What Wedding Videography Style is Right for You?

Make sure you know your options before hiring a cinematographer.

What Wedding Videography Style is Right for You?

Photo: Kimberly Jarman Photography

finding the right videographer, wedding video style cinematic or documentary

Besides the marriage, of course, one of the most treasured artifacts from one’s wedding day is often their video. It gives you and your spouse a chance to look back and reflect on your special day – perhaps even to help you during more difficult times in your marriage. Not hiring a videographer is frequently cited as a couple’s biggest regret of their wedding day, but having a video you don’t like isn’t much better. That’s why it’s important to carefully interview potential cinematographers and make sure their style matches the vision you have for your video. However, it’s also crucial to know what types of wedding videos there are, so you can decide what is right for you and know what kind of videographers to search for.

Though there are some niche styles of wedding films, such as using a vintage Super-8 camera, the two most relevant styles are documentary and cinematic. The names are somewhat self-explanatory, but there are still important facts for you to know. 

Documentary – also known as journalistic – wedding videos capture the day in a linear order, so you experience the celebration just about how it occurred. It is edited to be both entertaining and an appropriate length. This method is less artistic, in a sense, as there are no added effects or music, but it is more true to what actually happened. Videographers shooting in documentary style are also less likely to intrude upon your day, as the camera type used will likely not require different lighting. 

As the name suggests, cinematic wedding films make the occasion seem more like a movie. There will be varied looks with different angles and close-ups, as well as songs acting as your soundtrack. It might not be in chronological order, skipping from the vows, to getting ready, to your walk down the aisle, to toasts, to dancing, and may be more intrusive due to extra equipment. Trailers and highlight videos that you’ll often see shared on social media are almost always shot in cinematic style – it’s just up to you if that’s how you want the whole day captured as well!

Read an expert's tips on how to have a memorable wedding video and find out what you should do with your photos after the big day. 

Opening photo by Kimberly Jarman Photography