Ask any of your married friends or family about their big day and they will tell you how quickly the day went! You spend what feels like months on end planning your dream wedding, from getting ideas to booking suppliers, going to dress fittings and sending out invites, there’s a lot of work that goes into it all and then it’s over in a flash. What’s left are the amazing memories, your photographs and your wedding video, so it’s important you make the right choice when it comes to choosing a wedding videographer. Below are my top 5 tips for helping you choose the right wedding videographer:
1. Decide on your style
Before you get the popcorn out and plonk yourself down for an evening of bingeing on wedding films, deciding who you should book, I would recommend deciding on the style of film you’re wanting first, this way you can narrow down your search a lot quicker.
Websites and Facebook pages are great places to find examples of wedding videographers films and their most recent work. From there you should get an idea for their style of work pretty quickly, and there are a variety of different styles:
Montage Films (films set to music with no audio from the day)
Fusion (a person or business that does both photography and videography)
Super 8 film
My films sit under the cinematic style of wedding videography, I’m all about telling the story of the couple foremost, and through my unobtrusive approach, focus on using great light, composition and sound, my wedding films tell the emotional journey of my couples.
Some videographers only offer their films with music over the top and no audio is added from the day, some like to add snippets of audio from the ceremony and speeches to help tell your story, it’s up to you and what you would like.
There are also niche markets for couples who would like a very different type of wedding film like stop motion, which is an old animation technique where objects are moved in between photographs and played back at speed to give the effect of independent motion, or super 8 film, a motion picture film format that was developed in the 60’s and has a unique look and a dreamy aesthetic people still desire today.
Sound is 50% of any video you watch, whether it be the news or a film at the cinema, it’s no different when it comes to wedding videos, sound is so important and I really like to use snippets of audio recorded during your ceremony and speeches to help tell the story of your day and also give context to the wedding couple, it really helps make your film unique. I also like to do what’s called sound design and that, simply put, is adding in sounds to enhance the film and create more context for your wedding film, done well and you probably won’t notice this is even happening.
Here’s an example:
2. What is your budget?
The budget you set aside for a wedding videographer will be of course be driven by a number of things but I think the determining factor will be how much you value having a wedding video.
The wedding industry is one that almost all newly engaged couples won’t have any experience of buying in, this can make things very confusing when you’re looking at wedding videographers and there is a wide range of prices.
Why is there a huge gap? Firstly, I think as with most things, the more you pay, the better the result, and that generally applies to wedding videographers too, the more expensive the videographer, the better quality films you will get. Secondly, what you get for your money differs drastically with each videographer, some just offer highlights films and some offer highlights films, feature films, ceremony film and speeches film, so always look at what you’re getting for your money. Some may also appear cheap at first glance as their lowest package may be 6 hours and it soon gets more expensive when you choose a package that’s actually going to cover the whole of your wedding day. I don’t have an hourly limit on my packages, I’m always there from an hour or two before your ceremony whilst you’re getting ready through to a few songs after your first dance.
If you’d like to look at Andy Stelmach Wedding Filmmaker’s packages, head over to the contact page and fill out the form and I will get back in touch with our bespoke packages.
3. Do you get along with your videographer?
As a bride and groom, you’ll spend almost all day with your photographer and videographer, so it’s vital you like them and get along with them. I’d always recommend getting on a Skype of Facetime call with the suppliers you’re thinking about booking and have a chat with them. You will get a feel for how they communicate, what their attitude is like and how they like to work alongside other suppliers.
I thoroughly enjoy filming weddings, I love capturing the emotion of the day and telling that story but I also really like building new relationships too, whether that’s with my couples or other suppliers, I’m always friendly, approachable and relaxed and love a chat and stay in touch. I think it’s this relaxed approach that has dictated my style over the time I’ve been a wedding videographer, I don’t poses couples or ask people do stuff, I let things like unfold in front of me and anticipate when something is going to happen and I capture it candidly. I also don’t bring loads of ungainly, unnecessary equipment with me, I use small cameras and bring exactly what I need to do the job and that really helps with the candid approach.
I like to get in touch with other suppliers (like your photographer or planner) before the day, to make sure we’re on the same page and we work together to get what we all need, because at the end of the day, your wedding experience is what’s most important to me! When I say goodbye at the end of the night, it’s lovely when couples tell me how much of a great time they’ve had, and I often get comments about how hard people have said I’ve worked, or how professional I’ve been and usually my couples mention how they’ve barely noticed me but when they do, I’m always smiling.
4. Is your wedding videographer a professional?
By this I mean, what credentials do they have, how long have they been working in the wedding industry, do they have a contract, are they insured, are they doing this full-time (they don’t have an office job Monday-Friday and just doing weddings for extra cash), do they have systems in place for backing up your footage after your wedding? These are things that should be a given for any wedding filmmaker but it’s always prudent to check and ask questions.
I set up Andy Stelmach Wedding Filmmaker in 2013 and before this I studied Film Production at Staffordshire University, gaining a first class honours degree and graduating top of my class. I then went on to work in TV, working for top Soho post house Envy Post and also Film4. I gained an awful lot of knowledge and experience throughout that time but I decided it wasn’t for me and wanted to set up my own wedding film company and now here we are. I take the running of my business as seriously as I do filming and editing my weddings and have all the relevant insurances such as Public Liability insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance and also have sophisticated storage solutions for all our video footage where everything is backed up 3 times as soon as we get home from your wedding. I also have professionally written contracts for all my weddings and I’ll be honest they’re not the most entertaining read but they’re so important. They’re also there to protect the couple just as much as the wedding videographer, so make sure whoever you choose to capture your day has one and you read it before booking!
5. Word of Mouth
A fair amount of my bookings come from recommendations from previous clients or other wedding suppliers such as photographers. If your friends or family have been happy with the service and quality of the films I’ve provided them, then it’s likely you will be happy as well. I’m not suggesting you should book a wedding videographer from just a recommendation alone, but it is certainly boosts confidence when someone tells you how great their film is and what the service was like and this can sometimes be a deciding factor when choosing between a few videographers.
So speak with your friends and family about their experience with their wedding videographer and see what advice they have from organising their own wedding. A good wedding videographer should always be able to show you some testimonials if they’re not already on their website and their Facebook page, and I’d personally even go as far as suggesting they get in touch with previous couples directly (only if my couples were happy to do this).
Here are some of my testimonials:
'Andy... we received our amaaaaazing video 2 weeks ago now and we have watched it every night (at least once!!!) It really is absolutely perfect! You are a true professional wedding videographer, and so talented. From the moment you arrived at my mum and dads the morning of our wedding you slotted straight in, we felt extremely relaxed!' - Holly & Dave, 2018
'Oh my freakin lord! GOOSEBUMPS! Thank you Andy from the bottom of our hearts for what can only be described as an absolutely stunning wedding video! Honestly I can't get it out of my head. You're so talented! And the music...WOW...it works so so well! I just want to watch it over & over again! And I will ha! All my friends are itching to see it... THANK YOUUUUU! We cried our hearts out & laughed our heads off! Great footage of our boys too!' - Hayley & Rick, 2018
'Andy, You’ve been perfect from the first day I messaged, to meeting us at the church and discussing the upcoming wedding and saying goodbye on our wedding day. You fit right in and were fun to be around. You made us both feel so comfortable and seeing our highlights and feature film enables us to relive our perfect over and over. Thanks so much Andy, cannot recommend you enough. Hands down the best part of our wedding!' - Laura & Lloyd, 2017
Take a look at some of the reviews on my Facebook page too.
To conclude, these top 5 tips are not an exhaustive list of what to do when looking for your wedding videographer, they’re just what I feel are the most crucial things to get ticked off your checklist first. I hope this has been useful and I wish you all the best for your search for a wedding videographer and also for your wedding day and marriage!