“Do I really need a wedding video?” That is one of the most asked questions by brides and grooms in the planning process, and our answer may surprise you. NO, you don’t NEED a wedding video.
“But wait! You’re Tag Visual. Your business IS wedding videos. That’s all you do!”
That’s right. But it all comes down to the word NEED. You don’t NEED a wedding video just like you don’t need the most expensive dress or the $10k photographer or the mashed potato bar at cocktail hour or the party bus with 30 speakers and flashing lights. When it comes to planning a wedding, you’re forced to make some difficult decisions that are often dictated by your budget. All that is absolutely NEEDED is for the two of you to show up, say yes and have fun. Good company and good music help. Beyond that, everything else is a nice to have, not a NEED to have.
Now, if the question changes from “do I need a wedding video” to “should I get a wedding video” or “is a wedding video worth the money”, our admittedly biased opinion changes. But we aren’t here to tell you what to do. Here are some things to think about when deciding on whether a wedding video will be part of your plans:
If you do not get a video your wedding will still be visually preserved via photos. In addition to your hired photographer (or more typically your photo
team), you’ll have a hundred or so unpaid photographers (a.k.a. your guests) running around the place snapping photos all night long. And cell phone cameras have gotten so good that you’ll get some high-quality snaps from those peeps. But what gets lost, and lost forever, without a wedding video is the sound from your day. Your vows, your speeches, the music and the laughter disappear into a blurred string of memories that you’ll never be able to accurately recall. My brother stunned us with an incredible best man speech in which he compared my wife to a little league baseball jacket worn by a homeless man. That may sound crazy, but it made perfect sense and was completely complimentary and flattering. I can’t image not being able to go back and listen to that. It’s one of our prized possessions.
My wife and I were married in 2010, and we were fortunate to have four grandparents at the wedding. All four looked great and were smiling from ear to ear. We’ve since lost all four, along with several aunts, uncles and friends. My father passed away two years ago as well, and I recently went back and watched the clip of him walking my mom down the aisle and a clip of the two of them dancing together. I’ll cherish that forever. Sure, we had plenty of photos of that, but photos don’t move. Turning on that video will never bring our loved ones back to life (obviously), but honestly it comes closer than anything else we have.
Speaking of the last couple hours of the reception, that is a portion of the night that typically isn’t very well represented by photographs. In fact, many photographers start packing up their gear to leave shortly after the cake is cut. The consensus among photographers is that the fun dancing starts to look the same after a while in images. On video, however, that’s consistently our couples’ favorite part. To hear the music and your guests singing (or screaming) along is a blast. And those dance moves, often encouraged and facilitated by a bevy or two, are hilarious! Watching the fun makes you feel like you’ve been dropped back on to the center of your dance floor, and photos simply cannot do that.
Couples often think that the wedding video is something they are choosing to get (or not get) solely for themselves. What my wife and I have learned is that the video is just as much for our children who were both born in the five years immediately following the wedding. They have zero memory of a couple of their great grandparents, and of the few pieces of video that we have of them they certainly look their very best on our wedding day. The kids have always gotten a kick out of watching our video, specifically the last couple hours of the reception. They are half amused and half embarrassed but that’s pretty much how all kids feel about their parents, right?!
First looks have become so common both for our couples as well as with their parents. Whether our brides are seeing their father or their partner for the first time on the wedding day, we have our cameras rolling. But just as important we have a wireless mic on dad and on our groom. First look is often the most emotional moment of the day, and to be able to hear that emotion in addition to seeing it is something you’ll love.
Video got a bad rep back in the day because the cameras used to be huge, and you needed incredibly bright lights to properly expose the footage. You typically had a video guy, dressed in a tuxedo with a cummerbund, buzzing around your wedding with a tripod on wheels. It was distracting and honestly not worth the effort for the product. Wedding videography today, and particularly wedding videography in the Philadelphia area, is much different. The cameras are super small, often completely indistinguishable from your photographer’s cam, and they don’t require nearly as much light to produce a beautiful image. The camera support equipment (tripods, etc) are much smaller as well, and you only have a few dinosaurs still roaming around with those giant tripods on wheels. This is NOT your grandparents’ or parents’ wedding videography landscape.
We, like many wedding videographers, are fortunate to collect lots of reviews from happy couples after the wedding. I can’t begin to tell you how many of our reviews on The Knot, Google or Wedding Wire begin with “we were on the fence about getting a wedding video” or “my husband didn’t think we needed a wedding video”. Like this one from Danielle D:
“My husband and I almost didn’t hire a videographer for our special day. We thought it was just an extra expense that we could do without. Many other couples told us we would end up regretting that decision when the day is over. We’ve now lived it and know the true meaning behind ‘the day goes by so fast’. We are SO glad we decided to go through with a videographer.”
You’re certainly not alone if you’re thinking the same way as Danielle when she was planning her wedding. Whether or not to get a video is one of the many decisions you’ll have to make for the big day and hopefully some of the info provided in this article helps. Remember, you both NEED to show up. Everything beyond that is a matter of prioritization.