Knowsley Hall – a Wedding Videographer’s Dream
One of my favourite wedding venues, Knowsley Hall, Prescot, just outside of Liverpool, has it all. Providing a breathtaking backdrop for any wedding day, Knowsley Hall is a venue fitting of a Disney movie, and I frequently shoot some of the most heartfelt weddings at this most exclusive of stately homes.
Highly Recommended by North West Wedding Photographers
As someone who understands the importance of working relationships on a wedding day, I find that I often get a lot of my weddings through recommendations. Sometimes, previous clients recommend me to their friends; at other times, wedding photographers are quick to pass my name along, as we always get along well and work in the best interests of the couple. It’s a really kind and humbling experience to be recommended by a growing list of photographers in the North West, and one such photographer who has done so in the past is Liverpool wedding photographer, Hervé Gillet, who learned his trade in Paris. It’s an honour to be chosen to work alongside some of the most talented photographers in the North West, and I’m really looking forward to working with Hervé again next month at Thornton Manor Hotel & Spa. Dan and Jen’s wedding day came about for similar reasons, as Dan had received a recommendation from Hervé to seek my services, and had also seen my wedding film of Phil + Emma’s wedding video at Knowsley Hall, as he used to work with Phil at a previous workplace. The combination of two recommendations went a long way to ensuring I was Dan and Jen’s wedding videographer at Knowsley Hall, and I was really excited to revisit this stunning 2,500 acre private walled estate, which has welcomed royalty and distinguished visitors in the past.
Dan and Jen: “We’re Not Really a Romantic Couple”
These were the words Dan shared in his speech, when he first started to discuss his love story, which started with a cheeky kiss and a week of him ignoring Jen’s Friend Request on Facebook because he didn’t believe he was good enough for her…!
A Romantic Speech for an Unromantic Couple
As I got to know Dan and Jen, it was clear that they were a lovely couple: just wanting to enjoy their day and celebrate their love with friends and family. This was reiterated during Dan’s speech, though he was clear to point out that Jen and himself were not a romantic couple. Nevertheless, the more Dan spoke of his relationship with Jen, the more obvious it became that he loved Jen to her very core. For an unromantic couple, Dan certainly painted a romantic picture and told a story of love that was – perhaps – more befitting of a Disney fairytale, and was certainly just as beautiful.
“At Last” – a Proposal of Awkward Proportions
Every time a couple books me as their wedding videographer, I ask them to me their story. As a wedding videographer, it’s extremely important to get to know your couples from the enquiry straight through to the delivery of the final film. The speeches are usually key: they provide the groom with another opportunity to remind everyone of their story, and it’s usually these moments that make my films as heartfelt as they can be. Ultimately, the more we as wedding videographers know about you, the better we can tell the world about your love.
As Dan proceeded to tell the story of his relationship to Jen during his speech, he came to the moment of his proposal at a fine restaurant in Liverpool. I won’t spoil the story, as it’s present in the film, but it’s one of the funniest stories I’ve listened to during a groom’s speech, and it was not lost on his friends and family!
What To Do When It All Goes Wrong – A Father of the Bride’s Speech
Although every wedding has its challenges, back ups are usually our saviour. Every wedding video that I’ve made since 2016 has been as perfect as it could be with the exception of the odd insignificant moment missed here and there. However, Dan and Jen’s stunning film shares a secret that none of my previous films have, and I think that in the interest of transparency it’s important to also share the journey that we’ve been on together since Dan and Jen’s wedding day.
Double Back Ups – The Importance of Great Audio in any Wedding Film
Unfortunately, as with live TV, anything is possible on a wedding day. Usually, it’s the weather of the upmost concern to the bride and groom and their guests, but for videographers, our main concern is always the audio where, just like the weather, anything is possible without the correct amount of experience and solutions. With multiple camera angles and multiple audio devices, we can – 99% of the time – guarantee a perfect outcome. The chances of problems subsiding increase with the amount of preparation time we are handed to film both the Ceremony and Speeches. In fact, the longer we have to setup, the more back ups we are likely to secure. At a bare minimum, I mike every male speaker with two recorders, and then on days when there is time, I’ll also secure a recorder to the house mic, and even go as far as miking' the speaker or nearby tables themselves. During Dan and Jen’s wedding, through no fault of their own, we had a really short turnaround between couple portraits and their Speeches, which were before the meal. Despite these increasingly stressful moments testing your nerve, I am so well prepared on a wedding day that I am always able to provide each person speaking with two recorders. Despite this, Jen’s Dad decided to take his jacket of moments before the speeches started: his two recorders were now on the back of his chair!
The Fix: A Journey to the Father of the Bride’s House
Thankfully, Jen’s Dad, Mick, was willing to do a re-recording. Therefore, mere days after the wedding, I spent a lovely hour with Mick in his living room, ensuring the perfect recording of his speech. To re-enact the emotion, I played Jen’s reactions to his speech on my MacBook Pro, so that he might feel as though he was back in that grand hall. This new recording was then carefully pieced back together with the original speech, so that Mick’s Father of the Bride’s speech could be remembered forever. It’s small details like this that really make a wedding film, and I’m pleased to say that after twelve hours of careful editing, Mick’s speech was saved! It’s this type of dedication that I like to offer to my couples, and is another reason why I always say, “A wedding film is for life. Therefore, I will always trade speed of delivery for a higher quality wedding film. Those days spent waiting really do pay off once the hard work has been completed as perfectly as possible.
The Resulting Wedding Film: Dan + Jen, “At Last”
After hours of planning, a full day’s shoot on their wedding day, multiple back ups and a 7-10 day edit, Dan and Jen’s wedding video was finally ready to share.
Feature Film: Knowsley Hall Wedding Video, Jen + Dan
Thank you very much for having me as your wedding videographer, Jen and Dan. It’s been an absolute pleasure, and I wish you both the very best for the future!