Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Why Attending Rehearsal Is So Important

When I book a wedding, I make sure to find out about the rehearsal, which is usually held the evening before the wedding. I have learned over the years that it is crucial to attend the rehearsal. There is nothing worse than being unprepared and flying by the seat of your pants.

One of the most important things to address at rehearsal is the rules or restrictions of the particular venue, especially if it’s a church. The first thing you should do is speak with the officiant to find out if he or she has specific places where you can set up or where you are not permitted to be. I have done weddings in churches that have been extremely unreasonable and would have the videographer stand outside if he could get away with it. I have been banished to the choir loft on more than one occasion. You better know this ahead of time so you can prepare the bride and groom for what to expect in their finished video.

Once you have an idea of where you can be positioned to shoot, you need to make sure that you can get a good view around the wedding party, large flower arrangements and guests with big hair or big hats. You may need to speak with bride and groom during rehearsal so they understand positioning in order to get the best shot of the vows and ring exchange. They are paying you to capture their day so speak up and ask questions or make suggestions. I’ve had family members complain about my position on the altar, well behind the priest and bride and groom. I was certainly happy to cooperate and work with them to make them happy, but ultimately, my job was to provide the best view of the ceremony for the couple getting married.

Another important issue to address at rehearsal is sound. Will the officiant have a mic? Do they allow wireless mics? Will there be background noise like traffic or electric fans? In a small venue there may not be any problem with sound, but in a big, cavernous church, you need to be prepared.

The bottom line is, attending the wedding rehearsal is absolutely necessary in order to do your job to the best of your ability and to provide the bride and groom with the best, most complete video memory of their day.