when it comes to video production its a vast and complex arena, when you watch productions on TV, even the smallest productions have a team of dozens of people. Wedding films are different, in that no one wants to pay (nor can most people afford pay) for an entire team of 20 people to come shoot their wedding. and even if they could, they don’t want that many people rushing around everywhere. At Casperson Productions we have refined our systems to create great looking and sounding videos with a much smaller team then you might typically expect, and we still walk away with a product that looks extremely professional and cinematic. one of the things that really makes the difference between a pro production and an amateur one, is audio. In fact, many argue the single biggest defining element of a film, that screams it was professional, is good audio, the picture can look terrible, and if the audio sounds good, audiences are going to except and enjoy the film. if the picture looks amazing, but the audio sounds terrible, no one will walk away from the theater feeling good about the film.

so how do you get good audio for your wedding film? the first key is to hire the right team. A good company, with a lot of experience and the right people, is going to more or less ensure that you get good audio. But there are things you can do to help ensure the audio is top notch, some that are just gonna give a really good team a little boost, and some that might save you if you had to go hire a really cheap company with little experience.

the number one best thing you can do for audio during the ceremony is ask the DJ to give you a full sized hand held mic. Lavs are quite honestly, terrible, and the reason they are terrible is, DJ’s tend to only put a lav on one, maybe two people, leaving all others who speak during the ceremony silent to the DJ’s sound system. The worst part of this, is only really reaaaaaalllly good DJ’s (ask, I will tell you who the good ones in Portland are) mic up the bride, (or have a solution that is clever to get the brides audio) during the ceremony. which means, if they used lavs, the brides audio is not picked up by the DJ, and any speakers or special messages spoken by others are lost as well. leaving only the officiants audio and the grooms audio. But if you have a hand held mic, it gets passed around to everyone! and 9 times of out 10, its a higher quality mic. The experience of the guests is better, when they can hear everyone who speaks, and most video teams will grab a feed from the dj, so your helping ensure that the video has good audio too.

A good video team won’t completely rely on the DJ to get their audio, and will tend to use their own lavs on key people. its always a good idea to let the efficient know that the video is important to you, and that you would like them to have a lav. most of the time its not an issue, but some efficient, especially ones who don’t do weddings for a living, can be strong willed and totally against getting a second lav from the video team. Having them aware its important beforehand helps ensure that when the video team asks if they can put a lav on the efficient, that the efficient says yes.

the last bit you can do to really help get good audio, is let the DJ know in advance that there will be a video team, and that if its possible that you would like them to come prepared for a video team to plug into their system. most will know whats up, and might pack an extra cable, or change the mixing board they plan to bring to ensure their are enough outputs for the video team. this will also help ensure the dJ is open to the idea when the video team asks for a feed.

during toasts, its a good idea to put the mic on a mic stand if possible, so that the video team can rig up a backup lav on the mic stand, and so people don’t wander, this is rarely done, but its the ideal solution and most rock solid bullet proof one to ensure you get good audio for the toasts.

little things like what is listed above help a small wedding video production company get the best audio possible, for your wedding 🙂 and while companies like Casperson Productions come prepared to handle even the most challenging situations, it never hurts to create the ideal conditions for your wedding video, and if you hire someone less experienced, the advice above might just take your wedding video audio from mediocre to pretty dang decent 🙂