Weddings are a day for celebration! The engaged couple has spent months planning and picking out the tiniest details of their big day.
Now that it's here, it's wonderful, sentimental, and goes by in a blur. How will they remember it? Through wedding videography and wedding photography, of course.
As a wedding videographer, you'll take on a crucial role in making sure to capture moments great and small. You'll need technical and people skills, and expertise in all stages of the wedding videography production.
To help you along, I collected the best 13 wedding videography tips throughout all stages of the production. Read on to turn into an expert who dazzles (or brings to tears) any client they work with.
Wedding videography styles
If you're just starting out, you might need some time to explore what wedding videography style suits you the best. Nevertheless, it's good to be aware of all possibilities!
The two most common styles of wedding videos are:
Documentary or journalistic wedding videos are widely used and center around recording events as they occur. The videographer stays neutral and passive or very non-intrusive. The final edits will always follow the actual sequence of events.
Cinematic wedding videos place emphasis on drama and emotions. The videographer will intervene from time to time to get certain shots as they're essentially making a movie. If you want to work with wedding cinematography, learn about the 5 stages of filmmaking.
Other types of wedding videography include a shorter highlights reel, artistic or concept videos, and more.
How to book a wedding videography gig
As you grow your portfolio as an aspiring wedding videographer, requests will start rolling in. Doing a great job for clients will also score you recommendations! The most difficult time to book a gig is indisputable when you're just starting out.
Here are our tips to help you book your first gigs:
1. Network, network, network
Put yourself out there and turn to your network when looking for those first few jobs. Don't be afraid to ask around, talk to friends and be prepared to offer a discount too - your pricing should be in line with your experience.
Post on your personal social media, your LinkedIn page, and put the word out.
2. Find a mentor
For bigger gigs, clients often hire two videographers for full coverage of the event. Reach out to established local professionals and offer your services to gain some experience.
If you have any previous work to show off, like a personal passion project or corporate videography gig, include it! It will help convince your peers that you're a serious candidate.
3. Develop your communication skills
Communication is a crucial skill when it comes to working anywhere near the wedding industry. Learn this early and learn it well.
Be respectful, open, and strive to always make your clients feel comfortable. It's easier to book a gig when you click in your initial meeting, so work on being easy to get along with. Joke and laugh with your potential clientele, and be a good listener.
Planning the shoot
Months of planning go into weddings, so you're also expected to come prepared for the celebration. It's only fair! If you get a head-start, you can make sure the day goes off without a hitch and end up with satisfied clients.
4. Align client expectations
Always take the time to really understand what your clients are looking for. They won't have time to give you step-by-step instructions amidst the chaos of the caterers, entertainment, and demanding family members all vying for their attention.
Get on the same page about the detailed schedule of the day, including when and where you should arrive. Talk about the final product you'll deliver, the length, the style, and what things it should definitely include. Agree on the deadline and format of the final edit in advance.
If you take the time to get to know your couple, they'll feel more at ease with you and the camera and won't stress about you getting the right shots. You're joining them for a very special milestone of their lives, so be a friend to them while remaining professional.
5. Camera equipment for wedding videography
When it comes to weddings, expect a beautiful, emotional, and very long day. Stay lightweight with your gear for mobility, and don't tire yourself out.
The most important thing in your camera will be crisp image quality, great autofocus, low-light capabilities, and beautiful colors. If these specs are there, you'll manage with the rest just fine! If these specs seem overwhelmingly new to you, read about the best cameras for beginners.
When it comes to lenses, I'd recommend something versatile, like a 24-70 mm all-purpose lens supplemented by a wide-angle prime lens. This way you can capture moments you don't want to intrude on, like the exchange of the rings, and also take group portraits.
For stabilizers, a monopod, glidecam, or gimbal works great.
If you don't already own all you need or want to expand your gear, check out our wedding camera equipment for rent.
6. Practice with your camera
On the day of the wedding, things will come at you fast. It's not good enough to have a great camera for wedding videography, you need to know how to use it well!
Experiment with different camera settings until you can quickly and seamlessly adjust to various lighting conditions. The guests and ceremony won't wait because you're fumbling with your settings, so you need to master them. Get to know your camera to never miss an important moment.
The big day
You prepared, you did your homework, and now it's time to show up - on time. The day of the wedding will be packed to the brim with things moving lightning fast. These are the things to keep in mind during the gig.
7. Must-have wedding shots
Have the schedule memorized and at hand at all times. Have the list of shots the couple requested with you as well.
Months of work go into planning a wedding and every single detail has probably been hand-picked. Every. Single. Detail.
Take the time to shoot these! Show up before guests to film the set, the lights, the centerpieces, and more. Find out in advance if any of the knick-knacks are more sentimental than others - you don't want to miss great aunt Margaret's vase standing next to the guest book.
Visualize how all pre-planned shots should look in the final version. Do people want to see the back of the person walking down the aisle? (Hint: they do not.) Keep a close eye on the schedule and move in anticipation to where you'll get the best shot.
8. Stay on the move for shot variety
Stay mobile, nimble, and out of the way. Keep an eye out for people having fun, showing emotion, or playing games. Note the "important players" in the room: besides the celebrants, their immediate family and the wedding party should be featured heavily.
Don't stand in one spot for too long, stay on the move to capture many angles and perspectives of the same event.
9. Frame your shots like a filmmaker
For breathtaking, dynamic footage, study the classic rules of framing.
Knowing and practicing rules like the rule of thirds, symmetry, and leading lines will pay off in the long run.
Create depth by placing objects in the foreground and background of your couple or guests. Work with different camera angles and movements to keep things fresh and create captivating shots.
Learn more about videography to understand the steps of becoming an expert at all things video.
10. Lighting tips for wedding videographers
Lighting scenes as a wedding videographer is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it's quite inconvenient to try to light a whole venue at the ceremony or reception. On the other hand, you don't need to worry too much about it!
Working in different lighting conditions will definitely push you to learn your manual settings and look for creative ways and shots.
It's not a lost cause though! Portable LED lights are easy to lug around and provide decent light too. Getting colored lights will help with balance the color temperature to match the practical lighting at the venue.
Once the day is a wrap and the newlyweds are off to their honeymoon, you won't get to work on your tan. It's time for editing. Wedding videography post-production can be stressful, especially for beginners.
Don't worry, this is also a stage where you can take your time and try many different things before making a choice – the exact opposite of the actual shooting day!
11. Editing choices to make
When it comes to editing your footage, the main choices you'll make will be concerning lighting and color adjustments and adding special effects.
Look-up tables or LUTs offer an excellent starting point to fine-tuning your wedding footage. They include presets that can really elevate the mood of your shots. For example, check out these lovely soft wedding LUTs for photos and videos!
Due to the main event, the wedding, being a happy, cheerful occasion, you'll probably want to stray from the gloomy or grungy looks.
Extra tip: build the anticipation by not showing a full-body shot of your all dressed-up clients until they walk down the aisle or do a first look. This way they'll get to experience the final look at a dramatic moment! You can still "tease" the outfits by partial details like the back lace of the dress, but waiting for the full reveal will give an emotional payoff that will have the in-laws crying.
12. Best editing software for wedding videography
Your editing software won't make or break things, but admittedly, some allow for a lot more functions, while others make you want to punch your computer.
If you want to learn more, check out this very comprehensive guide to the best editing software in 2021.
13. Wedding videography songs to consider
If you're looking for your next soundtrack, you have a decision to make early on. Will you use copyright-free music?
While All of Me and Thinking Out Loud are classics that are loved by all at the reception, using copyrighted music without licensing it can get your video taken down from all public platforms or even get you sued if you're unlucky.
If you're making the video for private use and nothing else, you're unlikely to get in trouble. Make sure you warn your clients about the potential consequences of sharing the video publicly.
Your first gig hopefully!
Work on developing your skills as a wedding videographer, deliver high-quality end results and be a dream to work with. Soon you'll have potential clients calling all day! If you dream big you might even want to scale up your business and start a video production company.
If you want to work with weddings but don't have your heart set on video yet, read more about wedding photography.
Is a videographer worth it for a wedding?
A videographer can create a wedding video you and your family will forever cherish! They're experts at making you look good and will capture everything from your hand-picked table settings to your celebrating friends and family. Whether they fit into your budget is up to you.
What should you include in a wedding video?
All details the couple chose! Getting ready shots from both parties, the settings and decoration, the important moments and the unplanned, carefree ones. Make sure you talk to your clients and learn what they find the most important.
How do you make a good wedding video?
You need to practice! The more weddings you videograph, the better you will get. Generally, you need to bring the right equipment and master it, be observant and keep moving, and record many angles and shots of everything around you.