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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old September 23rd, 2013, 10:44 PM   #1
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2 more newbie questions

Thanks again for the advice on wedding preps. My next question is regarding micing the groom. Do you guys pull him aside at the church, venue and mic him there? And when the ceremony is done how long do you wait before you go hunting back into the church for your gear? I of course do not want to miss the couple leaving and they may be taking photos right there in the church, so I may have time to gather my gear before I head over to the reception. I am just trying to think all this stuff out before it happens. I like to visualize what I am gonna do. I do know things can change, but it is nice to have a plan. Thanks agian for your input.
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Old September 23rd, 2013, 11:15 PM   #2
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Hi Jeff

I usually put the transmitter and lav on the groom at least 15 minutes before the ceremony and turn it on and also test it on the main camera to make sure he hasn't unplugged the mic etc etc. It may sound silly but I also use some gaffer tape to seal the battery lid and also slip the cable under it too so he can't rip the plug out.

I leave the mic on the groom until after the congratulations (I think you guys call that the processional??)
Then I remove it so it's not in any of the group photos.

Chris
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Old September 24th, 2013, 12:32 AM   #3
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Hey Jeff, about micing the groom, I do it as soon as I can when I get to the church. In terms of retrieving it, as soon as I can also, but it's not the end of the world if you forget. Just means you're going to be recording his private conversations for a while! If you forget to pull it off the priest on the other hand...

When to hunt for gear -- I cheat, because I pretty much always work with at least one other person.

On the rare occasions when I'm solo, I don't shoot much at all of the post-ceremony stuff, if any, before hunting for gear. I'm sure everyone will do this differently. But I'm more concerned about getting out of the church before the priest locks my equipment in/before the next wedding starts, and being ready to leave for the photoshoot when the bridal party are. I do normally use quite a lot of gear, though, so I'm not particularly nimble when I'm solo.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 01:54 AM   #4
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

I tend to mic the groom anywhere between 15 and 20 minutes prior to the start of the ceremony, basically when ever I can pull him aside. That gives me enough time to check it's working and find a spare if it's not.

In terms of when I un-mic them, it all depends on the venue and how else I am acquiring sound. For example, if the officiant is mic'd then I'll typically remove the groom's mic as soon as they've signed the register but before the photographer takes the register shot. That way I've already got it and it's not in their register photos. However, if the officiant is not mic'd and I'm having to capture the officiant through the groom's mic (not ideal) then I'll leave it on until after the recessional.

If it's a civil ceremony then it's likely I've hidden an extra mic in the flowers on the table, and that captures the registrar (who rarely allows me to mic them), so again I'd remove the mic after the register, but have to grab the flowers mic with the rest of the gear later.

I don't like leaving it on him too long because it's possible to forget it and I've had a groom leave the church with it on and I've had to track him down as soon as possible at the reception. If this had been a "ceremony only" event I'd have lost the microphone!

In terms of going back in to the church to grab the gear, it's one of the reasons I like to have a second. I'm usually outside to capture the couple appearing at the church door while the second is inside getting them coming back down the isle. Once he gets chance he grabs all the gear in the church, or comes out for filming while I go grab the gear, depending on how all the entrances/exits are configured in the church and how hard it is to get down the isle etc.

We like to get everything in to the car before the couple leave so that we can capture the confetti, getting in the car & driving away and be ready to jump in to our car and get to the reception before them to get them arriving. It makes editing and continuity that much easier.
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Last edited by Dave Partington; September 24th, 2013 at 12:58 PM.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 01:59 AM   #5
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Deleted - double post. Sorry.
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Old September 24th, 2013, 04:20 AM   #6
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

As soon as you see the groom mic him up, then 15 minutes before she arrives check him out because grooms have a habit of messing around and switching on and off and general idiot things. After the exit let all run till everything calms down as you will miss things messing around with him. Then during the photo shoot at church take it of him but if they are doing the speeches early before the food at reception you may as well leave it on him and check just before the speeches ( check battery) If the speeches are after the food then take it of during the photo shoot at church..
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Old September 24th, 2013, 04:35 AM   #7
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Like the others, I mic the groom about 15 mis before the ceremony and usually remove it in the gaps while they are officially signing the register before the posed shots.

As already mentioned, it is very east to forget a mic, I left a Sony recorder in the flowers on the head table for the speeches two weeks ago and forgot it. I phoned the venue the next morning, who said they had found it and handed it to the Groom the next morning to return it. Unfortunately they went straight off on a 3 week honeymoon. Luckily I have a couple of backups, but it is very easy to do.

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Old September 24th, 2013, 06:37 AM   #8
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Like everyone else I mic him 15-20 minutes prior to the ceremony. I UNmic him as soon after the ceremony as I can usually after the recessional while they (the B&G) are talking to family and BP before they start pictures. I also tell him that I will remove the mic pak and mic since it is a very sensitive piece of gear. Not really but I had a groom a number of years ago that literally ripped the mic connection off the transmitter when he took the unit off and I wound up buying a new transmitter and mic. I really hate it when other people touch my gear but that's another post for another thread. :-)
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Old September 24th, 2013, 10:51 PM   #9
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

Thanks to all who responded. It gives me more of an idea what to do now. Thanks again for your input.
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Old September 26th, 2013, 06:15 PM   #10
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

If your mic is wireless, you'll want to do it early enough to test that it doesn't interfere with the church's system. The minister will have a habit of turning on the church's wireless system 30 seconds before the ceremony starts, and you won't have enough time to troubleshoot the problem with the ceremony starting and the house system hissing!
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Old September 27th, 2013, 09:16 AM   #11
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

yes be careful of this. It's only happened to me once but I had a situation where when the church turned on their wireless, the groom and groomsman conversations in the back rooms got piped into the church. Fortunately nothing offensive was being said but it could have been an embarrassing situation. Also when you mic up the groom remind him that everything said from that point on is being recorded. Sometimes they forget then they'll come up to you later and ask that you make sure you edit stuff out!

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Old September 27th, 2013, 02:22 PM   #12
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Re: 2 more newbie questions

I use this time when mic'ing him to remind him that he doesn't have to worry about anything he says. That its for the camera ONLY and NOT projected for everyone to hear (some guys get confused and think it's the mic for the church). I tell them not to worry about anything they say because I end up editing out everything that's "not meant to be heard" and that I'm really only using it for vows. This is just my style. My way of doing things. Some videographers include all that audio, not us. Sure I may use it for more than just vows, but I do this so that they can relax and be themselves and not self-conscious of the fact that they are mic'd up. I then grab it after the Ceremony before the pics and that's a chance to say "CONGRATULATIONS!" :)
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