How to Choose the Right Videographer for Your Wedding
When it comes to hiring vendors for your “I dos,” finding the right wedding videographer is just as important as booking your venue and hiring the best photographer your budget will allow. It can be hard, though, to get started with your search. After all, depending on your location, there could be no shortage of videographers ready to be hired—but does that mean they’re the best one for your big day?
Before you start meeting with any videographers, read through these tips that will make your search less stressful and help you find the right pro for you.
How to Choose a Wedding Videographer
Finding the right wedding videographer for your big day is much like selecting any of the vendors who will turn your dream day into a reality. That means that step one is figuring out your budget and how much you can actually afford for your videography. After all, you don’t want to fall in love with a videographer’s work and then find out he or she is way out of your price range.
What Else to Know Before Choosing a Videographer
You need to start early
Just like any other vendor, talented wedding videographers get booked up early—often up to one year in advance. You’ll want to begin looking for one early on in the planning process, around the same time you book your venue and photographer.
You should research video styles
There are five basic videography styles: cinematic, short form, storytelling, documentary and traditional. Watch examples of all of them right here on Love Stories TV to decide which one you’d like your own video to showcase, and then narrow down your search to find a wedding videographer that specializes in that genre. Katie Swider of Anchored Films suggests searching on Instagram for videographers in your area by using location hashtags.
Your photographer will be able to help
Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films suggests asking your photographer who they suggest for a wedding filmmaker, which benefits you twofold. "The cinematographer is likely shooting in a similar style as your photographer," she explains. "Additionally, your photographer has likely worked with them before and they can work seamlessly on the wedding day."
Do’s and Don’ts When Choosing a Videographer
Do ask for recommendations
One of the best ways to find vendors for your big day is to ask family and friends who have recently tied the knot for their recommendations. If someone was happy with their wedding videographer, ask if you can see their final video and gather basic information about the pro, including how much they charged and what was included.
Don’t skip our database
Search our database to find vendors in your area, such as Our Top 10 Recommended Wedding Videographers in Florida. Notice if you gravitate towards a cinematic (movie-like) wedding film or documentary (traditional videography) film, says Angelini. Some filmmakers use a hybrid style, which is ideal if the couples does not share the same tastes.
Do get referrals from your venue
Your wedding locale has probably seen a lot of vendors come and go, which is why many have a list of preferred professionals to work with. Bonus: The wedding videographer already has experience shooting in and around your venue!
Don’t miss out on reviewing demos
Once you’ve narrowed down your list and start meeting with wedding videographers, request copies of their reels. Be sure to watch these videos carefully and take note of the lighting, music, additional audio (can you clearly hear the vows during the ceremony? The speeches at the reception?) and the transitions between each scene.
Do take personality into consideration
Like your photographer, you will be spending hours with your wedding videographer on the big day. You want to make sure that person is someone that will fit in well with you and your future spouse, especially since they will be following you around for a good portion of the day. "Be sure to connect via phone before booking; chatting should give you a feel of who will be filming your wedding," says Angelini. "Trust what your gut tells you. You should be able to express your vision and feel heard."
Don’t be afraid to ask about equipment
Although you might not be well-versed on the different types of cameras, microphones and lighting used by wedding videographers, you should still get an idea of what the vendor will be using on your big day. For example, do they have the right equipment for an outdoor event? Are they able to capture a sunset or evening ceremony?
Do understand what’s included in your package
Wedding videographers often offer a variety of packages so be sure you review each one in detail and ask lots of questions. Some important ones include: • How many hours will they be working?
• Number of cameras and any assistant videographers or second shooters being used
• The video package being chosen, including the type and total time of your finished video
• Type of equipment and medium to be used
• Special editing features used
• Deadline to review raw footage and when final edits will be completed
• Do you get to keep raw footage, or at least footage of the speeches/first looks/first dances
Don’t hire someone that doesn’t match your style
If you have your heart set on a specific type of film editing, you want to make sure the wedding videographer you choose has experience in that particular type of work. In addition to looking at the website, Swider recommends also looking at their YouTube, Vimeo, and Instagram pages. "Actually read their 'about' pages. You’ll often get a great feel about not only the work, but the purpose and character behind that work," she explains. "And ask the videographer how they would describe their style. This can tell you a lot about not only their work, but also who they are as a person."
Do read over the contract
Although you have agreed on details verbally, it’s crucial to go over the written contract carefully to make sure everything you spoke about is included, including when you’ll receive the final version of your video. You can also have your wedding planner look it over before signing on the dotted line.
Don’t forget to create a to-do list
Couples can jot down specific details or moments they want to make sure the wedding videographer captures during the ceremony and reception.
Do enjoy your day
The benefits of hiring the right wedding videographer is being able to let them do their job so you can enjoy your wedding! As Angelini points out, when you give creative freedom to your wedding filmmaker, they will do their best work. "Practice calm and live in the moment. When you are happy and enjoying your wedding day, your photos and video will reflect it," she says.