Isn’t it a great feeling to see all those ticks starting to build on your wedding checklist? You’re spending a crazy amount of time right now running around to view or taste, deliberate over the numbers and guests, or frantically juggling the budget…
Breathe! You are making progress.
By now you should’ve decided you’re going to hire a wedding videographer to record what will be a magical moment in time. If you’re not yet convinced, perhaps read why you should see it as the smartest wedding investment.
Trouble is, there are thousands of wedding videographers to choose from, and a huge range of budget options available. Every videographer is unique and has their own particular way of shooting and editing – some are pure artists in motion, others are weekend warriors just trying to top up their bank accounts. So how do you choose who will capture the essence of who you are as a couple, those special intimate moments, the key stages of the day, and shoot it all in a style that represents your story?
Imagine you’re curled up on the couch with your new hubby and all you can do is burst into tears because they’ve missed those magical moments, or it’s just so poorly shot you never want to watch it again!
It doesn’t have to be that way. Yes, it will take some time to do the research, but remember this is a treasure you want to go back to year after year, and share with your family and friends. So get recommendations, trawl through as many websites as you can, and read through their FAQ or General Info pages.
Once you’ve settled on several, you then need to get on a call or schedule a meeting so you can ask specific and direct questions.
Key areas will be:
- Scenes to record
- Working with the photographer
- What you will get as a final package
Apart from whether they’re available on your set date, you really want to ask what their video background is and how many weddings they have filmed. That will give you a quick indication of their experience, and how well they answer will set the tone for the rest of the discussion.
Next to discuss is style, and this is something you should have carefully considered beforehand. There are three main types:
- Documentary: this is a difficult style of shooting, but is the most watchable afterwards. It focuses on characters and special moments throughout the day, so the videographer has to anticipate scenes so they can build a story that will also follow the timeline of the day.
- Traditional: generally you’re just wanting the key moments captured and looking beautiful, and will focus primarily on the bride and groom, plus the main wedding party. It is a more fixed and simple way of shooting, something inexperienced videographers will lean towards.
- Cinematic: this is a big and dramatic style of shooting, generally with specific lights and a continual arrangement of the bride & groom, and entourage, to get the most beautiful shots possible. It’s more intrusive, more expensive and will not necessarily follow the timeline of the day.
Are you wanting every scene of the wedding day recorded or just the main ceremony? Remember, there is a lot that happens in an entire day, so you really want to think about what you want to watch again afterwards, and which parts of the day are the most important to you.
When it comes to the photographer check to see if the videographer has worked with them before. If they have it’s a bonus, but it’s a not a game changer. What can make or break the day, is whether the two teams can work together and not get in each other’s way. There is generally an unseen rivalry between photographers and videographers, with one often thinking they are the more important service on the day. If you believe the photographer is more important then say so, but if your photographer is always hogging the best positions and continually using a bright flash, the videographer might struggle to tell the story you want, and you’ll see more of the photographer in the video than your guests.
You do need to lay down some ground rules and have them talk to each other in advance.
Also, be particularly careful to ensure matching or complementing styles. Many companies these days do both photography and videography, and this creates a harmonious look-and-feel between your photos and video. It also prevents conflict happening between photographer and videographer, which can potentially ruin what you receive, let alone disturb your special day.
Surprise gifts are an absolute joy on your wedding, but you don’t want surprises when it comes to your wedding video, so make sure they detail what will be packaged afterwards and how you will receive it. It might be a simple highlights reel or music video, or even separate videos of the different stages of the day.
Waiting for your wedding video can be the most frustrating part, but you need to bear in mind that video-editing is not a quick and easy process, and it takes time to craft it into something you’ll watch repeatedly with family and friends.
Another important question is whether the videographer will allow any changes once you’ve viewed the video. Many generally don’t because it can become a continuous back and forth process that becomes particularly drawn out. So it’s best to choose wisely at the beginning and put your trust in them. However, you know if you’re a fussy person, so check with them in advance and they might allocate a revision or two. This could come with an additional charge.
The mark of a great wedding videographer is someone who understands the importance of the day, and wants to tell the best possible story. After all, a fairy-tale has much more to it than just the ‘happily ever after’, so if the videographer is asking you lots of questions then you know they’ll pay attention to the detail, which, at the end of the day, is what will create the most vivid memories when you watch it. They should also be able to give you a range of different packages to choose from, and will have some very specific prices for those packages. More expensive doesn’t always mean better, but shooting and editing a great wedding video is a very special artistic skill that takes time, so factor that in when being presented with pricing options and what you will receive for the money you’re going to spend.
The most important step now is to determine what style of wedding video you want, so watch as many online portfolio videos as you can to see what resonates with you. Be prepared to adjust your video budget, but at least know what the range is. Once you’re ready to start the consultation process, use a detailed checklist of questions to ask wedding videographers so that you don’t get sidetracked on matters that aren’t relevant, and potentially miss the questions that ensure you don’t get any nasty surprises later.
Ultimately, you want a wedding video that triggers your senses to create and instill lasting memories. You’ll have one particular viewpoint on the day, and will no doubt be wrapped up in emotion, so you want to be able to experience it again as your guests did, and so that you can see their reactions at certain times of the day.
A great wedding video will also act as a time capsule – allowing you to relive the day, or give your children and grandchildren the gift of ‘attending’ your wedding. Just imagine the joy, fun and laughter when you all listen to the music again, watch your friends dancing, and are reminded of the loving pledge you made to one another.