Wedding Video 101

Getting married is a once in a lifetime celebration that is centred on you. They come in many styles, sizes and are all truly unique. We understand that this is an exciting and overwhelming experience when it comes to choice. What we hope to accomplish in this short memo is provide an outline to help you find the right Videographer for your unique day.

Step 1. Experience

It is quite common for people starting out in the video production business to begin by making wedding videos because they mistakenly see weddings as an easy way to get started. This is why the market is saturated with photographers and videographers. Since the industry is unregulated, it makes finding similarities in pricing difficult and confusing, which leaves you frustrated and indecisive. Experience is what separates a part-time cameraman from a professional videographer, so be sure to ask your potential videographer the following questions:

* What video format will you use?

  1. -Size: 1920 x 1080 and 1280 x 720 are HD formats, which are the frame sizes in pixels.

  2. -Frame Rate: 24p and 30p are the most acceptable frame rates, which will give you a cinematic look and feel. For dramatic, authentic slow-motion, your videographer will shoot in 60p which makes it an acceptable and popular frame rate.

  3. -DVD vs. Blu-ray


* Do you have sample videos I can see?

  1. -no samples, no business. A reputable video production company will be shooting minimum 2 events per week, which should provide you with a substantial portfolio of samples.

* How long have you been in business?

  1. -College and University do not count as experience, nor does making YouTube videos. The only acceptable experience will come from working with broadcasters or live event production companies. Remember, your wedding is a live event, not a film studio production that allows for several takes. Your videographer must be able to capture those unscripted moments, and anticipate the action.


* What kind of video equipment will you use?

  1. -The most popular camera for shooting live events are DSLR cameras which were traditionally built for professional photographers. Over the last 5 years, Canon, Nikon and Sony have advanced the technology to allow videographers to use DSLRs by adding HD video recording capabilities. They are lightweight, portable, capture amazing images and allow the operator to use interchangeable lenses. XD cameras are the traditional tool used to capture video which are heavier, however have infinite recording time which is ideal for capturing speeches and your ceremony. A combination of these tools is necessary to create the highest quality product.

* How many cameras do you use?

  1. -As many as needed. One camera per videographer is the rule of thumb. When negotiating price, it is easy to replace a camera operator with a tripod, however it conjures more risk without the frame and levels being monitored. It is highly recommended to have minimum 2 camera operators because often times there are multiple events/priceless moments happening at once. For larger weddings, be prepared for to add more cameras because you have a larger canvas to cover.

* Do you use wireless microphones, if so how many?

  1. -These are a must! Sound is incredibly important as it connects verbal emotion to your dramatic frame. Speeches will require an in house feed along with a back up microphone at the podium.

*Do you have a written contract?

  1. -Probably the most important feature next to experience. A contract will ensure you get exactly what you want, and the videographer will be crystal clear with regards to your expectations. Be extremely weary of those who do not use contracts or take deposits, because there will be nothing to stop them from walking away.

  2. -Just as you are expected to set aside a deposit on your hall, the same is required for video production. A non-refundable deposit of 10% is standard. The balance is typically due 30 days before the wedding. This will be specified in your video production contract and may differ between vendors.

*Will the shoot interfere with the proceedings in any way?

  1. -Unless specified to do so, the videographers should be unobtrusive and capture moments as they happen. Experience will dictate their ability to work around the ever-changing environment. A solid tripod and camera zoom will capture every moment without invading your space. Steady-cam and shoulder mounts will also be used to ensure mobility and fluid camera movement.


*Do you work with the photographer to ensure mutual cooperation?

  1. -Working with others is a standard necessity in the wedding industry. If this element is of any question, change your vendor because cooperation is the key to a smooth successful event.

Step 2. Style, Expectations, Budget


Different production companies have different styles and you should choose one which you are comfortable with and will reflect your wedding theme. Common styles include:

*Fly-on-the-wall, reality-TV style

*Documentary, including interviews, voice-overs, etc

*Artsy, expressive, cinematic styles


Weddings are live events which bear witness to some amazing unscripted scenes and beautiful candid moments. Experienced videographers will come heavily prepared with backup tools, and procedures, however it is important to be flexible when managing your expectations of the final product. Giving your video producer as much information as possible beforehand will ensure your video crew is fully prepared for all variables.


The most important factors affecting the budget are wedding size, length, and post-production assets. A larger wedding requires more coverage and a larger crew. Depending on the length of your day, be prepared to budget more for your video crew. It is most common for videographers to work 10 hour days which includes transportation. Post-production assets are the video vignettes that break up your day. Based on the length of each event, and the quantity of segments, be prepared to adjust your budget accordingly.

Making good wedding videos is an expensive business and professionals need to charge a lot of money to turn a fair profit. You should regard cheap quotes with suspicion. Prices vary so much from place to place, but professional videography is usually at least as twice as expensive as professional photography. Remembering that most videos require several days of skilled labour with expensive equipment, and longer editing time so you can see why good video production costs a lot.