TIPS FOR PICKING YOUR PERFECT WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER
Understand what’s included in your package.
As wedding films have increased in popularity, so have the package options and the terminology. Understanding everything that comes in your package will help ensure you aren’t disappointed later. When your filmmaker sends you examples of what comes in your package (Instagram teaser, trailer, full edit, etc.) make sure to really watch each example and be sure it’s the type and amount of coverage you want!
Don’t be afraid to search beyond your city.
Certain wedding vendors, like florists or caterers, make more sense to hire local. However, don’t be constrained by location when choosing your videographer. While filmmakers do need a certain amount of equipment, it’s usually not more than they can take with them on a plane or in a car. Love Stories TV team member and bride-to-be Vanessa is getting married in Baltimore but found and hired a filmmaker based in Colorado! Every filmmaker has a different policy on travel but if you find someone you love who isn’t from your area, you should still reach out!
Find someone who matches your wedding video style preference.
Once you’ve made a short list of filmmakers who shoot in your area and are within your budget, watch A LOT of sample films. Wedding films vary a ton. Some are mostly scenes of getting ready and staged bride and groom moments, while some have a lot of candid coverage of dancing and the reception. Some only include music, while others include vows, speeches and toasts. Some even feature interviews with the bride and groom, filmed either on the wedding day or sometimes well in advance. The videographer you choose should have several videos you love. Prior to the wedding, send them examples of your favorites from their own portfolio. Be specific with your examples: what did you love about each?
Find a filmmaker who is comfortable with your venue type.
Found a filmmaker you love but notice that all of their films take place outdoors and you’re getting married in a ballroom? Raise the question to the filmmaker before you hire them and make sure they’re comfortable shooting in your wedding setting. Request sample films to watch and show them an example of a film you like from your venue (or a similar) and confirm they’re comfortable shooting in similar circumstances.
Hire friendly photographers and videographers.
There is a lot to capture on your wedding day in a short amount of time. Both your photographer and videographer will film the same key scenes: getting ready, first look, ceremony, speeches, reception, etc. Coordination is important, so try to hire a photographer and videographer who have worked together before. This way, they will likely have systems in place to make sure each captures those special moments. Ask your wedding planner for recommendations or have your photographer to suggest a videographer (or the other way around) for a seamless day-of experience.
How to Find the Perfect Wedding Videographer
Sign on the dotted line
If there ever was a time to put your English teacher’s’ advice to good use, it’s now. Read your contract—well. Be sure you understand exactly how much you’ll pay and when it’s due. Know how many hours of your videographer’s time you’ll get and when you should expect to have your wedding video in-hand. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, either! If there’s something in the contract that you didn’t discuss beforehand, or any wording that confuses you. Have your partner read the contract as well, and don’t be afraid to shoot the contract over to a friend or your parents for a third and fourth pair of eyes. This is a big purchase and you don’t want any surprises.
Go with your gut
When you’ve found the one, you’ll be tempted to blurt it out during your first meeting, but trust us, resist if you can. Let the videographer know how much you appreciated their time, but tell them know you’ll need to discuss with others who might be helping you plan the wedding and follow up with them later.
Prepare for an in-person meet n’ greet
Once you’ve received responses from your top videographer picks you’ll be able to further narrow your list. Some might not be available for your wedding date or may not be in your price range. Focus on the two or three who do meet the criteria and plan to schedule an informal sit-down. They’ll want to meet you and your SO to learn more about you and your wedding vision, while you’ll want to see how comfortable you feel around them and whether or not there’s a connection. You’ll be spending a lot of time with this person on your wedding day, and it won’t do if there isn’t a mutual sense of goodwill and comfort.
Make some dates
While you wouldn’t dream of seeing anyone but your honey, when it comes to booking a wedding videographer it’s actually preferable to date around a little. Take your list of top picks and reach out to each of them to set up that all-important first date. A lot of videographers will have a form page on their website for you to fill out, but it’s always nice to write a personal note as well. If you’re stuck on what to say, this short template should help you get started.
Narrowing down the list
Once you dip your toe into the wild world of wedding videography, you’ll realize just how vast and deep the pool can get, but at this stage it’s time to reign it in. With the help of social media, reviews and your network, you’ve probably come across dozens of different videographers, which is way too many to actually contact for a meet up. Strike off anyone who doesn’t do weddings in the location where yours will be hosted. Eliminate videographers whose work you enjoyed, but didn’t absolutely thrill you—your wedding isn’t the time to just be satisfied, you want to be nothing short of delighted with the results. With your shortened list, re-watch some of their videos and try to select your very, very favorites, or just about three to five. These are the folks you’ll bring to the next step.
Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Videographer
Be sure that you jive with the videographer
When you bring a videographer on, you’re going to have to tango with them from the moment you sign the contract until months after your wedding during their editing process. You’re going to want to make sure that before you sign anything, you’re tangoing to the same beat.
Be sure you like the way their previous films tell stories
A bride once told me “There has yet to be a wedding video you’ve created that has not made me cry.” Whenever I get feedback like that, it feels awesome because it tells me I am doing my job. I am storytelling.
Make sure they have assistants to help split the tasks at your big day
I used to shoot weddings solo and I would not recommend it to my worst enemy. There is just too much gear, too many balls in the air, too little time, and too many places to be at once for it to go smoothly. Choose someone who will send at least two people out on your wedding day.
Don’t be afraid to budget for a videographer- quality often depends upon what you pay
A lot of brides still consider video a luxury item to add to their wedding if budget allows. I would say that with that mind set, you may not want to get a video at all because you could end up paying for something you don’t love.
TOP TIPS FOR CHOOSING YOUR PERFECT WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHER
WHAT WEDDING FILM STYLE ARE YOU LOOKING FOR?
Before you engage on what could be a long-winded search for your perfect videographer, it’s advisable to decide on the style of film you’re wanting because this will narrow down your search criteria.
WHAT’S YOUR BUDGET?
Your budget will be determined by many factors and may also depend on how much you value your wedding film. In most cases the more you spend the better the result.
WHAT EQUIPMENT WILL BE USED?
This might not seem important at first but could make all the difference if you’re wanting your videographer to ‘blend in’ to your wedding. Video cameras are usually larger, with DSLR set-ups being far less intrusive. While most cameras are high definition it is worth asking the question. And are you looking for 4K? Most videographers are still working on broadcast quality HD.
WHO WILL BE FILMING AND EDITING YOUR WEDDING?
It’s becoming increasingly popular for videography companies to outsource not one but both filming and editing. Some couples may be comfortable with that scenario but it can mean that the films you’ve viewed on the videographers websites may be of a higher quality than you receive. It’s always best to ask this question when you chat to any videographer about their services.
DOES YOUR VIDEOGRAPHY COMPANY WORK CLOSELY WITH VICARS, CELEBRANTS AND OTHER SUPPLIERS?
Check the videographer will talk to all of these important people before the wedding day to make sure they’re across the logistics and permissions required for the day.
WAYS TO GET YOUR WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY RIGHT
Quality worth paying for
“The price of a videographer’s work reflects their quality. Filming a wedding day for nearly 12 hours, editing it, and so on, is time consuming. If you are happy to pay £2,000 for a dress, why not pay a videographer to capture you in that wedding dress?”
Keep it for the professionals
“Wedding videography is a bit more than just pointing a camera, it involves experience, skill and time. It involves as much, if not more work, than a photographer, so asking someone to film a video for nothing is a risky venture.”
“If you’re planning a church wedding, it is essential to get the permission of the Vicar and of the minister who is conducting the service, as some churches have a policy against recording in order to preserve their image for copyright reasons.”
Variety of videography
“There are so many different styles of videography to choose from, from nostalgic 8mm to contemporary and cinematic. Take your time to find a style that suits you, and think about how it may age over the next few decades! Many fads from the 80s and 90s are now cringeworthy and the same thing could be true of current trends.”
Stick to your style
“Different videographers have different styles, so it’s really important that you do your own research first, find the style that you like, and then find a videographer who can do it for you.”