A Simple Guide to Hiring a Wedding Videographer
Wedding videos have rapidly gained popularity in the past few years. As wedding videographers ourselves, this is excellent news.
One thing we've recognized is that many couples aren't sure what they should be getting for their wedding video. When we talk about packages, products, budget and coverage, there seems to be a lot of confusion.
With that in mind, we thought this would be a perfect time to break down the decision making process for you. If you're looking to hire a wedding videographer, this guide will simplify the process.
There's a ton of areas to cover, but today we're focusing on products.
Receiving a list of products from a potential videographer isn't going to help you if you don't know what the products are. Before we can help you decide on what products you should consider, let's take a moment to understand what they are.
Teasers, Highlights and Features.
By far the most popular items couples request from us are our teasers, highlights and features.
When looking at three options, it's not clear how they're different from each other. Now, you always want to confirm what they are with the videographer you're interviewing, but this is a general breakdown.
Think of a teaser as a trailer to a movie. It's short, typically around 1-2 minutes (we keep them under 1 minute to easily share on Instagram), and designed to get you excited about your video.
The benefit of a teaser is that your videographer will deliver them to you shortly following your wedding. As an example, we send you your teaser within two weeks of your wedding.
Without a teaser, you will need to wait until your videographer finishes your video, and on average, most have a delivery window between 90-120 days. While photographers deliver your photos in a few weeks, video takes significant time to edit.
So, if you're excited to see a glimpse of your wedding, and don't want to wait several months, we encourage you to add a teaser.
Absolutely, without a doubt, this is the most popular product from any wedding videographer.
The way we film weddings today is nothing like it was in the past ten years. A highlight is a stylized version of your wedding, capturing all of the most intimate and important moments throughout the day.
The length of the video varies, but you can expect anything between 5-10 minutes.
Highlights are super popular because you can watch them anywhere, at any time, and allow you to relive those precious moments. It's also easy to share with your friends and family, and much more entertaining than an hour-long video.
However, the drawback is that not everything will make it into your video. If you love the idea of a highlight, but want to see the entire wedding, we recommend adding on a feature.
While it is less popular than the highlight, we always recommend getting a feature.
The entire purpose of the feature is to capture every moment of your wedding.
When videographers create a highlight film, they're picking and choosing what makes it into the final product. They may leave out things that they don't know would be incredibly sentimental to you.
For us, we typically capture hours worth of footage at every wedding, and consolidating that down to 5-10 minutes means we have to make some tough decisions. Creating a feature film removes the guesswork, and will include all of the ceremony, toasts, dances, cake cutting, etc.
The video will be less stylized, and more straightforward, but you'll have all of the moments to cherish for the rest of your life.
Now that we've covered the most popular items that videographers can provide, we still need to understand some of the additional options you may have:
Raw footage can mean two things depending on your videographer, so you need to clarify with them.
- Typically, and this is the case with us, raw footage means that they will provide you all of the footage captured on a storage device. The footage will not be edited. There will be nothing fancy. It's just the footage as it came out of the camera.
- The second option may refer to the video rights. It may sound weird, but when a videographer films your wedding, you do not own the rights to the footage. Both videographers and photographers own the rights to any image that they capture. Typically, owning the rights isn't a big deal. The primary purpose your videographer wants the rights is that they can market their services and include your video in their portfolio.
Either way, you should check to see what your videographer means by raw footage.
The importance of raw footage is that we cannot store your data forever, as storage can be expensive.
When we eventually wipe your data, it'll be gone forever. Ordering raw footage is your security that if you ever need that footage in the future, you have it.
Less common, but still comes up, is a same-day edit.
It's a short video to be played during your wedding. What they will do is take all of the footage they've captured and make a quick edit that will play during the reception.
It can be amazing to watch, but it's not something we recommend to our couples.
We find it's better to invest your money into long-term products.
Becoming more popular is having your videographer film the rehearsal dinner.
We see this most often when the dinner is more formal, and guests will be giving toasts that won't be doing so on your wedding day.
If you have any special events taking place during the rehearsal dinner, consider this option.
Engagement videos can vary depending on your videographer. The two most common versions we've seen are:
- Video announcing your engagement, similar to your engagement photo sessions.
- A short video that describes how you met each other, telling the viewer your story.
Both are excellent options and serve different purposes.
One of the ideas we love most about the love story is playing it during your reception. We've had it done where the video played just before the grand entrance into the reception.
The crowd loved it, and the experience was something to be remembered.
If this is something you're interested in, you want to coordinate with your videographer and venue how you will play it for your guests. Usually, it's projected onto a wall in the room.
Wildy popular, and adds a new level of production value to your video. There are a few things to keep in mind regarding drone footage.
- Is it legal? Some areas are no flight zones - think any national/state park, most major cities, near airports, etc. If your videographer offers drone footage, they should be able to check this for you. Just make sure to ask.
- Will the venue allow it? You should consult with your coordinator to see if they will allow you to use drones. Some places may have a no-drone policy, because not everyone flys them responsibly.
- Lastly, don't expect a bunch of footage from the drone.
Drone shots are there to set up your wedding by establishing how beautiful the venue/location is. It's not the driving feature of your video.
We use them sparingly, but that's what makes the drone shots feel so epic.
Now that we know the products, what's next?
There's still a lot to cover, and this is by no means an exhaustive product list.
We're confident that these are the products you'll see most often as you interview your top choices. However, understanding what your product options are is just the first step in choosing a wedding videographer.
If you'd like to learn more about the next steps, consider subscribing to our blog to be updated when the second part goes live.
We blog weekly and strive to provide the content that most interests you.
You can subscribe below, and we'll keep you posted. If there's something we missed or didn't answer in a way that makes sense, let us know down below.
We hope to hear from you.