Wedding videography has quickly become one of the core wedding services couples look to book when planning their big day. Every wedding planning tool, from the paper-bound variety to the online checklist, includes a section for a videographer. Yet, some couples aren’t convinced they need to spend precious dollars on this service, and others still aren’t sure what they’ll get out of it. Won’t Uncle Fred’s mid-nineties camcorder set up on a tri-pod in the back of the church do the same thing? Or an iPhone?
Well…no. Not even close. Your wedding video is like a mini-movie of your dream day; it will be the window through which you can walk to relive the incredible feeling of your wedding day. To hear how loud everyone cheered when the minister pronounced you officially married. To catch the tremor in your dad’s voice as he delivered his wedding toast. To watch you disappear into your newlywed’s eyes as you slow danced to your song. Photos do a wonderful job of telling the story of your wedding day, freezing moments in time in a way video can’t always match. But to watch your special day come alive again is an experience every single bride and groom deserve.
So, yes, wedding videography is definitely “worth it.” I know that tacking on yet another wedding vendor can feel overwhelming, so I want to offer this handy checklist of questions you can reference when researching and hiring your wedding videographer. I came up with this list having closely worked with videographers on numerous occasions, and with the help of my friend Jen who owns Green Mountain Photo + Film. Jen is based here in Asheville and produces absolutely beautiful work! I’ve included a short feature on Jen and her business at the end of this post, so be sure to catch it!
Let’s tackle the two most common questions I hear about wedding videography:
What is the point of having my wedding filmed when I already have a photographer?
What should I budget for a videographer?
Well, I think I already covered question one above. A wedding video allows you to truly experience the day as you lived it, and to even see it again through fresh eyes. Sometimes we’re so emotional on our wedding day that we wish we could do it again without all the nerves — a wedding video comes pretty close to that! That being said, it takes a lot of hours on your actual wedding day plus more time afterwards in the editing process to put together a professional wedding video. Be prepared for your wedding videography to come in at four figures. While every videographer charges their own rates, most will fall in the range of $1500-3000.
Now that we’ve established the “why” and “how much,” here is every question you should have your wedding videographer answer before you book them!
Wedding Videography Vetting & Brass Tacks
- What exactly do you cover? Do you film everything on our wedding day?
- How many hours of coverage do you offer? Can we customize our package to get everything we want covered?
- How will you coordinate filming our wedding with our photographer and other vendors? Can everyone fit and not interfere with one another?
- Do you offer drone coverage?
- Are you the videographer who will actually be filming our wedding or will it be someone else I haven’t met?
- What parts of the wedding day do you capture?
- What is your video style — cinematic or documentary? What is the difference?
- What type of video or film format do you use?
- How is audio/sound handled?
- Do you offer HD-ready video?
- How many cameras and operators will be needed to film the ceremony and reception?
- How many other weddings or events will you shoot on my wedding day?
- What are your cancellation and refund policies?
- Do you have proof of insurance?
- Do you require a deposit? When is the remaining balance due?
- Is there flexibility in our ‘start’ and ‘end’ times on the day of the wedding?
- Do you use additional lights during the reception? Will they be unobtrusive? Can the lights be dimmed?
- Is there a charge for staying later in the evening if something important comes up?
- Do you have backup equipment in case of gear failure?
- Are my guests going to be aware you’re there?
- What is your process for backing up the footage immediately after the wedding?
Editing & Delivery
- What is your editing process like?
- How long will it take to edit my wedding video?
- How long will the final video run?
- Is the final video delivered on a DVD, Blu-ray, USB, or online?
- Will final video be in HD or possibly 4K?
- How many copies will we get?
- Do you allow a preview before final delivery? Can we make changes to the film once we’ve seen it for the first time?
- Does the final video use dialogue from the wedding day or is it more of a music video?
- Can we select the music for the wedding video?
- Can you use commercial/popular music in our wedding video?
- Can you keep the film private for only our families to see?
Trust me, your videographer will be impressed to know you are so well-versed in their process and so on top of your bridal planning game!
As I mentioned earlier, I want to introduce you to my friend Jen of Green Mountain Photo + Film before we wrap up. I just can’t talk wedding videography without thinking of Jen! I have had the privilege of working with her closely on not only weddings but also personal branding packages for local professionals and believe me, Jen always delivers no matter the client. (She created the video for my ‘About Me‘ page on my site and I’m ob-sessed with it!) We also “get” each other on a personal level. Jen and I have a very similar work ethic, we both love Jesus and laughing ’til our bellies hurt, and we believe in serving our clients to the highest degree. As a photographer, having a trusted videographer I can seamlessly work with is huge!
Jen lives and works with her husband, Brian, and they share two beautiful daughters, Piper and Londyn. She’s been doing videography for thirteen years and is just as passionate now as she’s ever been! Jen relishes getting to know her clients and diving into what they envision for their dream day. She loves to know exactly what they see in their minds eye so she can capture it with her camera!
Working with Jen enabled me to come up with this comprehensive list of questions to ask your wedding videographer. Here are a few tidbits about how Jen operates and what she offers!
- Green Mountain Photo + Film is a fully-insured videography service located in the Asheville, NC area.
- Jen works with all of her couples to customize a package that balances their needs, timeline, and budget.
- She can shoot in either a cinematic or documentary style, depending on the couple’s preference.
- She offers drone coverage, perfect for capturing the local majestic mountain scenery.
- All wedding videos are delivered in HD format on a USB drive with an auxiliary online digital copy.
- Her biggest asset is her ability to blend in! Her clients always compliment how unobtrusive she was during the wedding festivities and marvel at how much detailed footage she gets without being seen!