You fell in love with your venue the first time you saw it. You can practically see yourself waltzing across the dance floor as your friends cheer wildly for even the slightest of dips. Your fiance spins you as the song finishes all too quickly, and you’re suddenly listening to beautifully heartfelt (or perhaps terribly awkward yet still awesome) toasts from the people who mean the most. Then before you know it, everyone is packed together in front of the band bumping and flowing, even that friend who looks like he’s investigating this newly fashioned phenomenon others call ‘dancing’.

You snap out of your reverie and look at your fiance as he mirrors your smile with the same thought: this is where we’ll be married.

But what you may not realize, outside of how unbelievably quick your day will breeze by, is how much you’ll want to see what you missed! And that’s where we come in.

5 Things to Think About When Choosing Your Filmmaker

1. Do you LIKE your filmmaker?

No, I’m not just talking about his or her work – I mean personally. Are they someone that you can easily be yourself around? Crack a joke with, or say something goofy? Think about it: on your wedding day when there are a million things going on, there are 3-4 photographers and videographers pointing camera’s your way, and the LAST thing you want to do is feel like they’re intruding on your moment. And to be fair, it’s the last thing they want too!

So what’s the solution? The same as with a good marriage – communication. If you truly like the person behind the work, it’s much more likely that you won’t mind them being right there with you to cover the action. In fact, you probably won’t notice them at all!

2. What kind of films do you want?

There’s all sorts of precious metal packages out there, as well as other fancy names that you’ll quickly lose track of. But digging deeper, there are really just two sorts of films that you’ll find: cinematic edits, and documentary edits. To put us on the same page, I’ll define them as the following:

Cinematic Edit: A shorter film, typically between 3-8 minutes, that highlights your day in a succinct, emotionally charged story.

Documentary Edit: A longer film, varying widely from 15-60 minutes, that focuses on telling your story as chronologically and fully as possible.

Each edit has it’s own merits, which will be the subject of a later blog post, but for now consider what is most important to you personally. Will you be satisfied with a short trailer and no documentary edit? Or do you want to go back and watch all the things you may have missed on the actual day? Some filmmakers specialize in one more than the other, and deciding what’s most important to you will go a long way.

3. When do you get to see your film?!

Possibly one of the most overlooked considerations when choosing a filmmaker, is when you’ll actually GET the film! Many companies can take up to 6 months, which, after waking up the day after your wedding, you’ll realize is far, far too long.

There are a couple solutions.

The first, is a same-day edit (SDE). It’s a premium service that not all companies offer, and to be quite honest, is usually never as good as it could be if they had a bit more time (they put this together in less than 10 hours!!). That isn’t to say they aren’t good – many SDE’s are amazing! But what you’re really paying for is the experience of rewatching it immediately – not the cleanest or best cut they could have produced.

The second option, is a rush-edit. A middle ground between immediate gratification and a long, long wait, the rush-edit is a premium service that basically moves you to the front of the editing queue. It may be a little pricey, but if you’re antsy to get your film (like my wife Rachel and I were!) it could be well worth it.

4. How are you going to watch your film?

If you’re someone who will want to watch your film once and never again, then that may be a good sign to invest less in your wedding videography. However, if you’re someone who enjoys the idea of watching your wedding film on anniversaries, valentines day, or just to feel the glow of your day rush through you, it’s well worth investing a little more.

5. What will you regret?

Whoa pump the brakes, we’re not talking about your fiance! It’s been well documented both in the Huffington Post and The Knot that videography falls off the charts a bit – so weigh carefully what it would mean to not only simply have a videographer, but to have the one of your dreams.