My First Wedding

Lianne and Edd, I'll never forget it. I have touched base with this in one of my previous blogs but I want to go into more depth in this one. Just a heads up, it might be a bit long but trust me, it's worth the read.

I got a phone call from Lianne around a week before their big day and she asked if I could film her wedding on the weekend. With such short notice I didn't think I could get the time off work, I remember saying "I would 100% love to but I need to get the day off work so I will ring you back later with a definite answer." Later on that day when I went to work I spoke to my manager Ben and he could see how important this meant to me, I swapped my shifts and he gave me the day off! Thank you Ben! I contacted Lianne back and told her the good news so we made a date to meet at their venue Priston Mill to talk about their plans and timings.

As it was so last minute, I didn't even have a camera at this stage. I had plans to purchase one when I got paid from Tesco so what was I going to do?! Of course, my father helped me out. On the day of meeting Lianne and Edd at Priston Mill, me and my father took a drive to Baths town centre and went into Jessops. My father purchased the camera I wanted (Canon XC10) and he said "pay me back when you can, no rush, go and be a millionaire." I love him so much.

We both went to Priston Mill to meet Lianne and Edd and my first words were "wow, it's happening!" My father stayed in the car whilst I went inside to meet them both. I don't think I was even nervous, more excited. We spoke about their day, got to know each other and don't worry, Lianne and Edd knew this was my first wedding! I really don't know why or how they trusted me with such an important duty for such a special day in their lives but honestly, I have been so grateful ever since.

Let's talk about the gear I had. I had the camera itself with a 27.3-273mm f/2.8-5.6 optical zoom lens - perfect for beginners, although I didn't really understand what aperture meant back then. I had a RODE Microphone which plugged into the camera instead of using the in-built microphone and I had a very cheap camera cage to hold everything together easily, literally it was £30. My total setup worth was already £1,450. Comparing it to today where it's at least £7,000 it's just crazy!

Back to the wedding, I got to Priston Mill really early in the morning and I still do that to this day. It's better to be early than late. I started filming the venue shots, detail shots and met the wedding co-ordinators until Edd and his groomsmen made an entrance through the main gates. I was pretty calm, as I said before I felt excited more than anything. I remember shaking his hand and meeting everyone by his side, I then took Edd away for a few minutes to get some groom preparation footage such as putting on his tie etc. and I got him looking out the venue window as he was doing it. I kind of had a vision of what I wanted their film to be which worked out really well.

The morning went by, guests arrived, Lianne arrived and the ceremony happened. It was a beautiful day, just like everyones but as it was my first, I can remember the feelings, the emotion and the memories like it was yesterday. The evening went by really quickly, I didn't want it to end! From the meal to the first dance, I throughly enjoyed myself meeting the family, getting involved and just having fun. After their first dance, it was an epic party and Edd finally relaxed a little and actually danced on the dance floor - of course, I managed to capture it!

Once I started to pack up and put my things in the car, I remember looking at the outside lamp which had an awesome lighting effect on the ground, I took my camera back out of the bag and asked Lianne to come outside for a few minutes. I had the vision in my head already, I asked her to spin around under the light holding her wedding dress and it turned out so good! From this moment, I have done this with my wedding couples at least 80% of the time (depends on the venue if they have one!) and it's kind of my trademark if you want to think of it like that.

The next day I started editing, as it was my first wedding film I kept doubting myself whether it looked good enough but my wife reassured me that it was amazing. I took around 40 hours editing their wedding film and once I finished I sent them a link to view it, I remember my heart pounding waiting for their response! Of course, they loved it and they both were so grateful for such a wonderful video. I started doing what I still do to this day, burn it on a DVD, put it in a personalised DVD case and hand delivered their wedding film.

From my first wedding, the ball has rolled excessively. I filmed 20+ weddings in my first year, investing every penny back into the business upgrading my equipment and ended up being a finalist in the South West Wedding Awards. An amazing achievement for myself and it all started with Lianne and Edd. Thank you for having the trust and faith in me to begin the dream I am living today.