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  • Writer's pictureEthan Swihart

Videographer and Officiant? - Oregon Coast Elopement

If you ever wondered if it was possible to be both the videographer and officiant at a wedding the answer is...yes!



Always Have a Plan

When my sister-in-law asked if I could film her wedding I obviously said YES. She wanted to elope to the Oregon Coast and have a very intimate ceremony and by intimate I'm talking 5 people including the couple. This means I'm wearing quite a few hats and need to be on the ball to make a great and stress free day for the couple. In the meantime I also need to be creating a beautiful film they are going to watch forever. Needless to say you need to plan ahead. This was the idea.


Clean Audio - We were next to the ocean on a windy day so audio was going to prove to be a challenge. To circumvent this, I had the couple read their vows at the airbnb posed in front of a beautiful window. This way I could save my worry about getting ceremony audio perfect while I officiate.

  1. Back-up Angle - For the ceremony itself my only option was to lockdown the camera on sticks and hope nothing drastic happened to the shot. Then I had my wife run around with an iphone on a gimble to get shots of the ceremony. Why not a camera? Good question! She was also in charge of the bouquet and anything else the couple needed. So she needed something small that could grab me an okay image just in case disaster struck (it didn't).

  2. Lots of Drone footage - I knew that I was gonna struggle with a lack of shots so I made use of any downtime by grabbing really nice drone shots. These usually fill 5-10 seconds a piece whereas a normal camera angle I only use for 4-6 seconds on average in the final film. Every extra second counts!

  3. Stay chill - I knew that because of the lack of downtime and gear that I could get into a pinch really quick. I knew that if I relied on my run and gun ability I would be a-okay. I was not gonna stress because remember I'm the officiant and it's my sole duty to make this wedding a wonderful experience.

  4. Stick to the basics - It's super easy to get carried away with shots and angles that don't pay off in the end. I kept everything super simple in this video and didn't try to overreach and waste time. In the end, that saved me a lot of time and allowed me to have pretty good variety of shots in the film.


Keep it Simple

It's an elopement. The whole point is to let go of all hubbub and focus on what really matters...LOVE. That's right the whole reason I love this business is because I watch the most powerful force in the world collide, and then almost cry every freakin time. If you watch the video you can hear me choke up at "Josh you may kiss your bride". I mean come on, that's what it's all about people. LOVE LOVE LOVE



Be creative, have fun, keep it simple.





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