Many couples ask a friend or family member to video their wedding day. But is this really a good idea, or should you hire a professional wedding videographer?

There is such a lot to think about when you’re planning your wedding. It’s an exciting, occasionally overwhelming time, but it’s worth all the preparation because you know it’s going to be a perfect day. The dress, suits, venue, flowers, cake, DJ and more all contribute to the day you’ll remember for the rest of your lives. But how will you remember it?

Once the day itself is over what will you have left? You might keep your wedding dress and shoes in a box in the loft. You might even freeze the top tier of your cake to enjoy on your first anniversary. For most couples though, the only ways they can really look back on their day are the photographs and the wedding video. Do you really want to entrust either of these once-in-a-lifetime jobs to a well meaning relative?

Videographer Filming Wedding

Yes, it’s definitely cheaper to get Uncle Bob (who has an HD camcorder and makes great holiday videos) to film your wedding. But making that saving now so you can afford the chocolate fountain for the reception could be a decision you will regret when you see the result.

Now I’m not saying your Uncle Bob doesn’t know how to use a video camera, but I am going to make some assumptions about him…

  • He probably doesn’t have two cameras, so he won’t be able to film you saying “I do” and your mum wiping away her tears of joy at the same time. Also, if his one camera malfunctions, that’s that.
  • He probably doesn’t use professional microphones and audio equipment. The microphone on his camcorder may have trouble picking up the vows clearly in a church or large hall, where the sound echoes off the walls.
  • His camera probably stays on auto-focus. This is great for general family filming, but low-light conditions (like those found at most wedding receptions) cause the auto-focus to ‘hunt’ for the right image, causing a lot of blurry shots. Meanwhile, the bright white dress and dark suits are making the auto-exposure swing from one extreme to the other.
  • He probably doesn’t have professional editing software, the skill to edit the footage into an engaging film that captures the emotion of your day while telling the story, or the time to do it. A good wedding video can take ten times longer to edit than it did to film.
  • He probably wants to enjoy your wedding day, so he may not be focussing on making sure he’s in the right place at the right time to film you cutting the cake or taking to the floor for your first dance. He also may not ensure he always has enough battery and space to catch all the important moments.
  • Chances are he’s not a member of a respected industry body such as the Institute of Videography. Organisations like the IOV offer ongoing support and training to their members, as well as requiring that members adhere to a code of practice which, among other things, ensures they carry Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance.

Uncle Bob might be great, but if you want to make sure the sights and sounds of your wedding day are captured in a way you’ll want to watch over and over again, my advice is to decline his kind offer and hire a professional wedding videographer.

Guest post by Jim Cliff

Image from Jim Cliff