You shouldn’t expect to hire a professional to film your wedding without having a clear idea about exactly what it is you’re getting. As a specialist wedding videographer based in Manchester, I understand that when it comes to your wedding, you want to be as sure as you can be. You want reassurance that all will be well on the day.
With this in mind, here are the kinds of questions you should be asking your wedding videographer before booking them.
When Are You Available?
Can you book your videographer’s services for the day you require? This is absolutely crucial and the sort of thing that does require planning, especially if you’re getting married in the spring or summer.
I do get booked up well in advance, but always ask the question, because cancellations happen, and people postpone their dates, so you never know…
Are You a Full-time Wedding Videographer?
I can’t stress enough that wedding videography is a specialist, film-making discipline.
Is your filmmaker a full-time professional, or someone who does it as a side-line on weekends? I’m not saying you won’t get a good film from a part-timer, but in terms of experience and commitment, someone dedicated to the task full-time is your best bet.
Will You Personally be Doing the Filming?
Is the person you’re talking to going to be the videographer who shows up on the day? This is vital: you want absolute confidence in your videographer, and their ability to deliver the creative vision they have for your wedding.
It’s no use communicating exactly what you want to someone who isn’t going to be there in person to see it through.
Some videographers will use a second camera and operator, but that’s okay so long as they remain in control of the whole thing, on site.
What Parts of the Wedding Will You Film?
Many videographers, including myself, offer a choice of packages. Typically these include the ceremony (providing the venue has given you permission to film), the celebrations and the speeches.
In the end, it’s all about telling the story of your wedding, and what will be crucial to this narrative.
But the package you choose will determine the level of storytelling.
Always meet your videographer in advance to discuss your requirements, so you know you’ll get a film including what you want from your wedding day.
The wedding videographer should also make it clear whether there are additional charges for staying late, or for travelling further than they normally would to the wedding location.
What Style Will the Film Be In?
Will the wedding film be cinematic, or more documentary-like? How will the videographer use music, and what music can, or will, they use? Also, how long will the finished film be?
These are all important, because you want the film to capture the essence of your wedding, but with that special, extra quality which will make you, and others, want to watch it.
A versatile videographer will tell your story in an individual way which utterly captures the mood of the day for you to relive again and again.
You should expect the filmmaker to retain creative control, while interpreting your requirements within the discipline of a professional wedding film.
Again, be clear from the start what you expect, and what the videographer is offering.
Can You Work with a Wedding Photographer?
A sound, wedding filmmaking professional will know how best to co-ordinate with a wedding photographer, so that each one captures essential elements without duplication and, crucially, without getting in one another’s way.
It’s not a case of one or the other: choose both, to get two unique perspectives of your wedding for you to cherish in the future.
How Soon Will it be Ready, and in What Format?
Obviously, creative considerations aside, you don’t want to have to wait ages for your completed film. You want to share this content with others soon after the wedding, especially if there are people who couldn’t make the day itself.
Your wedding videographer should clearly let you know how long they’ll take to edit the film so that it’s ready for you.
Also, you want to know how you’ll get it: will it be as a DVD or a USB stick, or online for downloading? Will the film be HD, or even 4K.
Be clear in advance what quality you should expect your finished wedding film to be.
What NOT to Ask
There are certain things you shouldn’t ask, such as how many videos they’ll be shooting that day. This is because a professional videographer will only be shooting one wedding on any single day – any more than this and they won’t be doing a thorough, professional, creative job.
Resist asking technical questions about kit, camera size etc… This is a big point and will put many professional videographers off taking your wedding on if you start asking how many cameras they film the ceremony with and where will they place the speeches cameras. All you need to know is that your wedding videographer won’t get in the way, but will be on hand to capture key moments and a full sense of narrative flow on the day.
And no, they won’t be making the film available on VHS.
The Proof is in the Pudding
If you want to get the best idea about what your wedding videographer’s work you need to view it for yourself.
I post examples of my wedding films online so you can check out my style of filmmaking.
In the end, this is what you’re hiring me for, so please take the time to see what I can do for you.
Hi, I’m Paul, a Manchester-based wedding videographer, filming weddings in Manchester, Lancashire and across the North West. Contact me about your wedding plans, and let me help you to relive your unique wedding memories on film.