1.Why should I have a wedding video / why would I regret not having one?
Things are definitely changing in the land of weddings: videography is quickly becoming a must-have on your wedding day, and for good reason, too. But with this being said, there are still plenty of regretful brides and grooms who wish they’d had a videographer.
The most common reason I find for people not booking a videographer is that they hadn’t thought of it until they had spent their wedding budget on other suppliers… So what is there to regret? For me, it comes down to three things: story, emotion & memory.
Story - Videography is an immensely powerful storytelling tool, that’s why we watch films rather than look at picture books. A powerful wedding film carries us back through the sequence of the day, from the anticipation of the morning through to the excitement of the evening, but it will also take us back to the day you met, how you met, what adventures you’ve had so far and where you want to take your first steps as a married couple. Luckily for videographers, we have sound on our side, and every videographer worth their salt should be using the audio from throughout the day to tell your story.
Emotion - I can honestly say I have tears in my eyes at 90% of the weddings I film; and it’s an even higher proportion for the number of times I get all watery-eyed whilst editing. My lovely wife Joanna is my emotional video test - every film I finish I ask her to watch: If I see a tear in her eye (or most often streaming down her face) then it passes quality control! One thing that makes weddings so sacred is the emotions they can evoke, and wedding videos are especially good at capturing those incredible feelings.
Memory - Your wedding day flies by! The culmination of adrenaline & emotion can leave you wondering how it was all over so quickly. This is where videography steps in. For every planned event in your day, that are 10 spontaneous moments that you would otherwise forget without a videographer: friends laughing together in the morning; the groom fighting back tears; speeches that tell you things you never knew (or needed reminding of); the two of you glowing as you walk hand in hand. When I make a wedding film, I know it’s a family heirloom holding precious memories that would have otherwise been lost. Memories like this are priceless.
2. How much does a videographer cost?
There are so many variables that determine pricing that I’ve really struggled to settle on an amount, but with that being said, if a price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
Aim to spend what you’re paying for a good photographer and you are on the right lines for pricing. This can be a little eye-watering at times (as I remember from my wedding day!) but look at the suppliers you’re booking that will give you the greatest value. Potentially, a wedding video will be with you for life, so if you make an investment now, you will reap the rewards for years to come.
If budget is the reason you’ve not opted for a videographer, maybe try and find a photographer that can offer videography within their package options? These duo-teams can often give brilliant discounts for dual photo-video bookings. Try to avoid asking a friend with a video camera to do it as the chances are they’ll not only produce a shaky video, but may end up upsetting your photographer & could be more of a hindrance on the day than the video’s worth. As a last resort, ask your videographer if they offer payment plans to help spread the cost, or if they themselves can recommend any way of keeping costs to a minimum. If booking long in advance, you may be pleasantly surprised what deals lay in wait...
2. I feel awkward in front of a camera, any tips?
This is something I’m asked about all the time and it’s perfectly natural to feel awkward when being filmed. You’ll be happy to hear that It’s all about your relationship with who’s holding the camera: if you feel comfortable with your videographer, then the initial nerves on the day will quickly melt away. Booking a professional videographer means they will have the ability to make you feel yourself & at home whilst being filmed. Try to meet with them before booking, either in person or a video call, and check to see whether you’re compatible. Can you see yourself spending the day with this person? Are they easy to talk to? Trust your instinct & then if you still feel awkward in front of the camera on the Big Day, just try to remember it’s only for a day!
My top-tip here is to ask your videographer questions about what equipment they’ll be filming with (any huge cameras, etc.) & whether they’ll be getting you to pose or script moments. Be really upfront if this is something you’re worried about and get them to tell you how they’ll make you feel comfortable whilst being filmed. Hopefully, by the end of your wedding day you’ll have a bond with your videographer and be able to trust their judgement, knowing that they care about your wedding day, your film and about the two of you.
3. What would usually be included in my wedding video?
You’ll find that videographers are a diverse bunch and include different things depending on their style and your requirements, but more often that not a wedding video will take you through the following narrative:
Bride/Groom Prep - Not so much ‘this is getting dressed,’ but more subtle and often creative shots. It’s a lovely time to capture the emotion between friends and family, and it helps to build-up to the main event!
Ceremony - With a few cameras carefully positioned and a discreet microphone tucked away on the groom, your wedding ceremony can be documented and the crucial ‘I do’ moments recorded.
Couple Shots - Most often after the drinks reception, the two of you will want to head off for a few intimate shots, showcasing the two of you glowing as newlyweds!
Wedding Breakfast - It’s best not to have anyone filming hungry guests eating… but a few ‘table’ shots can be lovely to give the film some context.
Speeches - I am always amazed at what a special moment the speeches can be. As a videographer focussed on storytelling, I love getting to hear some back story from the couple themselves, family and friends. More often than not we need the tissues on hand.
First Dance - Some couples like this in its entirety on their film (especially if they’ve planned something unique beforehand!) but most often, clips from the dance will be threaded into your film.
Night Fever - A little movement on the dancefloor is a fantastic way of capturing your guests’ excitement and energy!
Drone Videography - This is certainly becoming more popular, allowing you to get a birds-eye-view of your wedding venue & setting.
All-The-Other-Moments - These spontaneous shots are a real favourite of mine & set the tone for your wedding day.
This list is by no means completed, but it goes outline the key parts of the day that many wedding videographers will include in your film.
When it comes to booking, a videographer’s website will show you different package options - Here’s what they are and what to look out for:
Highlight Film: A punchy ‘best of’ your day, showcasing the must-have moments from your wedding in a cinematic video. Despite being short, these beauties really capture the essence of the day & are a fantastic way for you both to remember the ‘big picture.’ Typically, speeches & ceremony audio will be used to overlay clips from throughout the day; a really powerful storytelling tool that I love. One thing to look out for here is legally licensed music - It’s normal to share a wedding highlight film on Facebook, YouTube or Vimeo, but you need to be careful that your wedding videographer has the legal rights to use the music he/she has edited to. If not, these sharing platforms can pull down your video, leaving your videographer in a bit of a pickle…
Feature Film/Documentary: Usually containing longer (or all) of your wedding ceremony, speeches & first dance, this option takes you through the day from bride/groom prep all the way up to dancing & pumpkins arriving.
A few of the lesser-known options:
Instagram Film - Under 60 seconds, they usually just have music (no speeches, etc.), perfect for sharing on good old Insta!
Engagement Announcement: Think playful, unusual and great for surprising friends on social media… My favourite to date has to be a message-in-a-bottle engagement announcement!
Separate Ceremony/Speeches/First Dance film: Some couples may not want a longer Feature Film edit, and instead opt for a highlight film with these guys on the side (just in case you want to see them later)
Marryoke: Singing your favourite song with your guests on your wedding day...
Unedited Footage: For every shot that’s used in your film, there will be 5 that didn’t make it in the final edit.
Guest Messages To Camera: Not so common, but still an option for some.
When it comes to receiving your films, beware of DVDs! I personally have a bit of a problem with DVDs, and feel they are really unreliable (especially for something as special as a wedding film!) - Common options include a USB Stick/Presentation Box or download link. I love using a professional online delivery service that allows you to view & download your films; It avoids the inevitable ‘Where did we put the wedding film?!’ problem.
4. How long would I have to wait to get my wedding video back after the wedding?
Having invested so much time & energy on your wedding videographer, there can be a real push to get your film a.s.a.p, but sometimes it’s best to wait & let the editing happen at a natural pace, rather than push your videographer to edit in a rush. I let my couples know that there’s a typical window between 6-12 weeks where I will have their film finished and ready for them. The problem with racing to finish is the risk it poses to your videographer overlooking something special, or accidentally deleting a small clip that you may never get the chance to see.
Because every wedding is different, videographers will vary in the turnaround time for wedding films, but do bear in mind that films can take up to 30 hours of editing to from start to finish. Once clips are organised and backed-up, every shot needs to be viewed from throughout the day, multiple camera clips (like your wedding ceremony) need to be synced together in preparation for editing, then music chosen (and licensed…), the ‘favourite’ clips chosen, put on a timeline, then cut to music… and this is only to get a ‘rough’ edit. Fine tuning colour & sound can take almost as long as the original editing process.
Editing is an immensely creative process, but is best done with plenty of rest. Just like writing, if you rush it, there’s bound to be mistakes!
If you'd like to chat more about wedding videography then please get in touch as I'd love to hear from you!