Ask the Experts is your chance to ask a panel of wedding professionals for their advice on your wedding dilemmas.
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A groom wrote in:
What are the pros and cons of hiring a videographer? Obviously, one con is the cost, but is it something we'll miss? I worry that the videographer will be obtrusive and in my professional photography shots, too. Is it appropriate to ask a guest to video certain parts of the wedding and reception, as opposed to going professional?
Jeff of Blackbird Images says:
Do you have a video camera? (If you don’t, do you wish you did?) If you do, do you find yourself using it often… or watching the videos you take very often? If not, you probably won’t pull your wedding video out very often, either. While I’m obviously biased, if you hire great photographers you get comprehensive coverage of the day. The fact you asked the question means you’re at most ambivalent… and means the cost probably doesn’t justify the outcome. To hedge your bet, let friends play videographer for the portions of the day. The quality certainly won’t be as high as what you will get from professionals, but as long as you know that going in….
For other couples, video is a must. If that’s what you decide, don’t worry too much about videographer conflicts with photographers or shot lines. Good vendors are courteous and respectful, playing off each other to ensure each has the room and perspective they need… which means you get what you want.
Sheila of All Faiths Ceremonies says:
As an officiant, I know how important having a video of your ceremony can be. You may not want to consistently review scenes of Aunt Millie dancing the light fantastic, or Uncle Herman doing the Horah---but you will want to re-watch the moments when you are becoming united as one.
Some couples choose to do this each year, on their anniversary---a sure way to keep your deepest moment of love and commitment alive and flourishing. One day, your children and grandchildren will enjoy 'being there' for this special moment in your life. Most definitely have your video----preferably by a professional, but at the very least, ask Uncle Ed to do the honors. For the ceremony, I say; "Video? ABSOLUELY."
Ariana of Iris Fields says:
Yes, yes, yes! Take it from a wedding planner AND recent bride – no question, yes. Why should everyone else get to see your wedding ceremony and not you and your significant other? With regards to the cost, you don’t have to hire someone who is an actual wedding videographer, there are tons of ways to hire someone freelance. Depending on what you can spend, they might even edit the raw footage for you as well! You do not want to rely on any of your guests to take the video for you. If you are lucky enough to have someone who does know what they are doing, leave it up to them to give the footage to you as a bonus. You want them to enjoy the event and not have a job.
Nathan of Unknown Films says:
The number one Pro when hiring a wedding videographer is having a record of the day. No matter what style of video you are looking for, a good quality video will provide you with the moving image story of your memories that photography cannot. Your vows and emotions throughout your wedding day don't show themselves as much in photos as they do in video either.
Although not inappropriate to ask a guest to work a camera (as long as it is not sprung on them last minute), if you are worried about a videographer being obtrusive then you need to leave it to a professional that knows how to stay out of the way and is equipped with the right camera to do so. Your photographer will also appreciate their professional ability and not be worried about asking the videographer to move out of the way rather than possibly insulting a family member that's not familiar with what to do.
About our Experts
Nathan Maulorico is the owner of Unknown Films, a wedding and marketing video production company based in Springfield, MO. He has been an award winning filmmaker, advertising consultant, and wedding videographer for over 6 years.
Ariana Gordon Stecker is the co-founder and Lead Planner for Iris Fields, Inc. She is a seasoned New York City event professional who has been featured on MTV, Fox News, and the New York Times.
The Reverend Sheila Gay Gross is an ordained, licensed interfaith minister who specializes in creating unique ceremonies for couples of all faiths and orientations.
Jeff Haden is President of BlackBird Images, wedding photographers based in Harrisonburg, VA. Not only is he a well-respected and talented photographer, but has also gained recognition as a ghostwriter.