For many couples, a destination wedding is a dream come true. There is nothing more special than joining in matrimony in a unique but meaningful location, but few know just how much work can go into making that dream a reality. Here in Orlando, a popular destination wedding venue is the Walt Disney World Resort. It takes a lot of planning for the couple getting married here. From travel to vendors, plans can start being made a year, if not more, in advanced!
We always jump at the opportunity to work a destination wedding - it's just as much fun for us to shoot as it is for the couple to experience!
In August, we had the opportunity to shoot a Disney Fairytale Wedding, and we know first hand how easy it can become overwhelming if you aren't a frequent visitor of the surrounding parks.
Luckily, we've compiled a list of six do's and don'ts, to help prepare for shooting your next Disney Fairytale Wedding.
DO: Stay in frequent contact with the couple regarding their big day
DON'T: Communicate as if you are filming a wedding at a venue you frequently shoot at
When we work on Disney weddings or destination weddings, we aim to keep conversation more frequent. Destination weddings typically have more planned activities that the couple want to be captured, and these plans can change at any moment. Therefore, we speak to the couple three to four times in the month before the wedding.
Communication with the couple is beneficial not only to your plan for the day but also when capturing them on camera. Befriend all of your clients, but even more, so the clients bringing you on their destination wedding. You want your clients to be comfortable with you, so they feel comfortable sharing intimate moments on camera, this will ultimately make their wedding film better!
DO: Have a meeting with your team prior, and breakdown each step of the day
DON'T: Slack off while preparing
During the week of our most recent Disney Wedding, our team had an hour-long meeting specifically to hash out all details of the day. Christian and Ben were both going to shoot the wedding, and we had Joanna Gill joining them to help carry and transport the equipment to the multiple locations (along with capturing BTS, but we will get there later).
We created an itinerary for the day, including the answered questionnaire given to the couple a month prior, as well as a schedule designating who will be where. The itinerary also included who would be using what gear, and when they should be setting up/breaking down said gear. We also had maps of each location, along with parking spots and driving directions when needed.
Here's an example:
DO: Get there early
DON'T: Arrive "on time"
"Fifteen minutes early is on time, and on time is late!"
This is especially so for Disney Weddings.
Making your way through the Walt Disney World Resort is time-consuming and can oftentimes be confusing! Be sure to allot plenty of extra time to find parking or navigate through the continuous construction. Not only will you be able to set up comfortably, but you will get to spend more time with the couple!
DO: Be prepared to walk
DON'T: Underestimate the distances between locations in the same resort
Many couples choose to hold their ceremony and reception at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa, this is one of Walt Disney World's premiere resorts, complete with all of the bells and whistles of ornate decorations, waterfront views of Cinderella's Castle, and breathtaking grounds.
While beautiful, the Wedding Ceremony Pavilion is located on the opposite side of the Grand Floridian's convention center where the receptions are usually held. Not only that, but the dinner after the wedding was at a completely different resort!
Make sure your team is prepared to cover these large distances, whether that be walking, driving, or hopping on the world-famous monorail.
DO: Set the scene
DON'T: Focus only on the wedding
Destination weddings are fun because of the destination! It's important to keep that in mind when shooting the big day.
Ask yourself, "what are the identifying aspects of this location?"
For Example, at Walt Disney World there are:
And many more! Capturing all of this and including it in the wedding video, help the couple remember the magic of their big day! (Also, it makes for some killer b-roll, and demo reel material)
DO: Have someone dedicated to capturing BTS
DON'T: Let this go unnoticed!
Remember earlier when I said Joanna was with us to help us with gear, and also to capture BTS? Now is when I elaborate on that.
We get so busy during wedding shoots, that we sometimes forget to capture some shots of ourselves to use as marketing material for the company. Destination wedding footage is perfect to include in your demo reel or brand video to show your diverse capabilities as a wedding cinematographer!
DISCLAIMER: Disney requires photographers to go through several steps to work weddings and events, and often prefer their own photographers be used by the client. Since a BTS photographer aiding videographers isn't technically capturing the event, we got around this. However, when we did start the day we spoke with the Disney photographer and let them know or BTS photographer would just be shooting us and our gear, and also let them know that if we were ever in their way to let us know.
Besides prepping for Disney weddings by taking the steps Disney requires you take, using these tips will help your day go easier and help you look more professional in front of your clients.
Disney Fairytale Weddings are the choice destination wedding for many people all around the world. Orlando videographers have the unique opportunity to capture these magical events, so make it count!
If you're getting married at Walt Disney World and need a wedding videographer, let us know! We'd love to work with you!