How to Choose a Videographer

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The main reason you have a video is to capture the memories of your wedding so that you can re-live the events of the day. You will be so involved on the day and will miss the details that the Video will retain for posterity. One of the top comments that Brides make about a "regret" on their wedding day is NOT GETTING A VIDEO. Don't have that regret. The wedding day you are planning is one of the most important days of your life – you will want to remember every detail as well as have shortened “highlights” for family and friends. These can be presented in either Documentary or Cinematic wedding video Styles.

Check the equipment that the Videographer uses - especially the camera equipment - the minimum format should at least HD but preferably 4K or UHD. No matter what device or equipment you view the video with, the better the original quality of the footage the better it will look on your TV or Computer.

What you do want to know is, how capable the videographer and editor are and how they will produce a result you will be proud to show your family and friends.

The editing -  is where the art of the cinematic wedding videos begin. This editing is done with advanced Computer editing software such as "Final Cut Pro X", (our choice), or other professional software, like, "Adobe Premiere Pro" or "Avid". 

Beware of a Videographer that is not using Professional Editing software that may not give you the result you are looking for in a Cinematic Wedding Video - why take the risk?   

It is a good idea to ask your Videographer what software they use to edit with as it will give you a good idea of how professional they are. Watch out for those that edit with "iMovie", or "Movie Maker" (they are NOT professional software packages and will most likely NOT give you the Wedding Video result you are looking for)

Along with the software, you need to check the equipment that your videographer/editor is using for your wedding video production. The professional will be using a workstation (Apple MacPro) or at least a powerful desktop computer (Apple iMac) or Windows workstation. While laptops are powerful enough to edit a wedding video production, they tend to indicate that the editor may not be fully dedicated to the profession or may just be starting out. 

Be sure to ask your videographer what Equipment and Software they are using.

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Pick a Videographer who will edit the full day as well as the “Highlights”, that are set to music with romantic effects.  Besides, the edit of the full day is is most likely too long for your friends’ attention span.  A cost effective way is to have the “Highlights” fully edited and the full day's footage with just a light edit to clear all the unwanted camera movements.

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The Video “Highlights”of the wedding will be best to send to friends and family from overseas or anyone who was not able to be there on the day.

Don’t make the mistake of asking a friend to video the wedding – all may go well, but you can’t be sure they will get things right. You will  be assured of a professional result if you employ a professional. Besides, there are many years of experience needed to edit and produce a professional wedding video and provide the memories that your months of planning deserve. You will have seen home made videos – do you want that for your wedding memories? Only experienced and professional editors will be able to provide you a wedding video style of edit.

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The videographer will usually be filming your wedding for anywhere between 8-15 hours. 

An experienced camera operator who owns Broadcast Quality equipment will be worth roughly $100 or more per hour. 

Anywhere from 15 to 50 hours or more is needed to edit a professional wedding video, you can estimate what the cost should be for a top quality wedding video. You can always find somebody who will do it for less, if you are willing to accept a lower level of quality. It is better to spend more than you have planned, instead of less than you should – and why not let all of your family and friends enjoy the wedding and use a professional wedding videographer? 

 So expect to pay around $1000 for a basic package. A full Documentary or Cinematic wedding video edit including Highlights will approach $2,000.

There are a number of things to think about when trusting someone to film your wedding.

Most wedding videographers use professional 4K or UHD Cinema Digital Cameras and should use a lapel microphone, attached on the groom, to pick up the vows clearly.  A separate hand held microphone is also needed, to give clear sound, for the speeches and guest testimonials.

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Professional Digital cinema cameras work well in low light situations, however, where the lighting is very low (like candlelight),  no video camera will capture good pictures. You need to make sure the videographer you choose has diffused camera lighting that doesn’t make you or your guests squint.

The videographer you choose, will have sample videos of highlights as well as of full wedding videos. Look for the choice of Documentary or Cinematic wedding video styles. Evaluate for smooth and steady camera work. 

 Do the people on the tape look natural or staged? Can you feel the emotion? 

Listen carefully to the audio from the music, Celebrant, vows, readers, vocalists and the D.J.’s introductions and toasts from the reception. 

A good Videographer will use separate Microphones. The on-camera microphone will only produce home video sound. Choose a full-time professional with quality equipment, skill and experience.

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The samples will show you that they have experience with a variety of weddings and the full version should be of a wedding similar to your own. If you are having an outdoor wedding make sure they show you their outside wedding samples and not just the interior church clips. make sure you see their low light reception clips. The more you see the more you will appreciate their style, and get a feel what your wedding video will look like.

If at all possible, deal with the actual videographer (not just a contact person) before the wedding day. You need to be sure that you have a rapport.

 The videographer may attend the rehearsal (at an extra cost) But be sure that they get a run sheet and a list of all the important people at the wedding. 

 Make sure they know the bride and groom's immediate family as well as timing for cake, first dance etc. this is important so they know exactly what is happening and they won’t need to ask you unnecessary questions on the day. 

Professional Videographers will most likely have a Run sheet form. Make sure you fill it out with all the details: 

Wedding run sheet form Wedding run sheet form (74 KB)


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Ensure that the videographer has experience, at least a couple of years – you don’t want them learning on your wedding. They will need to have the experience so as not to miss out on any important aspect of your special day.

Avoid being tempted to choose “film only” packages – it is the edit that makes the video special. Besides a good camera person will capture many scenes several times and from different angles so as to be sure there is good footage for the edit. You will not want to watch all of this raw footage.

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If you choose to have keep-sake DVD of the wedding, make sure it has menus and chapters so that the main aspects of the wedding can be selected from the DVD indivdually.

Professional videographers will offer other services such as putting your wedding photos into a video or options for a video wedding invitation?

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Choosing the right professional videographer for your special day will ensure that your wedding video will be a an accurate record and a pleasure to watch for posterity.

There are many things that you need to know before you write your name on the contract. Here are some suggestions for picking that perfect wedding videographer that is just right for you.

Check with Friends and family:
You will be sure to find associates who have direct (or have friends’) experiences with a Wedding Videographer.

Search the internet:
Look at both local and national companies.Videographers will travel as long as you pay for their travel:

Compile a list of all videographers:
Don’t worry about price, location or other factors at this point. Just list everyone that is a possibility.
Look at both small and large companies. Many small or cost effective companies won’t spend that much money on advertising, but their services are as good:

Next you need to determine the factors that are most important to you and your partner.

  • Local vendors (they know the area best)
  • Quality of work
  • Style of video (ranges from documentary or Cinematic wedding video styles to MTV)
  • Personalities (Make sure you feel a rapport with the actual person filming the video)
  • Price
  • Years in business
  • Type of music used
  • How many cameras - 2 cameras if possible
  • Quality of Cameras - look for 4K UHD or at least HD
  • Types of lighting & audio
  • Extra features (Love Story, Photo Montages, Recaps, etc)
  • Small businesses maybe more conscious of your needs
  • Compare the companies on your list
  • look at websites & call or email them.
  • Make sure they carry liability insurance and have a business license.
  • Be sure to ask your videographer what equipment and Software they are using.

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Narrow down your selection to 3 videographers, then make appointments for them to visit & show you more of their work.

Make sure you are meeting the videographers who will be filming on your wedding day. Make sure you feel a rapport with the videographer.

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Once you have decided, make sure you pay the deposit right away. You don’t want to be disappointed after your heart set on a videographer to then find they are have another booking. Videographers, as will Photographers, require a deposit to hold a date and then will request the balance to be paid before the actual day – usually 2 weeks before. The deposit will be around 20% of the contract price.

Text by: Videoeditoz from personal experience and research of other video providers.

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