The Biggest Takeaway From Doing Wedding Videos for Over 10 Years!

April 24, 2019

Waves began in the wedding video world and really thrived there for years. We sincerely loved getting to know the couples we filmed. Enjoyed being at parties where everyone was on their best behavior….

and most of all we appreciate learning the craft of telling stories through video. As we have now retired our wedding video ‘hat’ we thought we’d do a shout out to the industry in the spirit of gratitude for the value we reaped from over a decade of ‘killing it’.

Waves Media Weddings

Biggest Lesson Learned: Story.

I (David) began Waves as part of a non-profit in 2006 (we incorporated in 2010). As I was totally new to video, I really was just trying to survive. “Trial by fire” in the true sense of the phrase. Figuring out all the camera and recording gear while being at a real time event (and a wedding at that!) Boy, did I work hard. One year early on I managed to film over 80 weddings personally. Hindsight is amusing at times. 1-2 giant cameras, lights in peoples faces, battery packs worn on your belt weighing literally 25 pounds! HA! What a sight I was I’m sure.

But the blood, sweat and tears paid off. My videos were getting lots of views, set to cool music, nice visuals, tons of inquiries from future brides and grooms, and a considerable amount of views. We even added my brother Jon to the team as both the work and money was there. But alas … little did I know something was missing.

In 2011, I went to a Still Motion seminar in Boston with my brother Jon. They (Still Motion) began talking about the concept of ‘story’.

Yes, that term ‘story’ is way too overused nowadays. But for me the idea was foreign. And eye-opening. Heh, eye-popping. I felt almost ashamed of the great visual pieces we had been creating for couples. Only because there was really no meaningful story in those documentations.

So we changed – turning almost a complete 180 degrees. Our emphasis on our future videos became less concerned about getting that ‘cool’ shot everyone was getting in the wedding industry and more about creating an actual story about each couple. We emphasized the audio from speeches and vows from the day because they in turn could create an actual narrative.

Not so coincidentally, our work became more fun. More engaging. It was like a hunt for the story at each event. We even added a huge value piece of interviewing the couple and their closest loved ones prior to the wedding just in case there wasn’t enough ‘story’ captured on the wedding day itself (see some samples here)

This in turn rocked our video world. We handled less weddings each year because the work for each got steeper as the quality went up. But our pricing was able to go up too. I turn it brought us couples being married who really ‘got’ what we were doing. And LOVED IT!

So thank you wedding world for making us good on our feet and able to make a video out of anything! Thank you for giving us a platform to learn film and the creative in general. For all the chicken dinners just a little rubbery in texture by the time it got to our mouths. Thanks for the humid August days outside watching our little DSLR cameras overheat. But most of all, for letting us tell stories. Stories of hundreds of amazing couples and young families setting out on the journey of life together — all while having video memories forever, of how it all began.