Wedding planning issues

Questions to ask a wedding videographer

Web page upated March 2013

Caption: Candle-lit ceremonies are beautiful. Pro-grade still cameras can handle dim light effectively by using fast lenses. Doug captured the above image using a fast Nikon f:1.4 lens.



Wedding video is a great thing to have. I highly recommend it. For best results there are four technical questions you should discuss with videographers before you hire one.

Amateur video is better than no video at all. If you can afford a video pro, a pro can provider more reliable, better video with better sound, than most amateurs can.


First: Copy Protection (or "digital rights management.")

This is the most important question of all. Some video discs are designed so you can't copy them. It's so you'll purchase extra copies, generating more income for the video company.

The problem is: You won't be able to digitally "refresh" your copies when your DVD's start to fade or when video formats become obsolete. Some day your "protected" video may become impossible to view.

You plan to show your wedding video to future children & grandchildren, right?  So you should choose a videographer who agrees not to use copy protection.

The bottom line is all video discs WILL fade over time and need to be "refreshed" by re-copying onto brand new materials. See our special web page about how long digital discs are expected to last, and how to improve their life span. Click here


 Second: Lighting.

Are you planning a candle-lit ceremony with dim lighting?  Low light is a problem for many video cameras. So discuss your ceremony plans with your videographer before you hire him, whether his camera can handle your dimly lit ceremony, or whether he'll need to boost the light level.

It is normal for both video & still cameras to need extra light during the processional --- when the bride and bridesmaids are walking up the aisle --- because people are moving. Otherwise those pictures will come out blurry.



Caption above: To avoid a blur, videographers and photographers may need to add artificial light when the wedding party is IN MOTION.

Third: Audio.

It's hard to pick up spoken words (your vows and the minister's speech) from a distance. For that reason most videographers will use a wireless microphone to place it closer to the action. Often it's clipped to the groom's lapel. Make sure your videographer has wireless mic's to use.

Wireless lapel mic'swork OK technically. HOWEVER the groom who wears the lapel mic will need to watch what he says! Lapel mic's pick up every embarrassing slip of the tongue. So ask this: Can your video person edit the sound afterwards to delete any embarrassing words!


Fourth: How many cameras?

I recommend TWO cameras for the ceremony (some professionals use three cameras which is also cool.) For the reception one camera is okay.

The reason you need two cameras for a ceremony, is people keep walking in front of your video lens. So you need a second camera angle for when that happens.

Even when the video camera angle is set up carefully at the rehearsal, it doesn't help. Because during the actual ceremony people won't stand where you expected, they will always move over 12 inches so they can stand in front of the video lens. Trust me on this.


We always cooperate 100% with your videographer, whether amateur or professional.  

Doug does not perform videography himself any more. Early in his career Doug shot wedding video, but concluded he needed to specialize his skills & equipment on still photography alone, to do that with excellence.


Wedding planning suggestions: Click here

How long will DVD disks last?: Click here

Marriage license info Click here



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