you want a wedding film you're going to be in love with
We’ve all heard enough wedding film disaster stories to last a lifetime. Brides who couldn’t wait to get their wedding film back only to be met with disappointment. Your wedding memories are far too important to have that happen so we’re going to make sure you’re not one of them.
I’m going to go over how to fool-proof your wedding videographer choice. Because you’re more likely to get something you don’t like when you focus on the wrong things (mainly getting the very best deal).
How To Hire The Right Wedding Videographer To Get An Amazing Wedding Film
Start by going to their website and take a few minutes to look around. Not just to the homepage and to their portfolio page and then bounce… but really dig in. Is the online experience a good one? Is it easy to use, walk through, find what you need. It might sound silly but these are important and subtle signs of professionalism.
Pay attention to these cues, they’re all telling you something.
Get to know about your potential videographer’s personality
Your family heirloom is in their hands—You want to completely love and trust these people
Your videographer will be with you all day long and you’ll want to be sure their personality is a good fit for you. You may not want to be best friends for life, but you should want to be able to have a fun time interacting with them and that means having a good working rapport with people who genuinely care about you and your wedding.
Sift through their blog, Facebook page, Instagram. Interact with them over email (or the phone) and see if they have a personality you can gel with.
Do they make you laugh? Are they giving you the high-pressure sales pitch? Do they answer your questions in a way that makes you comfortable? These are very important cues you need to pay attention to when you consider hiring someone to film your wedding.
Wedding films are an investment that you keep forever, so it’s important to choose wisely. Because you can’t return a bad wedding video for a better one.
Let's role-play a bad wedding video scenario for a hot second
We’ve all seen the upset bride in wedding forums ask how she should talk with her videographer about her disappointing wedding film. 100% of the time, everyone will tell her to ask for the raw footage (presumably to get someone else to edit it and make it better).
Here’s why asking for the raw footage doesn’t work as a solution to a bad wedding film.
First and foremost, that footage is copyright protected, and the ONLY person who can edit it is the original videographer. That is standard across the board (your photography is treated the same way as well).
Hard stop. The end.
Even if we COULD re-edit your footage into a new film (or you do find a videographer/editor with questionable ethics to edit the copyright-protected raw footage—and if you do you’re still not learning from your previous mistake, btw).
- it’s going to be expensive because editing takes a long time and if you’re handed a bunch of footage you didn’t shoot—you have to go through hours of footage to see what is usable. That is part of the editing process and you pay for that time.
- (This is the hard truth) There’s no way to fix bad quality filming. If someone did a mediocre job and just didn’t know how to color correct that might be fixable. But if the footage is shaky and blurry, the audio is poor quality—9 times out of 10 that can’t be fixed (or just minimally fixable).
There’s an old saying… “Crap in, crap out.” (I didn’t say it was eloquent.) There is no fallback to a bad wedding film to nail a great film you have to have a foundation of excellent footage and audio first. If you don’t have that, you don’t have anything to work with.
If an amazing wedding film is a top priority of yours then treat finding and hiring an amazing videographer like the priority it is. Meaning, don’t confuse your priorities. If high-quality is your thing then don’t combine it with bargain hunting.
Know Your Videographer’s Artistic Style And Skill Level
PROTIP #1. Know what you want and then only look for that. If you want a bright, colorful, fun, and upbeat wedding film—don’t reach out to a videographer whose samples are all dark and moody with sad music.
Every videographer has a signature look and feel for their films. You COULD ask them to make an exception for you, but why on earth would you want to? You have no idea what your film would end up looking like (only what you’d hope it would look like). If it’s not their specialty, you’re opening the door for a really disappointing experience. Don’t do it.
PROTIP #2. Watch sample films on something other than your phone. When possible, you should view samples on the screen you’ll be watching your wedding film on. A film will look differently on your 60-inch 4k television than on your 6-inch phone.
When you view the samples they’ve posted on their website or social media pages, bring your inner film critic out. Do the samples look like they were filmed in the ’90s? Do they have cheesy graphics edited in? Is their camera work dark and shaky? How’s the exposure? Is the footage grainy? If that’s the case, then stay away.
Portfolios are where videographers put the work they’re most proud of. And if that’s the best they have to offer, that’s a bad sign. One of the best ways to avoid this is to hire a professional that does this for a living. Not someone that does films weddings as a hobby or a side gig; it’s their full-time job.
“But the price is really attractive.” I hear ya; we all want to maximize our dollars. But a wedding video shouldn’t be decided on price alone. Which leads me to my next point.
Do Not Solely Focus On The Price Of Wedding Videography
Unless a videographer is severely undervaluing their own services, price typically dictates the level of professionalism and skill that you’ll receive from a wedding vendor. You might find a diamond in the rough, but that’s an exception, not the rule. There’s always a trade-off for cheap. Always. You know that. I know you know that because we’ve ALL compromised on quality for an irresistible deal that we’ve regretted.
Whether that was getting the lesser quality jeans with a killer sale so you could get an extra pair (that you ended up not liking because they made your butt look flat); cutting back on the good creamy lipstick that makes you feel like a goddess so you could get a mascara, too (and now you don’t use either one); or something else entirely. We’ve all done the regrettable choice thing. If you’re like me, you’ve done it more than once. The best thing you can do is learn from this.
Get what you love with all your heart. When has that failed you, ever?
If you’re deciding between two filmmakers, and all other things are equal—then and only then should those price comparisons come into play.
But if we’re being honest… rarely are all of those things ever equal. If you have a better rapport with Videographer A but Videographer B is $1,000 cheaper you better be picking Videographer A because they’re going to give you a better experience just because you like them better. Trust your gut instinct on that. Because you don’t want to be wishing you had gotten Videographer A on your wedding day when Videographer B’s rapport is just only OK.
You’re going to have this film forever—make sure you make an investment that will last the test of time.
Is The Videographer Really Good? Check Their Reviews
this is what to look for
It’s great to know other couples were so impressed they think all couples should hire that videographer RIGHT NOW. Except, that doesn’t really tell you anything specific about their experience with that team. All people don’t share the same priorities. Which means they’re all looking for different things in different vendors. So what are you looking for?
If you’re afraid of being overwhelmed on your wedding day—look for cues that the couple hardly noticed the videographer all day. If having a personal experience or are camera shy—look for language in the review where the videographers made the couple laugh and feel comfortable in front of the cameras.
Whatever is the most important issue to you is what you’re going to be picking through these reviews for.
Don't hire a videographer
Not until until you see a sample of the type of wedding film you’ll actually receive
Most wedding videographers will post sample trailers on their website and social media pages, but you’ll want to know exactly what your final, full-length film is going to look like. Ask them if those are full-length samples that you’ve seen (and if they aren’t, ask to see one). This way, there are NO surprises.
A talented and experienced professional can create something that not only will you treasure for the rest of your life, but it should be something your friends and family will enjoy just as much.
Your wedding video isn’t worth taking a gamble on. Do your research. Feel as confident about your vendors as you do about the person you’re about the marry. This. Is. The. ONE.
Do that, and you’ll end up with an amazing wedding video you’re gonna love.
You're Gonna Get A Beautiful Wedding Film
So long as you do your research and follow this advice, you have every thing you need to know to be confident in the search for a good videographer who will give you an amazing wedding film (and if you want even more, download our free guide at the bottom of this page).
I’ve had brides gush to me about how special their parent’s film is to them, even though it’s on VHS and falling apart. This is your family legacy, this film isn’t just for you it’s for your future kids and grandkids. And they’re going to LOVE this film.
Be as confident about your vendors as you are about the person you’re about the marry. This. Is. The. ONE. Do that, and you’ll end up with an amazing wedding video you’re gonna love.
And when you find the videography team you love, lock them down immediately. Videography is booking faster than ever. Book your videographer at least 12 months in advance anything less starts to put you in a tricky place.
Why not check out more of our totally unfiltered wedding videography advice?