HERE COMES THE DRONE // The Use of Drone Photography at Weddings

Written with love, by Pastor Dave Page

Wedding photography is now reaching new heights - literally! More and more couples are filming their special day using drone photography. And more and more photographers are using drones to capture those one of a kind, death defying shots of the wedding. There is no view like the view from a drone camera. It really is amazing. It looks like something right out of a storybook or movie and it certainly adds a unique perspective.

When people think of drones they may think of war zones. Dale Stierman, an Iowa-based drone photographer with Picture Perfect Portrait & Design, refers to drones as “quadcopters" with a camera. If you think about it for a second, it makes sense. I think it's an great idea to get overhead shots. I love weddings and I love innovation - Drone photography unites the two. 

A couple can keep the footage for the rest of their lives and share it with their friends and family members on YouTube or in a keepsake DVD. One day they could even share the video with their children and grandchildren.

But there are some considerations to consider before choosing drone photography for your wedding day:


1.  Consider Hiring a Professional

In order to save money, some couples consider hiring a friend or uncle to shoot their wedding. Is that a bad call? Hiring a friend or relative to shoot an aerial project is not something I would do. There is a level of safety that some hobbyists, or weekend pilots, seem to put aside for the sake of getting the shot. Safety is a big issue when working with drones. Professionals will most likely be carrying liability coverage in the event something goes wrong. You also want quality video footage of your wedding which is exactly what professionals specialize in. How much does it cost? Prices can range from $200-$1000. Many wedding photographers these days include drone photography in their overall packages.


2.  Consider Your Location

Wide-open spaces are best. Wineries and private estates are prime venues for drone photography, but find out whether or not your wedding venue will allow you to use a drone first. Many state/city parks do not allow it. If you are too close to an airport, the flight path of a medical facility that accepts helicopters, law enforcement facilities, government facilities, monuments, and various other locations, you must verify if your pilot can legally fly near them. Some venues can also require you to buy a permit, and that can range from inexpensive to several hundred dollars. The FAA laws for drones are continuing to evolve.


3.  Consider the Weather

Weather can play a big role. If it’s too windy or raining on your wedding day, the copter pilot isn’t going to fly. It’s truly is a matter of safety for everyone present.


Should I Use a Drone for My Wedding?

If I were getting married right now I would definitely hire a professional drone photographer to shoot my wedding. I feel the benefits outweigh the risks. I have officiated a couple of weddings where drones were used. In the first wedding the guests weren’t even aware the drones were flying overhead. In the second wedding the drone interrupted the end of the ceremony when it took off - it was way too loud.

I expect drones to become commonplace at weddings in the future and I am planning to attend a drone workshop next month to learn how to fly drones. I will do a follow up blog post on my experience. If you had a drone at your wedding or have attended a wedding that used a drone - please share your experience below!

Here is a recent wedding that both The Overwhelmed Bride and Pastor Dave Page worked on together, using drone photography. Enjoy!