Looking for Regional Information?

Choosing a Wedding Videographer

By Charles Hopkins Published 04/25/2006 | Marriage
A good wedding videographer is a creative storyteller, using moving images and sound to paint a memory you can relive, over and over, for generations to come. Their videos are timeless, entertaining, and full of life. Think of how many times you have watched your favorite movie. Each time you notice something you never saw before. Photography, important as it is, does not make you laugh and cry like a video does.

Before you even visit the videographer you wish to consider, check their reputation by asking other couples, your d.j. or band, your wedding event planner, reception hall manager, or anyone connected with your wedding. People who are in the business of weddings usually know others who are also in the business and will be quick to give you an honest opinion.

Ask for samples of their work, not only their polished demo, but also a copy of one of their completed wedding projects. This will not only allow you to see their best work but also their work as a whole. As you watch, you will want to take notice of the general creativity of the video, its clarity, the variety of shots even if only one camera was used, the sound quality of the vows and speeches, and generally how smoothly the video flows. Is it interesting to watch? Are there interviews? How long is the finished product? Is it on DVD or tape?

As a general rule, a well-produced video will not initially have you saying, Wow, what a great video! Instead, you will find yourself commenting on the content of the video the beautiful dress the bride wore, of which you saw a slow-motion close-up, the excited look of the couple as they left the altar and walked down the aisle, hand in hand, as husband and wife, the tear that caressed the brides cheek as her husband recited his vow to her, and the many emotional moments that only a professional knows how to capture. Thats when you know a lot of skilled work and planning have gone into both pre and post production. A well-produced video will make you feel like youre actually there.

This is what you are looking for in a wedding video, not just a recounting of your day.

If you are pleased with what you see and hear, then they are obviously doing something right, are using quality equipment, and have the creativity youre looking for. By checking how long theyve been in business and by asking for and checking references, you can be reasonably sure they will deliver a video you will cherish for the rest of your life.

The remainder of your checklist is to ensure that what you saw and heard is what you will actually get for your video.

Ask about packages and prices. Did what they showed you reflect all that you will get, or are there additional charges for more cameras and operators, post production editing work, different locations, effects like slow motion, highlight montages, interviews with guests and family, etc? Remember to ask them how many copies you get and how much extras copies cost. Be careful to stay on budget, but also dont under-budget this important part of your wedding. Many wedding couples cant remember most of their day because it blurs by so fast.

A nice addition to your video is highlights montage. This is a tightly and creatively edited look at your day that is also set to music. This snapshot of your day typically lasts from ten to fifteen minutes and is great to show people who pop in for coffee. This will usually cost you extra but is well worth the investment. Then, if they choose, they can sit and watch the two-hour full version, complete with a bowl of popcorn.

Talk to them about what you want and what you definitely dont want, allowing them to make suggestions. They know what works and what doesnt and may suggest something you never thought of. If you book them, they will also do a pre-consultation with you prior to your day to make sure they have all the details. Along with your videographer, you are co-producers and directors in the making of your video. With todays computer technology in film and video editing software, if you can imagine something, the chances are high that it can be done.

A reputable company will ask for a deposit, although not always. A deposit is a good sign. It means that they have enough business that they want to make sure that youre serious about booking them. Its also good for you, because you know that they are serious. Review any contract carefully and make sure that everything you want is listed.

One final consideration, if you are getting married in a church or synagogue etc., make sure you get permission from the clergy to have video cameras present. Some clergy dont allow cameras of any sort during the service, although many do. Checking beforehand will save you some possible conflicts on the day.

Your wedding is one of the high points of your life and by choosing it to be videotaped professionally you are creating memories for a lifetime.

Heres to health and happiness!