Interviewing wedding guests can be difficult, but if you do it and do it well you can get some great footage that will really add to the final video. Here are some tips to help you interview wedding guests.
Respect the wedding guests
Never force anyone to talk to the camera if they seem uncomfortable with it. Often, shy folks who initially decline to be interviewed will open up once they see other people doing it.
Remind them that wedding guest interviews are for the bride and groom
I find that I get a better response from guests if I start by saying, "The bride and groom asked me to get comments from their guests for the video " This opening can inspire people who would be otherwise reticent to talk to open up to the camera. Once they know that the bride and groom want to hear what they have to say, wedding guests will be more willing to be interviewed.
Have some interview questions ready
You can just ask for comments and well wishes, but you'll get more interesting responses if you ask the guests specific questions, such as: how do you know the bride and groom?; what's you're favorite story about the couple?; what's your advice for a happy marriage?, etc.
Use a handheld microphone
In a loud reception room you won't be able to pick up people's voices clearly with an on-camera microphone. Instead, you'll need to use a handheld mic (like the kind used by newscasters). If you don't have a handheld mic, try setting up the camera outside of the main reception room, where it's quieter, and recording the wedding guest interviews there.
Get help from the kids
If there are flower girls or ring bearers at the wedding, they can break the ice and help you get good interviews with guests. I always find that little kids are fascinated with the video camera and also love to be given responsibility. So, I hand them the mic and ask who they think should talk on camera. Then, I follow them from table to table and let them get the guests started talking.
Get help from the wedding party
If you have an extra, inexpensive automatic camcorder, you can hand it off to an outgoing groomsman or bridesmaid. Let this person record wedding guest interviews at the reception; you'll get an insider's perspective and guests will say things to this camera that they wouldn't necessarily say to you.
Get help from the DJ
If you don't want to go table to table asking guests to speak, have the DJ make an announcement. He can let guests know that you've set up your camera outside the room and are ready to interview any willing volunteers.