What Stef Did… Lights… Camera… Action!


Hello again!!

I trust you are all well and your plans are coming along nicely (or like me you have suddenly realised you have only 6 months and you should really start doing stuff!!).
I have planned some decoration bits, we just need to buy the craft supplies and start making. We have also made some draft DIY invites but really need to get going with them. Other than that not much has change in the last…three months since we booked all the ‘big’ stuff and sat back thinking we had HEAPS of time to plan a wedding. But I have realised if I don’t want to be doing everything in the last week before the wedding – as my reputation would dictate – we really have to start now.

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Video Killed The Wedding Regrets

Anyway I thought that today I would talk to you about a quite contentious wedding topic. A discussion I have had many times with fellow brides to be and now married ladies. Us six RMW Real Brides have even discussed the subject at length. The topic of: to video or not to video? (Or digitally recorded film as who still has a VHS these days?!) Are you hiring a videographer? Has it even crossed your mind? Do you hate the idea of it? One camera following you all day is surely enough? There are so many different opinions going about; what is yours? It is certainly something I have struggled with.

Getting your wedding filmed seems to be one decision where a lot of people see it as an unnecessary expense but after the wedding it is the most common regret. I mean how many times will you actually watch it? And I know some people hate the idea being in front on a camera so one photographer is just about all they can handle on the ‘biggest day of their lives’. Maybe memories of HUGE on the shoulder cameras of weddings gone past put you off? Yet not hiring a videographer comes up again and again as the one thing a bride wishes she could have done which she didn’t. RMW’s own Becky wrote a whole post about this BIG HUGE Mistake.

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So Why The Regret?

It is something I thought long and hard about; would I regret it and why? In her post Becky talks about her regret of memories missing from the photos: “How did I move in my dress? How did I sound saying my vows? What words did I actually say? How many times did I whoop? (because I guarantee I will have whooped a lot).” She talks about the missing “extra dimension. The other side of the story.” We are after all only human and cannot capture everything that goes on in the day so it is great to have more people capturing memories for you, which you would have missed.

Other people (commenting on her post) think of it as being the closest thing to reliving such a day. Some people have suggested they wanted their day filmed for their children and grandchildren; so they can view the family event and get to know a younger version or their parents and other family members captured on moving film. Lolly calls this a family legacy, which I LOVE. But she also has a valid point in allocating your budget with a price per wear idea. You eat the cake once, you wear your dress once, those decorations only last a day; but your photos and your film you will have forever to look at and remember the vows, day, the love, the family, the pretty. Though videographers can seem expensive they are worth it for the long hours of shooting they do then even longer days of editing they put in to making the film; never mind the years of training and experience alongside their equipment.

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In my opinion, being frank, getting your wedding film is not necessary. As long as you are married at the end of the day you have reached your goal, right? And an amazing meticulously planned celebration of your marriage is a bonus? So if you are lucky to enough to have photographic memories of the day, taken by friends or a professional, you really don’t NEED anything else. At its very basic that is what I reckon anyway.
However if you have read my other post about our wonderful photographers, Ten 21, you will know that it is also my opinion that it is worth paying what you can for this one off opportunity to have yourself, friends and family photographed. I feel similarly about moving film.

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I personally don’t have any home movies; no movie footage to remind me of family and friends. So I see my wedding as an opportunity to splash out on a luxury of amazing professional film makers to capture the way everyone I love laughs and cries; walks and dances. It is sort of using the wedding as an excuse to round up everyone and capture memories on film. But also I want to capture our wedding day, I want to capture how Ciaran says is vows to me, committing himself for life (crying as he does it though he insist he won’t 😉 ). I look forward to being able to see my dress in motion and all the pretty details we have spent so long planning captured on film.

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So I tracked down White Balloon Films, a husband and wife dream team of cinematography, Alina and Stewart Carroll. Alina has a degree from London College of Communication and a background in corporate advertising film, animation and music videos working for London production companies and still runs her own corporate film business Alina P alongside White Balloon Films. When they got married last year they did not have it filmed having the same misconceptions us everyone that it was “90’s ‘You’ve Been Framed’ style”, but they massively regretted this too, like many other couples after their wedding. So, deciding to use their background, they expanded Alina P into White Balloon Films and quite frankly, I for one, are thankful they did!

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They are based in Glasgow but travel throughout the UK having already filmed weddings in London, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Perthshire, St Andrews, Gleneagles, the Lake District and Aberdeen. They have filmed weddings, Christenings and Save the Date animations. They film with three high definition cameras (and a lot of other equipment I know nothing about), producing a first-class wedding video and ensuring they don’t miss a thing. Their highlight reels are so wonderfully filmed and edited in such high quality, they are totally worth it! Plus they are absolutely lovely and passionate about what they do; I cannot wait for them to be there on our day capturing our memories!

Here is a highlight reel from White Balloon Film for you to watch on your break. A gorgeous wedding from the gorgeous west coast of Scotland and what a stunning bride!!

Ciaran (with me as a handy side kick) filmed two of our friend’s weddings this year and though they are not professional they are amazing! Ciaran did a great job editing them. But it is what is captured that matters and that it was captured and they can watch them again and again. I would definitely be an advocate of at least getting a friend to film the vows and speeches so you can re-live them whenever you want, especially as access to a film recorder is easier and cheaper than ever!

So are you hiring a videographer? Has it even crossed your mind? Do you hate the idea of it? One camera following you all day is surely enough? Are you married and love your film, or regret not having one, or couldn’t care less about not having one? There are so many different opinions going about; what is yours?

Lots of Love,

x x x

Author: Adam Crohill
Adam likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain.

44 thoughts on “What Stef Did… Lights… Camera… Action!

  1. When we first got engaged, the one piece of advice lots of friends gave to us was to get it videoed. And after reading (every single) post on Rock My Wedding, many brides have also recommended the same thing. Although I love photography and will treasure my album, for like ever. I think it is definitely worth spending the money on getting it recorded and having the moving memories.

    1. It definitely is one of the more reoccurring pieces of advice! Did you get a videographer? Is your wedding still to come or do you have your film?

      1. I haven’t got one yet (that is a job I have given to my fiance…), but we are working on it!
        Getting married next summer. Whoop.

  2. My husband didn’t want the day filmed. He hated the idea of being followed around. Me however, I’ve filmed everything from my Sylvanians to some pretty awesome (ok…maybe bad) dance routines in my garden. I’ve always had a love for home movies and so gently persuaded my husband to let us have some pro media type friends film and I got to edit my own wedding film. It took me a year on and off, around a full time job editing films and corporate stuff for other people, and when I finally presented it to my husband he was over the moon. So much so that he bought me a website that Christmas and our own wedding highlights sits proudly on the ‘About Us’ page (https://www.lovegetssweeter.co.uk/about-us/ scroll to the bottom). It was honestly the best thing we did. I love our longer film, as well as our outtakes…we even have our first dance in full (we learnt a quick step to Love Gets Sweeter…see how we came up with the name?) and the amazing hip hop dance group that performed-photos really do not do their awesome moves any justice! Since the day (that was only 4 years ago) we have been sadden by the deaths of so many family members, including both our nans, but they’re forever captured on film…another reason I’m so, so pleased I made my husband let me have my way!!

      1. Ah, thanks! I even have it on my phone and iPad, I was showing a make up artist the other day and they couldn’t believe how different my hair was. It’s good to have that personal touch 🙂

  3. Lovely post Stef, and it’s made me wish we had filmed our wedding now! I was all for a Super 8 video, but it didn’t happen sadly (another note, do not rely on family, professionals or not!!) and while we have hundreds, nay thousands of photographs, I do have a twinge of regret that we’ll never be able to see how it looked as my dad nervously dragged me down the aisle at 50mph, when my niece crashed the vows thought it was her birthday party, or how nervous and excited we looked when saying I do. Go for it!

  4. Stef you write so beautifully that it was almost a shame to come to the end of your post! But I can say that I wholeheartedly urge any bride to have her big day filmed – it really is so very very worth it.

    In fact I’ve just spent the last 10 minutes watching (and smiling and sobbing and laughing) at my own wedding highlight videos that I shared with you lovely lot earlier this year and it was like living it all over again. I remembered exactly the emotions I was experiencing as I walked down the aisle, the frantic assembling of place cards early in the morning, the tug of the hairbrushes on my unruly mane and our first dance amongst other precious memories as I watched them on the screen and it was like it was yesterday again. I can’t believe it’s been a year this month!

    Please take it from me girls and boys…do it! Get it filmed. It’s one of the most precious things in the world.


    1. You flatter me! And quite frankly if I had your films I would watch them twice a day! I love the mix of super 8 in yours!

  5. oooh stef! what a post and i am sure this will spark a lot of discussion. i would love to have a videographer for all the reasons who (and of the RMW peeps) have mentioned but our budget just won’t stretch. We’d have had to make huge compromises on the photographer (which i was never going to sway from M&J), food (m..no) or booze (defo no waysers) so we are going to ask some handy friends with handy cams to record the ceremony and speeches for us.

    I have come across this jazzy business idea https://www.storymixmedia.com/weddings/how-it-works-weddingmix-wedding-video.html, which I think looks rather interesting… basically rent flipcams for the day and assign friends to record from multi angels and then use simple editing software of have the peeps at storymix edit your final video – all for a snip of the price!

    Jack also raises a good question and hat’s will you only remember the day as it is captured…? the more you watch your final film, will it eclipse some of the raw memories from the day and then what you end up remembering is how the edit has been put together. He makes a good point, but freakballs, i would have a full on crew to make our love story if i can afford it…

    Any budding cinematographer want to come to France to shoot our wedding for a pinch?! If so email me!! ha ha!!

    Ahhh, i am sure we will discuss this again Stef 🙂

    Much love
    ….Now get crafting you crafty minx! 6 months to go!!!

    1. haha will do! I think that sounds like a great idea! And it is about what gets captured and you are doing it the way you want it! I can’t wait to see the results! 🙂

  6. Completely and utterly agree. It IS a luxury and the most important thing is the knee tremblinh I do’s…but I can’t tell you how many parts of the day it captured that I missed, the moment I gave my granny a massive cuddle, getting to see our little dog all excited (because we have no other moving footage of his cute little face) and our new nephew eating the order of service! It makes me well up every single time and I’ve watched ours a zillion times already and know we will in the years to come. Plus now you can download and store footage oline and in “the clouds” etc etc it means the format won’t vanish like a VHS etc

    DO IT. You really and truly will never regret it xx

  7. We didn’t. Our budget was tiny and we didn’t think to ask a friend. Well we did, we just didn’t want then to feel pushed into it and we didn’t want it to end up dead cheesy.
    I love the stopmotion ones I’ve seen.

    I do regret not having the ceremony to ceremony and speeches recorded. I honestly can’t ember most of what was said. Itwoild be nice to have that to wath again out of the wedding haze.

    Another wish of mine is that we had a first dance, that I gave a speech and we asked my husband’s father if he wanted to make one. I mentioned this last point to my sister in law before her wedding and they had her father in law give a speech and he was so proud it was lovely.

  8. Fab post Stef!

    Unfortunately for us though it really was a case of really not having the money there. I completely get the idea that it will last much longer than all the other elements of the day, and it would be an amazing thing to be able to look back on in years to come. But for some (me included) it is a real struggle to find that extra money, when you are already stretching the budget to ensure you get the best photographer you can afford.
    Personally I say if can afford it then fair enough, do it. But if you really don’t have the money there then don’t beat yourself up, otherwise you’ll end up tainting the memory of your amazing day (or even the lead up) with you worry/sadness of not having a videographer, which in my eyes would be a crying shame!


  9. This is a really good post Stef! Although you’re clearly in favour of the wedding film your writing is really well balanced and you get both sides across really well, should be really useful for any lovely brides to be who are still undecided on this!

    Now for my opinion… We booked wedding videographers and are over the moon with what we have so far seen of our video! The short highlights clip really sums up the day, helps us remember all the smiling faces and has captured some really touching moments. We’re also so glad that we will have that moving picture reminder of our vows and the speeches, which let’s face it – no matter how sharp you are in the noggin, time will fade the memory of. We weren’t always sold on the idea though, initially I was against someone filming but it was because I had the image of the huge 80s/90s on the shoulder cameras and no editing in my head. It was only when we saw how good wedding videos have got now that we quickly converted to thinking that a video was a must.

    Hope my brain splurge will be of some use to the RMW readers!


  10. Stef! A girl after my own heart. I have already watched my wedding “DVD” countless times and I haven’t even had the hard copy yet! Honestly during the few weeks between the wedding and receiving the Vimeo links (this week!) I could hardly remember the day, it was like trying to remember a dream, but the video has brought all those happy memories back 🙂
    Mark didn’t want a videographer but even he is thrilled. I can’t rave enough about how important I think it is to find the money, even if it’s not for a high quality film!

    Great post xxx

  11. So exciting seeing White Balloon on RMW!
    We have them booked for our big day in August 2015, they are fabulous people with amazing skills!
    eeek! xxxx

  12. Really brilliant post, Stef. Super informative and balanced. I’m sure you won’t regret your decision to go with White Balloon, and will enjoy watching your memories come to life again and again for so many years to come. Like lots of people commenting here, I would LOVE to have our day filmed, but at the moment, I just don’t think the budget will stretch.

    We would be keen to get someone holding a camera during the ceremony, even if it doesn’t end up as a stunningly edited thing of beauty like the professional ones.

    @nicola, that website looks like a brilliant idea, and it’s something I will be looking into as soon as I get home from work! You never know, it might be the way to have the best of both worlds.


    1. You would really be surprised what you can do with a half decent camera and a Mac computer. Ciaran really did a great job on our friend’s films. Totally worth it if you can pick someone to do it! 🙂

  13. Excellent post Stef!

    So as you mentioned us 6 RMW Real Brides have gone over and discussed this at great length. My opinions have however changed just through conversations with friends who did not get any video footage and have then hugely regretted it after the big day. At first the thought of someone following us around with a camera didn’t appeal to us. I also did want it to look like we had a huge gathering of professionals with cameras hanging out at our day but I have been assured by are chosen team that they will be discreet.

    Due to all these conversations with friends and family but mainly the real brides we have plucked up some courage and gone for it. It did require a lengthy conversation and a look at our budget again and then finding some more pennies but after the deal was done and we picked our guy (huge thanks to Sophie without her I would have been totally lost) we both felt like a weight had been lifted and were both extremely happy.

    I think we both just need to think about what role we want our man to play and discuss this with him during our consultation, I’m just glad we will have some footage of the tears, the joy, the giggles and some extremely bad dancing fingers crossed to look back on in years to come.

    Also ahhhhhhh 6 months Stef, our 6 month deadline was Monday. We are on holiday, escaped the real world for a week of sunshine and Tapas, I stacked up on wedding mags, bought the Orla Kiely and have done some hardcore cramming and planning this week. I feel the next 6 months will fly past lovely so we better get crafty and quick! Xxx

    1. Things have really changed and videographers can be really unobtrusive these days, often letting the photographers do the bossing and are just a silent presence recording the day. It hopefully won’t feel like you are on the set of Geordie shore!!!

  14. Ahhh Stef, SUCH a good post. This really resonates. For me, you hit the nail on the head when you said it’s an opportunity to bring everbody together and capture them on film. In my family, we have this one home video with my grandparents on. Unfortunately, they are no longer with us, so this video comes out at every Christmas family party so that we can remember how they smiled and laughed. It sounds a little morbid, but it brings them back to life for me. Now, I personally love wedding videos anyway and happily spend hours stalking videographer blogs on a regular basis, but Simon was not so keen. It was this family element which ultimately convinced him. And luckily, the old days of shaky movies are long behind us! xxx

    1. I love that you have that family tradition of watching the home video every holiday! I have pictures of my grandparents that are very precious to me but I would love a film of them!

  15. Hi Stef
    I wasn’t too sure about a wedding video (especially after seeing how much some of them cost) but I came across our videographers and decided there and then that I had to have them. They had sent me a video of another person’s wedding and I cried from beginning to end…I didn’t even know them! BUT I thought if they could invoke that much emotion in a stranger, how good would our own wedding be?!
    Eddie had been totally non-plussed by having a video/dvd (what year are we in again?) but he only actually paid attention to Marry Me film’s dvd they sent us and was impressed by their style.
    I’m glad we have chosen to have a video…we still haven’t chosen our photographer yet though. However, in a funny way, I think a video is more important for the same reasons you state: being able to listen to each others words, watching how you were with each other, seeing how your dress moved, seeing all your family happy…and even if you watch the video just a couple of times, surely having the ability to look back (here’s hoping technology doesn’t change too much) when you’re old and wrinkly and being able to see how you once were and remember all the lovely happy memories and faces is totally priceless!

  16. If you need any interviews on the film, I’m sure Sam and Rosie will be up for helping. They have been trained by Ciaran after all 😉

  17. Great post! Such a tough one… I’m not here to say have a wedding film… but honestly, do get a little footage of the day… it doesn’t have to be a professional film… totally understand that’s not for everyone… but a few moving images really do bring it all flooding back 🙂

    …and… a good photo/video combo really packs a punch!


  18. Having talked to many brides over the years, I’m always interested in all facets of the wedding day, I have come to the conclusion that it is a fairly even split…. To or not to include video.
    I would say… If your budget can extend to it.. Go for it.

  19. Our budget won’t stretch to a professional video, especially as we are flying our photographers out to Italy. However, our amazing photographers offer an amazing service where the combine moving footage with photographs to create a perfectly formed mini video! We also intend to ask some of our relatives to record the mass and as much of the reception as they can muster (one of my american cousins has worked in production and is a dab hand at editing so she’s looking likely for the job!
    I think it’s easy to get carried away with this whole wedding business and ultimately whilst I appreciate the beauty of being able to see moving images, especially in years to come, in ways i think that a few moving images/maybe just the first dance or the speeches or the ceremony is enough to look back on and will be as much a keepsake as a really long dvd that shows absolutely everything! I’ve endured many of my cousin’s wedding videos and whilst it’s lovely to see, 5/10 minutes is more than enough viewing. Obviously the bride and groom would never tire of looking at it though. xo

  20. Stef my wedding film dvd awaits me when I get home. I’ll report back on wether it was worth it! But a great post! And the sample video. …. at the venue that got away. …. (££££££££!)

  21. Ah Stef what a beautifully written post. We originally didnt factor in a video at all, then we did and I can honestly say it was the best decision we could have ever made.

    [Insert rambling narrative about how amazing Papertwin are] xxx

  22. Stef, what have you been worrying about. I have read and re read as you have covered all aspects of pros and cons of a videographer. I am a sucker for reminiscing and getting together with family and friends to watch old videos and look over photos. We both really want one but are struggling to find one local to us that we both love. My sisters wedding video was fab and we still watch it now…nearly 8 years on. I have the same opinion as Sophie, I want to Rembember everyone who will be part of the day and want to be able to show our children in years to come just how special our day was. Xx well done again Hun, you did us proud xx

  23. So strange that this would come up today! Full and frank disclosure- I have a ranging hangover, fuelled by Old Fashioneds and sambuca, however, this morning I got a lovely surprise in my inbox! The first edit of our wedding video! Not only is this the best hangover cure EVER but the best money I have ever spent on anything EVER. I have viewed it 17 times already. Price per wear, it is already proving cost effective! In the chaotic haze of the day, there are things you will forget and there are things that you didn’t even see. Even in this short 5 minute rough edit, the magic of those moments has filled me with pride and joy. It is worth it, it really is. DO IT x

  24. i am getting married 3 months today, 3 MONTHS!! *screams* – and we have booked a videographer, well actually that’s a lie this is most definitely one of those things where it has been me who has booked and chosen this. The future husband does not want a videographer and doesn’t see the point of increasing our budget (yet again) to include a film he doesn’t want when (in his words) ‘someone’ will just film it on a video camera.

    the one thing that this blog has truly made me realise is that i HAVE to have a ‘proper’ wedding film. i’ve saved costs by not having them film me getting ready – so it’s the guests arriving (the bit i won’t see), the ceremony, the people, the speeches and the first dance. perfect.

    i fully intend to show the world my wedding film – so pity the people visiting our house post-wedding – and i also fully intend to make the future husband admit that the film is amazing! tee hee

    do it girls, spend the money – you only get married once. if you even having the slightest doubt about whether you should or shouldn’t do it, just image how you’ll feel post wedding when you cannot turn the clock back. its a lot of money, but memories are priceless.

    L xxx

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