You’ve decided you want to hire a wedding videographer. A great decision that you won’t regret, in particular with the right research! But how do you go about choosing the right one?! We’ve collected a few tips for you.
To start, you have to find the one. Much like you’ve found your future hubby or bride, you need to find the perfect videographer that you guys connect with. They need to connect with you on many levels. They are there to help you capture the vision of your wedding. These are memories that must be around for forever, for you and your family. There is some serious trust that is to be established here! When you start your search there are usually two avenues to try. One is heading straight to Google, and the other is using a site like The Knot to research vendors. Once you’ve found someone who looks promising WATCH THEIR WORK. We think this is the first and most important part of this process. You should know pretty quickly if you are a fan. You feel an emotional connection to their style and their story telling. It’s perfectly ok to not like someone’s style either, they can still be great videographers but not the right fit!
From here, it’s great to checkout their profiles and see if their reviews are good. or asking friends for recommendations, emailing, and then we encourage meeting up with them in person if possible. But what should you ask them to help you make a decision? Here’s a few ideas if they aren’t answered on their website or your first point of contact.
First and foremost….
Are you available on our date and at this location? Are there travel fees?
Obviously, you need to know if they are even available to film your wedding. Find out if there are any travel fees depending on where your wedding is located. If they aren’t available, see if they have any recommendations for a different videographer. We love recommending other great videographers in the area and beyond.
What are your packages and pricing?
Ultimately, you want to know how many hours they will film at your wedding and what type of video(s) they will create. Ask for samples of each type of video, even if they aren’t posted on their website. And of course, you need to know the price. If they don’t fit what you’re looking for, always ask if they are flexible to create a package specifically for your needs!
From there, ask them….
How long have you been doing this?
Your videographer could have little to no experience or years of weddings under their belt. It is definitely personal preference whether experience matters to you, but you should know a little history about your videographer. Why? You want make sure that their experience fits with their prices and their work.
What do you require to book (a down payment, signed contract, etc)?
A lot of times, you will be required to pay 30%-50% down payment (non refundable) to book your date. That is common practice. You should expect to sign a contract that outlines the services and expectations. A contract protects you, as well as the videographer, and we think they are essential. Ask any questions about the contract before you sign it if you don’t understand something.
How many videographers will be filming on my wedding day and who is the videographer?
It is pretty standard to have two videographers because two camera angles make for a much more interesting video. Check to see how many videographers you should expect on your wedding day. Also, if you hiring a bigger company (which we would not recommend), you might not even be emailing with the actual videographer. Just be aware of that.
How do you coordinate or work with my photographer and other vendors?
Your wedding videographer should work well with your other vendors, especially your photographer. They should be more than willing to talk with your photographer, wedding planner, etc to make sure they are all on the same page.
Do you attend the wedding rehearsal?
Ask them if they attend and/or film at the rehearsal. It may be included in the package, cost extra, or not an option. Local weddings obviously make it easier to attend rehearsals, and we like doing so to be able to stake out the ceremony location.
Will you or your equipment be obtrusive at our wedding?
We think, the best videographer will act as a “fly on the wall” during your day. They probably will have tripods they move around with them, but their equipment should be easy enough to carry around and follow the action. They should be able to stay out of the way for the most part and still film all the important moments. Your wedding ceremony or reception may be in a small space, so make sure that they can still do their job in tight quarters. They may have a small light on their cameras during the reception if it’s dark. Their equipment should not disrupt any part of your day.
Do you require anything of us on our wedding day?
You have more than enough going on during your wedding day that your videographer should take care of all details before your big day. Unless you have already planned some sort of interview during your wedding, they shouldn’t need anything from you except to mic you up before the ceremony.
Do you follow the same formula for every video or do you approach them differently?
The best videographer will not try to fit your wedding into a formula. Every couple, every story, and every wedding is unique, thus every video should be created differently. We think it’s important to become friends with who we work with. We want to know the ins and outs of your relationship and work with you to create a unique representation of your lives. Watch more than one video to see how they make each video special. You are paying for custom work and you deserve a unique video!
How do you choose music for the videos?
Your videographer should be purchasing licenses to legally use songs. These are usually not mainstream songs (otherwise the licenses would be hundreds of thousands of dollars), but they are still high quality artists. If they are using a song you hear on the radio, they could be sued and your video could be taken down from YouTube, Vimeo, etc. It’s just not a good idea. Even though you can’t choose your favorite song to be on your video, you could still give your videographer input into what kind of music you like. Make sure that they welcome your input and will take it into consideration. Or – give them creative reign and they’ll love you for that. 😉
How do you handle my footage?
This question doesn’t have to get technical, but just make sure that the videographer protects and backs up your footage. You want to receive your video safe and sound.
How long will it take you to create our finished project?
You should know when to expect your video(s) to be finished. In fact, it should say in your contract (as mentioned above). You don’t want your video back too quickly or too slowly, necessarily. Up to 6 months is perfectly acceptable if they are a popular videographer.
How are your videos delivered and how many copies do we receive? Can we share them online?
Make sure you find out how you will receive your videos in the end. How many copies are included in your package and how much is an extra copy? Are they delivered on DVDs, Blu-Rays, a flash drive, and/or delivered digitally? Do you have the right to share them online with friends and family? How long will your videographer keep your finished product in case you lose your copy?
All these above are great questions to ask! Dig deep into the people who are helping preserve this monumental day in your lives, see if you find that connection that sticks with you. Hopefully these questions and more will help you find the perfect videographers for your wedding. Good luck!