Wedding Videography 101
At your ceremony, do you want cameras to roll?
By Jean Donnelly
August 15, 2011
In wedding planning circles, videography is hotly debated. Some brides simply must have a video record of the wedding, while others resent the intrusion of another camera. Whether or not you want a wedding video is entirely up to you, your partner and your budget. A videographer, unlike a still photographer, is not a requirement. Its considered a bonus add-on. But 30 years down the line, after your daughter gets engaged, you may want to show her this special DVD (assuming DVD players are still around).
Learn more about wedding videography to see if its a service youll want to include.
A wedding videographer films your wedding and reception, edits the material and provides a copy on DVD or Blu-ray. Unlike wedding photographs, which only capture one image at a time, a video contains literally thousands of images paired with sound. A professional will capture key moments: the stroll down the aisle, the dance with your dad, your best friends toast. A videographer might also interview your guests. All these images will be tied together using specialized software. You may be thinking: But cant a friend just film scenes on his phone and post it on YouTube? Yes. But would you also let a friend take your only wedding photos on his iPhone? No. If you want a high-quality video with close-up shots of important moments, you will have to pay for this additional service.
Far-flung loved ones who couldnt attend the wedding can watch the video and get a sense of the day as it actually happened. Brides who were too nervous or busy during the wedding will especially appreciate having a video to watch comfortably at home. Other brides, even if they remember the day with great clarity, may simply enjoy watching the video over and over again.
However, this doesnt mean that wedding videos are right for everyone. In order to capture the moments on video, your videographer may be hovering in the distance throughout your entire event. You and your groom may be required to wear small microphones, which will interfere with the sharing of private moments. Youll be asked to stand in a slightly different position at the altar for the benefit of the shooting. The lighting will need to be quite bright, which means low lighting at your reception might be discouraged. For some couples, the intrusion can feel overwhelming. They would rather enjoy the day as it happens.
Those who opt for amateur videos may also be in for a nasty shock. Amateurs are often even more intrusive than professionals because they arent quite adept at keeping themselves out of the action. Professionals often have the years of experience required to perfect this technique. Amateurs are also less likely to own the proper lighting equipment, mics, software or cameras; more importantly, they are less experienced in using them. But if you cant afford a professional but want to own a wedding video for purely sentimental reasons and dont plan to share it, consider an amateur. Just note that the final product might be shaky, dark and difficult for others to watch.
How to Shop
When interviewing a videographer, ask for at least three samples of wedding videos. Watch them all, from start to finish. If the videos tell a story, and feel entertaining and emotional, this videographer can be trusted. If the videos are jerky or just plain boring, its time to keep shopping.
When you find a videographer with great samples, ask to contact the couples shown in the videos. Make sure you can handle the amount of interaction youll have with the videographer. Of course, you can suggest a plan that makes everyone comfortable. If you dont want to wear mics or change your lighting, let the videographer know. The quality of the video may suffer, but couples may prefer that over having the entire ceremony dictated by the videographer's needs.