How to…

At the beginning of January, I got a chance to do a little write-up for the Elite Hawaii Weddings blog about how to choose a videographer. Many vendors have written similar articles about how to choose a vendor in their area of expertise and this time it was my turn!

Here’s the link to the article but I’ll also post the whole thing here. These are my tips on how to choose a videographer based on what I know.

Good luck in your wedding planning!

1. Start Planning Early:
Whether you are planning your wedding two years from now or two months from now, it’s best to start planning as early as you can. Vendors and venues get booked really early especially if you are planning a summer wedding. The sooner you can get your foot in the door, less will be saved till the last minute and the less stressed you will be. Another benefit of planning early is getting a good quality vendor. The longer you wait, the more you will have to “settle” for someone you might not be as happy with or might not have the style you want. When thinking about videography, this is especially true. Once you know who you want to hire, contact them immediately to make sure they aren’t already booked for your wedding date and set up an appointment to meet.

2. Meet your vendors in person:
When hiring your vendors, meeting them in person is a must! Videographers have limited abilities with putting full quality videos online and depending on your internet connection you might not be able to view much. It is very necessary to meet videographers in person to get a feel for their personalities, style and to watch a whole, full-quality wedding video. Many people can edit together a few good clips and make it look like they are good at what they do. What you will want to look for is a videographer who is able to shoot a whole wedding start to finish with limited mistakes and good sound quality (including capturing your vows!). Also, seeing a video on DVD or Blu-ray on a larger TV will give you a better idea for what your video will look like and you can decide if you like what you see. Meeting in person will help you gauge their videography style and ask questions face to face. It is hard to have all the answers on a website or even in an email or phone conversation. Meeting in person will help you feel like you are on the same page with all your vendors, we recommend meeting all of them face to face!

3. Know the Facts:
When you have chosen your videographer, make sure to get all the details. Go ahead, ask a lot of questions! The worst thing that could happen is if you get your wedding video back and it wasn’t nearly what you expected but then you realize that you just never asked about this or that. Make sure that you are on the same page with your vendors about every detail. This goes for all your vendors as well. This is your wedding and you want all the details to be the way you planned. Here are a few things you should ask your videographer about; how many hours will they be at your event, how many shooters will be there (this is important as 2 shooters is significantly better than 1 with video), what exactly does the package you are ordering include, how many DVDs or Blu-ray discs are they including, how much are extras, what is their style (and make sure to tell them what you are expecting your video to look like), how long after the wedding will you receive your video, and what type of equipment do they use.

4. Understand the Equipment:
Ask your videographer what type of equipment they use. If you don’t know much about video equipment, that’s fine, but here are a few things you should find out. Ask if they use high quality professional microphones that will hear the sound of both the bride, groom, officiant and the music. Ask if they shoot in High Definition (HD). Though receiving your video in HD (on Blu-ray discs) usually costs more, having your video shot on HD cameras and then burned to DVD will almost always look better than shooting on Standard Definition cameras. If you are getting your video delivered in HD, understand that it will cost a little bit more but it will also be more future proof. If you don’t have a Blu-ray player now, you might soon. Some videographers will also allow you to keep your video backed up on their computers for some time so you can also upgrade later to HD. You might even be able to have your video in both DVD and Blu-ray so make sure to ask if that is an option as well.

5. Have Fun!
Getting engaged is such a wonderful, exhilarating and overwhelming time and should be enjoyed to the fullest! All the planning and organizing is important for your wedding day but the most important thing is your marriage. Make sure to plan for time to spend together without talking about the wedding and having just some “us” time. Don’t let wedding planning consume you. The process can be stressful but it can also be a fun thing to do together. Just make sure to get some good quality time together and don’t let the little things bother you. If you’ve taken the time to choose good quality vendors you can trust, and friends and family to help out, the little things will fall into place. Remember, you can always ask your vendors for advice, we all know weddings and can refer you to other vendors or just help out with little details. Good luck and congratulations!