Now that the tinsel is officially down and all the champagne corks have popped, there will be more than a few couples settling down to serious wedding planning after Christmas proposals were accepted.
There’s the venue, the dress, the flowers and the cake to decide upon and, in recent years, there’s also a new type of wedding supplier to consider. Alongside ground based photography, lots of couples are also seeking out drone operators to provide an aerial perspective on their wedding memories.
If your chosen photographer or videographer doesn’t offer drone coverage (and many won’t as it’s not an easy qualification to obtain), then you can look to hire a drone operator separately.
As a relatively new part of the wedding industry, there are lots of questions that couples have when they’re making up their minds whether or not to have a UAV at their wedding. Here’s some advice from us at DSR…
Keep it Legal
First things first. Make sure you’re hiring someone who is legally allowed to fly commercially and insured (all of our pilots are so that’s a great place to start on your search). Check that anyone you hire to provide your coverage is doing so legally – ask to see their paperwork. There are a lot of unlicensed operators out there. Along the same vein, if you’re planning on paying a friend who flies drones as a hobby, he will need the same permissions from the CAA, and commercial insurance as any other commercial pilot. He or she would have to be a really close friend to embark on all of that expensive training in order to do it legally! If they go ahead and fly anyway, then it is illegal and if something goes wrong then you will have no recourse not to mention the fact that there is more and more action being taken against illegal drone pilots by the police.
Know that drones can’t fly in all weathers so you need to be prepared that rain and high winds will mean that you don’t get your aerial images. Of course you don’t still have to pay for it!
Check your Venue
Check whether your venue allows drone flights. Your pilot needs the owner’s permission to take off and land from their property so if your venue has a blanket ban, then that’s a decision that has been made for you.
Does a Drone Add Value?
Think about whether your venue lends itself to drone coverage. If you’re marrying somewhere that is largely indoors, then a drone probably won’t be able to offer you a huge amount of benefit cinematically speaking. Marrying in a large venue with extensive private grounds? Then aerial photography and video is perfect for you. Sweeping shots and a bird’s eye perspective will show your wedding in a whole new light and add tons of ‘production value’ to your wedding memories.
When Should you Fly?
Think about what drones are designed for and build it into your day. Drones can fly indoors in some circumstances but they’re not ideally suited to the purpose so they are far better outdoors. They can be noisy and so they aren’t ideal during the ceremony and for safety reason, they operate at a certain distance from people so close up images are best left to your ground based professional. Where they excel is capturing the overall scenes, showcasing your venue and adding a Hollywood style cinematic quality to your wedding images. Guests can be arranged to make shapes in your venue grounds – the classic is a heart with the bride and groom at the centre – to provide a real show stopping image so make some time yin your day to create this sort of thing if it appeals to you.
Check the Experience
Make sure your pilot has flown at weddings before. Drone pilots, like any professional, will specialise in different areas. Some will fly at weddings and some will provide thermal images of buildings. You need to make sure that you are hiring someone who understands exactly how to get the images and footage that you want so always check their website and show reel.
So if you’ve said yes, and you like the thought of a camera in the sky at your big day, then we’d encourage you to contact your local DSR pilot for a chat. They will be happy to use their experience to advise you on how to make the most of your wedding drone investment.