Wedding videos have come a long way since shaky home movies with handycams. Today, wedding videographers (and cinematographers) can create feature film-quality videos that will capture the sights and sounds of your day. Plus, you can relive the moments and share them on DVD for years to come. To make sure you end up with a video you’ll want to treasure, here are six things that will make your wedding video memorable:
1. A good relationship with the videographer
Research videographers in your area and check out their samples. Meet with a few that you like and ask to see full-length samples—as opposed to short clips—and take note of the quality and editing. Brian Carpenter, cinematographer and owner of Love Madly in Binbrook, Ontario, says it’s essential to establish a connection with your videographer. “Knowing the person in advance and feeling comfortable around them really helps to feel more relaxed on the day and it enables the videographer a better opportunity to capture details and special moments,” he says.
2. Have a vision or style in mind
Super 8mm film is making a comeback and can add a vintage feel to your video. “Love story” films can delve deeper into your story with interviews from family and friends. Or, stick with a traditional cinematic approach of music, footage and photos; be as creative or traditional as you want, but communicate your vision with your videographer. “Make sure that you feel as though their “style” is in line with what you are looking for in your own wedding film,” says Carpenter. “Be very open and honest about what parts of your day are most important and what might be less significant to you.”
3. Know the type of video you want
There are many options to consider when thinking about your video, such as length, sound and type of footage. For example, do you prefer black-and-white, colour or high definition? Carpenter says same-day edits, where footage from the day is quickly edited together to show at the reception, have become increasingly popular. If you want to capture more wedding moments on film, consider a save-the-date, engagement or even a trash the dress film.
4. Know what you’re getting and negotiate a contract
Although video packages vary, most include ceremony and reception coverage, equipment, staff and DVD copies. Make sure you know how much footage will be shot, how long the video will take to edit and how far in advance you need to book. Ask questions and work out details beforehand, but most importantly, know what’s going to happen on the day. “It’s important for couples to keep their videographer informed of what is about to happen so they can make sure their position, lighting and lens choice are optimal for capturing the moment as it happens,” says Carpenter.
5. Professional equipment
Even if you’re not tech savvy, it’s important to know what equipment and technology your videographer will be using. Make sure they are recording with digital equipment–ideally broadcast quality (unless you’re going Super 8)–and have backup equipment available. “By watching a full length edit from the studio you will be able to tell if the equipment is producing quality work. Be leery of companies who say that the samples they are showing you were created from older equipment and that what they are using now is better–they should have updated samples of their very best work to share with you,” advises Carpenter.
6. The right soundtrack
Picking a soundtrack for your video isn’t just about selecting your favourite songs. The music can set the mood, emotion and story of your video. Carpenter says to think of the music as the “soundtrack to your wedding story”. “It’s a great idea to share your musical preferences and the genre you like best with your videographer, but be open minded as well to what they feel will really fit the creative flow and make your film the best it can be,” he says.