Best Questions To Ask Your Wedding Videographer
Congratulations! You’re finally at the point where you’re ready to sit down and consider what you want in a wedding videographer. At this point, you should have locked down your wedding date and the venue it will be held at. Now that you know all of this, you can breathe a little easier.
Choosing the right wedding videographer is typically not as stressful of a process as the ones listed above, but if you fail to recognize some of the technical ins-and-outs you could be left with regret.
When it comes to video, we understand that everyone might not be the next Steven Speilberg. That’s why we put together a list of questions to guide you through the search for the perfect wedding videographer. We’ve sorted these questions into 3 categories: Introductory questions, Stylistic questions, and Technical Questions. Additionally, you can download a PDF checklist at the bottom of the page to print and take with you!
Introductory questions are meant to establish a baseline for your videographer search. These are usually answered on the videographer’s website itself or through an initial contact email or phone call. Your time is precious and there’s no use wasting it if one or many of these don’t align with your needs.
Do they have your wedding date available?
First and foremost, you want to establish if the videographer in question even has your date available. Great videographers will often book popular dates at least a year in advance. This is an easy way to filter out videographers that 100% will work out.
How long have they been in business and filming weddings?
It’s important to know what level of experience your potential videographer has. Weddings have many unique attributes to them and a newer videographer might not be able to handle it all. While it can be okay to give new videographers a break, you deserve the right to know this beforehand.
Will the videographer you’re speaking to be the one who will be filming your wedding?
While it’s not always a given that the person you’re speaking with will be the one filming your wedding, it’s good to get an understanding of what their team structure looks like and who will be in attendance on your special day. Also, look out for larger videography firms hiring out your wedding to videography networks for profit. These companies tend to have very little quality control and could lead to a disaster if they don’t properly vet their shooters.
How many videographers will there be filming at the ceremony and/or reception?
Piggybacking off of the previous question, it’s helpful to know how many videographers will be present on the day of your wedding. Having a vision or idea for the size and scope of your wedding is helpful in gauging what number is right. Smaller weddings can get away with a single shooter but typically professional videographers will send 2-3. On the inverse, you don’t want too many videographers crowding the floor if you’re planning a smaller wedding.
This information is sometimes included on the videographer’s website and is often based on their pricing packages, so do some research first and have a rough idea in mind of what you might need.
Which parts of the wedding do they capture?
Again, this can also be dependent on what package you choose to purchase. There are usually 3 standard parts of the traditional wedding day: pre-wedding preparation, the wedding ceremony, and the wedding reception. If your wedding strays from this format, it might be a good idea to get some clarity on how they plan to document it.
What is their style of videography?
There are a few different styles that have developed in the recent years of wedding filming. Typically, we categorize them into 2 major groups: Documentary and Cinematic.
- Documentary: This is just as it sounds. The videographer is there to document the day with very little or no additives. Maybe you recognize this style from your parent’s wedding VHS tape… if people still watch those.
- Cinematic: The newer more flashy style that has developed in the wedding videography scene. Video is usually cut up in an artistic, highlight-style. Features extra shots of clothing, decor, and stylistic poses often set to music. It’s not for everyone, so acquaint yourself with it if you haven’t already.
Every videographer has their own unique style, so it’s a good idea to demo some of their material beforehand.
Does the final video use vows & toasts or is it more of a music video?
Your wedding vows and bridal party’s toasts (also known as speeches) are some of the most memorable and heartfelt moments of the day. You want to be sure they make it into the final edit in order to keep those memories alive.
Can you choose the music used in your video?
Knowing if you’ll have creative control over the music choices used in your wedding video is important. Also, be sure to ask your videographer about using copyrighted music and what implications that has.
What camera equipment do they bring on the day of the wedding?
It’s a good idea to have an understanding of the gear that’s brought on your wedding day. For instance, if you know your venue is typically dark, it would be good to know that your videographer is bringing a light. Additionally, you may not want an excessive amount of camera gear around during your wedding day. Use this question to gauge this.
How long will the final product be?
It’s really as simple as it sounds. If there are multiple videos being delivered, remember to ask about their length as well.
Can you make changes to the film once you’ve seen it?
As videographers, we understand that every stylistic choice made might not fit within your vision for your video. It’s important to know if you’re able to suggest changes to your video if you wish and if they’re included in your package price or require extra payment.
Now that you’ve established yourself and your vision with your potential videographer, you can move into the final technical details, which often go overlooked until they present a problem. These questions are meant to save you from frustration down the road.
Is the final film delivered on a DVD, Blu-ray, USB, or hosted online?
Even in the online digital era, it’s never safe to assume a specific kind of delivery. Make sure your videographer can accommodate your preferred method of delivery.
Are they filming and delivering in HD or 4K UHD?
In today’s era, if a videographer is not shooting and delivering in at least HD (1920 x 1080), they should immediately be out of the question. Now, with 4K UHD cameras (3840 x 2160) in many videographer’s arsenals, it’s good to ask if you can receive delivery in this format to “future-proof” your wedding. 4K implies a sharper image, more editing leeway, and over-all better quality.
Who owns the copyright of the final wedding video?
While this might not be important to everyone, knowing who owns the rights to your wedding video can be important. If you plan on sharing and posting your wedding day, it’s a good idea to get this ironed out rather than involving lawyers later. If possible, have your videographer specify who owns the video in the contract if they don’t already.
What is the payment schedule?
Again, outline this in your contract. You need to know what money is due upfront and what you can expect to own down the line.
What is their cancellation & refund policy?
In case of unforeseen circumstances, it’s important to know the implications of cancellation. What happens to your deposit and additional money paid?
Is your video public or private and do you have a choice in the matter?
Privacy is more important than ever. If you feel passionate about keeping your wedding day between you and your family, you have the right to know that it’s not used as a demo or promotion material.
What is their process for backing up the footage to keep your wedding footage safe?
Any reputable company will have measures in place of backing up and storing your wedding. This will give you peace of mind knowing your wedding is safe from loss and corruption for years to come.
At this point, you should feel fairly confident if the wedding videography company you’re speaking with is a match or not. If so, congrats! That’s another item checked off the list. If not, hopefully, these questions helped you better understand what you are looking for in a wedding videographer.
For our local Ohio readers – if you’re interested in booking our Cleveland videography team for your upcoming wedding, feel free to ask us these same questions or come to our meeting with this printed out guide. Let’s set up something now!