Creating the Perfect Wedding Video
To replay the special moments of the wedding day, most couples rely on good ol’ photographs. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but nothing can be quite as magical and evocative as a well-executed video that beautifully captures every significant move, every etched expression, and every heightened emotion displayed during the wedding.
Thanks to his background in filmmaking, Yang adds a dash of cinematographic flair to the wedding videos he creates, but the bulk of the material relies on personality and depth—a philosophy Yang established when he founded Substance Films 10 years ago. He explains why the chemistry of the couple can make or break their wedding video, and lets us in on a wedding trend that’s becoming increasingly popular among the younger newlyweds.
How many different types of wedding videos are there?
There are essentially two types—the pre-wedding video, and the actual-day video. The former involves storytelling; it is a short film that documents the couple’s love journey thus far, from the day they meet to moments earlier when they exchange their vows. The actual-day video, whose content is pretty self-explanatory, is actually more challenging in that the videographer needs to be able to think on his feet since it isn’t filmed in a controlled environment like a pre-wedding video is.
Do you have a signature style of shooting wedding videos?
No; and I refrain from having one. No one couple is the same, and neither should their wedding videos! I approach each couple with an open mind, and let their story do the telling in the video.
What is the most important part of making a wedding video?
This may sound absurd, but the chemistry of the couple is the most crucial part during the making of a wedding video. Beautiful setups and gowns are nice to have, but if the two main subjects are obviously lacking in chemistry, it makes capturing their love story on film incredibly challenging. There was once I had to provide step-by-step instructions to the groom throughout the entire filming process—and that included telling him how to kiss his wife! Of course, the couple’s chemistry with the videographer can make a world of difference in the final cut, too. I like to tell my clients that in each of my wedding video project, there are three directors: the groom, the bride, and myself. If the three of us hit it off, we can easily create magic.
What are some of the most memorable wedding videos you’ve shot?
The first video that comes to mind was done six or seven years ago. It involved a Muslim groom and a Chinese bride. The trials and tribulations they had to go through were evident in the raw emotions they displayed during the exchange of vows. That was one of the few times I had goosebumps when filming a solemnisation. Another memorable wedding video I shot was one of the early-morning gatecrashes—this particular couple decided to do a role reversal for the gatecrash, so the bride and her bridesmaids had to complete a round of tasks set by the groomsmen before the bride could to get to her groom. That was such a refreshing idea, and their guests loved it.
In your 10 years of experience as a wedding videographer, what are some of the wedding trends you’ve observed in recent years?
Increasingly, couples are opting for simpler weddings — some choosing to skip the gatecrash altogether. After-parties are also growing in popularity among the younger couples; I like after-parties because that’s when the couple and their guests let their hair down and display uninhibited spontaneity, which translates to amazing candid shots for me to capture.
See more of Substance Films' works here.