10 Top Tips For Choosing a Wedding Videographer

Couples are increasingly booking a wedding videographer in addition to their traditional photographs, and there are now a large number of companies offering their services. As with all aspects of planning your wedding the quality of wedding video services offered can vary greatly.

So in order to help you separate the ‘Dom Perignon’ from the ‘Lambrini’,  Entwined Films has put together some Top Tips for Choosing Your Wedding Videographer.

1. It’s your wedding… not a Hollywood Film set!

Your wedding day is all about you and so you should be able to enjoy the time with your new husband/wife and family without a concern over the running of the day. There are two major parts of a wedding day that can influence the enjoyment of your wedding day. Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videographers both have the capability to leave a lasting mark on your wedding day… but not always a positive one!

Maybe stemming from a background in television production, some wedding videography companies descend upon your wedding day and take over the whole show. Whilst they may obtain some pretty shots, this is at the expense of the couples time and patience.

My own approach is to let the day unfold and capture it with as little fuss as possible. One cameraman with two cameras blending into the background and capturing all the special moments. Simple yet highly effective.

2. All the Gear… No Idea!

With changes in technology bringing us advancements in camera technology it is easy to assume that you want a wedding videographer using the latest cameras.  For the most part this may be correct, but I suggest exercising some caution before being wowed with technical jargon.

There are some fundamental elements of a wedding video that can make the finished article look amateurish irrespective of the camera used. Shaky footage, Poor focus, wrong colours, poor composition, cheesy music, poor choice of shots, zooming in and out, lack of emotion… the list goes on. It doesn’t matter how good your camera is… without a thoughtful and technically competent approach to filming a wedding you are left with something that resembles an 80’s style home movie tape.

The answer is to watch not just the show reels on a company’s website but ask for the opportunity to watch several full wedding videos. This way you can look out for the type of problems listed above and ensure the final product fills you with the emotion you wish for your own wedding video.

3. Special Effects… but no storyline!

There are too many examples of wedding videos where the editor has clearly bought themselves a new box of ‘Wedding Special Effects’ and is intent on using every single one!

Personal taste is obviously an important consideration and some people may quite like heart-shaped borders, spinning gold rings or confetti falling across the screen like a raging snow blizzard. However, these effects are already very dated and 20 years from now will make your video look very old.

I prefer the alternative option – No special effects, just beautiful imagery carefully combined with carefully selected music. If you get things right in the first place there is no need to add silly special effects.

4. But I can’t hear what they’re saying!

A tell-tale difference between professional and amateur video production is the quality of the sound. Video cameras, whilst having built in microphones, are not cable of picking up the vital parts of the day without a barrage of others sounds such as echo, crowd chatter or air-conditioning units.

Entwined films use Wireless microphones to capture crystal clear sound during the ceremony and speeches. These microphones are small enough to slip in the Groom’s pocket during the ceremony and can be passed along the top table during the speeches.

5. One camera or Two?

Many companies capture your wedding day using one video camera. Whilst this makes the filming and editing of your wedding DVD much simpler (and cheaper) it results in a final product that is noticeably different to one filmed on two cameras.

Most noticeable is the ‘Zoom Effect’. The human eye is not capable of zooming and so when we watch a video where the cameraman is constantly zooming in and out and panning around the room it can feel quite sickening. Conversely a camera that is static throughout the ceremony lacks interest and emotion.

Using two cameras negates this issue. One camera provides a wide shot whilst the other camera can obtain all the detailed, artistic shots. The combination of the two prevents any wobbling or zooming camera movements and gives you more emotive film.

6. My Friend Has Offered to Film Our Wedding

Any couple considering a wedding video will no doubt have thought whether a friend or family member could perform the job and save some money. Here are a couple of points to consider:

  • Quality of the footage will not be as good as a professional format video camera, especially under low light conditions.
  • Sound quality will be poor (see above).
  • Artistic styling and composition will be lacking.
  • Quality of the final package will be limited.
  • Shaky cameras, blurred focus and excessive zooming will all affect the final video.
  • Does your friend have the time and skill to edit the final video and produce a quality wedding DVD?
  • Your friend will have little time throughout the day to enjoying the wedding itself.
  • When will you finally get to see the final video? I know of many situations where the bride is still waiting to  see the video because the friend is too busy to start it.

Considering the above points, it is worth asking yourself how important your wedding video is to you? If you want a wedding video, that you will watch more than once, it is imperative to employ a professional wedding video producer. The experience, skill, equipment and passion will show throughout and provide you with a memory of your special day that you will want to watch time and time again.

7. Where’s the Emotion?

In theory anyone can pick up a video camera and press record, but it is the combination of professional camera work and editing that develop the emotion to convey such a monumental day.

Watch any wedding video in the Entwined Films Portfolio and notice how you feel. One thing people say is that, despite not knowing the couple in the film, they feel a welling up with emotion.

I use this approach myself when editing the final wedding DVD. I pay attention to the small details and convey them with a combination of beautiful imagery and music. If I don’t get a lump in my throat I know I’ve not yet hit the mark.

It’s like it says on the front page of this website:

“Some things in life,  Like love, do not need words…
You simply need to see them with your own eyes.”

8. Wedding Cameraman & Editor

Some wedding videography companies employ a number of cameramen to work at more than one venue and then return the footage to be edited by a separate editor. Whilst this allows them to develop their business to cover multiple events on the same day I personally dislike the idea of the person who witnessed the event not producing the final DVD. I take a lot of personal pride in my work that don’t believe it is important for me to be involved at every stage of production – from the initial meeting with the couple, filming on the day, editing and then delivering the final DVD.

9. Experience Counts

It can be beneficial to choose a wedding videographer who works on a broad range of projects besides wedding videography. The variety of experiences compliment the ability to film your wedding and can bring fresh and contemporary ideas into being.

Entwined Films is the wedding video production section of parent company New Vision Media. My commercial work includes a large number of documentary projects which have developed my ability to capture an event as it unfolds under varying conditions. I’ve filmed from a glider flying over the countryside down to underground caving and everything in between. I’ve also spent time in Sri Lanka filming charity organisations helping clear up after the Tsunami disaster in 2004.

10. Wedding Songs

Music is such an incredibly important part of your wedding video because it ties everthing together, personalises the film and can generate a whole range of emotions. In fact, it’s so important I’ve created a section of the website dedicated to Wedding Songs.

Watch the opening scene from Jon & Tori’s Wedding in Southampton and you’ll notice the sense of urgency and excitement as people begin to arrive. Or the wedding of Simon & Leigh at Brymton D’Evercy House as Leigh walks down the isle to a very emotional Simon. These moments on their own are very special but the music elevates the senses.

It’s worth collecting together a large number of tunes that you like and leave the videographer to select which ones to use throughout your final wedding DVD.

I hope this article has helped you to understand some of the important decisions in choosing your wedding videographer. If you have any questions please feel free to Contact Me.

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