Ask The Expert: Choosing The Right Wedding Videographer

23rd August 2017

How would you like to be in your very own romantic movie? A short tale of boy meets girl, documenting the first day of the rest of your lives together. And what better way to do it than in a beautifully styled setting, with a dress that flatters your every curve and a suit that makes your Prince Charming look like a true gentleman. Wedding videography gives you the chance to do just that! It’s a unique way of capturing the memories of your big day.

This week Sara Williams from Marry Me Films kindly tells us how to choose the right wedding videographer for you.

Why hire a videographer?

Sara says, “Obviously I am completely and utterly biased, but I would definitely advise everyone getting married to have their wedding filmed. A well-made wedding film should last a life time and will be a priceless cherished keepsake. Admittedly in the past there were some terrible video companies out there and as a result, a lot of couples still dismiss the idea of having their wedding filmed straight way, which is a real shame. A wedding film is the perfect way to capture one of the biggest days of your life. When executed well, a wedding film should provoke powerful emotions and not simply be just a record of the day. They should propel you right back into the moment, make you smile, laugh, cry, and evoke all the emotion and memories of your special day. The actual day will fly by in the blink of an eye and there will be lots of cherished moments that may be unseen by the couple or forgotten in the whirlwind of the day.”

What makes a good wedding film?

“A good wedding film should reflect the couple’s personality. Every couple we film is different, we take the time to meet our couples, talk to them and find out what makes them both tick, so we can create a wedding film that perfectly suits them and truly is one of a kind. The music is a big factor in deciding how the wedding film will feel as it is so personal and emotive. We ask all our couples to choose a selection of music in various tempos before their wedding day, which acts as a guide to the style their wedding will be filmed and edited in. We also incorporate and reflect the atmosphere and sentiment of the day itself.”

What are the different types of wedding films?

“There are many different styles out there as there are wedding dresses; it’s about finding the one that is perfect for you. We believe that like any good broadcast programme a wedding film has to capture all the important moments whilst being interesting and entertaining, it should be creative, artistically edited, re-watchable and stand the test of time. We feel it is paramount to capture the interaction between the couple and the emotion of the day in polished broadcast quality, with a classic story telling narrative style.”

When should you start looking for your videographer?

“Booking early is an excellent way to make sure you get the suppliers you really want; we are often booked up to 2 years in advance, also it is a good way to save some money, by securing your wedding film at this year’s package price. To keep our standards high and because my husband Tony also films freelance for the BBC during the week, we limit the number of commissions we take per year and each year we are always oversubscribed. We hate having to turn away couples. So if you love a certain company we would recommend you book them as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.”

What can you expect on your first meeting with your videographer?

“Not all companies meet up in person before the day, but we think it is essential to get to know our couples, so we have a pre-wedding planning meeting around 6 weeks beforehand. We run through the timeline of the day so we know exactly when and where everything will be happening, we take careful notes of anything that has special importance to the couple. Our intimate, personalised, diligent and caring service ensures that the very highest of standards are achieved in every aspect of our wedding films. We are so confident that we will get in right first time that we don’t charge for changes. We take great pride in everything we produce.”

What questions should you ask your videographer?

What coverage of the day is in included?
Our answer: We feel it is important to tell the whole story of the wedding day, so we have one all-inclusive package, with no set start or finish time or a limited number of hours. We film from the preparations right through until after the first dance and full coverage of the evening reception. We only leave once we have the right footage to create the perfect wedding film.

What is the final end product; duration, are the documentary ceremony, speeches, first dance and evening entertainment included?
Our answer: Our signature package includes a wedding film highlights trailer, which can be emailed to family and friends and shared on social media. A full feature film approximately 30-45 minutes long and in the bonus section; the full-length documentary style ceremony, speeches, first dance and footage of the evening entertainment. The perfect record of the important elements of the day that you want to see in full but maybe not watch every time.

In what format will you receive your final film?
Our answer: Our films are presented on a fully bespoke menu and chaptered DVD or Blu-ray at no extra cost. All our finished wedding films are presented in beautiful deluxe Queensberry DVD albums in a choice of 3 colours. To future proof your wedding footage; there is also an optional extra to purchase all the elements of your film as standalone files presented on a branded USB stick and tin.

Can the couple choose the music?
Our answer: The choice of music is essential to setting the right tone and feel of the wedding film. So that is why we ask the couple to supply around 15-20 tracks before the wedding so that we know the style in which the wedding needs to be filmed and edited. The necessary copyright licences are bought by us on behalf of the client.

Can they make changes to the film?
Our answer: We want our couples to love their film before they receive their final presentation copies we send out an approval copy. So whether it is a song they have chosen in a different order or a shot removing, it has to be perfect and we don’t charge for these amendments. 99% of our clients don’t want any changes, but as a customer, I would want that option for peace of mind.

How many cameras are included and are they all constantly manned?
Our answer: We use two High Definition compact broadcast cameras with two camera operators at all times to ensure complete full coverage. These small cameras guarantee amazing footage, without you even knowing we’re there.

Will they require any of your time during the day?
Our answer: We want our couples to revel in their special day. So we don’t set up shots or demand any of their time. We subtly capture the magic as it unfolds, discreetly. We respect the work of their photographer and understand the role required of them too and seamlessly work with them to get the best photographs and film possible.

Do they have Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance?
Our answer: We have full Professional Indemnity Insurance, £10million public liability insurance and full accidental damage and equipment loss insurance.

Will the camera equipment interrupt the wedding?

“It is really important to keep filming discreet and unobtrusive. We do this by having years of experience in filming both weddings and television programmes using high spec broadcast equipment. Meaning we can creatively capture the whole of the special day without unnecessarily drawing attention to ourselves. We always make a conscious effort to be unobtrusive throughout the day by blending seamlessly with the guests and venue. It also helps to be prepared by having an in-depth pre-wedding planning meeting to discuss the timings of the day, we familiarise ourselves with the wedding venue so that we are comfortable with the surroundings, but also being flexible and adaptive to any situation that may occur. We always have a professional and positive attitude and appearance. After all, some of the most natural and best footage happens when people don’t realise they are being filmed. Our overall aim is to beautifully and expertly film one of the happiest days of most people’s lives not to be part of it.”

What is the one piece of advice you would give all couples on their big day?

“Just relax, have fun and enjoy the day and try to savour every moment, as it will go by so quickly! Things may not go perfectly, it might rain, but as long as you get to marry the person you love most in the world, then nothing else matters.”

Sara also adds “Personally I think it’s important to have a connection and you are comfortable with your videographer and that they understand what you want, after all, they are there all day on one of the most important days of your life!”

Image: Marry Me Films

Thank you very much to Sara for her advice on this article.

The Marry Me Films team is made up of the lovely, warmhearted, professional husband and wife team Sara and Tony Williams. With a background in graphic design and BBC broadcasting, they have the gift of creating wedding films that are full of personality and charm. But don’t take my word, for it; their work more than speaks for itself. They have hundreds of beautifully edited films on their Vimeo account so have a look!




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