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Old February 15th, 2011, 08:48 PM   #1
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How much time do you need to setup for ceremony/reception?

Gday gents,

Lately I've been to a wedding where the time between the bride getting into the car and the time the ceremony start was only 15 minutes gap.. minus all the driving, I could only have 5 mins setup time at church, which is barely enough to set my audio and tripods.. Although luck was on my side as the ceremony started late

But in many cases I had to miss the bride getting into the car scene because otherwise I won't have time to do my setup..

Just wondering, how much time do you ask from the bride/groom for your preparation before ceremony/reception start? Do you skip the bride getting into the car parts?

Would love to hear how everyone is doing it. Especially those working single or in a team where you can't split into two.

Thanks,


Johannes
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Old February 15th, 2011, 09:08 PM   #2
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Hi from sunny New Zealand mate!

I always leave the brides house so that I arrive at the church 30mins before the ceremony starts. It takes me about 15mins to setup tripods/cameras, plant mics, chat to the minister. Then the other 15mins is used filming guests arriving, groom greeting them etc.

I usually leave the brides house when the photographer is snapping bride with her folks - so the video runs like bride getting makeup done, bride getting dressed, bride posing with family for photos, fade into shot of church, guests arriving etc.

Never shot a bride getting into a car in 22 years. No complaints yet! Service is the most important part... everything else is just decoration. Give yourself plenty of setup time.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 09:38 PM   #3
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I want 60 minutes. That way I can get my B footage and setup without breaking a sweat. I have done my setup only without B footage in 5 minutes. Thats 2 cams and 2 audio systems. One on the groom and 1 on the lectern. Do I like doing that? NO! Can I? YES!
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Old February 15th, 2011, 09:46 PM   #4
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We prefer 60 minutes but can work with 30 minutes and still get everything we need. Just able to get more if we have more time.
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Old February 15th, 2011, 11:30 PM   #5
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Thanks gents, I suppose you emphasized to the B&G during the first meeting yes?

I always mention the need of atleast 30 mins to setup during first meeting.. but when I got the rundown a week before they always seemed to forget this. They tend to arrange the rundown based on the photog suggestion, who can almost instantly be prepared for ceremony without the setups video needs.

I guess I can safely cross the bride getting into the car part from my video timeline then, and head straight to the venue.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 12:23 AM   #6
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Hi J - I don't mention this to them, they just want a cool video, not boring logistical details.

Let's say the venue is 30mins drive away, and the ceremony starts at 2pm. Set your watch alarm to around 12:50pm, and when it goes off - mention to the bride that you've got everything you need, ask her politely is there anything else she wants to have on video before you leave, and tell her you're off to setup at the church. This just covers yourself, you won't have any problems - she's stressing about a lot more than a video at this point.... :)
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Old February 16th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #7
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A couple of years ago I learnt a similar lesson with the bride turning up at the church about 5 minutes after me.
Now if they want the preps covered, I insist on them having at least two cameramen.
1 to follow the bride and 1 to follow the groom.
The groom always turns up to the venue in plenty of time allowing the 2nd cameraman to get everything ready and still get the establishing shots and guest arriving.

I'll never do preps again on a solo shoot.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 06:13 AM   #8
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I like to take an hour if possible, but at least 30 mins (especially if Im on my own!)

There's nothing worse than feeling rushed or ill prepared during the ceremony-your footage won't be up to your usual standard, and the guests will certainly notice it!
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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:03 AM   #9
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I'm always on my own so I tell the bride that I HAVE to be at the Church at least 30 mins before her!!
If she is not ready then she already understands the setup time demands and if needed she will skip the latter half of the prep if she is running late.

30 mins (excluding travel time) is great so I can setup, relax and then wait for the bride to arrive. Rushing just leads to mistakes and the ceremony is very important. It's critical to tell the bride that you will be there for the prep shoot at say, 2:00pm and will be leaving at 2:30pm latest ...regardless of whether she is complete or not!! I normally tell the bride to be in her dress at least 30 mins BEFORE I leave the house.

I think I would rather lose a few prep shots than get to the Church late!!!! If I start at the Ceremony then I'm there at least an hour early!!!

Chris
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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:59 AM   #10
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I always allow 1 hour lead time at the church, sometimes but not often, the Bride is late in getting her make-up done in which case I try to be at the church 30 minutes early. I also do the limo shot after the ceremony.

As with the majority here, I want to be relaxed prior to the ceremony. The worst case I ever had was 5 minutes before the ceremony, I literally miked the groom as he was doing the march. Bad accident along the way, Bride was late, was stressful morning wedding to sum it up. Oh this was the ONE BRIDE who asked me why she does not have a shot of her stepping out of the limo at church. And this was the ONE PRIEST who insisted not to wait for the BRIDE and proceed with the march with or without her.

PS. Being late, I have to outrun the Groom so I can man my camera up front, this caught the attention of the priest who started the ceremony berating us for holding up the march and not respecting the sanctity of the ceremony. Good times
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Old February 16th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #11
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We say to our couples that we need to be at the church at least 45mins before the ceremony start. This givesuys a bit of leeway if we somehow late because for whatever reason. 30 mins is generally enough to set up everything.
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Old February 16th, 2011, 08:26 PM   #12
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Thanks gents for the inputs. 30 mins sounds like a reasonable time indeed.
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