5 Questions You Need to Ask Yourselves Before Hiring a Wedding Videographer

Your answers will help you determine if a video team is the right fit for your big day.

bride and groom look at videographer's camera

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A picture might be worth one thousand words, but when it comes to capturing your wedding day, a video is priceless. While it’s been easy to write video footage off as a wedding day relic—something that your parents might have on VHS, but doesn’t necessarily fit in with your digital diet—the rise of Reels and TikTok videos have made hiring a videographer all the rage once again.

“Wedding films have come a long way since the 1980s and ‘90s,” explains Cindy Caughey, co-owner and operator of Harborview Studios, a New England wedding cinematography studio. “Cinematography has really found its footing in the wedding world by using the art of storytelling along with a more discriminating eye of the filmmaker. It’s become a true art with a lot of thought and preparation put into it months in advance.”

Though fantastic footage can be a wonderful gift that you and your soon-to-be-spouse can enjoy for years to come, a videographer may not be as integral to your day as say…well, a caterer or day-of coordinator. And, in today’s modern world where most of your guests are inches away from a smartphone, you might be tempted to skirt the additional cost and DIY your memories. Hiring a videographer ultimately boils down to personal preference, but how are you supposed to make that decision?

Allow the questions below to provide guidance on just how important a videographer is to your special day. If you are ready add a videographer to your vendor list, we also shared some tips for finding the best fit.

Meet the Expert

  • Cindy Caughey is a co-owner and operator of Harborview Studios, a New England wedding cinematography studio.
  • Deliece Knights-Barnett is the founder and CEO of Tri-State based Dahlia Events.
  • Alicia Mae is a principal planner at ILE Events in New Jersey.

How Do You Like to Relive Memories?

While small clips will be perfect for posting on your feed or circulating with your wedding party, very few people will enjoy your entire footage quite like you and your partner. But, before you decide to hire a videographer, think about how you two generally like to relive life’s biggest (and smallest) moments.

“Though the era of social media and video consumption has changed drastically, some couples cringe at the idea of reliving their day and any awkward moments that might have happened during the day via video,” says Deliece Knights-Barnett, founder and CEO of Dahlia Events in the Tri-State area. “Many couples do not like to hear themselves speak or see themselves dance, so would prefer to look at still photos instead of video footage.”

Do you and your fiancé walk down memory lane with some throwback videos, or even mash up your own for TikTok? If so, a videographer can be an excellent addition to your wedding team. But, if the mere thought of listening to your vows makes you squirm with discomfort, it might be best to stick with photos.

How Would a Videographer Factor Into Your Budget?

In a perfect world, you and your fiancé would have a “sky’s the limit” approach to the planning process. But since money doesn’t exactly grow on trees, it’s important to pick and choose your wedding’s “wow” moments. Every couple has non-negotiables that will make their nuptials a memorable milestone—be it multiple outfit changes, craft cocktails, or a special DJ from Ibiza—so you’ll want to understand where videography fits into the grand scheme of things. If great content is at the very top of your wedding wish list, go for it. However, Knights-Barnett says some couples view videos as “‘nice to have’ versus a ‘must-have’” and recommends waiting until you’ve booked all of your vendors to see if you can afford a videographer.

What Kind of Footage Are You Looking For?

Speaking of budget, you and your partner should think about what type of content you’re looking to receive—and whether or not a videographer is the best bang for your buck. If you want videos of the big moments like the kiss or the first dance, Knights-Barnett says a few smartphone shots can get the job done. That said, if you are hoping to receive continuous coverage or raw footage, reach out to a videographer and see what their packages entail.

“Videographers usually offer packages and the end product may not align with what the couple wants,” shares Alicia Mae, principal planner at ILE Events in New Jersey. “If you want social media formatted videos or raw footage to be added to their packages, make sure to discuss this during the booking process.” Caughey says that most cinematic terms might be completely foreign to couples, so ask a videographer to explain any unfamiliar jargon.

Does Your Photographer Know the Prospective Videographer?

Picture this: You and your fiancé were just pronounced married and are leaning in for that highly-anticipated kiss when you spot your photographer and videographer nudging each other out of the way to get the shot. Okay, hopefully that won’t happen. However, you want to make sure that your photographer and videographer will work well together. (Simply put, they’re both in charge of getting all the best content for the day, so they need to be set up to succeed.)

“Take the time to communicate with your photographer who you are considering to get their insight,” adds Mae. “Your photo and video teams will have to work alongside each other to capture the day and it's better if they are familiar with each others' processes to seamlessly produce a stellar end product.” 

From a practical standpoint, Knights-Barnett says it’s a good idea to carve out some time to look into your photographer and potential videographer’s image and footage rights. “It is imperative that couples focus on both contracts to ensure that there are no conflicts with respect to image and other rights,” she says. “Couples should also look for language that specifies time of service, number of shooters, and information on collaboration with other vendors to ensure that booking that vendor will not be in violation of other contracts."

Is There a Videographer That Matches Your Aesthetic? 

Decided you want to hire a videographer? Great, now you just need to find one that suits your needs. While budget and availability are two crucial factors to consider, Caughey recommends finding a videographer who matches your aesthetic. “Hiring a studio that specializes in dark and moody and asking them to copy someone else’s style is a mistake,” she says. “It won't be their strength and it’s not likely to come out the way you envisioned.” 

And, since your videographer is going to be by your side on one of the most important days of your life, it’s a good idea to pick a team that matches your personality, too. “You might be impressed with their work and their credentials, but if you’re low-key and hire someone who’s edgy or has a quirky, off-the-wall personality, it is going to stress you out,” Caughey adds. But, once you find a videographer that ticks off all of the boxes, all that’s left to do is get ready for your closeup.

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