The idea of a wedding videographer may recall an old-fashioned clunky video camera mounted on a tripod, aimed unflinchingly at the front of a chapel for the duration of a ceremony. The modern version is very different from this! Wedding videographers now are making beautiful, edited videos that you may see shared to social media, combining various parts of a couple’s special wedding day with plenty of effects and background music. If getting one of these videos about your own wedding is a priority, here are some good questions to ask as you work to select and communicate with a wedding videographer.
1. How Much of the Wedding Day Is Part of the Contract?
Videographers may be available for an entire day or any other amount of time. Some videographers may be filming a different event for some part of your wedding day, and they may have a hard cap on when they can begin or when they’ll need to end. Knowing this information upfront helps you decide whether this videographer is the right person for you at all, or whether the price is right given the availability. It may be wise to discuss whether discounts are offered for shorter wedding videography time, or if you can pay a small surcharge to get an extra hour or two.
2. Does Your Videographer Work with a Photographer or a Second Videographer?
Many videographers team up with wedding photographers to offer a complete package, or they work as a videography team so that they don’t miss any special moments. These factors change how “valuable” they are to you: a photographer and a videographer who are already in sync are less likely to crowd each other or step on each other’s toes during various moments that both of them want to capture. As you consider the cost of your videography package, factor in their answer to this question as a part of their value.
3. Does the Videographer Use Specialized Equipment Like Drones?
In the exciting new world of wedding videography, many packages include access to fly-over drone footage as part of the final video. Talking with your videographer about how high-tech and cutting edge they are can help you make sense of their pricing and also know that you are getting the kinds of professional video you want. Not every couple will be interested in these kinds of bells and whistles, so it’s good for the decision making process if you can understand what you are signing up for.
4. How Long Will the Finished Video Be and When Can You Expect to Receive It?
Most videographers will have a portfolio, and you may see that they create a similar style of video each time, including the length. These portfolios are good to see because they help you figure out if you’re interested in the way or style they portray the weddings they film. Knowing the length of video that they usually create can also help you manage your expectations as you wait for your own edited video.
Speaking of waiting, most editing takes quite a long time, especially if the videographer focuses on shooting weddings during wedding season and doesn’t focus on editing much until after those bookings die down. Discuss the turnaround time, and if it seems a little long, think about whether you want to propose a slight bonus if they can return your edited video early. If you don’t mind waiting a long time, you might also try for the opposite: a discount on a “no rush” video editing timeline.
5. What Conditions Make for a Great Wedding Video?
This might be the most important question to answer. As you are planning your wedding, it’s great to know what will affect the quality of your video. If you planned to have a reception with low light and mostly candles, recognize that this may make it harder for your videographer to get good footage (can you do candles with slightly more lighting instead?). Similarly, if your event will be in an unusually windy or rainy place, these pieces of information will affect the quality of the video and the safety of the video equipment.
This doesn’t mean you have to change everything about your wedding in order to get high-quality footage, but it may mean that some small, harmless tweaks can disproportionately improve your video quality. Talking to your videographer is a good way to figure out if your own perceptions of what makes for fuzzy video actually hold true for the professional equipment the videographers use. They are remarkably versatile, but they can tell you what circumstances make them groan inside.
Equipped with these answers, you’ll be able to make a great choice for your wedding videographer and communicate clearly until and after the big wedding day.