LoveSpun Handmade Wedding Films » Destination & Southern California Wedding Videographer

I absolutely love destination weddings because the focus really becomes about the couple.  Destination weddings often require lots of advanced planning and travel for your guests, their attendance alone to your wedding manifests that they are truly committed to witnessing your important union.  I also adore the intimacy of destination weddings.  Because of the inherent logistical reasons, destination weddings usually have less guests and I see this as a benefit as it really lends itself to surrounding yourself with the people most important to you.

kara-seanpintopinterestPrivate Estate Destination Wedding near Kona, Hawaii, image by the talented photographer Damion Hamilton

Whether amongst the lavender fields in the South of France, or the vine covered hills of Tuscany, or even the sandy shores of the Puerto Vallarta, picking your ideal wedding location was probably the fun and easy part.  Having a wedding abroad or in a place that is not your home market however, can be challenging, especially when choosing your dream vendors.  The BIG question is “do I hire vendors that are local to where I am getting married or do I bring my favorite vendors along for the trip?”

We feel so fortunate to live and work near beautiful places such as Santa Barbara, the Napa Valley, and Sonoma County that are much sought after locations for people all over the world to have their intimate destination weddings.  LoveSpun Films has become the choice of many who lean on us as a local expert in these areas to capture their big day and we love meeting all the wonderful folks who come to California to tie the knot.

But what about a wedding abroad?  We have also had the opportunity to take our talents on the road and capture beautiful weddings all over the world, from Mexico, to Hawaii, England, France, and The Dominican Republic. In fact, filming destination weddings has become one our favorite specialties.

Along the way, we have gleaned information from experts about having destination weddings as well as gathering our own thoughts on working as destination wedding filmmakers and the stuff needed to get the job done.  We thought for this post of “Tuesday Tips” we would share things to consider when choosing a wedding filmmaker for your wedding abroad.

1.  Is the wedding filmmaker or videographer you’re considering a seasoned traveler?

Navigating foreign lands can be tricky and stressful but having a wedding filmmaker who is a savvy traveler can make getting to your wedding a breeze.  Seasoned travelers are quick to learn and map out public transportation options before their trip and should plan to arrive with plenty of lead time to avoid travel delays.  Experience can mean all the difference in the world when needing visas, permits, or passports to get to your wedding.  While only domestic insurance is required for most videographers, an experienced destination wedding filmmaker will have a special global insurance plan to make sure their gear is protected as well as their clients.

2.  Is the wedding filmmaker or videographer prepared to travel with all of that gear?

As someone who has personally felt the fatigue and pain of rolling heavy tripods through the cobblestone lanes of Paris, or the stress of traveling on the London Underground, trying to be as inconspicuous as possible with thousands of dollars of gear on your body, I can tell you that traveling with gear is a challenge all to itself.  Over the years, we have learned by trial and error, the right amount of gear to bring and what can stay home.  We have learned who makes the best travel luggage, the lightest monopods, and how to not draw attention to ourselves while lugging it across the world.  Experience is certainly the best teacher and anyone you’re considering should have a good handle on how to travel with expensive and sometimes heavy gear.

3.  Will bringing my wedding filmmaker from home be more expensive than if I just hire a local company?

This will depend particularly on the style and quality of filmmaker you are after and the location in which your destination wedding will take place.  While there is not a clear answer without doing your own research, we have found that often our rates are competitive especially if we are going somewhere where the dollar is not as strong.  An offset in currency exchange can sometimes even pay for the travel.  The best thing to do is to inquire with the wedding videographer you are considering and get a custom quote with travel for your wedding.  You might be surprised that it’s more affordable than you think and you will have the peace of mind knowing the reputation of the company you’re choosing to document this once-in-a-lifetime event.

4.  How can language and cultural barriers affect the final product?

If you are an English speaking couple who will be married in another country, language barriers could be an issue.  When working with your wedding filmmaker to discuss style and important aspects of your wedding day coverage things may get lost in translation.  Some of our past clients have expressed to us that it was a great relief to be able to communicate freely about their wedding film both before the big day and just to know that when the wedding was over they could deal with someone back home for the post production and delivery process.  There are many talented local wedding videographers in destinations all over the world and it really comes down to what you feel most comfortable with for your big day.

For your planning pleasure, we’ve also gathered up some articles from a couple our favorite wedding planners about the other aspects of planning a destination wedding:

“Planning a Destination Wedding Weekend” – Beth Helmstetter

“6 destination wedding secrets from A-list planner Yifat Oren”

 

We hope you enjoyed some of the tips and we are wishing you much success in your planning efforts! Make it a LoveSpunny day!

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With the full swing of wedding season 2016 just around the corner we thought we would share our tips for getting the most out of having a professional wedding filmmaker at your wedding.

Every bride & groom wants to feel beautiful, happy, and most importantly, relaxed on their big day.  We want our clients to have the opportunity to do their part in making sure they can get the most out of their wedding film investment by following some pretty straightforward tips to ensure that we are able to capture the prettiest footage possible.

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Katherine Anne + Joel, an example of an amazing couple who’s wedding fell in line with all of these
suggestions and their photos and film turned out wonderfully. Photo by Jess Barfield.

So here is the LoveSpun rundown…

  • A Pretty Place to Get Ready When picking out a location to get ready for your wedding, look for a spot that is beautiful, free of clutter and if possible, one that has plenty of natural light.  Also request that your makeup artist and hair stylist set up in front of a natural light source instead of a bathroom with florescent lighting. {Trust me, natural light is way more flattering to your skin.}
  • Neat and Tidy Delegate bridal party members to help keep your getting ready room organized and clean. This will make you feel more calm as well as make a pleasing back drop for pictures & your wedding film.
  • When music is not your friend Most brides love to have their favorite tunes playing as they get ready for their big day. {I totally get that, I’m a huge music-junkie…BUT} When filming your getting ready footage, keep in mind that we cannot edit music out.  If we capture a special moment of audio that would be great for your film but an obnoxious song is in the background we may not be able to work it into the film.  At the very minimum, turn the music off when you’re putting on your dress for any exceptional reactions from your parents and friends.
  • Keep the Sanctity Remind your wedding party that chewing gum and talking to each other during the ceremony can detract from the attention of your guests and that it doesn’t look good on the film or in pictures.
  • Walk Slowly For the ceremony, the bridal party and especially the bride should remember to walk controlled and gradually down the aisle.  This is your time to shine, your guests want to have a good look at you, and it helps us, the filmmaker and your photographer, to capture the moment.
  • Schedule enough time for photos and filming Family photos and portraits can take a while so make sure you not only allow for this in your time-line, but also have enough time for romantic shots of just the two of you with your wedding filmmaker and photographer.  We suggest 15-20 minutes in addition to your formal photography session to get some beautiful eye candy for your wedding film.
  • Take your time to dance  Sometimes for whatever reason, couples choose to cut short their first dances, having the DJ fade out the music in the middle. From our standpoint we love to film the first dance from different, unique angles and look for tender moments. It’s hard to get all that in 90 seconds so why not just enjoy the moment and your time in the spotlight.
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  • Light it up  Reception lighting can sometimes make or break the look of your wedding film.  It’s a great idea to hire a professional lighting designer to add ambiance to a room but keep in mind that different colors of up-lighting can make skin tones look strange. Lighting that is too bright around the edges of the room can make the interior look dark. Even out up-lighting with spotlights on the dance floor and head table.  If a designated spot for toasts or speeches can be picked out ahead of time and then lit properly, it will make all the difference in the world.
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  • MEALS ~ Feed Us Please Unlike some of your wedding vendors who may work in the background and are not seen by your guests and can take snack or meal breaks throughout the day without distraction, your photographer and your wedding filmmaker are two types of vendors who are always in public view of their clients and or guests.  This means that we have to wait until a break in wedding activity to build up our protein levels.  The most ideal time for us to eat is at the beginning of dinner service.  Guests often don’t like being filmed or having their picture taken when they are eating so this is a perfect time for us to eat too.  Most of the time though, vendor meals are held until all the guests have been served and by then it is often time to film toasts or the next item on the timeline.
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    On more than one occasion we have not been able to eat at all due to this scheduling conflict, going 8-10 hours with no food.  Fatigue and frustration sets in at this point and as hard as we try, we will not be able to work as artistically or high quality as when we have been fed.  What can you do?  Let your planner and caterer know to have a meal ready for the photographer and videographer at the beginning of dinner service.  If this cannot be accommodated, a break of activity needs to be scheduled after guests are fed so that we can have long enough to hydrate and eat, at least 15-20 minutes.  Your footage will thank you for it!
  • Have guests unplug for your wedding This continues to be a biggie in 2016! It may not seem like a big deal that friends and family have iphones, ipads, or big DSLRs on hand to snap away till their hearts content during your wedding, but at what cost?
    Everyone wants to be the first to Facebook, tweet, and Instagram your wedding.  At one of our most recent weddings, so many guests stepped into the isle during the first kiss & recessional that our back camera angle was almost entirely blocked by guests holding their phones.  Our lovely couples invest in us to capture these special moments, yet it makes our jobs really challenging when guests don’t respect the job we’ve been hired to do.

This image shows how a stunning wedding can be tarnished by the look of guests backs and cameras.

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Photo credit Rebekah Hoyt Photography

So what can you do?  A simple announcement before the ceremony begins would definitely help or a cute sign at the wedding could also do the trick.  Don’t worry, there will be plenty of other opportunities for friends and family to get their snapshots BUT during this once-in-a-lifetime moment, going unplugged keeps the sanctity of the wedding and brings the focus back on you and this amazing commitment you are making to one another.

Here is an article with lots of different ways to tactfully ask your guests to put down their devices and enjoy the wedding.

Thanks for reading our tips for a great wedding film! We hope you have the best wedding ever!

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