In 2001, I was planning my fall wedding and it wasn’t until the month before that it occurred to me that I wanted this day I had been planning for nine months to be captured on video. With a background in broadcast journalism, I was surprised that I hadn’t thought about it sooner but that’s the way it was then; video was not something that was thought of early in the planning process.

I made some calls and even talked to some of my connections at a television station where I was employed and no one knew of anyone who was videoing weddings. I took to the phone book and called around to the very few companies that were listed. Once their samples videos arrived and I viewed them, I was shocked at the quality and cost of these weddings videos. I’m talking so cheesy that one videographer took the end of the movie “Cinderella” and put that at the end of a couple’s wedding video to show “they lived happily ever after”. I watched videos with soundtracks with a high pitched squealing in the background.  I ended up not booking any of these costly videographers because of the sample videos alone. I would have forked out the money if they were professional and did not appear to be home movies. Instead, I had a family friend take the video. I think we’ve watched it once in nine years. I don’t even know where the video is now.

My biggest regret…not having a professional videographer.

Coupled with my background in broadcast journalism and my love of all things wedding related, I started my company two years later. I am finding that the trend is different. Many brides are putting video as a priority but many still are not. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard, “I wish I had a video of my wedding” or “I’m so glad I decided to get a video of my wedding.” Can you imagine all that hard work and all of those months, sometimes years of planning, not being documented for future generations?  Eventually your dream dress will be hanging in the closet. Your flowers will wilt and die. Your cake and reception food will be eaten. All the little details that you stressed over will be forgotten.  The day goes by in a blur but you’ll have two momentos that will last forever – pictures and video.

I believe the most important vendor the day of your wedding is the photographer. I believe the second most important is the videographer.

The videographer is the only person who is able to capture the vows and the toasts. Your first dance will come alive. You will see family members and friends having a blast at your reception and in the future, you’ll be able to look at some of those who have passed on with fond memories.

All of the hard work of planning your dream day can only be fully documented on video.

One of the best ways to find a videographer is to ask your photographer for a referral.  It’s important that your photographer and videographer get along.  They have to be able to communicate well so they can both get the best shots without getting in each other’s way.

There are some brides who elect to have a videographer that is cinematic in style and will turn your wedding day into a gorgeous movie project. Then there are videographers will shoot documentary style – telling the story of your wedding day as it unfolds, unobtrusive and blending into the background.

Questions to ask a videographer:
1. How long have you been doing this and how many weddings have your videoed?
2. What types of packages do you offer or what are your hourly rates?
3. Can I see a sample of a final product?
4. Can I talk to some former brides and ask about your services?

What I always supply my brides with includes a highlight reel – not everyone is going to want to sit down and watch an hour to two hour long wedding video. If you can find a videographer that will summarize your wedding day into 5-8 minutes, brides love showing that to family, friends and co-workers.

When all is said and done, you’ll treasure that video to relive that once in a lifetime day over and over again.

By Christina Obitts-Elgin of Making Memories Videography