Your Wedding Video - How to Make it Marvelous!

When there's only ONE opportunity to capture your wedding on video, you simply cannot afford to select a wedding videographer without first being well-informed about the process and knowing what questions to ask. Here's some insight that will help you find that perfect videographer to produce your ultimate keepsake.

Not everyone with a video camera and editing equipment is capable of producing a high-quality wedding video. Uncle Joe may have a video camera and offer to do it as a gift, but that's one gift you'd want to exchange - if you could. For a wedding video you'll treasure for the rest of your lives, choose a competent professional.

Weddings, by their very nature, challenge the videographer. Some churches, synagogues and wedding halls may restrict the movement of the shooter and the location of the cameras. Lighting is critical to good videography, and weddings are typically dramatically lit to set the mood. There's a lot of activity to capture on video during a wedding - the march down the aisle, reactions of the guests, the elegant atmosphere. Sometimes two cameras are required to obtain the necessary images. An experienced wedding videographer will know how to handle all of these challenges and obtain every shot required for an outstanding wedding video.
Begin by getting recommendations from family and friends who were pleased with their wedding video. If you've seen an excellent wedding video, get the name of the videographer. When you've identified two or three potentially worthy videographers, give them a call.

- Ask about their experience, particularly with weddings. Be cautious if weddings are a sideline for them. You want a videographer that specializes in weddings, because wedding video production is an art and a skill that take time to develop. Also note their communication skills. Videographers must work well with both guests and other professionals to assure that your day runs smoothly.

- Ask about their rates, which often vary widely. You want to get the most for your money, and video is typically an expensive medium. The videographer has invested significant money in equipment, supplies and experience, so be suspicious of cheap quotes. Choose the best videographer you can afford.

- Request a demo wedding video and at least five references. There is no valid reason for an accomplished wedding videographer not to provide either. Will your wedding video be reality-TV style, documentary-style with interviews and voice-overs or an arty, cinematic production? Viewing the demos should reveal subtle or even dramatic differences in style and quality. You'll want to choose a videographer to accommodate your preference. Was the video shot on a tripod, or is it all hand-held and shaky? Are many shots out of focus, dark or grainy? Are all the essential images included - the walk down the aisle, the vows, the kiss, cutting the cake, throwing the bouquet? Is the joy and fun of the reception and the guests fully captured and included?

- Good-quality editing is equally important as the videography. Ask how long the final product will be and in what format? Will the editor use additional wedding-themed video elements to enhance the production? What titles, captions, etc. will be included? Will music be added? Can you have both a full version and a highlight reel?

Don't leave the memories of this once-in-a-lifetime event to chance! Be informed and selective when choosing your wedding videographer. The family and friends who'll be watching your wedding many times over will thank you. And you'll be glad you did, too!