You love ’em or you hate ’em. We get asked about drones quite a bit: “Do you offer drone coverage? Will there be a drone at my wedding? Is drone included in my package?” But we never really get asked the more important questions about drone: “Do you have a drone license? Is a drone allowed at my wedding or are we too close to an airport? Will the drone be flown during the ceremony or will it be too loud?”
What is the FAA and why are they important?
Did you know that the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) is a department of the government that basically deals with anything 3 feet off the ground or higher? This includes ALL UAS (Unmanned Aircraft Systems) or drones. Yes, the government has a say in drones and what they’re allowed to do and not do because just like any other type of “aircraft” these could be potentially very helpful but also very dangerous objects that could cause great harm.
Legal drone pilots and illegal drone operators
There is such a thing as a legal drone pilot…which means there is such a thing as an illegal drone operator. A legal drone is flown by a pilot who has properly obtained and maintains their FAA drone license and who abides by the law in everything pertaining to his or her drone. Just like a driver’s license, you carry your pilot license with you at all times and have it ready to show an officer if asked. Just like a speed limit, you’ll get a ticket if you’re acting outside the boundaries of the law such as flying too high, too close to an airport, or too close to people. You have to pass a test to get a license, you must pay a license fee, you have to renew your license periodically, you have to know the rules and obey the rules and not break the rules in order to keep yourself safe and others safe.
On the other hand, no one REALLY wants an illegal drone. We’ve all heard of airplanes or helicopters who literally had to be grounded because a drone was flying too close to the airport and was a potential threat to interfering with the radios or plane engines. Or of a drone at a wedding who flew too close to the bride and groom and literally crashes into the party! Drones can interfere with cell phone towers, crash into high-voltage power lines, fly too high and crash into an aircraft, too far and lose signal, over the ocean and get swept out to sea…or even spy on people over fences and houses! We all want drone pilots, whether a hobbyist or professional, to follow the rules, stay safe, and not ruin our day or life.
The cool factor with drones at weddings
But with all that said…DRONES ARE COOL! They allow us the feeling humans have always wanted perhaps from the beginning of the world…to feel as if we’re flying! To get a new perspective on our world, our city, our life. And we see A TON of drone footage at weddings. Or, let me rephrase that. We see A TON of wedding videos that have drone shots. There usually isn’t a ton of drone shots that make the cut unless you have an unusually unique wedding venue or an unusually professional drone pilot and video editor. No one wants to see a wedding ONLY shot on drone, but they’re definitely a cool thing to sprinkle in to your video here and there.
The problem with drones at weddings
At the same time, drones aren’t all fun and games. There’s a few downsides to them too. First, there is the problem of sound. Have you ever been taking a walk or playing at a park and suddenly heard this weird buzzing noise that gets louder and louder. You expect to see a giant swarm of bees or locusts, but after glancing in the sky just barely see a small black or white dot in the distance coming closer and closer? Yeah…well that sound doesn’t get to magically disappear at a wedding! Drones can be loud and we know of outdoor weddings where the ceremony was almost ruined or at least super distracted by a looming buzzing drone throughout THE ENTIRE ceremony…distracting because the guests are all watching, waving, or worried that it might come crashing (oh, and there is a limited battery life too don’t forget!), or because you just can’t hear anything that’s being said because the drone is louder than the outdoor mic! Makes for sad wedding memories and a sad wedding video. And if you’re thinking about a drone for your indoor wedding? Just don’t. We can’t even begin to name the problems that could go wrong there!
Besides the huge problem of sound, second you’ve got the problem of content. Fast-forward into the future. You got married, you just got your wedding highlight video or sneak peek back from your videographer. You watch your film and you are specifically looking for those drone shots. What will you see? The tops of buildings? A residential area? A brown park? Dead trees? Dry river beds? Or will you see an endless forest? Cascading waterfalls? Majestic mountain tops? A glistening ocean? A well-groomed golf course? A sparkling yacht on a calm lake? Okay, maybe we’re being a little dramatic here, but you should stop and think. Don’t forget that time of year and time of day makes a big difference in the content quality of what you’re filming! In the dead of winter or the heat of summer a park, golf course, lush garden or vineyard might look very different than in the height of spring and fall. Ask yourself: “Where is my wedding venue and what advantage will the drone actually bring to my wedding video?” Not sure? Ask the advice of your videographer.
Does Evermoore use drones at weddings?
So what about us? What’s our thought on drones? Should I get drone at my wedding? Well, first it depends on your venue. Where are you getting married? Indoor or outdoor? A spacious green area with well-groomed foliage all around for miles and not too many trees that will hide everything? Or at a tiny little venue in the heart of a big city surrounded by you’re not even sure what. What memories do you want to capture on your wedding film forever? Even if you do have a beautiful venue…if we had to edit down your highlight video to fit the package you ordered and had to cut something, would you rather have extra shots flying over grass and fields of flowers or extra shots of your grandparents clapping, your bridal party dancing, and your family and friends interacting and having the time of their lives?
Yes, we can bring a drone to your wedding. But we will always want to talk with you first about if you really need it, really want it, and if it’s really the right thing for you. We don’t want to talk you into doing something you’ll regret later, and we don’t want to cause any distraction to the guests at your wedding. So if you think you want a drone at your wedding, consider these points above and then make your own decision if drone is that important to you or not. We’ll be behind you all the way…cheering you on for getting a drone or comforting you in the fact that you’re not missing out on anything huge in life if you didn’t get it after all.
Check out this beautiful film “Final Home Run” we created for Tyler and Lauren and watch specifically for the drone shots and how we used them. (Reception Venue: Bakersfield Country Club)
Now watch this beautiful film “Instant Connection” we created for Joshua and Kristin at the same venue, but different time of year and without drone. (Wedding Venue: Bakersfield Country Club)
Both were great films. Both couples loved their own videos. Just because you get a drone doesn’t mean it will make your film so much more awesome, and just because you don’t get a drone doesn’t mean your film will be so much less awesome. In fact, more of your film depends on the skill of the drone pilot, the style of the editor, and the overall preference of the bride and groom. Both are beautiful, just different.
Here’s another film “Our Greatest Strength” featuring Ryan and Hayleigh where again we were at a beautiful golf course filming at the perfect time of day and didn’t use drone but still got some absolutely gorgeous shots! (Reception Venue: Rio Bravo Country Club)
And last but not least, here’s an older film from 2014 (untitled) starring John and Kristin where we did get aerial footage…unplanned but for a neighbor nearby who had an actual helicopter (and pilot license) that we flew in during some down moments at the reception! (Reception Venue: Private Residence)
Drones can be fun, but they’re not for everyone! Talk to your videographer about how they would use drone at your wedding if you wanted it!
30 Questions to Ask your Videographer About Drones at Your Wedding
So there you have it! A snapshot all about drones. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to help you determine if YOU want or need a drone at YOUR wedding:
Download and print your own PDF printable here: 30 Questions To Ask About Wedding Drones
- Will my wedding venue look good from a drone?
- My wedding is completely indoors…do I need a drone?
- Can we just get drone shots during portrait time?
- Does my venue have enough outdoor space for a drone (such as a park, golf course, vineyard, or open country)?
- Is my wedding venue too small for a drone since it is surrounded by buildings in the heart of the city where drone coverage might not actually capture any part of my wedding?
- How close is the nearest airport from my wedding venue? (You’d be surprised how many miles is “too close” for the FAA!)
- Does it make a difference what time of year I am getting married?
- Do I still need a drone if I’m worried it might be too hot or too cold for colorful flowers and green grass?
- Will it be too dark to fly drone after a certain time?
- When will the drone coverage be happening?
- Will the pilot be flying during the ceremony?
- Will the pilot be flying during the reception?
- Will the pilot be flying during couple time or photo time?
- Will the pilot be flying at sunset?
- Will the pilot be flying only once or all day?
- Is the videographer and the drone operator the same person?
- Does the drone pilot have a drone license?
- Can I have proof of a valid license in case the law comes to ME on my wedding day?
- How long have you had your drone license?
- How long have you been flying drones?
- Do you have drone insurance?
- What happens if there is a drone accident at the wedding?
- Who is responsible if me or one of my guests gets hurt or property of the venue is damaged by the drone?
- Will you take directions to get some specifically cool shots I want?
- Will you be flying above 400 feet? (This is illegal!)
- Can you capture fireworks on drone at my wedding?
- How close to people will you get with the drone?
- Can I see a sample of a wedding with drone coverage that you shot?
- What kind of shots or poses are we going to do on camera that will make a drone worth it?
- Is everything you’re going to be doing on my wedding day safe and legal?