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Top Tips for Getting the Best Wedding Video

Wedding videography packages range from $1,000 to more than $15,000, and the styles are just as varied. Use these tips to help you find the perfect pro to get a video that’s so good you’ll watch it on repeat well past your first anniversary.

1. Hire the Person Whose Style Most Closely Matches Yours

Just like photographers, videographers take different approaches to their craft. Documentary-style videos present the events chronologically, without many special effects, while a cinematic film is generally more dramatic, using interesting angles for a Hollywood-movie feel (these are just two options of many).

2. Take Finding a Videographer As Seriously As You Do Your Photographer

Unfortunately, hiring a videographer seems to get pushed back somewhere between welcome bags and favors—and it’s just too important for that C-list slot on your long list of to dos. Planning ahead always pays off, so flag money in your budget for your videographer from the beginning. If you make videography a priority, you’ll see it in the end result—a film of your wedding day that comes out exactly as you imagined it would.

3. Subscribe to Vimeo

There are plenty of places to find wedding videographers, but Vimeo is the preferred spot for most A-list picks to post their recent work. Aside from the big videography community, you can easily search by location and even wedding venue to find clips from your reception venue and get ideas. And because all wedding videos are not created equal, when watching sample videos, there are a few things to keep in mind. A good film will be well lit, have easy-to-understand audio and appropriate music, and be edited so that transitions are smooth and special effects complement the story.

4. Embrace the Professional Referral Factor

People like your photographer and wedding planner have worked with videographers in the past and will be able to suggest filmmakers they’ve liked or that they’ve heard good things about through previous clients. Many photography studios also offer videography, and it usually makes sense to book a package for both. A pair of pros from the same company will have an easy working rapport and use that to get you great shots.

5. Seek Out Reviews

Even if you feel like you’ve found the perfect fit after leaving the studio, you should still do your due diligence and call references (as well as reading opinions online). Ask questions like: Did he capture the most important parts of your wedding? Was he a positive presence throughout the day? Overall, were you happy with the final film? Keep in mind that if the reference was married a year or more ago, things that seemed like a big deal then could matter less now. It’s a red flag if the bride starts out with a sentence like, “The video came out great, but…” The bride may not care now that the videographer showed up late, but you should be wary.

6. Meet Them in Person Before You Decide

You need to feel at ease with your videographer. (They’ll be following you around on your wedding day, after all!) It’s best to meet them in person, but Facetime or Skype also works well in a pinch. Once you’ve met with one or two potential pros, ask to see a full video or two (clips only tell part of the story and you want to know what your entire film might look like).

7. Get the Most Out of Your Contract

Your contract should include the coverage time (as in, how long your videographer will be at your venue), how many shooters you’ll have, an itemized list of the finished product (highlight reels, trailers, digital media files), nitty-gritty logistical details (time and location), cancellation policies and, of course, the fee. If it’s not outlined in the contract, don’t assume you’re going to get it. Any extras, like an engagement video session or a same-day edit, need to be in there. If they’re not and you want them, ask about it. Also double-check that your package includes the important things: a second shooter (so your video can be edited to include at least two perspectives, like your walk down the aisle and your fiancé’s face), an edited video between 5 and 25 minutes and coverage of both the ceremony and reception.

8. Don’t Micromanage

You’re hiring someone for their experience and talent (not just their equipment). Trust your decision. On the day of, you shouldn’t feel like you need to direct them or keep your eye on them. If you’ve truly done your research and fully vetted your videographer, you should have complete confidence in them.

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