WEDDING BLOG

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What to Know Before Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

February 9, 2017 | nicole

photos by Ash & James Photography; watch this couple’s wedding film here!

Wedding videography may not be a new thing, but we are loving the trend of more and more couples adding talented videographers to their wedding vendor team. Videography is an investment, one that we think is worth it if you have the budget. After all is said and done, your wedding photos and film are what you have to remember your day by! Whether you’re interested in hiring a videographer for your wedding or hadn’t considered it yet, we wanted to give you a starting place of what to expect as you begin to browse portfolios and take meetings with potential suppliers.

film by Henry Weddings; view their Junebug member portfolio here

Why hire a videographer?

When it comes to looking back on your wedding, having a film brings the day back to life just by pushing play. Having video to accompany your photos can give you a more full experience to look back on, but it can also be amazing to have this piece of art — starring you!

As our Editorial Assistant here at Junebug, Gabby, has been planning her own wedding for the last several months, she and her fiancé fell completely in love with wedding videography and it became a top priority for their day. Here’s what she had to say about that process:

Hiring a wedding videographer was an important process for me and my fiancé because we want to be able to re-experience our wedding in motion. There are so many moments that occur in between photos being taken, and that extra experience adds to the authenticity and depth of a memory. A video of my wedding day will allow me to revisit my vow readings and remember all of the jokes my older brother cracked in his speech.

Equally as important was our selection of the videography style we wanted. My fiancé and I have somewhat-unconventional styles, so we knew a traditional wedding video wasn’t quite the right fit for us. After going through dozens of wedding videos, we decided that a modern cinematic style was perfect for us. We were happy to find a videographer that “got” our styles, and we trusted enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about the finished product.

film by Bottlebrush Films; view their Junebug member portfolio here

Packages

Like with any other wedding vendor, videographers offer a variety of packages to help you receive exactly the services you’re looking for. Packages can be great because you can choose the services that both align with your expectations and your budget. The most common misconception about videography is that you will receive full length footage of everything that happened on your wedding day. While some videographers offer this as a package option, most likely your final product will be a stylized and edited masterpiece to remember the best parts of your day by.

Here are some of the most popular package options you’re likely to see when hiring a videographer:

Trailer/Teaser Film (1-2 min) – Have you ever watched a movie trailer? This is the same concept, but for the movie of your wedding! Often accompanied later by a short film, this trailer or teaser film is created by your videographer while they continue to edit and craft the final product. Some videographers include a teaser video as a part of their package, while others offer it as an add-on.

Highlight Film (3-10 min) – With many videographers, the highlight film is the final product you will receive. More commonly, this film is non-linear and takes a more modern approach, where the videographer has truly created a piece of cinematic art out of the events and moments throughout your day.

Short Film (10-20 min) – If you decide on a package with a short film, you will receive an edited version of your wedding footage that takes a more linear form, often including a portion of your vows, reception toasts, etc. Depending on how long you book your videographer, the film may also include getting ready footage, first look footage, and grand exit.

Same day edit (4-10 min) – Some videographers offer an option to have footage from your wedding edited on the spot and shown during your reception. This can be a fun surprise for guests on the day-of!

Full-length documentary (30-90 min) – If you are interested in reliving the majority of your day, this option is for you! Your videographer can create a longer film that includes entire sections of your wedding, like your ceremony. Due to the length, this option is the most like a true movie of your wedding.

Add-ons –  Most videographers offer à la carte options to receive additional footage from your day. A few popular add-ons include:

  • Full ceremony/reception – Edited footage of your wedding ceremony or of toasts/speeches during your reception
  • Raw footage – Unedited footage from your wedding day
  • Drone aerial coverage
  • Rehearsal dinner coverage
  • Greetings from guests during cocktail hour
  • Trailer film (mentioned above, as an add-on)
  • Love story – Similar to an engagement session, this footage is filmed before your wedding day, usually in plain clothes, which may include an interview with you as a couple as well as a lifestyle shoot

film by Story of Eve; view their Junebug member portfolio here

Styles

While each videographer puts their own artistic touch on their work, there are a few styles by which most videographers can be categorized. These are the most common styles to look for in your search:

Cinematic – Cinematic is the most popular style of videographer you will find in your search. These films are most like a real movie, edited and stylized as a piece of art. There are two main styles within cinematic videography:

  • Modern Abstract – Modern abstract style is characterized by a non-linear approach. These films are created to make the viewer feel something, both in the way the footage is arranged and the music used. The footage used in a modern abstract film is more likely to include atmospheric footage, or B-roll, which helps to capture the mood of the day. Modern abstract films typically use little or no speaking from the day. This is a great option for couples looking for something more artistic to remember their day.
  • Classic – While modern abstract films are almost entirely non-linear, classic cinematic films may provide a stylistic edit of events from the day in between bits of B-roll. While you still feel a sense of the wedding atmosphere, your video will include more intact footage or sound bites of events.

Video Journalistic / Documentary – Like documentary photography, a video journalistic approach is meant to capture the day as it occurred. This means that your film will include footage of some of your day’s biggest moments, but will also highlight the other happenings of the day — getting ready, guests interacting before the ceremony, dancing at the reception, etc.

Storytelling – Unlike the other types of wedding films, a storytelling style relies on sound bites, both from the day and recorded at another time, to, as you might have guessed, tell the story of your day. The way that music may be used to create an emotional reaction in other film types, storytelling uses sound bites for dramatic effect.

Nostalgic – There is a trend in wedding videography as of late to use Super 8 film, or 8 millimeter film, to capture weddings with a vintage flair. Some videographers may use this film to document the entire day, or will blend it with modern recording technology for a unique effect. (For a great example of these films, check out videographer Sugar8 who happens to be a Junebug member!)

film by Moon & Back; view their Junebug member portfolio here!

Other Things to Consider

Budget – If videography is a priority on your wedding day, it’s a good idea to incorporate that into your wedding budget as early on as possible. The price of having both a photographer and videographer isn’t cheap. Depending on what your budget situation is, you may have to make cuts in other areas of your day to afford having it captured the way you want. For a good videographer, we recommend budgeting as much (if not more) for their services as you would for your photographer.

Coverage – How many hours of coverage you want is also an important budget consideration. How important is it to you that the videographer films you getting ready or your grand exit? Having less hours of coverage and focusing on the most important parts of your day can be a good way to keep your budget down and still book the videographer of your dreams.

Delivery – Another thing to consider when choosing a videographer is how the film and footage will be delivered. Different videographers have their own system, but you may want to keep these delivery methods in mind when choosing which vendor is right for you.

  • USB Stick
  • CD-rom
  • External Hardrive
  • Online File Drop

In addition to receiving your film or footage to use, your videographer may make your video available for viewing online. Typically, videographers host their films on Vimeo. However, be sure to check in your contract how long online viewing will be available. Some videographers only offer one year of online video hosting, while some will host it indefinitely. This is a great question to ask in your interviews, as well as what options they have if the video will be eventually taken down.

Lastly, you will want to find out if the videographer will deliver raw footage in addition to edited video. While photographers most often do not provide raw images (and prefer that you don’t ask!), some videographers will provide an option to receive raw, unedited footage of your ceremony, reception, or other parts of your wedding so that you can watch your vows and toasts in full — as many times as you want! If this is a priority for you, be sure to ask whether raw footage is included in any packages or if they can add it on as an à la carte option.

Just started looking at vendors for the first time? Here’s everything you need to know about hiring your wedding vendors.

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11 Comments

  1. Great post & I love the video that you posted. I wonder if there are such out there that refer to those old, low-tech, videotaped movies. Wonderful work, though.

  2. This is a fantastic post! It contains tons of information in a clear-cut way! Thank you so much for posting this! I am definitely going to share it with my brides!

  3. Fantastic advice for all brides to be! Well done on succinctly grouping packages and styles. Wedding videography can be a mine field, with some many different options and offers available from different studio. Love it!

  4. Great post as always dear Junebug!
    Right now there are so many great wedding videographers in Europe.

  5. This is very useful indeed. Not everyone realises there are different styles of videography.

  6. Very well written guide. A lot of useful information!

  7. Great Article…I suggest everyone read this Article first before hiring any photographer or videographer for your big day. Their “STYLES” section is well written and has everything you need.

  8. My fiance and I are planning on getting married this summer, and I want to make sure we find the right videographer to capture this special day. It’s important to find someone with experience. As you said, knowing what style you want and what style the videographer is most comfortable using is important to find someone that will create the final product that you’re looking for. Thanks for sharing!

  9. You wrote that different videography companies have different styles, like storytelling or nostalgic. My younger sister is getting married, and I wanted her to have something to help her remember it for the rest of her life. Storytelling would be great, as it would really help capture the emotions and feelings that were felt on the day of her wedding. Thanks for the great advice.

  10. Good article. And covers pretty much all you need to be aware of when considering whether or not to have a wedding videographer.
    I look forward to the day when wedding videography becomes top of the list prior to photography, and not expected to be cheaper either.
    With the capabilities now more and more people are waking up to what can be done and how their wedding day can be preserved….but having a truly cinematic feature film.

  11. Thank you for this very detailed and helpful article! I haven’t considered half of these tips whenever I have thought a luxury wedding videographer. Now that I have read this article, I am really going to consider how my videographer is going to deliver the film and footage.

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