Planning a wedding can be a challenging and exhausting search, albeit one that can have awesome rewards. Referrals can be great, a friend who recently was married and loved their DJ or photographer (yes, even video!), and were flattered by the results? Heck yeah, sign up! Ever attended a wedding and fell in love with the venue and thought ‘”This is where I wanna get married!”, it can help a massive amount of time and visiting with venues, taste testing foods etc. Literally weekends are saved. My cousin, she fell in love with my brothers chocolate cake:)
However sometimes, you’re just left flat. No recommendations, none of your friends provide you with glowing reviews of a particular vendor. Often for various reasons, you don’t get much feedback on a few. Maybe they felt the rates were too high, maybe no one danced the night away, or maybe the Photo Booth was stuffed in the corner and kinda lame, whereas they wish they had video to relive their day.
Typically, couples go to sites Google, The Knot, or Wedding Wire to begin their search. Which is the obvious choice, most industries have become this way. However, there’s a caveat: Alot of these companies are not located near Philly.
Yeah, may not be earth shattering to you, and likely you kinda knew that, which is fine. However let me tell you why I feel this is a detriment to the industry. Wedding videography is a tedious process, keeping up with the bridal party, lugging gear around (tripods, which photographers don’t carry), setting up from location to location. Photo sessions, 1st dances, toasts (audio, which photographers aren’t concerned with), first look etc. Everything requires being there in advance, a steady camera, and ready to go. Rarely is one offered a ‘Oh, wait a minute’, one or two of these becomes a major turnoff the the couple, and possibly other vendors (photographer, DJ, Maetre Die). Then the dance floor opens up, you cut the cake, and its just fun time from there.
However, that’s just the first half of the workload. Then, it becomes editing. Now, let me explain, editing is not simply polishing it up, or trimming it here & there. In fact I once read where a couple purchased a unedited video package then was devastated it wasn’t that good nor set to music. Editing is shooting 2 or 3 takes (if possible) of various scenes, then later choosing the best of them, assembling clips and segments of the day (bridal prep, first look, ceremony, bridal party photos, entrances/1st dance/toasts) and then dancing, and setting it to music.
Myself, I try to give the extra and time the edits to the music.
However what do these national chains do? Well, it’s not exactly an industry secret that the videographers tend to be just that, videographers. Once the wedding day is over, they ship off all the clips from your day, and that’s the end of their workweek.
So who edits it?
Dunno. In house editors I presume. They may be really skilled at it. And fast. Admittedly they are possibly faster than me, although they are likely editing numerous wedding per month. Definitely don’t base your decision on speed. It is a question I get asked often, what’s your turnaround time? (For me, 6-8 weeks). Wouldn’t you want your editor to be the person who attended your day? Or at least have pretty significant input? To know who the funny bridesmaid was, the moment the groomsmen cracked a joke during the toasts and to cut to a reaction shot of the bride laughing? To know grandmom was out on the dance floor around 9:30?
Now you wouldn’t want your editor to miss these events, would you? I’ve actually seen a few of these ‘edits’ and I gotta say, more than anything, the dance floor segments, which I love, and love to edit btw, come off as lame. Just extended 12 second cuts with little excitement, lasting about 3 minutes long, fade to black. Weddings over. I once did an afternoon wedding where the dancing started around 1pm. People slowly migrated out to the dance floor, and by 4pm they were still partying, guests were undecided if they wanted to leave or keep going. Guess what? They kept going. Stayed till 5pm ending and danced their rear ends off, having fun. In that full length video I had 200 different clips in the dance floor scenes alone, 2 song choices were used, nearly 9 minutes long. It was epic! And I was so glad the couple got the chance to relive nearly every moment of their day.
That is what I like to provide. Cause I’ll tell you what you can’t get with a national vendor. Me. Me, someone who cares about your day, carefully plans out the shoot and shoots nearly every moment knowing how it might be of use in the final edit, then crafts a carefully developed wedding video to best reflect upon your wedding day!