These days, looking for a wedding videographer to film your special day is just as important as picking out your wedding cake. Video has transformed how people want to remember their wedding day and how we share it with people. We’ve made a guide to point you in the right direction when looking for the perfect company to film your wedding day.
Start your search at least 12 months in advance
A year is a long time to wait, but it can fly by pretty fast. Starting your search early means there is a greater chance of companies being available, therefore, giving you more options. In comparison, if you tried to book the same company 2 months before your wedding date, that company might already be booked. In other instances, a company might raise the rate on you because they know how desperate you are with so little time left.
Ask around – nothing beats word of mouth
This is a great way to start your search. Navigate to Facebook and type in something like “Anyone have an experience with wedding video companies in ________ city?” This will open up your search to a lot more people as well as their social network. People are also more willing to be honest because they don’t want their friends to have bad experiences.
Read reviews written by past clients
A lot of people trust Yelp for food reviews and the same applies when searching for a good wedding video company. Yelp can be gamed to some degree when it comes to visibility on the site – companies can pay for an ad to display before the actual #1 rated search result. Do not rely on the top result, or even any companies in the top 5 results on Yelp.
Read the actual customer reviews!
Keep an eye out for genuine reviews; are a lot of the reviews only all positive and have too many exclamation marks?!!!!! Maybe they are getting a referral credit or are a friend of the owner. Notice if people talk about specific things that they liked about working with that company. For example, maybe the owner makes it a point to personally film each wedding alongside their team to assure quality work.
Another Yelp tip: BE NEGATIVE. Look for negative reviews; if a certain company has something that people consistently mention, be aware.
Look at their portfolio
People might be relieved when they finally find the one company with 200 5-star Yelp reviews that everyone seems to love. But stop! Have you seen any of their work? If not, you need to check it out and ask yourself if it “speaks to you.” Yes, that sounds full of cringe, but with so many video companies out there, there must be the right one that fits who you are as a couple. The company that can best capture what you want might not necessarily be the #1 search result.
Below is a video by one of my favorite wedding video companies, Amora Cinema. What I love about their work is how cinematic it is, and how they seamlessly incorporate natural environments into their videos. I feel like if Terrence Malick made wedding videos, it would be something close to what Amora does.
The company that can best capture what you want might not necessarily be the #1 search result.
Make a list and be specific
When watching the videos of prospective companies, be specific about why you like or don’t like a video.
“I don’t like it” or “I really like it,” alone isn’t helpful in communicating with other people. Be specific! What exactly do you like about this video, or what exactly did you not like about this video? Maybe you like how they incorporated the bride’s spelunking hobby into her wedding video, or may you didn’t like how mushy and gross their video was. Make a mental note of these details and save them for the next step which is:
Contact your top 2 companies and schedule a face-to-face meeting with each
It is important to meet face-to-face with either the owners or the lead videographers of the companies you’ve narrowed your list down to. You want to get a sense of who they are, if they are cool and will “get you” and your personality in order to incorporate that into the video. This is an opportunity to make new acquaintances, but really, you are looking to possibly hire these people (for a pretty penny), to film a once-in-a-lifetime event. Use your own judgement, trust your instincts, and sleep on it.
Don’t let price factor into your decision too early
When it comes to wedding video productions, you really get what you pay for. Get word of mouth suggestions, read the reviews, watch the work they put out, but don’t ask about their prices too early in your search.
What happens is that this limits you to the bottom-of-the-barrel options without even getting to see everything that is out there. You might just be settling for a company that you think is right for you just because of their price, but your special, once-in-a-lifetime day deserves better than that.
Bonus Tip: Have a “dream company” that is way out of your price range? Contact them anyway.
Sometimes, all it takes is to directly, and sincerely, express how much you want that company to film your wedding day. It is okay to let them know that they are a little out of your budget. A company will sometimes see that as an asset – even though they will be making less money, they will gain a client who is ecstatic about their video being produced by their dream company. A client like this will likely give them a great review and possible clients in the future.
This is not always the case, but it’s worth trying. It also helps to not point out how they’ll benefit from taking on your video as it will come across as pushy and like you don’t think their work is worth as much as they are asking.