Get the glossary: The A-Z of wedding films

Roll up, roll up! We’re translating all the tricky terminology and cinematic jargon you’ll need to know for your wedding film

Aerial filming
Growing in popularity since drones became a cost-effective alternative to helicopters. Check your filmmaker has a commercial licence for drone use.

It’s common (but not essential) for the groom and celebrant to wear a mic for crystal-clear audio. Check the sound quality of a filmmaker’s previous work before signing on the dotted line.

It has yet to replace DVD in the same way the discs destroyed VHS, but for an ultra-HD wedding film, Blu-ray’s resolution can’t be bettered.

Bottle cam
CineMate Films has just launched the ‘bottle cam’: a small, wide-angle camera that can be attached to the neck of a wine bottle. The footage of your guests passing it around can be added to your wedding film. It’s amazing!

This style of filming makes the finished product feel like a real movie, complete with soundtrack, montages and varied cuts. It doesn’t have to be in chronological order.

Also known as ‘reportage’, this is a much more ‘realistic’ finished film, with a more observational style. The best wedding films have a balance of cinematic and documentary filming.

DSLR camera
Digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) cameras are used by photographers and filmmakers to capture high-definition images or footage.
Feature length
The length of your wedding film is an important question for your filmmaker. Some think 45 minutes is perfect – sparing your friends and family from yawning – while others are happy to indulge your epic feature-film fantasies.

Highlights reel
Also known as a wedding trailer, this is a short edit that’s perfect for social media or showing to your colleagues. Most are around three to five minutes long and will normally be edited to music.

Getting hitched in a castle? Tiny windows and dark rooms can present lighting problems if you’re not dealing with an expert. Discuss the venue with your filmmaker to give them time to come up with a solution.

Enlist up-for-it guests to lip-sync to one of your favourite tunes for a hilarious music video that might just be the highlight of your film. Wallflowers should sit this one out.

Having more than one camera captures different perspectives of the day (e.g. wide shots of the guests during the ceremony). Unmanned cameras and additional camera operators can increase the price, though.

Photo montage
Some filmmakers may take stills, or can include your photographer’s shots as a sequence at the end of your film.
The work really begins when the camera stops rolling. Music is added, scenes are created and any special effects are added.

Raw footage
This is the unedited filming from the day. Some companies will offer you a copy of this, but your finished film will always be much more captivating.

Same-day edit
This is a quick edit of the footage from the ceremony, created to be played during the reception so your evening guests can catch up on what has been going on.

The selection of songs to accompany your film. Ditch the current chart-topper and think timeless classics or personal faves instead.

A piece of equipment that stabilises the camera so there are no shaky-handed shots. Works similar to a tripod, but allows your filmmaker to walk around.

Super 8
A retro method of recording using 8mm film to create stunning vintage footage. See: Sugar8 Wedding Films, who can also film in digital or HD and edit the different styles together.

Not the blackout after that last tequila, but a stationary camera set up to capture footage, which is then speeded up during editing to show the passage of time.

Getting your film on USB makes sharing easier, and gives you a back-up in case anything happens to your DVD disc.

Video guestbook
Set this up at the ceremony or reception and your guests can leave you heartfelt messages that you won’t see until you get the final cut. Anything after 10pm is usually comedy gold!