5 Questions To Ask Yourself Before Getting A Wedding Video
Not all couples plan on getting a wedding video.
It can be a hard decision to make when coming up with up with your budget and wedding overwhelm is real. There's so much to decide on and if you're not the kind of person that video is an immediate "YES!" trying to figure out if you actually want one can be a long process.
And when it's hard make that decision, booking a wedding video is often pushed to the last minute. Waiting until few months before the wedding to book wedding videography can be disastrous, especially when it comes to popular wedding dates (like any date in September).
Most upscale wedding videographers book their dates 6-12 months in advance—which can make getting your ideal videographer impossible and a more stressful search that it needs to be.
So how can this process be easier for you?
The 5 most common struggles couples have when deciding to get a wedding video
1. Are we really going to watch our wedding video?
There's a lot to the question of "should I get a wedding video if I'm not going to watch it ALL the time"?
And there's a lot more to unpack in that question that it first seems.
First, let's consider what a wedding video REALLY is. Because it's not like wedding photography.
A wedding video is the single closest thing to reliving your wedding that you can possibly have. There is no other way to hear your vows, watch your first dance, and listen to your toasts. Pictures don't have that ability.
For all the things in your wedding that you experience only ONE TIME—walking down the aisle, your vows, your first kiss as a married couple, first dance, the way your parents react, the heartfelt speeches that are given—even if you only watch your video once a year, wedding videography gives you the ability to experience all of it all over again.
Everything you invested to make your wedding what it is: your time, your heart, your energy, (and yes, that big chunk of money)… wedding videography lets you experience the result of your hard work of that as many times as you want.
It's an investment in life, in memories, and experiences and that investment is one that compounds with interest over the years so that decades later it’s utterly priceless.
So when it comes to whether or not it's worth it to get a wedding video—that value doesn't come from the number of times you watch it but the quality of the memories it preserves for you and your entire family.
So how do you figure out if it's something YOU really want?
I see a lot of brides in forums ask other women for validation on if it's worth getting wedding video or not. I can tell you for sure, that's not the place to figure that out for yourself because it's subjective for everyone.
For every person who hated their video and tells you it's just FOMO and don't waste your money there's going to be someone else loved their wedding video and they're going to tell you it's a must-have.
None of this means boo unless you know yourself. In the end, you're the only one who matters and the only person who knows you and your fiancé is you.
Consider your personalities. Are you introverted, extroverted, or an ambivert (a combination of the two). Do you watch wedding videos online of perfect strangers, get addicted, and cry? If so, then a cinematic wedding video is going to be up your alley.
This fact is still true: 98% of couples who decided against getting video regretted the decision immediately after their wedding because they didn’t realize they would miss so much of the day that they took over a year to plan.
An off the cuff “no” might be jumping the gun.
It’s important to think long term and of your family and friends, too. Do you have close relatives that would love to watch this? Are you planning to have a family of your own? Would you want to have your film for them to watch as they grow up?
Can we afford to get a quality wedding video?
Price alone should not dictate your wedding videography choice when you have room for videography in your wedding budget. So many times I see brides contemplating what to do with the extra money in their budget.
Zola's wedding planning survey actually found that couples #1 regret was not spending more on a wedding videographer. Not. Spending. More?! I know... hear me out.
Most of the time when people hate their wedding video is not because they're not wedding video people or unsentimental but because the wedding video isn't high quality. It doesn't represent them. The video doesn't tell a story. It doesn't have the intimacy that it should and therefore no connection. Of course you'd hate that! I'd hate it and think it was a waste of money, too.
Budget wedding studios tend to hire inexperienced freelancers who don't know the shots to get that will make a good story. The edit the videos indiscriminately, just kind of chopping and sticking it all together without feeling.
High quality wedding video is something you’ll have forever and that brings a lot of worth to the table.
Your wedding video has some of the highest return on investment of any wedding purchase you'll make because the wedding video watching experience is unlike any other. It's such an interactive experience and it's one you get to enjoy as often as you like. The feeling that returns when you watch your wedding video is incomparable to any other product because it takes you back in time.
Plus, many videographers (like us!) will be happy to work out payment plans with you but be wary of negotiating for low prices. Videographers know what they’re worth and they won’t offer a lower price without taking something away, usually time and effort, and a rushed product is hardly worth the savings you're trying to squeak out.
Sometimes you don't know you want video until just a couple months before your wedding day. It's trickier than you'd think to find a wedding videographer you're going to love so close to your wedding, especially if you're date is during a popular month. Here's what you need to know about getting a good wedding video at the last minute.
3. Do we want to add a wedding videographer to our growing vendor list?
Planning a wedding is both exhilarating and exhausting.
The average wedding uses 13 different vendors to pull their big day together and the thought of adding one more vendor can seem like it’s just too much to handle.
That said, video is a special kind of time capsule that even photographs can’t compete with.
Unlike photos which snap just a fraction of a moment, video captures the fluidity of your entire day. All of your wedding day's special moments, both big and small, are then edited together in a way that sweeps you both back up in that moment like it was just yesterday.
But you aren't going to find this experience with everyone. It's going to take extra effort into finding the right videographer for you—but it'll be worth it.
The earlier you start with your search for the perfect videographer the easier it’s going to be on your planning process.
4. Will it be awkward to have a video camera on us all day?
Rarely do I find someone who jumps up and down to have a camera pointed at them all day. To some degree we all kind of feel odd when we have a camera pointed at us. But when we immediately say "No! I hate being in front of the camera." It's not in the right frame of mind to think about wedding videography.
First, videographers are nearly indistinguishable from photographers and most of the time you and your guests can't tell if you're being filmed or having a picture taken (I have to tell people not to strike a pose all the time). When you're in the thick of your wedding you are not going to be thinking of performing for a camera. No one will be. It's just a wedding... and there happens to be cameras there.
Second, you want to make sure you hire a wedding cinematography team (like us) who have stand-back approach.
The first dance should just be you on the dance floor, not you and your video team people.
Unfortunately, sometimes even some very nice videographers end up in your face during your first dance (which is not only distracting to you but it ruins the shot for your wedding photographer who won't be able to commemorate the moment for you without getting the videographer in there).
This makes for a VERY cool shot for them. But you want to make sure you ask them about their method of shooting. How do they work with their clients? Be point blank. Ask them the exact thing you don't want to have happen. Get your answer up front, there's no need for you to be guessing and hoping.
A studio like ours respects your space. We don't get in your face, we don't direct, we don't orchestrate scenes, you aren't asked to perform. Everything comes out entirely natural.
5. What if I end up with a bad videographer and I get a wedding video I hate?
There’s plenty of proof throughout the internet that bad videographers exist but the best way to avoid a wedding video you won't watch is to make sure you hire someone with a solid reputation who shoots in a style that you are in love with, I mean totally and utterly adore. If you love vintage film, a modern videographer isn't gonna cut it for you.
Love the idea of feeling like your life is a movie? Make sure you hire someone who films and edits with a cinematic technique in mind because the sequential timeline of a documentary style wedding video isn't going to blow you away.
When you have something you love, you cherish it.
This goes for clothing, furniture, the same dish you order at your favorite restaurant. You know the quality you love.
Your wedding video is not the place to go with a studio that's good enough. Just good enough is the kind of movie that's watched once or twice and tossed in a drawer until your 10 year old kid finds it and watches it out of novelty for the weird clothes everyone was wearing and they make fun of your hair (I *never* did this to my mother, ever... ahem).
Trust your friends recommendations. Trust your photographer. And if you're the first in your crowd to get married, do what you need to do to get to know your vendors. We take pride in developing relationships with all our clients.
We're completely invested in the outcome of our clients wedding and their final film. We're in touch with them all the way from their first encounter with us to their first anniversary (and sometimes even beyond).
Use your best judgement when picking a wedding videographer
Seasoned professionals will be a higher investment. But it's worth it. You only buy one wedding video in your lifetime. You want to make sure you get exactly what you want because there are no retakes with this. You can't shoot a wedding video like you can reshoot wedding photos if you really need to.
Invest in a true professional. Their value is in their years of experience, eye for artistic composition, and stringent professionalism when it comes to working with you and other vendors (your photographer will thank you for this).
Be wary of falling into the shiny object trap. Just because you can get ALL OF THE THINGS in one videography studio's package doesn't mean they're a better value. When it comes to an experience, you need to focus on their skills and working relationship.
If a deal sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
We're Sean and Cindy of Harborview Studios, a husband & wife videography team who specialize in creating upscale wedding videos with just the right blend of fun and emotion. We're perfect for couples who are head-over-heels in love, delight in laughter, and savor the sweet moments in life.
You can find shooting weddings on Cape Cod, but we're down to travel for super fun couples who are planning a magical wedding experience outside of New England.