What You Need to Know About Hiring a Wedding Videographer

We had the opportunity to speak with Andrew and Joyce of Agave Creative, an Austin-based wedding videography and photography company. They have extensive experience creating beautiful wedding videos, so they have some invaluable advice for anyone interested in hiring a wedding videographer to capture their special day. Here’s what they had to say…

So you’ve decided to hire a videographer to make your wedding film. Good decision; you absolutely should do this. No doubt you’ll hire a great photographer (this is also a must), and pictures help to preserve details and moments in a crisp snapshot. A video, however, helps to capture the feel of your special day. When the years have faded your special day into memory, you will look back to your video to let those moments breathe and come back to life.

Your video, along with your photographs, are the tools you will use to communicate what your wedding was like to your children. Your wedding is going to feature some beautiful moments with your loved ones. Twenty years from now, you will have the opportunity to show your children these beautiful moments featuring loved ones whom they have not had the opportunity to meet or who have passed on.

Now that you’ve decided to bring a videographer on board your Big Day Dream Team, here are some pointers to guide your search:

What to Look for in a Wedding Videographer

1. Hire a Professional

Yeah, I know your Uncle Frank has a nice video camera and has offered to stand in the back and shoot your ceremony for free. But just like photography, creating beautiful wedding video isn’t just a matter of pointing a camera. It’s an art, and for something memorable you want an artist. An artist with a variety of tools and a commitment to hanging with you all day to get the details and then spend hours more editing until you have a film that you’re proud to share with the world.  A professional will have mics and recorders to capture crisp audio, multiple cameras and lenses, and extra tools like drones and stabilizers. Let them handle the filming and let Uncle Frank enjoy the day with the rest of the guests.

2. Look for a Videographer Early

We notice that couples tend to wait until the last minute to see if they have funds left over to squeeze in a videographer. But think about it: These are your precious memories we’re talking about! A day you will want to remember and relive forever! Make a priority of your wedding video. Search for a videographer at the same time as you search for a photographer. They will work hand in hand. You want to have the opportunity to get to know them and ensure they’re going to be the right fit.

3. Get a Feel for Video Styles

I know it’s tempting to make your search for a videographer all about price. It’s certainly going to be a factor, and that’s OK. If money weren’t an issue, we’d all hire Steven Spielberg to shoot our weddings. But in the real world, we have budgets to stick to. Still, that doesn’t mean you have to settle. Search diligently and make sure you like the style of the person your hire. The film they deliver will be similar in look and feel to the work they’ve done in the past. Get a feel for what is important to you. Do you want something slow and calm or fast and exciting? Would you rather an edgy and artsy feel or a stable, documentary approach? Go with a filmmaker that fits your vision.

4. Compare Package Inclusions

Make sure you know exactly what you’re getting from your videographer. Some offer packages with all the bells and whistles: Instagram teasers, highlight reels, full ceremony and reception speeches. Others will only offer a highlight video or a longer cut. Be sure you know if they shoot solo or with a second or third shooter, and whether there are extra charges for additional hours of shooting or long distance travel.

5. Introduce Your Videographer to the Rest of Your Wedding Team

Your videographer will lean on the rest of your vendors in order to create the best product. Help them out by facilitating an introduction well in advance of the wedding. Just a quick email with contact info for the venue, wedding planner, photographer, and DJ would be a big help. The videographer will work alongside the photographer throughout the day and will probably need to plug into the DJ’s sound board for an audio feed. They will need to get the itinerary from your planner and may have to provide proof of insurance to the venue. These are some of the key players for your big day and prior communication will help them work together flawlessly.

6. Schedule Time in Your Day-Of Itinerary for Your Videographer

Work with your wedding planner to ensure you have 15-20 minutes (or more!) set aside just for your videographer on your wedding day. Sure, they can tag along during the photographer’s portrait time, but filming someone get their picture taken isn’t that great. Most wedding filmmakers want to incorporate motion and their own posing to ensure their video contains gorgeous couple shots. Make sure your planner and photographer know that your videographer will need a few minutes to direct you.

7. Let Your Videographer Choose Your Film’s Music

I know you want that Top 40 hit in your wedding video – the special one that was playing on the radio when you first met, or during your first kiss, or when he proposed. But here’s the thing: it’s illegal to use unlicensed music in your wedding film. And most popular music costs a fortune to license. I know there are wedding highlight reels all over YouTube featuring the latest Taylor Swift song, but it’s not ethical or safe for videographers to do that. They could be sued and lose thousands of dollars. So let them pick out music they are able to license and that fits the look and feel of your film like a glove. In the long run, your wedding film will be better for it.

8. Realize it Takes Time to Edit a Wedding Film

Those few minutes of a highlight reel take hours of editing and color grading.  It takes much longer to create a wedding film than it does to edit pictures. We know you’re excited, and that’s great! But give your videographer the proper amount of time to make something magical that tells your wedding story. Ask your videographer what their delivery window is when you first meet them, and then allow them that time to create. They’ll be much more likely to give you the best possible product if your constant stream of pressuring emails isn’t rushing them to finish early.

One of the most cited wedding regrets is not hiring a wedding cinematographer to create a wedding film. Don’t have that regret!

Thanks so much to Andrew and Joyce of Agave Creative for sharing their best advice for hiring a videographer to capture your wedding day! If you’re in the midst of planning your wedding and feeling overwhelmed, contact us today and let us help you plan the wedding of your dreams!

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