Wedding Videographer: Aerial view of waterfront wedding ceremony, bride walking down a greenery lined aisle
THE HUNT

The Hunt: How to Find the Best Wedding Videographer

Your Most Important Memories—in Motion
BY DAISY MELAMED SANDERS / 04 11 22
Photo by KT Merry

When it comes to remembering your wedding day, photos are an obvious choice for framing, sending to friends and family, passing down to your kids. But when it comes to truly reliving your big day—the feels, the atmosphere, all of it—a video reigns supreme. Not only will a good wedding video allow you to go back in time and plant your feet back on that gorgeous white aisle runner you spent so much time picking out, but you’ll also be able to re-watch those moving, important speeches to your heart’s content. “Seeing a photo of your parents giving their welcome speech at your wedding captured and frozen in time forever is one thing,”  says Alex Clayton of Clayton Film Co., “But having the ability to play back the way their voice trembled as they spoke and see the tear roll down their cheek in real time is a whole different level.” 

In fact, picking a wedding videographer, the best wedding videographer for you, is just as important as picking any other vendor—if not more, since the videographer will document each and every other vendor’s work—and should be treated with equal care. Your videographer, after all, will be responsible for capturing the energy of the day in a wedding video, which is only becoming more and more important, with couples looking to share the magic of their big day on social media, and, even more recently in real-time, live-streaming the event for family and friends who aren’t able to attend (due to a pandemic or any other reason). So, where to begin the search for this most essential wedding videographer? Read on for our best advice on how to get those memories made, the right way.

Wedding Videographer: Couple walking up the aisle at their Indian wedding ceremony being showered with flower petals
Wedding Videographer: Aerial view of a bride walking down the aisle of her vintage estate wedding ceremony

1. Know Yourself (and Your Wedding Videography Aesthetic)

The first thing to remember is that, like any other part of your big day, your videographer should fit your vibe. “Your wedding videographer, along with your photographer, will be with you throughout the entirety of your wedding day,” notes videographer Peyton Anne Frank. “Selecting someone who you trust to provide you with a seamless day-of experience and to capture your memories for generations to come is a big decision. You can learn a lot by asking about a cinematographer's approach to filming the wedding day. Also, ensure that the storytelling and visual style of your cinematographer aligns with your wedding vision. Just like with any other vendor, when you find an artist that you can fully trust to capture and tell your story, you can step back, relax, and simply enjoy the process!”

2. Start the Search for Your Wedding Videographer

To begin your search, talk to your photographer, if you already have one lined up. Some photography studios offer video services, too, which not only makes your hiring process a lot easier, but will ensure that the photographer and videographer work well together on the day-of, and deliverables afterwards. Even if your photographer does not have a videography partner, he or she may have someone they prefer to work with, or whom they can recommend. 

If this isn’t an option for you (maybe you haven’t chosen a photog yet, or perhaps you’re just not feeling their recommendation), your wedding planner may have a few contacts of their own, as may your venue. Of course, our massive library of weddings also offers a slew of real-life examples to gain inspiration, and is searchable by location—and if you really love someone’s work, you can get in touch with them directly from their profile. Similarly, social media is your friend, so put those Instagram stalking skills to good use and hunt down some wedding video vignettes you’re mad for. 

You might be wondering whether your wedding videographer needs to be local to where you live, or your wedding destination. While there are some conveniences to working with someone in the area, most wedding videographers are not only willing to travel to shoot your event, they primarily travel for events. So if you’re searching in your area and not really finding anyone you love, cast a wider net and you’ll tap into a larger pool of talent. Some of the top wedding videographers who regularly travel to shoot weddings include: 

Be mindful that you’ll need to cover the cost of travel and accommodations for your wedding videographer if you are asking him or her to travel to shoot for your celebration, but in the end that’s a small price to pay to guarantee that you’ll have a top tier videographer—and wedding video.

Wedding Videographer: Aerial view of a rooftop garden wedding ceremony at the 620 Loft & Garden in New York City
Wedding Videographer: Aerial view of a modern rooftop wedding ceremony with wedding couple holding hands at the altar
Wedding Videographer: Aerial view of cliff-side wedding ceremony in Mexico with wedding couple standing at the altar

3. Envision Your Wedding Video(s)

Once you have a few names in mind, consider what you actually need from a wedding videographer. Do you want your whole event captured—from the rehearsal dinner to hanging with your bridesmaids and the getting-ready process all the way to the after party late-night shenanigans?—or are you more focused solely on the ceremony? Similarly, consider what you’d like to get after the fact: Are funny wedding videos or clips your goal, or do you prefer a more serious wedding highlight video? Do you want the raw footage, or a more neatly-packaged final product? Do you have dreams of a wedding drone, capturing the magic from 100 feet above? (Yes, drone videography for weddings is a very real thing! But before you go bananas, keep in mind that drones work best for outdoor venues, and your videographer may have to have a drone pilot’s license to legally operate one, depending on where you’re getting hitched. Be sure to check all local and venue regulations on the matter.) Some videographers even include custom iPads for clients, pre-loaded with all of your videos and photos, for you to keep and cherish. 

And don’t forget, as you think about what you want and by who, consider the videographer(s) themselves: Do you want a number of cameras swooping and swirling around the dance floor, or is just one enough? While multiple wedding videographers can mean lots of extra footage to work with, and the ability to capture many things at once, it can also mean more people to feed (quite literally, since you need to count your vendors into the caterer’s headcount!) and more people around you. 

Wedding Videographer: Bridal party kneeling in the getting ready robes, laughing and throwing confetti into the air
Wedding Videographer: Wedding couple walking into their garden estate wedding reception, groom holding the wedding bouquet in the air

4. Balance the Wedding Budget

As the answers to these questions begin to solidify, you should also keep the dollars and cents of it all in mind. Wedding videographer prices vary so much: while many offer tiered packages combining various elements at different prices, others offer a strictly a la carte menu of options—which is a great way to buffet-style pick-and-choose, but the costs can add up in order to get you *everything* you want. Another element to consider is where your dream videographer is located: if flying him or her (and, most likely, at least one assistant) in for your big weekend is part of the plan, the total cost will increase significantly.

As you most definitely know by now, your wedding is basically one big budget balancing act. And while, in 2021, the average cost of a wedding was more than $22,000 (up from just under $21,000 in 2020), the average wedding videographer cost hovers around $1,800—but can be as much as $10,000. In other words, your videographer can eat up 8-10% or more of your total budget. That’s a big investment—a worthy one, but a big one, nonetheless. All the more reason to choose wisely.

Wedding Videographer: Mother of the wedding bride and the bride standing next to a window, the mother is zipping up the bride's wedding dress
Wedding Videographer: Wedding couple dancing under their modern, black and white, glowing tented wedding reception as their guests look on

5. Ask Wedding Videographers the Right Questions

Given the price tag, it’s obvious that a videographer is worth taking the time to hire right. Like any vendor for your wedding, interviewing with an eye for finding your perfect match is the key. Prepare yourself with a list of questions, ranging from their favorite wedding venues to shoot to how they work on the day itself. And be sure you get a feel for how they work with brides: “A great question to ask your potential wedding videographer is, ‘Are you open to collaborating?’ To prepare for your first call with a videographer I would not only watch the videos but also listen to them,” advises Clayton. “Are you the type of person who likes to hear speeches and sentimental moments played over the video or do you like something more upbeat and focused on having fun?” Just like you’re a unique bride, no two videographers are exactly the same, so take the time to ensure their style is cohesive with your photography and overall aesthetic, and it’s a personality match.

This is particularly important if you’re into slightly more complex ideas, like snagging some aerial drone footage, so be sure you check out lots of examples of their work before you seal the deal—you don’t want any choppy footage or, gasp, a drone crash to take away from your I-Dos! 

6. Book Your Best Pick!

Congratulations, you found the one—and by that we mean that perfect videographer match, of course. The only thing left to do? Sign, seal, deliver the deal. And stockpile the tissues for all the emotional viewings in years to come!