Jamie Howze August 8, 2017 Education

Ning Wong brings us back!

I’m happy to be returning this week with Ning Wong. Ning is a Southern California based photographer, and an all around awesome guy. He’s also become a great leader for the community over the last few years by leading through example. He’s always the guy in the crowd with a giant smile on his face welcoming all of those around him.

He’s also pretty talented!

Ning’s work speaks for himself, but he’s one of the few in our industry who tackles shooting both photo and video. It’s a tough thing to do, but he’s found a workflow that works for him, and he’s been happily sharing it through classes at WPPI, ShutterFest and at the Canon Learning Center in Costa Mesa, CA. If you have a chance to see him speak I highly recommend it!

With that giant fluffy intro, here’s Ning!

5 Ways To Pick the Perfect Music for Your Next Wedding Film 

You’ve shot the wedding, prepped your footage, and you’re ready to edit your couple’s wedding film.  What (should be) next? Select your music!

Searching for the right music is often a daunting task.  There are so many options out there – where do you start?  I often spend hours looking for the perfect tracks because I want my music to be perfect for my couples.  Music is a huge part of my films, because it drives emotion and helps me tell the story. Here are a few quick tips on how to find the perfect music for your wedding videos.

  1. What music genre fits the wedding?

You’ll want to make sure that you pick music that fits the mood and energy of the wedding.  For instance, if your couple’s wedding took place in a rustic outdoor hillside venue, chances are you won’t be picking reggae music for your films.  Instead, you may lean towards singer-songwriter or country music.


Before the editing process begins, I will make sure to talk to my couple to ensure that we are on the same wavelength when it comes to music genres.  I’ll ask them about their music tastes, preferences, and their favorite artists.  This will help me gauge what sort of music they prefer.  Since they are the ones planning their wedding, chances are, their wedding and music tastes will line up well.

  1. Do I use instrumental or lyrical music?

Whenever I shoot a wedding with fantastic vows and speeches, I’ll lean towards using instrumental music tracks.  I want the speeches and vows to be the sole focus, without words and vocals from my music track distracting the audience.

However, there are certain weddings where there isn’t a ton of dialogue.  You may not have a lot of speech or vow material to work with.  That’s when using music with lyrics come into play.  Use this to your advantage – use the lyrics of the song to tell your couple’s story. If you have both a vocal and instrumental version of a song, you can get extra creative, featuring multiple aspects of the event.

  1. Use music to drive the story.

One of the main goals I set for myself is that I want anyone to be able to watch one of my wedding films – I want complete strangers to feel emotionally invested into my couple’s film.  If a complete stranger can enjoy and feel emotion from my film, then I can pretty much guarantee that my couple and their friends/family will love it too.

Story-driven films are far more emotional and impactful.  It takes a lot more time and skill to edit a film with this in mind, but this will help separate you from everyone else.  Take time to find music that will help you tell your couple’s story.  Don’t be afraid to experiment with different tracks, but always keep in mind that you are using the music as a way to tell the story and impact your audience.

  1. Setting expectations with your couple.

One of the biggest things you can do for yourself is to set your couple’s expectations before the wedding.  During the initial consultation, I’ll explain the music selection process, using properly licensed music, and having artistic license when it comes to creating their wedding film.  I don’t want them to have any surprises – I want them to know the complete process on how we do things in our studio. I want them to feel comfortable and have complete trust in what we will create for them.  This way, there are no surprises and no issues later down the road.

Dancing the Night Away
  1. Use licensed music!

I know this article is on FyrFly-Songfreedom’s website, and it may seem like a biased point, but I cannot stress this enough.  Use licensed music!

I’ve been telling videographers for years to always use licensed music.  After all, musicians are artists, just like us.  How would you feel if someone ripped off your videos and used your work without your permission?  You wouldn’t feel very good, would you?  Support your fellow artists and take time to use properly licensed music.

You also don’t want to get sued by a music company.  I personally know other videographers who have been sued for not using licensed music.  If you want to avoid this, then make sure all the music you use is properly licensed.

You can either write your own music, pay an artist to write music for you, or use a reputable music licensing website to purchase music.  I hear FyrFly-Songfreedom is pretty good.

Bonus tip:  Use FyrFly-Songfreedom’s app!


Finding the perfect song for your couple is a long process.  I’ll admit, sometimes I take hours to find just the right song for my film.  It’s a frustrating process, and after hours of listening to music, the last thing I want to do is to edit a wedding film.

I’ve found that listening to music during downtime, or driving, is a great way to help narrow down the process.  I’ll open up FyrFly-Songfreedom’s app on my iPhone and listen to music when I’m at home, at the gym, driving, etc.  Then if I like it, I’ll favorite the song.  That way, when I’m editing later and trying to find the right song for my wedding film, I have a list of favorite songs that I’ve already flagged.  This cuts down the music selection process drastically.

Hopefully these tips are helpful and will help you find the perfect music for your wedding videos.  Music is such an important part of your film and with any luck, you’ll be on your way to creating films that your couples will absolutely love!

Making Our Couples Jump for Joy!