As a wedding videographer, the most common unasked question I perceive from brides centers around the
Different types of wedding films available.
If you’re newly engaged and planning for your special day, I hope you are looking at wedding videography options. Most if not all couples consider it a given to have a wedding photographer, but many discard the idea of a wedding film.
Besides hurting my feelings, (just kidding, I don’t quite know you unless you sign up for my newsletter or book with me), this hurts my heart for the couple.
Because there are so many special moments that can’t be adequately portrayed in just photos and even if so, can be further enhanced with beautiful films. Find out more on why you should hire a wedding videographer.
But I digress.
To help you be better prepared for your research on wedding videography options, let’s discuss the many types of wedding videography style.
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Highlight films also known as a highlight video, are one of the most commonly, if not the most common, booked popular wedding video styles.
It is also a staple option for wedding videographers to offer in their packages.
A highlight film is a few minutes in length that varies anywhere from 3-5 minutes and possibly even longer but usually less than 7 minutes in duration. This type of film also falls into the broad category of cinematic videos due to the nature of its storytelling.
It is like a movie of the wedding couple’s entire wedding day. And there are so many ways to produce this.
Essentially all the footage obtained during the entire day is edited into short video clips spliced together to give a summary of the day. We’re talking all those important moments and details, like the wedding dress, morning preparations, even a clip of the reception site before and after the wedding reception is in full force.
Typically, this is set to music, but a professional videographer will also include some sort of story-telling with audio clips recorded by the bride and groom. This could be the audio and accompanying footage of letter readings or vows.
BUT a wedding cinematographer won’t stop there.
He or she will include special effects and elements of sound design, color grading, flares, and even graphics of the wedding date or names of the couple to create a film-like feel to the wedding video.
Personally, this is my favorite type of finished film. These tend to come across as longer than the actual end result but provide a unique cinematic style of wedding video that leaves the couple all in their feels.
It is a great way to combine all the little things of the wedding couple’s big day into a short-form video that they are guaranteed to love and make their investment worth it even if it’s the only wedding video type booked.
A feature film could be considered to be a longer version of the highlight film. Many wedding videographers consider this to be longer than 6-7 minutes and, in all honesty, depends on your wedding videographer and what they offer.
The edits of a highlight film can be told in chronological order or not. Usually, it is created in a cinematic film type of way, where the imagination of the videographer in the editing process can run wild.
They can mix and match the best moments of the day like the wedding party dancing at the end being presented at the beginning, and a huge moment in the wedding vows told at the very end. Others can relay the love story in chronological order as the events of the day were filmed but still in cinema-like fashion.
A feature film can be similar to that but just longer. Many wedding videographers stick to a chronological portrayal of the wedding day footage as they feel it’s the best way to convey the couple’s story for a long video production.
If you’re considering this type of film, discuss this with your wedding videographer. Your research and perusal of their portfolio should give you a sense of what he or she can and will do and you will likely end up trusting them to decide how to portray your day in this longer film type.
One thing is sure though.
Many details that may not make the final cut in a shorter highlight video will likely make it in a feature film. The longer duration gives the time and space to ensure all the special moments like your grand entrance into the reception, special moves on the dance floor and featured family members are portrayed.
Yes, it will likely be an additional cost but it will MOST definitely be well worth it.
Ceremony videos would fall into the category of a documentary style of film.
This type of film is a straightforward chronological order of the ceremony from beginning to end. Again, a wedding cinematographer will do you a solid by liking recording your ceremony with multiple camera angles and then splicing it together to give a direct film of the wedding ceremony without the embellishments of adding other short clips in and the other little details like background music.
This is a type of long video wedding film that brides usually add on in addition to a highlight film.
It is a great way to capture your ceremony to avoid missing all the details that could be left out of a short form video like the highlight reel.
A wedding teaser or trailer is a short film style of wedding film. If you’re wanting a cinematic style wedding video, this is the film to bring that type of filming.
Just as the name implies, a teaser film is like a movie teaser.
Usually limited to being a minute film or less, it gives you some of the best key moments of the wedding day in quick succession.
The goal is to intrigue you and spark your excitement and anticipation for the final film. It’s perfect for sharing on social media platforms and recently, has been a different way to sharing some of your special moments with friends and family without sharing every moment.
For couples who are private about their wedding day and thus wedding film, this could easily be a great opportunity to include loved ones while still keeping the other special details private. In addition, it is usually completed within a week so the gratification of having something immediately after the best day of your life is priceless.
Some videographers offer this as an add-on but others include this with their packaging. Either way, it is one of the popular styles of film for those who are big into social media presence.
Here’s the skinny on RAW footage… don’t get it.
No, but seriously, this should be low on your totem pole of “musts” when it comes to looking at wedding videography purchase options.
When wedding couples ask about RAW footage, my first question as a professional wedding videographer, is why do you want RAW footage?
RAW footage is the footage that is recorded without any post-production editing done to it. It’s coming straight from the camera.
This is typically NOT what the bride or groom will actually want, but they may not know this. The reason being is that so many video editing techniques are done in post-production that gives the viewer a pleasurable viewing experience.
That means color-grading, removing shaky footage, editing the audio for high quality audio results and more. Not to mention, the amount of storage needed for RAW footage can be hundreds to thousands of gigabytes, which most people do not readily have.
As an option to this type of film, I know myself and other wedding videographers will offer a FOMO film. Now, it may not be called that by everyone but the concept is the same.
Fear Of Missing Out on Anything Film
This is a Fear Of Missing Out on anything type of film. Meaning you’re taking the entire film footage of the day, correcting any shaky footage, bad audio and applying simple if any color grading to it, then splicing all the clips together in chronological order from start to end.
This is for those who do not want to miss anything from the events of the day. Whether those are best moments are not, big moments or small, it gives them every bit of detail that they otherwise would not get in any of the other previously discussed films.
It is quite simply impossible to put everything into a highlight or even wedding ceremony film. This type of film gives documentary edits to RAW footage so that nothing is missed yet it’s still enjoyable to watch without having to deal with really difficult to watch footage.
However, this can also be quite expensive since you’re asking for all the footage from 6 or more hours of shooting captured. So do be prepared to pay a pretty penny if you’re looking to have this as a final product!
Then there are other types of films that are more popular in some places than others. This includes First Look films and Engagement films.
Depending on the culture of the location you’re in, yes, I mean geographical locations, this can be a sought-after film or not. For example, in Utah, there are a lot of couples who do their “first look” on a different day than their wedding ceremony.
So many invest in a First Look short film.
Only a few minutes long, it provides a unique opportunity to capture the raw emotions of the engaged couple seeing each other for the first time.
There are also Engagement Films which a couple can film on any day before their wedding.
Incorporating a main feature like telling their love story to the camera while showcasing clips of them being together is a great way to capture special moments before marriage and then reflect on the difference after they’re married.
Personally, I have suggested these types of films as a way to also create a “Save the Date” film to send to friends and family.
As you can see, you can make these different styles of wedding videography work for you in many ways and not just be a reflective video to watch after the fact.
To Summarize: Different Styles of Wedding Videography
… from short to long form should be customizable to your specific needs. More likely than not, they will fall into one of the popular forms we’ve discussed.
You can see another perspective by ZOLA’s take on types of wedding videographers here.
Now when it comes to the vibe you’re going for, like slow motion and sweet versus upbeat and fast, that will depend on the style of the wedding videographer you employ.
Research potential wedding videographers
My suggestion is to do your research. Look at wedding videographers’ portfolios, previous work and current work, whether on their website or on social media. You should be able to find their ongoing work in different places and on different platforms.
And if you find a wedding videographer’s style of wedding videography fitting to what you are wanting, but might want to try something you don’t think they have done, talk. to. them.
Honestly, sometimes email or messaging communication just does not cut it.
Get on a phone or zoom call with them and discuss your heart’s desire.
I have found that the couples I speak with the most are the ones whose vision I am most easily able to understand, answer their questions or concerns, give clear information on what I can and can’t provide and at the end of the day, creates a bond where the relationship formed lasts beyond the video produced.
And many times, it gives me, as a wedding videographer an unspoken incentive to do everything I can to capture and portray their wedding day to the absolute best of my ability.
So, take a minute. Watch some wedding videos, and figure out what wedding film style will best suit your needs.
If this helped enlighten you to the main styles of wedding videography in any way, let me know! And if there’s something else you’d like to hear more of, I’m all ears. Feedback is key.
Talk soon, cheers!