Planning your wedding can be a daunting process – whether you’re a planner or not; it tests your organizational skills, your time management, your taste in fashion and also your patience with your spouse (to-be). There’s no course on how to choose a wedding videographer. In fact, most people have never booked an event vendor before and were never thinking, “Oh, I can’t wait for the day to book my florist!”
But we’re not here to talk about flowers that you’re going to use for a day and then throw away. You’re here because you’re interested in how to choose a wedding videographer. You’ve either seen your friend’s wedding film or have been strongly advised by someone you trust that it was one of the best decisions they made to save their memories. I can proudly say, with my undeniable bias, that a good wedding videographer will capture not just the scripted and candid actions on the day, but things that you will miss on the wedding day, along with performances, traditions and most notably, the sounds at your wedding.
In our day and age, it’s very natural to think about booking a photographer to document your special event. Well fortunately, booking a videographer is very similar. Here are SOME things to consider when looking for your videographer.
Go onto their website and watch a couple videos for as long as they interest you and ask yourself:
How do the videos look?
Do the videos look modern?
Do they look high quality?
Are the videos stable – free of shakiness?
Are the videos sharp and not out of focus?
How do the videos sound?
Is there tasteful music or cheesy piano tunes?
Does the music suit the visuals or are the visuals and music disjointed?
Can you hear (and understand) clearly what people in the videos are saying?
What’s the style?
The question of style is WAY more subjective than the look and sound of the video. In such a case, I’ll mention major styles that you’ll encounter in your hunt for a wedding videographer:
- Video montage – usually different clips from the day edited together with some music. All you hear is music.
- Music video – Very similar to the Video Montage style but usually contains fancy effects, similar to ones you’d find in a conventional music video. Often times, these videos are edited with a top 40 track or a trending song on the airways.*
- Slow motion – a more cinematic style of film in which the clips are mostly or completely in slow motion. Videos may sometimes contain sound bytes from things said during the day.
- Cinematic story-telling** – This is a very cinematic style, with resemblance to movies. This style is complete with black crop bars, emotional music and a film-like look, integrating segments of speeches and wedding vows at key moments in the video to help give context to the couple and their story.
And then there’s everything in between
Agree on a style that you guys like and see yourself cherishing AND sharing in the LONGTERM.
*I would be weary of choosing to get a video with trending music because most times, the use of that music consists of some kind of copyright infringement. More on that in a later post
**This is the primary type of film Aperture Lane offers. See examples on the Films page.
Where do I look?
You can start with seeing what friends and family got. You can Google local vendors. Ask your wedding planner for references. You can also just book Aperture Lane since you’re reading our article. Why not make things simple? 😉
But in all seriousness, it can be a little overwhelming to choose from all the options out there, but once you’ve watched a few dozen films, you’ll find your desired style. That makes life a lot easier. If you decide you want a cinematic story-teller, for example, then as soon as go to a portfolio page and realize the style is different, close it and move on. The rabbit hole gets pretty deep when watching wedding films online.
What’s the videographer’s vibe?
As great as the videos on their site might be, it’s important to work with someone with whom you connect. In other words, you gotta like their vibe! Apart from your family and wedding party, you’ll be spending most of the day with this person or team. It’s going to be hard to smile and be yourself around someone that makes you uncomfortable or someone who is not approachable.
Feeling out the professional might involve any combination of the steps below:
- checking out their about page
- stalking them on social media
- asking past clients you know about them
- contacting them and finding out more about them and their service.
You don’t have to like them enough to marry them (that spot’s been taken), but you have to see yourself spending time with them.
How much does a videographer cost?
Forgive the laughing. That wasn’t at you; it’s because I thought about 4507 ways to answer that question.
It don’t have a definitive answer but here are some thoughts:
There’s a balance between:
1) making a budget and 2) doing the research and finding out the actual cost of your desired service
Sometimes you find your ideal vendor within budget. Sometimes you find your dream vendor and you have increase the budget or reallocate your resources.
Weigh your priorities and keep in mind that this will be the most true-to-life way to remember and share one of the most important days of your life.
Pricing is all across the board ranging from $1000 all the way to $15000+. But that could be said about any industry. Typically, for a fairly comprehensive package (i.e. some form of short highlight and candid long-form footage of the event), less than $2000 is someone building a portfolio or a newcomer to the field.
When you hit the $2000 – $4000 range, you’re looking at experienced shooters.
The $4000 to $ 6000 range is where you find creative teams that serve a more premium market and have a more refined process, client experience, and portfolio.
Above $6000 is where you start to hit high-end and luxury bands.
With all that being said, the old adage stands true:
You get what you pay for
DO YOU OFFER PHOTO-VIDEO PACKAGES?
Don’t feel like you need to book your videography and photography from the same company. There will definitely be incentives to go that route, like package deals, more streamlined communication and compatible styles. But sometimes, you may like a studio’s photography style, but not their the videography style… or vice versa!
It’s extremely common to have different companies provide your photo and video respectively and, in most cases, they will get along. Here’s also where feeling out the vibe of your vendor is important!
WHILE YOU’RE AT IT, CAN YOU TAKE SOME VIDEO?
Most photography cameras have the capability to do video. That being said, don’t think your photographer is videographer when they switch dials. It doesn’t work the same way as your iPhone. Despite the similarities, it requires a whole different mentality doing videography vs photography. There should be a person or team dedicated to do the video. Treat photography and videography as different services.
DO YOU SHOOT WEDDINGS FROM MY CULTURE?
Having a videographer who does only events in your culture can be an asset but should not be a deal-breaker. Understanding the culture can help the pro navigate situations and anticipate actions in the event. That being said, if you love this vendor and their style, having a short conversation to explain traditions, along with providing a useful itinerary is often enough get him/her up to speed with what to expect during your celebration.
Personally, even if I’ve shot certain kinds of weddings, I still have the above-mentioned conversation because different communities and families can execute celebrations differently even within the same culture.
More about this is a later post!
As I close out, I encourage you to use some of these tips when you’re choosing a wedding videographer. If you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to reach out. If you’d like to inquire about booking Aperture Lane, reach out here.
And finally, no advice article would not be complete without a shameless plug. Enjoy this quick sneak peek below from one of our favourite weddings
As we narrate together!