What Parts of the Day Does a Wedding Videographer Capture?
- Owner of Acquainted Wedding Productions
- Obtained her Bachelor of Arts, Film and Media Arts, Spanish at Temple University
Most wedding video packages come with a set number of hours of coverage, and it is up to the couple to determine how to assign them. What makes wedding videos unique is that it combines both the wedding industry and the film industry. Because of this, it’s very important that the couple and the videographer are on the same page. Before determining what the videographer should capture, you should understand their package.
1. Hours of Coverage — “”Coverage”” does not mean footage. In Hollywood, a 12 hour day could result in 2 hours of raw footage, that then gets cut down to only 10 minutes of final video — and that’s with a script and an entire team of professionals. Wedding videography is similar to documentary “”gun-and-run”” style filming. Your wedding coverage will include the time it takes the videographer to set up the camera(s), find the perfect angle, and capture the moment. Without proper set up time (especially for moments that require sound such as ceremony and speeches), the videographer can’t do their best work. Even when the camera is not rolling, the videographer is still working. I promise.
2. Hours are usually continuous — Most shooters will not “”piecemeal”” hours together, and for a good reason. When a couple says, “”We want you to film from 2pm-3pm, and then from 7pm-10pm, so that equals 4 hours of coverage””, that is telling the shooter to leave the premises between 3pm and 7pm. If the shooter leaves, that means they are probably going to miss something. You should be the only project the shooter is working on that day. You don’t want your time to get cut short because the shooter has booked another gig in between your wedding events. It’s in both the videographer’s and the couple’s best interest to keep the coverage continuous even if a specific “”event”” isn’t happening. Your wedding day will be amazingly busy — there will always be something to film.
3. Capture what you won’t see — There is a lot going on during your wedding day. If the couple is off by themselves getting photos taken, they are probably missing something else happening with their guests. Instead of doubling up on coverage (having a videographer film what your photographer is capturing) I would suggest to split them up. Have your photographer take the beautiful posed Formal pictures, and have your videographer capture the cocktail hour.
4. Coverage Breakdown — I have produced over 200 wedding videos for various national wedding companies before forming my own business. When talking with a couple, I always offered a suggested video breakdown of the day. Be sure to ask your videographer for suggestions — they are the professional — but here is what I always suggest to couples:
Bride Prep – 1 to 1.5 hrs
Groom Prep – 0.5 to 1 hr
First Look – 0.5 hrs
Formals – (not necessary, but if you want them) 0.5 to 1 hr
Ceremony Set Up – 1 hr (absolutely necessary! You want the shooter to be able to set up sound and get the perfect angle without
disturbing your guests as they arrive)
Ceremony – as long as your ceremony is (they should film the entire thing)
Cocktails – 0.5 hr to 1 hr
Reception Set Up – 0.5 to 1 hr (the videographer needs to capture decorations, favors, and the cake, as well as set up audio with the band or DJ)
Reception – No more than 1 hr less than your reception (if you reception ends at 10pm, the shooter can leave anytime after 9pm).
Typically 8-10 hours is a good amount of coverage for an average wedding.
If you have to cut anything, I would suggest cutting the end of the reception. Unless you have an event planned (cake cutting, grand exit, etc) the end of a reception is typically a lot of tipsy dancing that doesn’t fair well on video. It’s more important to capture the prep in the beginning of the day, then to capture the dancing at the very end of the night. Remember, every wedding is different! Be sure to find out what your videographer suggests for your specific wedding.
Angela Wolf Quaintance
Alexander F. Lewis
A Lewis Films
Colorfield Media, LLC
Film House Weddings
Greg Hoffman Films