will we all work together?
We like to think of ourselves combined with your photographer(s) as one big documentation team. We love working alongside your photographer(s) to make sure you are getting both the best photo and video possible.

During candid moments and events, we will work seamlessly next to them to make sure those important moments are captured, and during the more posed portrait sessions times, we will work both alongside them while they are posing you, as well as taking a few short moments in between their shots to create some time to direct more dynamic movement for your film.

Typically, your photographer will work with you to create a photo timeline for the day. We will also follow the photo timeline that you create together. When discussing your timeline with your photographer, make sure that they are aware of any video elements that may take extra time, such as letter readings or drone shots during portrait sessions, so that they can allow for those elements in the timeline. If you have any questions about times or scheduling, feel free to reach out, and we would be happy to help!


any more questions?

▪ If there is ANYTHING that is important for you to be included in your film, let us know! Every wedding and couple is completely different, and what is important to you may not be as important to someone else. We want to make sure to capture your most important memories so that you can relive them for the rest of your lives.

▪ We will provide you with a form to fill out about a month before your wedding to give us all of those details.

▪ Make sure you schedule at least 30 minutes before the ceremony and 15 minutes before the speeches for us to set up our equipment.

▪ Take time on your wedding day to enjoy, relax, and take it all in. And oh yeah…don’t forget to have a good time. :)

© Pine trail films, llc