What Questions Should You Ask Your Wedding Videographer
Choosing a wedding videographer is one of the best experiences you can have during your wedding planning. If you are in process of finding the best wedding videographer for your big day then make sure that you have watched tons of wedding films. Most professionals post their work on Vimeo and/or YouTube. I recommend Vimeo.
When you are looking for a wedding photographer, you look a their style, their mood and their tone before paying a deposit and securing your wedding date. Afterwards, you brag to your family and friends about your amazing videographer you booked on Facebook (maybe some of you guys).
Well, when you sit down to search for your top wedding videographer, make sure you have a style in mind, the music you are feeling for your wedding film, and the emotions you want the overall video to render to your viewers and the future YOU!
If you are doing a google search of the "best wedding videographer in Dallas", "Austin's top wedding videographer", "Houston's best wedding video", you are not only wasting time but wasting tons of money. You want to make sure you have a wedding videographer that can make your dream wedding video. You need to have a style, a budget, and a list of end products in your mind. The best way to search for a wedding videographer is by word of mouth. Ask your married friends, facebook friends, facebook wedding groups for a list of recommendation. Instagram is always a great visualizing platform to scroll through. On Google, you can search for local wedding videographers and compare work to understand the style.
When you have chosen a handful of wedding videographers to enquire within, you need to watch your wedding videographer's films and look at their price/package breakdowns before scheduling a consultation.
Following is the list of all the questions we think you should ASK your wedding videographer--
Before starting with the in-depth lists, make sure to start with, "How did you get into filming weddings? How long have you been doing this?"
1) Are you available for my wedding date? If so, are you only filming my wedding that day or do you have other weddings scheduled?
WHY: There are many wedding videographers out there that fill up their schedules each weekend. They not only work a wedding Friday through Saturday but they also double or triple book weddings with a team they have built. The style of the wedding owner can be different than the style of the team they have hired.
2) Following questions #1, are YOU filming my wedding?
WHY: One of the most important things that every couple should remember is, they must have a meeting with the wedding videographer that will be present on your wedding day. Building a relationship with your videographer before the wedding is vital. It helps the couple connect with their videographer so when the wedding day arrives, the videographer is easily able to communicate with the couple and go with the flow of the wedding.
3) Have you worked with other wedding photographers? How well do you work with them?
WHY: When the wedding day arrives, you want your day to go smoothly. You want all your vendors to work as a team to provide you with the best day possible. Some photographers or videographers write in their contract that they only work with their own team. They will not work with the other photographer or videographer hired by the couple. If you are hiring the same company for photography and videography then you will be fine. If you are hiring two separate vendors for each service then make sure to ask and review their contracts.
Majority of photographers and videographers love working each other but I have heard many stories of photographers coming into a videographer's shot and vice-versa, jeopardizing the art that is ultimately captured for the couple. What's the solution: I always ask my clients to give me their photographer's contact info., so I can reach out to them prior to the wedding and coordinate our shots and positions. Some photographers prefer to meet and discuss on the actual day, which I highly advised against. I recommend photographers and videographers be prepared in advanced even if it's via an email communication.
4) What events of the wedding day will you capture?
WHY: Every videographer has a different style and depending on their work flow, they will capture particular things of the day. If you have a specific request then that should be discussed with the videographer at the meeting. My team captures everything from the prep of the day till the exit around midnight.
5) When will you arrive on the wedding day? How many hours of coverage will you provide?
WHY: The best time to arrive is when the bride is about to start on the make-up. Sometimes brides ask the videographer to come early to film the set-up and do dress shots. I have been able to get some nice shots of the makeup, the wedding dress and the venue when the bride is about to start on the make-up from scratch.
The hours of coverage depends on the package you purchase. Most popular sets of hours are; 6, 8, 10, and 12. Most weddings average around 8-10 hours. I think all the videographers should arrive during prep and leave when the dance floor opens or when the exit happens.
6) How much do you charge for staying over time on the wedding day?
WHY: Sometimes events are running late and asking all your vendors to stay late is necessary. It's always important to remember that these vendors have been on their feet all day and are working hard for your wedding. If you ask them to stay later than expected then please be kind to compensate them per hour that goes over. Vendors have families, lives and bills to pay so take care of them and they will take care of you.
7) How many cameras will you use to capture our wedding? Will there be a second or third shooter?
WHY: Depending on the package you purchase, you will have a better idea of how many video shooters will be provided. Some videographers work with one camera during the entire wedding, while others, have a main camera on the monopod and a wide shot on a tripod as a second angle. I always recommend to the couples that it is wise to have at least 2 wedding videographers on your wedding day. This will help capture full coverage and allow the video team to not miss any of the important moments. This also helps a lot in the cutting room especially if you are ordering a full feature.
8) How will you edit the highlight reel? What all will be included? What audio will you use? How long will it be?
WHY: Everyone has a different style when it comes to editing a highlight reel. You want to make sure to let the videographer know any important moments you want in your wedding video. If they are using audio as a voiceover, you can definitely ask to help in the selection process. I have had clients who want speeches as voice overs. I have had clients who want their vows as voice overs. I have had clients who want no audio but just music in their film. After enquiring about the length of the highlight film, you will have a better clue of what all you would want to see in your final film. Your wedding videographer should help you with the music selection process (#10).
9) Will you mic us during the wedding ceremony?
WHY: The audio from the ceremony must be clear and crisp, especially from the vows in your ceremony. This can severely help lessen the wind and background noise. The wedding videographer should mic the groom. Brides are usually not mic'd because majority of them have a white dress on. Your wedding videographer should have a decent external audio recording device that clips into the groom's pocket. Some mic both the groom and the priest. The mic from the groom picks up the bride's voice.
10) What type of music will you use in our wedding film? Will it be copyrighted?
WHY: You should never ask your wedding videographer if he/she can use "A Thousand Years" by Christina Perri. This song is overrated and makes a terrible soundtrack for a wedding film. Your wedding is unique and special. Your wedding videographer will provide you with a list of websites where copyrighted music will be bought to be used in your wedding video. Everyone has a different style of music. You should provide your favorite music genres to the videographer.
We use mostly instrumental tracks with strings to give an emotional response to our wedding films. It's our style and what we are passionate about capturing. When you choose your wedding videographer, get a sense of their music from their samples of work. A professional wedding videographer should always license their music.
11) How will you edit the full feature? What will it all include? How long will it be?
WHY: A full feature is contingent upon what all you want to see as a couple in the future. The cut can be artistic, experimental, classic, straightforward, etc. Most features include full ceremony edit, full dances, and speeches. Others include a montage of prep, creative hour and an open dance floor. I have seen work of other videographers where they have made a feature ranging from 15 mins., 20 mins., 30 mins., 40 mins., 1 hour, or longer.
12) Will you use any lights during the reception?
WHY: One of the things I believe is mandatory when planning the wedding is looking at the lighting. A good venue is not without good lighting. It can make a huge difference in the pictures, video and the mood of your guest on your wedding day. A wedding videographer will use his/her lights on stands during the events of the reception indoors or outdoors during the night. Using candlelights, stage lights and party lights during the open dance floor can all bring liveliness to your reception.
13) To stay within your style, how can we help in making this film beautiful?
WHY: If you want a great film from you investment then you will have to establish a connection with your wedding videographer. Tell him/her about your personality, how two of you met, your favorite music and how you fell in love. Tell your wedding videographer the type of energy you guys have that can be crafted into a wedding film. Some of my favorite styles are avant garde, cinematic, and experimental. Matching the style and music with the couple can produce a strong, compelling love story. We are passionate about filming love stories and it all starts by getting to the couple.
I have seen wedding films where the couple connects with the camera lens throughout the day. I have seen wedding films where the couple is lip-syncing to a music video. I have seen wedding films with experimental vibrant colors and electronic music in the background with an overall seductive tone.
When a couple brings their personality to the table and it clicks, with the style of the wedding videographer, you will get an amazing piece of film in the end.
14) How will you deliver the final product?
WHY: Most wedding videographers do digital delivery. It's the most easiest and fastest means of distribution. You may find some vendors that can still produce you a DVD or Blue-Ray.
15) How long will you keep the wedding data after delivery?
WHY: Every wedding videographer has a different storage restrictions. Some keep the date for a lifetime while others erase it weeks after delivery. One of the things I recommend to every client is that they purchase the raw footage from their wedding videographer and store them in multiple hard drives. I would want that for my wedding.
16) When will you deliver the final product?
WHY: Newly weds sometimes get anxious about their wedding video that they have to wait for. Depending on the package you ordered, some edits can take longer than expected. Allow your wedding videographers time to craft your final product. The average time of delivery from wedding videographers is 3 months.
17) Is the final product delivered in HD?
WHY: There is 1080p, 2k, 4k, 6k, 8k, 10k and more. Cameras are developing everyday. The videographer you hire should be able to deliver in at least 1080p HD.
18) How many revisions do we get after watching our films?
WHY: Wedding videographers provide limited revisions with your package before charging you by the hourly rate to edit. If you need to make an adjustment in the highlight reel or the feature then make sure to discuss the revision process in your consultation. Wedding videographers will do their best to capture that particular relative in your family but don't overwhelm your wedding videographer with people to follow. At the end of the day, the wedding videographer will definitely recognize the entire immediately family and the friends you love dancing next you and...they have made it into the film.
19) How much is the deposit to secure the wedding date? When is the remaining balance due?
WHY: Wedding videographers like to book their weekends as soon as they can. It's important that you make a deposit to book your wedding videographer. Today, you can hire a wedding videographer as far as a year and a half in advance or even two weeks before the wedding. Percentage of deposits can vary from 20% to 75%. Almost all wedding videographers require the full payment to be completed by the wedding day.
20) What is your cancellation policy?
WHY: If you book a wedding videographer for your big day, remember to read their contract thoroughly. Videographers have refundable or non-refundable deposits. If you invest in a wedding videographer, you should comply by the rules in the contract. Some wedding videographers allow the non-refundable deposit to be used for another date.
If you think there are more questions that a couple should ask a wedding videographer then feel free to comment below.
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