Hannah and Simon's wedding at The Merchant Adventurer's Hall in York. Bridal preparations were in the Grand Hotel near York station.
This booking was potentially easily within walking distance from my house but due to the nature of the equipment I like to have with me at a wedding, it presented a bit of a logistical challenge because I knew that parking would be difficult at both venues and I didn't want to carry all my gear on foot, firstly to the Grand Hotel and then later move it all to The Merchant Adventurer's Hall.
I decided to 'travel light' and eliminated a heavy tripod and my gimbal as I very rarely use either of these at weddings. I also cut down on the number of cameras I was taking and relied at least for the bridal prep mostly on my Lumix S5 with my Sony A7iii as backup. With a bag full of Lumix lenses the S5 bag was still quite heavy but luckily my wife, bless her insisted on being my transport for the day and we arranged that she would deliver me to The Grand for the bridal prep and then pick me up again later and take me to the Merchant Adventurer's Hall in good time to set up for the ceremony.
I got to the Grand Hotel in good time for the bridal preparations and was greeted by Hannah at the door to a room full of bridesmaids in full swing of getting hair and make up sorted. The overhead room lights gave a gorgeous light in the middle of the room which helped with the quality of the stills and video images. All the video and most of the stills were shot on the Lumix S5 and mostly on my 28-70mm F2.8 Sigma lens.
The photographer arrived and organised some group shots on the bed which I filmed. Filming was without audio as I intended to use some of Hannah's music choices as background music for the video.
Arriving at the Merchant Adventurers Hall and reminding myself of the venue, I worked out that my optimal position for filming the ceremony would be facing Hannah as she stood in front of the registrars table with Simon but that there was a good chance from that angle of there being back illumination from the many windows in the background. I realised that I would have to set exposure using the room first and then lock that exposure so that the windows would be overexposed potentially but Hannah and Simon would be correctly exposed.
Whilst the S5 has in my opinion a much nicer looking picture profile than my Sony A7iii, the S5 is not so well endowed in the auto focussing area and I cannot yet get it to stick on a subject if that subject moves out of frame and then back in again, which is what happened when the best man came up with the rings blocking my view of the couple and I had to move. It took a while to gain focus on Hannah again when she was back in frame. I got round that in editing by removing that section with the best man and me moving the monopod/camera set up and the ceremony footage all worked out fine.
After the ceremony there were some opportunities to film in the grounds of the Merchant Adventurer's Hall. Back inside to check on a battery charging up, I was approached by what I though was one of the waiters who told me that he was one of a pair of singing waiters and that they were going to do their act as the desert course was coming out. I filmed them although this was a challenge for the S5's focussing system in auto focus mode with the 28-70mm with evening lighting approaching. I wanted to film people at table singing, especially at the top table and then zoom into the two singing waiters occasionally as well but many times the focussing didn't work as well as I'd hoped. I have since purchased a 24mm prime which should be better for these sorts of shots and I think if I encounter this sort of situation again I will try and use manual focussing instead. As this was a bit of an extra I wasn't overly concerned as it didn't really effect my filming of the wedding.
One thing the singing waiters did really well was get the party started. A lot of guests were singing along, standing, swaying with their hands in the air and generally having a great time and that set them up nicely for the night time party downstairs.
For night time party filming in the undercroft I swapped my Deity microphone for my Rotolight on top of my camera. I tend not to use extra lighting until it becomes really necessary. I filmed the cake cutting and first dance and a bit of a conga line forming as well before saying goodbye to Hannah and ringing for a lift home.
Its always a bit of a nervous time loading and starting to look at the footage the next day on a bigger screen but everything seemed to have worked out really well and I'm so pleased with the quality of the film from the S5 and the bride rang me to tell me how pleased she and Simon were with it too when they received their copy.