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©2019 by Wedding Media Productions

Documentary or Cinematic Wedding Video Styles

The art of editing cinematic wedding videos begins and ends with the skills of storytelling.


A cinematic wedding video marries the cinematic look and feel of "Sense and Sensibility" with the tone and pacing of "Sex and the City".

All of the cinematic tools once reserved for Hollywood film studios are now available to skilled videographers and editors.

What is the Documentary Style

The Documentary style focuses on simply capturing the day, as it happens, in the order that it happens, without referring to cutaways of particular items or flash backs to previous happenings. This type of editing is most likely to retain more footage of the the day as it focuses on the content rather than just the "pretty pictures". The final result will be more content but less of the dramatic camera angles, musical or special effects. 


We can film and edit in either style. But, our "Full Edit" provides a combination of cinematic and documentary.  We focus on telling the story of your wedding day in a way that is dramatic, artistic and fun to watch without sacrificing any of the important moments of your day.  The final Video will have your preparations, ceremony, photo session, reception entrance, speeches & toasts, and all other significant moments in their entirety but intertwined with those dramatic transitions and special effects of the cinematic wedding video.  

Our" Highlights" packages focus on using the cinematic tools to their best effect by increasing the emotional impact through use of slow motion and transition effects, saturated colors, creative camera angles and dramatic music.  It has that "wow" factor to tell your story in a unique and memorable way. 

Cinematic Storytelling

In any video, there are two basic elements of production: Image and Audio -  these are the basic practical elements of a video. Just as important as the practical, there are two somewhat abstract elements of production: tone and pacing.


Combined, these four elements are the main components of cinematic storytelling and these are essential for the editor of cinematic wedding videos to understand.  

Combined, these four elements are the main components of cinematic storytelling and these are essential for the editor of cinematic wedding videos to understand.  

Your wedding video is the keepsake of a lifetime - they need to be edited by a skilled editor in post production process.

The Cuts, Transitions, Tone & Pacing 

These are where the majority of time is spent editing your cinematic wedding video masterpiece. While no step is less important than another, cuts, transitions, tone and timing quickly differentiate the novice from the most cinematically capable editor.

Edits or Cuts follow a few basic rules. 

Edits should be motivated, create continuity of action and story, and in general have a seamless flow. Cutting on the action is the most common type of motivated edit.


However, motivated edits can also be created by elements such as sound, reaction and time. The continuous flow of motivated edits, avoiding jump-cuts and mismatched shots, is the goal of a cinematic wedding video editor.

While perfectly beautiful, tightly edited wedding videos are possible without the use of advanced editing and effects, trends in wedding videography are undoubtedly moving in the direction of high-art

Vignettes, Masking and Mattes

These are the software's terms used for different effects. Vignettes provide softly darkened borders. They focus our attention, add a nostalgic tone, or look like classic vintage film. They are widely used in wedding effects. Added to soften the images and provide a little serenity, vignettes and weddings are a match made in heaven.

Like vignettes, masks and mattes can be applied to remove unwanted elements or to create the coveted shallow depth of field look.

Lighting Effects

Lighting effects like lens flares, spotlights and flashes can easily be added to mimic lighting conditions not present in the original wedding footage.

Lighting, like colouring, creates mood, emotion and tone. The exciting flashes of camera bulbs, the always-cinematic lens flares of refracted light or the focus of a virtual spotlight are all lighting effects that can be added in post to great dramatic effect.


Time Remapping and Special Tools

Like the use of vignettes, time remapping is so commonly used by professionals in the cinematic wedding video. All great cinema has used time remapping as a storytelling device and it is particularly effective in cinematic wedding video production. Slow motion replay of special, emotional moments or the time-condensed replay of otherwise lengthy events and large groups are examples of the effective use of time remapping.

In addition to these mainstay effects and editing tools, there are many others that are used for their cinematic capabilities. 

 Here are just a few that we use in our edits to give a cinematic effect:

• The multi-camera editing window feature simulates live camera switching.


• 3D image compositing turns two-dimensional layers into three-dimensional space creating dynamic 3D camera movement. 

• Motion stabilisation can mimic the sweeping, cinematic moves of a Steadicam, dolly, track or jib, without the use of heavy equipment.