Immortalise your day with a wedding DVD that’ll let you relive every moment
With the wedding budget mounting, it can be tempting to cut costs by getting a friend or family member to shoot your wedding video, but getting a professional to do the job will guarantee that you get a high-quality, long-lasting reminder of your celebration.
Craig Clark of CF Productions (cf-productions.co.uk) explains, “You want to be able to relax and enjoy your special day with the knowledge that every magical moment is being captured. When you hire a pro, you can rest assured that one of the most important days of your life is in safe hands.” Robert MacDonald of MacDonald Studio Wedding Films (macdonaldstudio.co.uk) agrees, “If I wanted my walls painted, I would higher a painter/decorator; if I wanted my teeth whitened, I’d go to the dentist. There are always DIY options for things, but the finish would rarely be of professional quality. Employing a professional videographer ensures receipt of a quality product.”
For many couples, a wedding video is one of their ‘must haves’, as it will not only be a memento to enjoy, it’s often something that’s passed down through the generations. “I would like to think that the video of the wedding produced by a professional will be a movie that will be treasured for many years to come,” says William Samson of Samson Video Productions (samsonvideoproductions.co.uk). “Sometimes the initial excitement of having a wedding film is all couples think about when they purchase this service – it’s a great feeling to watch your wedding day back – but we should not forget its importance to the rest of the family, from children, through to grandchildren and great grandchildren,” agrees Simon Ferguson of CineMate Films (cinematefilms.co.uk).
Each videographer has his/her own style and look, so start by checking out websites and doing some research on the different options out there.
Looking at demos or examples of past work should give you a good idea of what you like, as well as the quality of the product you should receive. “Couples should only book once they have seen a sample DVD. It shows the quality of the product and what to expect,” advises Anna MacLean of Thistle Production (thistleproduction.com).
Pay careful attention to the colour and sound of any demos, ensuring that they’re of the best quality. The last thing you want is a scratchy video where your beautiful ivory dress looks off-colour! Ask around, too, as word of mouth is a great way of finding who comes recommended (or not!). But don’t forget to check out the product for yourself to make sure it suits your own tastes.
Once you’ve made a decision, don’t put off giving your supplier a call, as many videographers can be booked up to a year in advance for popular dates. “I would recommend booking as soon as possible to avoid missing out and end up disappointed that you preferred videographer is already booked,” says Craig Clark.
There’s a few things you need to ask your videographer in the run up to the big day. First off, find out how long your videographer will be on site and which parts of the day they usually cover. “It depends on the package you are after, but most standard packages include between eight and 10 hours of the videographer’s time on location,” says Robert MacDonald. Most professionals are flexible on this and can incorporate more or less if you wish, but make sure this is clear before your wedding day arrives as it could incur further cost. Simon Ferguson advises, “We love to start at the preps (bridal and groom) and continue through to the first three dances. I would recommend most couples aim for this sort of coverage as it will add another dimension to the final film.”
As with your other wedding suppliers, check if your videographer is covered by insurance in case they fall ill on the day or their equipment isn’t working.
As you’re away sunning yourself on honeymoon, your videographer will be working through hours of footage and editing it all together before you see it. “Each DVD is painstakingly edited in real time with adjustments to the sound, colour correction, render time (turning the footage into a file that can be burned onto DVD), graphic design, print production and DVD production. Then, of course, there’s quality control. This whole process is standard practice and if done properly you will receive a professionally finished, quality product,” explains Robert MacDonald.
Depending on the videographer and the package you’ve selected, it can take a few weeks for you to receive the finished product. Simon Ferguson advises, “This process can be quite lengthy and you could expect anything from four weeks to three months depending on the season and how many other projects the videographer has on the go.”
After all the post-production work, you should end up with something that you’ll want to watch again and again. Anna MacLean says, “You should receive a contemporary and well-edited video with clear sound and good visuals. Otherwise, it would be like watching a movie with a dodgy irritating sound. Professional products should be good both visually and aurally.”
There are also the options of adding music and special effects to your video, which you should discuss with your videographer before the wedding day. “There is scope for applying a great number of special effects to a wedding video. However, I believe that these should be kept to a minimum and only used where appropriate. After all, a wedding film shouldn’t be an exercise in how clever the videographer can be at putting a film together,” says William Samson. Most videographers will allow you to provide a list of songs that hold special meaning to you and can also suggest what they think would work well to accompany the visuals.
Price can vary considerably depending on your package. What you shell out will also be dependent on the location, experience, equipment and availability of the videographer. “I understand that not every couple can afford a premium price tag for a wedding DVD. Thankfully, nowadays they don’t have to. With the change in technology over the past five years or so, camera equipment and editing suites have become more affordable, allowing companies to offer a price tag considerably less than what used to be considered the norm,” explains Craig Clark. Prices start from a few hundred pounds and go up to a few thousand, but somewhere in the middle is the norm.
If you love the idea of having your day captured on film but you’re looking for something a bit different, there are alternative options available to cater for your tastes.
Using Super 8mm film, Eileen O’Rourke of Sugar8 Wedding Films provides a vintage-style classic piece of film that captures the essense of what makes your day special. “Shooting on film is so rare nowadays, but so beautiful. It creates lovely, flattering colours and gives a nostalgic look to the film without the need to use any filters or special effects. It’s very organic and romantic in a way that digital formats can never quite recreate,” she explains. Music plays a big part as the film recording is silent, so you can include your favourite songs and Eileen can suggest others that will make an impact. “I create more than just a ‘wedding video’ – I see it as something more artistic and cinematic than that,” says Eileen. “A lot rests on the editing and music choices that transform it into a wedding film.
”Starring in your very own film – you can’t get much better than that, can you?