Do I Need a Wedding Videographer?

Reflection of bride having her make up applied


It seems to me (although it would do because I’m a photographer!) that most couples prioritise photography and then possibly think about having a videographer afterwards or later in the planning process. I guess that if I was a videographer I might have a different view as I’m sure that there are couples that will prioritise videography and then maybe choose a photographer but I do get asked a lot as to whether I think it’s a good idea to have a videographer or not in addition to myself at the wedding so, in an attempt to crystallize my thinking onto the written page as it were – here goes!!


Firstly, I think it’s important to imagine how you would like to remember your day.

Watching a video is a very different experience to picking up a photograph album for example. With an album you can dip in and out, spend a moment with it and then go away however, with a video you essentially have to sit down and watch it, possibly from beginning to end as it’s not really the sort of thing that you might dip in and out of.

This has advantages in that watching a video becomes much more of an “occasion” and maybe a more emotionally absorbing experience but you might, eventually, use a video less than a set of still photographs – particularly if they are readily accessible in printed form. There is also something about the tactility and immediacy of a printed image, a timeless quality that will stand repeated usage.


Secondly, how many times might you watch it??

Now I can only talk from personal experience here but I’m not a great one for watching films over and over, basically because I know what happens and the experience is less absorbing each time I watch ( I think although there are some films that become more emotionally involving with familiarity though) so it might be that having a wedding video doesn’t stand repeated viewings in the same way that photography can. I have a bit of a theory on this which is that a video feeds you the story and is, to a certain extent, a literal representation of what happened on the day. A good photograph should act as an aid memoir……it can evoke emotion, you have to use your imagination and fill in the story around the image, for me at least a photograph is a creative spark whereas a film is like being spoonfed.


Thinking back to looking at my parent’s wedding album as a child I would pore over the pictures, imagine the atmosphere and spin stories in my head about what happened just before and after the image was taken. When it transpired that they had an old Super 8 film of some of the day it actually shattered the whole romance and illusion of the day for me. A slightly extreme example perhaps but that’s how it was for me – food for thought……….

This is starting to sound really anti video and that really isn’t my intention!


wedding speeches at Longstowe Hall Cambridge


I have seen some completely awesome wedding videos that have been created with sensitivity, loving care and complete skill and craftsmanship. The sort of films where skilful use of images, music and recordings from the day are put together with such brilliance that I have had a tear in my eye and it hasn’t even been my wedding!


Surely something like this is the perfect compliment to stills photography – you have the best of both worlds.


To a certain extent why should a fantastic wedding video not replace the stills photography? Do you really need both? It might be a good idea to invest the amount of money that you would have spent on both videographer and photographer in being able to afford just one awesome videographer, or just one awesome photographer?


So, I think I’m saying it depends on you and how you feel about the end result and how you think you might want to re experience your big day. But one thing that I am categorically clear on though is that it is ALWAYS a bad idea to hire a cheap videographer.


If you don’t have the budget just get a friend to do it (this is very common). You will probably get something fairly basic but it won’t cost you anything. I can tell you that there are few things at a wedding that are worse than a bad videographer. They can be intrusive and always in the way, they can make my life much more difficult than it need be and, if you have ever seen a bad wedding video, you will realise that the hassle just isn’t worth it.


Conversely having a good videographer can be fantastic, we will often liase closely and work as a team to cover as much of the day as possible and the results should complement each other brilliantly. I also really enjoy working with someone else on the day and a good videographer will realise that we are on the same side and not in competition at all!


If you are in a bit of a videographer dilemma I hope that has been helpful and given you a few things to think about. I’m very happy to recommend a fantastic videographer, just get in touch and I will do that. If you are looking for a great stills photographer who is videographer friendly then drop me a line!


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