As you make your wedding dreams a reality, chances are you and your partner want to hire creatives who can beautifully capture every lovely element so you and your family will be able to remember and relive it forever! Nowadays there are so many choices out there when it comes to wedding videography companies, and while this freedom is a great thing, it can be a little daunting! Here are eight things every couple should keep in mind to help book confidently.
Before you start your search, think about what you want to get out of your wedding cinema experience, and set your expectations. These may change as you explore different videographer offerings, but having a basic idea of what you’re looking for will help narrow down your search. Are you looking for a cinematic highlight film to recap your big day? Or do you need a livestream of your ceremony for family who couldn’t be there? Setting expectations will also help you set a budget. If preserving your wedding day to last forever is high on your priority list, you’ll want to invest in a high-quality team!
2- Check Out Their Style
Take time to watch some of their films, which should be easily accessible on their websites. Does their style match the vision you have for your desired wedding film(s)? Are you looking for a cinematic approach or more of a traditional documentary style? Ask questions about their process-- will they direct you in posing or take a more sidelined approach and capture natural moments? You can also check out their social media for a greater taste of their overall aesthetic style!
3- Do You Vibe?
It is so important to connect with your videography team. After all, you’re inviting them to participate in the biggest day of your life! Along with your photographer, they’ll likely be there as you get prettied up, share your intimate first look, and enjoy your first moments together as a married couple. If you’re hiring from a larger company, do you know who specifically will show up on your big day to film it? So whether you have a chance to grab some coffee with them, or at least chat on the phone, try to get to know your videographers! This will also give you a chance to share your expectations, and see how receptive they are to your specific wants and needs. You and your partner don’t want to be just another number to them!
Do your videographers encourage an in-person creative consultation prior to the big day? This is a great chance to get to know them a little, as well as hear their suggestions on maximizing your cinema experience. Do they embrace your creative ideas and are they willing to work closely with your planner and photographer to coordinate and implement all you have in mind for your wedding? If video and photos hold equal importance to you, make sure your whole wedding team knows this, and that they’ll happily work together, not against each other. It’s your day, after all!
5- Understand the Importance of Audio
Clear, crisp audio is crucial to a great wedding film! Make sure your videographers have professional audio recording equipment and have proven their knowledge and abilities to preserve pristine dialogue throughout the day. This includes whatever is spoken during your ceremony, any important toasts/speeches that happen at the reception. Seeing is one thing, but the feelings that rush back when you can hear family and friends’ spoken words adds an extra element to your investment. A professional and skilled videographer won’t hesitate to tell you about their audio approach if you ask them about it.
6- Lighting is Important Too!
Some companies take a natural light approach to producing your wedding film. While this has its place, and may be sufficient for your needs, for the most part, video-specific lighting will make a huge difference to your film. Especially come reception time, when the venue lights get turned off and nighttime falls, it’s critical to have professional lights in all the right places, at all the right settings. And don’t worry too much about the videography lights clashing with any mood lighting the DJ or live band may use. Generally speaking, the lights a videographer employs actually help guests get into a fun, dancing mode and will spotlight you and your partner for your first dance! The lights shouldn’t be overpowering, but at the same time, need to be strong enough and subtle enough to get the job done. Your best man might have an amazing toast, but if he’s flat looking and too dim, it won’t feel like you’re reliving it in your video as you should. Experienced videographers who understand good lighting are able to light any venue and photographers will rejoice because they can take advantage of the video lights for their photos as well.
7- Price/Package Components
Know that a great videography team dedicates a lot of time and care into preparing for your day--potentially meeting with you and your other vendors, researching the venue(s), and prepping equipment--and spend even more time editing your films. You’re not just hiring them to show up and film for eight or so hours day-of, so keep the pre- and post-production time in mind when searching. Beyond that, it’s important to consider what components are included in your overall package, and how that aligns with your needs and wants. For example, how many videographers will show up, and how many cameras will they use? How many hours of coverage are included (not including travel)? What are the final deliverables, and how long will you have to wait for them? What add-ons are available and how long do you have to decide on them? This may seem like too many questions to have to ask, but a courteous and dedicated videographer will appreciate them!
8- Editing/Post wedding
As mentioned above, most of the magic and creativity actually happens after your big day has passed, during the editing process. In fact, a four to six minute cinematic highlight film could take, on average, about 40 hours of editing time! Will your videographer edit your film in-house, or do they outsource in order to save on overhead? You most likely want to avoid a company who outsources the editing, as a lot of outsourcing is done by entities located off-shore, people who you will certainly never meet, let alone be able to talk to, which can lead to subpar results. Having said that, if your videographer makes all the edits on their own, it means they truly care about every frame of your film, and will give it the undivided attention necessary to craft something memorable and polished. This includes parts of editing that can sometimes be overlooked such as color correction, audio mastering, computer processing time for large video files, and more. All of these elements directly affect the turnaround time of your final film(s). Though you may specifically desire a mainstream song in your film, a credible videographer will politely inform you due to licensing issues, your favorite song can’t be used, especially if you’re hoping to share your film online with family and friends. Unfortunately, copyright issues are not to be trifled with, and the music industry always wins!!
Hopefully these tips will put you right on track to a wonderful wedding cinema experience. Taking the time to choose the right fit for you and your partner will result in a priceless, timeless heirloom for you to cherish forever! Also, if you'd like to chat with us about filming your wedding, we encourage you to reach out!