"First Look" Films

THE PRE-WEDDING FILM

By Filmmaker David Perry

Seeing the bride in her wedding dress before the wedding has been considered bad luck, but that's what the majority of my clients do. You might recognize this shoot as a "First Look", "Pre Wedding Film" or "Groomals". This is often filmed a week or two prior to the wedding day, but could be filmed the morning of the wedding prior to the ceremony.

First off, let's explain the myth that it's bad luck to see the bride before the wedding ceremony. Back in the days of arranged marriages, the groom was not allowed to see the bride before the ceremony to avoid any quick getaways in case he didn't like what he saw. It's a bit harder to sneak out the back door once the bride has been walked down the isle by her father, the veil lifted and the ceremony begun.

Let's consider the advantages of looking past this wedding tradition and capturing the bride and groom prior to the wedding.

1. Lighting

The most important aspect of any image is light. It's more important than your camera. I would much rather shoot with perfect lighting and an inferior camera than an amazing camera with poor lighting. Filming prior to the wedding opens up so many possibilities to create and capture lighting. We can schedule the shoot anytime we want, so I film two hours before sunset when the golden light provides amazing colors and dramatic lens flares. This is when your wedding films start to look lake a major Hollywood production.

2. Time

The wedding day can be challenging for your clients to enjoy as they are running from one place to another. The Pre Wedding Film is the exact opposite of this. You can schedule extra time to get all the shots you need. Not only do you open up their afternoon on the wedding day because you've already taken wedding photos and film, but many of my clients say the Pre Wedding Film was a time for them to relax and step back from the busy wedding planning. It becomes a time for them to focus on only each other and remember why they are getting married. Because we have more time, we are able to capture more artistic shots and even do multiple locations if they prefer. This also creates the option of filming during the week when you are open. I have several brides who book me only for the Pre Wedding Film because I am already booked on their wedding date. I open up my talent to more clients who prefer my style.

3. Preparation

No one wants surprises on their wedding day, but we all know they happen. Perhaps the hair and make up didn't turn out the way they anticipated, flowers were substituted for what they really wanted, the tux didn't quite fit or a rain storm throws the wedding into a frenzy. Suddenly you find out the lace up dress takes 25 minutes to put on instead of the anticipated 10 minutes. You might discover that your particular hair style takes longer than you planned. If any of these happen on a Pre Wedding Film, no problem! We can bump the Pre Wedding Film later that afternoon, change it to another day or at the very least, fix these unexpected surprises prior to the wedding day.

4. First Look

For those being married in an LDS temple, the first look happens inside the temple where you aren't allowed to film. Seeing my wife in the temple for the first time in her wedding dress was one of the most memorable moments of my entire wedding. Oh how I wish I could have that moment captured. A more viable argument against filming prior to the ceremony would be that the magic of their wedding won't be at the shoot prior to the big day, but I can tell you that my jaw would have dropped just as low on any day of the year in seeing my sweetheart for the first time in her wedding dress. You can visit my webpage to view several grooms reactions and I'm fairly confident you will agree that the magic is definitely there. 

5. Connection

I love filming Pre Wedding Films because this is a great time to connect with my clients. We aren't rushing through a shoot so we can take more time to get to know each other. I also am able to create connections with the entire wedding party as I can have the Pre Wedding Film edited prior to the wedding to show at a wedding dinner the night before or to post on Facebook. It's a good day when you arrive at the beginning of the wedding and the wedding party is already showering you with praises on the film you produced. This also creates trust that you are going to do a great job of helping them look their best on the wedding day film which leads to them being more comfortable around you and creating more candid shots.

I understand that traditions run deep and many of my clients have found it difficult to convince their parents to go along with a pre wedding film, but there is one thing that works almost every time: viewing a Pre Wedding Film for themselves. When you like what you see, you do what it takes to make it happen. 

Join Me at Wedding Weekend Workshop!

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david perry thumbThis Saturday at Pictureline, not only will I be sharing my experience shooting with the new Canon 80D, but also:

Camera Gear - I'm giving you the full list on everything I own and why I chose it.

Audio Gear - Crucial tips on audio capture, set up and editing. The one aspect of a wedding film that has to be perfect.

Filming Techniques - I'll show you exactly how I capture my shots and how simple techniques can make all the difference.

Editing Tips - How do I make my films seem so authentic? I'll be sharing my simple five step system that you can implement immediately.

Marketing Tips - This is where most filmmakers fail and I am going to share with you how to create raving fans and have more more weddings than you can film.

Q&A - My goal is to help you succeed so ask away and I'll do my best to make sure you get the answers you need.

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