In this post I’ll be sharing my top questions you can ask a wedding/elopement videographer before you book them. I wrote this for couples like you — couples who are likely in planning mode for your wedding/elopement, and you’ve found a videographer! Choosing a videographer is an important decision and you want to make sure you picked the right person to capture a day as special as your wedding. As a videographer myself, I want to help you make an informed decision!
Questions to Ask a Wedding Videographer Before Booking Them
Do you make highlight films or documentary edits?
This is the FIRST decision you need to make as a couple. What kind of video do you want? A shorter, fast paced video that’s engaging, fun to watch and can be shared on social media? Or a longer movie-like edit that’s up to 45 minutes long or longer that you can rewatch on special occasions?
This is important to know because videographers ~usually~ do one or the other.
For us, we make highlight films! We think they can be really unique and fun, while also cinematic enough to include key highlights of your vows and speeches into a shorter video.
What is your booking process like?
It’s 2022, and we’re just barely coming out of the life-changing Covid-19 pandemic. As a service provider, videographers have to be one step ahead about Covid-19 mandates within the location where you’re planning to get married. So be sure to ask about their payment policies if a new mandate would force you to re-locate or cancel your wedding location.
As for the typical booking process, there really isn’t a “common” package you’ll discover. Every wedding videographer is unique with how they structure their packages. Some do highlight films, some do documentary edits. Some hire by the hour, some offer full-day coverage.
The most common route though, is that you’ll HAVE to sign a contract and pay a booking retainer of some sort to officially reserve their services.
We do this AND gift our couples with our Wedding Video Guide upon signing. It’s our way of saying thank you for booking us and giving you all of our best tips for your wedding day!
Can you describe your film approach and editing style?
Also a super important question! Some videographers are AMAZING at the slow, romantic, intimate kind of videos. Some videographers are experts at the fast paced, fun and goofy kind of videos. And others can do a perfect mix of both! It’s good to look through their work first and then ask them how they go about filming these moments.
This is called their film approach. AKA how they capture your wedding moments. Are they not going to talk to you all day and let you do your thing and kind of just film from the corner of the room? Are they gonna stick their camera in your face during your most emotional moments?
We love being asked this question because for us, we like to be candid for most of the day and ONLY give direction when it’s time for photos with the photographer or for lighting purposes. We will NEVER not engage with you, we’re there to hype you up! And we’ll never be in your face – we have zoom lenses for that!
Do you have a drone? Are you Part 107 certified?
Woah! What the heck is that?!
THIS IS A SUPER IMPORTANT QUESTION.
If your videographer has a drone, but is not Part 107 certified… run. Just kidding, but really. A Part 107 certification is the legal document all drone pilots must have to be flying for their business. So in this case, wedding photographers and videographers.
The Part 107 ensures that they’ve gotten the legal training for safety and all flying procedures to fly over people and structures.
The last thing you want is the wedding videographer’s drone crashing into the both of you leaving you with an insane injury on your wedding day! And yes… IT HAPPENS.
Being Part 107 certified means that they know how to properly look at the area’s terrain and it’s weather forecast to ensure that safe flying procedures are being followed.
So please feel free to ask them if they’re certified. It’s important that they have this!
What are some things we can expect from you on the day-of?
The basic expectations should be timeliness and professionalism around your friends and family. So, have an open conversation about the timeline and any family differences they should be aware of. Communication is always key!
Next, you can expect an answer with how they plan to mic you, set up their tripods for the ceremony and set up their spotlights for the speeches/dance floor. That way, on the day-of, nothing comes as a surprise and you are fully aware of the equipment it takes to film a wedding!
For us, we also hand out a visual guide of our day of process so you can get a better understanding of what this all looks like! We try our hardest to be minimal wedding videographers that won’t make your wedding feel too much like a movie-set production kind of show! Haha!
What comes with Wedding Videography Packages?
Wedding videographer packages are unique to every business. As mentioned above, they might offer highlight films or documentary edits, hourly coverage or full-day coverage.
It’s important to know what all comes with each package so you understand it’s value a little better.
For example, all of our packages come with a second shooter! This person is another filmmaker like us, who helps get more angles of the wedding day and helps us set up our equipment and other processes so the day runs smooth and uninteruppted.
Another example would be drone footage. Do all of their packages come with drone footage or is that an additional price?
Refer to Question 4 again to see if they’re certified to fly at your wedding! ^^
Last, what are the costs of wedding videographer packages?
It’s super handy if they have their starting cost on their website so you can check first if they are in your budget before you bother filling out the contact form! But if it’s not, a quick DM to ask what their “starting cost” is or “what’s your starting package cost for wedding videography?” shouldn’t be a problem.
Check out this JuneBug Weddings article to see how starting wedding videography prices differ!
What’s your turnaround time?
This is super important to know as most couples are choosing to elope with COVID still being unpredictable and having their reception event at a later date. Most of our couples have requested faster turn around times for this reason so that they can show off their elopement film at their reception!
Even if that’s not the case with you, knowing when to expect your video back is important to know so you’re all on the same page.
We can tell you right now, that videography is a LONG PROCESS and your masterpiece will take some time!
The Alesia Films guaranteed turn-around time is 3-6 months. Other videographers can promise faster or longer, but this seems to be the average in our community I think!
How do you deliver the wedding video to us?
Also something that wedding videographers do a little differently!
For some, it’s an online share from Vimeo or Wedditor.
For others, it might be a quick email with your video file download.
Last, I know a lot of videographers who deliver all of the video files at once on a cute USB drive.
I got mine from The Hanging Branch!
For Alesia Films couples, we deliver the highlight film video to your email THE DAY IT FINISHES so you don’t have to wait any longer than you have to!
Then, we mail out a cute little gift box with your USB drive and all the purchased videos for your keepsakes.
What happens if we lose our wedding video?
This is more common than you think! It’s important to know that most contracts will state that it isn’t their responsibility to store your video for you. Which makes sense. You shouldn’t expect them to store this for you. Once it’s been delivered, it is your responsbility!
Some videographers will give you a deadline of 90 days to a year to download your file and make your copies. Others might store it for you, but charge you an “un-archiving” fee to dig out the hard drive and send the file over again if you lose it. But this just seems sketchy as say 30 years from now, if you can’t find your wedding video and they’re retired from their business, we highly doubt they kept those wedding films.
I don’t think this section is a big “make or break” question when it comes to hiring this videographer. It’s just good practice for everyone getting married that your memories, photo and video, be put in several safe places so this never happens!
Can we see reviews from other couples?
If they don’t have any floating testimonials around their website or any Google reviews, I think this is a super important question to ask so you can hear what others have to say about their experience!
It’s one thing to get a professional wedding film, but how was the EXPERIENCE? This is what most couples will rave about because it’s how this videographer made them feel. I think everyone can agree that customer service is just as important as the final product, eh? You’ll notice in these reviews the answers to the following questions: Were they comfortable to be around? Were they helpful? Did they get along with your other vendors? Did they feel reliable? Did their guests enjoy their presence?
You might think this is a little silly BUT I beg to differ! Weddings are either big parties or they’re an intimate setting. I think the most professional and experienced videographers will be able to read the room and match the vibe of your family dynamics so well, they feel like they’re just a part of your day. Making you, the couple, more relaxed to be around them, you almost forget the camera! Therefore, you get a KICK-ASS wedding film because you’re just enjoying yourselves and being the happy newlyweds your videographer was capturing without you hardly noticing.
Bonus Questions to Ask a Wedding/Elopement Videographer
We love this video! Can we have a film like this one?
Wedding films are extra special! They’re meant to capture your big day so that you can re-live it as many times as you’d like (enter ALL the feeelllsss). In addition, you’ll want to consider things like: do you like the more intimate, emotional scenes or do you like to have candid moments filmed? Use the consultation call to share what you’d like to see and even reference a video of theirs that you love! Your videographer should be able to make the film customized to you and your love while honoring your vision.
If you’re referencing another videographer’s video, it could come off as “wrong” as this isn’t a representation of their work. We suggest that if you’re bringing up a film you loved, it be one of the films they’ve made!
Is there a photographer you usually work with?
This is a question to consider if you haven’t hired a photographer yet. Videographers have awesome connections to other wedding creatives! If they have a go-to photographer, it’ll make everything about your wedding film and photos feel more cohesive and unified! Plus, it takes the stress away from you of having to look for a photographer!
Looking for a wedding videographer?
Well hello! I’m Alesia with Alesia Films and i’m a destination wedding and elopement videographer based in Portland, OR. If you like my work above, please poke around my pricing page, triple check that I’m in your budget and fill out a contact form here! I can’t wait to hear from you!
Happy wedding planning!