Wedding-Industrial-Complex-filter: videographer
April 10, 2019 2:27 PM   Subscribe

Did you skip wedding videography and *not* regret it?

I'm the kind of person who appreciates fine art photography, so I plan to prioritize an experienced photographer. I'm also the kind of person who doesn't watch movies or TV (even Netflix) more than a few times a year, so it's hard for me to wrap my head around the similar necessity of a videographer.

Is it possible to skip video coverage of your wedding and happily go along your married life without missing it? I can make room in the budget if it's a must-have, but I'm unconvinced so far...
posted by serelliya to Society & Culture (52 answers total)
Yeah. We've been married 4 years, did not have a videographer (by choice), and have zero regrets about it. I would never go back and watch the video, personally, but that's just my personality type. If any part of you thinks you might regret it, you should probably go for it!
posted by srrh at 2:29 PM on April 10, 2019

Today is my 9-year wedding anniversary and I do not regret skipping professional video of our wedding.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:30 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

No videographer and did all the wedding bells and whistles-- no regrets. Some of my friends video'd with their phones and cameras first dance and wedding and it is a fine substitute.
posted by sandmanwv at 2:30 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

You can put photos on the wall. You can't put a video on the wall. I mean ... you can but it's not a thing.

I got married a few years back, no video, never regretted it for a second. I have no idea if and when I'd ever watch it if I had it. I've never been sure why anyone does it, honestly.
posted by komara at 2:33 PM on April 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

I mean, of course it's possible?

For our wedding we had relatives who said they would video our wedding and make that their gift to us, and we never did get that video from them. Personally I do regret not having video - especially now that one of my relatives who attended has since passed away - but it's more of a mild regret and not something that's keeping me up at night. Had I known we wouldn't be getting any video I'd have asked people to take a few cell phone videos for me and I think that would have been fine. So yeah, if you don't want to spend the money on it, don't, but maybe ask a friend with a good cell phone to capture a few clips?
posted by DingoMutt at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2019

Yes. We skipped it without regrets. I don't think it ever ocurred to us to have a videographer--spouse is uncomfortable enough being photographed and both our mothers really hate being videotaped--it just seemed unnecessary.
posted by crush at 2:36 PM on April 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

No video, no regrets. We didn’t even end up getting a wedding album and I don’t regret that either (and I say that as someone that is extremely sentimental and greatly appreciates photography as an art form). I was really happy with how our photos turned out; I just put the best one in nice frames and didn’t feel the need to do anything beyond that. I still have all the digital files, so I guess we could get one someday but I know we won’t.
posted by lovableiago at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2019

If I had a video I would never watch it. So I didn't get a video and never regretted not watching it. If you do not feel an urge, do not get it.
posted by gideonfrog at 2:38 PM on April 10, 2019 [5 favorites]

No video, but excellent photography. Got married two and a half years ago. We're thrilled with our photos, and never remotely considered videography.
posted by Making You Bored For Science at 2:41 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I didn't have a videographer, and haven't even thought about it since to regret it. I think a straightforward film on whatever camera you can borrow, no pro required, could be nice though. Personally the proper edited ones that I saw did absolutely nothing for me.
posted by stillnocturnal at 2:41 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

No regrets about no videos after 17 years, and a slight regret we didn’t get more robust still photography.
posted by tchemgrrl at 2:45 PM on April 10, 2019

I have a video. I watched it and showed it to people during the first year. It has been unopened for the last 15.

The only reason I could see wanting a video is on the off chance that something unexpected or funny happened. If I did it again, I’d set up a phone or something to record just in case, but I wouldn’t care about quality or editing.
posted by OrangeVelour at 2:53 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

No video. 24 years later, no regrets. My sister was talked into it, but just mentioned to me the other day that after 15 years she still hasn't watched hers. Skip it.
posted by BlahLaLa at 2:54 PM on April 10, 2019

We're not TV people either. It was only three months ago, but I can't see us regretting the choice to skip the video. Our photographer's pictures are so beautifully done that we never wanted anything more.
posted by Flora Poste at 2:55 PM on April 10, 2019

We got married in the days before wedding videography was a thing, but I have never thought, "Gee, I sure wish there had been such a thing as wedding videographers when we got married. Breaking Bad is so dull; I'd much rather watch our wedding video." Browsing through our excellent professional photos, however, is something we enjoy doing now and then.
posted by Dolley at 2:57 PM on April 10, 2019 [7 favorites]

We got married on a very tight budget. We didn't have a videographer, and our photographer was a friend who was decidedly an amateur (and her photos reflected it). We don't regret either.
posted by alex1965 at 2:58 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

No video, zero regrets. I can’t say there’s ever been a moment when I thought “gee, I sure wish I could go sit down and rewatch my wedding day, but awkwardly”.
posted by lydhre at 3:02 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

No videographer and we got married in the age before high-quality cell phone video. It hasn't even occurred to me to regret it. We have nice photos from both professional photographer + friends/family. I don't know, my memories of that day are so intensely personal, it would be weird for me to see it through someone else's eyes.
posted by muddgirl at 3:06 PM on April 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

I have a gaggle of friends who have recently been married and I think the only one who was happy about (very cheap) videography were ones would couldn’t have loved ones attend the ceremony. However the video was the ceremony and vows only, not the whole thing
posted by raccoon409 at 3:19 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

A friend's daughter had a video made of her wedding last summer, just a series of brief vignettes. It was stunningly beautiful, and has brought me to tears both times I've watched it, even though we're only slightly acquainted. I'd say if samples of the videographers you're looking at don't elicit the same reaction, I'd skip it.
posted by kate4914 at 3:20 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm apparently an outlier, but my reaction is: A video of your wedding? Really? How... odd.

We didn't even have a professional photographer at our wedding (although we had some portraits made the night before) because we didn't want anyone to run the event besides ourselves. YMMV of course, but we've been very happily married for over twenty years and every time I look at our backyard, which was where we held both the ceremony and the reception, I'm reminded of our wedding day.
posted by DrGail at 3:21 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

No regrets whatsoever. I’m glad to have photos, but it’s not like I get them out.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 3:26 PM on April 10, 2019

We had no videographer and have no regrets about that. (No professional photos either, but one of the guests was actually a professional photographer so we got enough from him and others to work for us.)

My uncle did take some (shaky) video footage and then edited it into a (literal) 15 minute video. I've watched it 3 times in the 30 years since we got married. I appreciate having it, because a lot of the people who were at my wedding have now died, and I have them on the video, but the 15 minute run time and amateur quality I find to be just perfect as a memento of it all and am not sorry we did not have a professional do it.
posted by gudrun at 3:33 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

FWIW, the missus and I have been to umpteen weddings over the past several years and there has been a single event with a videographer. That seems to have gone the way of the dodo.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:40 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

We have *occasionally* looked at wedding photos. I think it was technically possible that we could have had videos (or, more probably, movies), but have never felt the slightest regret at not having them. Just celebrated our 38th anniversary, so maybe not entirely up-to-date on the issues.
posted by Gilgamesh's Chauffeur at 3:44 PM on April 10, 2019

Yes - no video, and crappy photos, to boot. So crappy that I didn’t even order an album. Still just as married :-)
posted by 41swans at 3:45 PM on April 10, 2019

I’m divorced now. I certainly don’t need to watch my wedding again.
posted by crazycanuck at 4:00 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

One more vote for photos yes, videos don’t bother here.
posted by mhoye at 4:21 PM on April 10, 2019

Skipped. No regrets.
posted by tetracycline at 4:24 PM on April 10, 2019

Many of my friends had videographers; nearly all of them admitted they watched the video once, if at all, and that was it. But, as one quick counterpoint - the only one who didn’t regret it was not for the footage of the ceremony, but rather for the quick interviews with all the guests. It was the last time some of the older relatives could travel, and it was a nice way to remember them after they had passed, with everyone in one place and dressed up and happy. So a professional video of the ceremony etc? Probably not worth it. But a less professional video of loved ones? Possibly.
posted by umwhat at 4:29 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

I know I’m an outlier here but I find that kind of thing mildly offensive. I’ve never been to a wedding with a professional videographer and if were to attend one, the presence of the videographer would be a turnoff.

So yeah I’m another vote for ‘skipped it and don’t regret it’
posted by SaltySalticid at 4:55 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

We have a video! It was made by my sister and it's endearingly amateur. I'm glad we have it though we've probably only watched it once. It's been 30 years, maybe it's time!
posted by zompist at 5:14 PM on April 10, 2019

We did not have video. However thinking about it now, if you had someone whose job was to basically capture all your guests being themselves at their perfect present age - a documentary video photo booth almost - that would be cool. Not video about the wedding itself at all but about your loved ones at that moment in time. I might not watch something like that regularly but it might be more precious to me.
posted by sestaaak at 5:27 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

No video, no regrets. We did set up a go-pro knock off WAY up the back of the (outdoor) ceremony taking pictures to do a time-lapse kind of thing, but it fogged over. Even the day after when we found it didn't work I was like "eh" - even more so now.

Also I feel like I act weird and unnatural when people are taping an event. I would not want others to feel the same way at my wedding.
posted by trialex at 5:37 PM on April 10, 2019

Married 25 years this November, so cell phone videos weren't a thing for us.

I regret not having video. And I mean deeply regret. But remember, cell phone video was not a thing then. But several beloved family members died in the few years after our wedding and it would be lovely if we had video of them. And my daughter has said that she wishes we had video so she could watch it and hear what everyone sounded like.

I think as long as someone, somewhere, somehow is capturing video bits for you, you won't regret it. Does that mean hiring a pro? I'm not sure. But I don't think you'll ever regret having video of your loved ones celebrating you.
posted by cooker girl at 5:37 PM on April 10, 2019

Oh good God. That sounds horrifying. I'm divorced now but at no point during my very long marriage did I ever want to see such a thing. We didn't have very good photography either and I had only the mildest of regret about that.

Also, I've spent years participating in a sport with a lot of it on video, and although it's useful and fun to watch the video, I find that it totally replaces my actual memory of the event. Like, my memory actually becomes the video, I'm no longer remembering things through my own eyes but see them from the camera's point of view. Something to think about.
posted by HotToddy at 5:38 PM on April 10, 2019 [4 favorites]

Nthing the videos are terrible, don’t bother, vibe. But for a so-far unsaid reason: photos don’t need upkeep. Videos, however, immediately become something of a millstone. You need to either keep the player for the format it’s in, or keep having it copied to the newest format. For ever. Because you’ll never delete it, even when you don’t watch it. It’s a curse on your future selves far more than a photo album ever could be. This is a divisive viewpoint, I know and can hear the screaming already, but don’t start your marriage with permanent baggage. Be free from stuff. You’ll always have the shared memories, and the stories. Tell those instead.
posted by DangerIsMyMiddleName at 6:04 PM on April 10, 2019 [1 favorite]

Got married 25 years ago with no video and I’ve never regretted it. Mr. Tuesday has never regretted it either. We do occasionally look at the wedding pics though.
posted by tuesdayschild at 6:34 PM on April 10, 2019

No. But if you feel like it, just give a little kid a camcorder and let them run around.
posted by ovvl at 6:57 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

Married two years ago. No video because it didn’t feel that important to us, and there was a bad taste in my mouth because the two we met with kept talking about production value and I didn’t want to feel like our wedding was a production.
posted by honeybee413 at 7:52 PM on April 10, 2019

Yes. Absolutely no regrets. No desire to watch myself on video - and we have a record of what happened in our hearts (and what was said on the scripts we saved :)

I love the photos we have - but even there we didn't have a professional, because we prefer snapshots. My husband's brother did a great job with a good camera - and it's the content that matters most to me.
posted by jb at 8:07 PM on April 10, 2019

Don't bother. We got a film student to do ours on the cheap. They did a fantastic job. We watched it once.
posted by sid at 8:08 PM on April 10, 2019

ZERO REGRETS about not having a videographer. It's intrusive at the ceremony/reception and expensive and no one wants to watch the damn thing after. Live in the moment.
posted by nkknkk at 8:22 PM on April 10, 2019

I got married 8 years ago and didn't even consider a videographer. I can tell you that we had a GREAT wedding event (many people have said this out of nowhere) and we hired a bomb photographer and even still, we don't look back on those photos anymore. I can't imagine we would have any use for a video of the occasion either.
posted by joan_holloway at 10:23 PM on April 10, 2019

We got married three years ago and only just now am I realizing someone could have videotaped it. Whoa.

So... that tells you how much it matters.

Pictures on the other hand...
posted by St. Peepsburg at 10:35 PM on April 10, 2019 [2 favorites]

We never considered video. Pictures are far more important.
posted by rawralphadawg at 5:17 AM on April 11, 2019

I just did a quick survey of my office for you. Out of 11 people, only 1 said that they even had video done of their wedding (and they only did it because the groom's extended family live overseas and the couple wanted to send them a video of the ceremony).

I did not have video of my wedding. We have precisely one photo from our wedding - a posed portrait of my husband and I with our then-infant child. I have no regrets. I've never once wished for anything different.
posted by anastasiav at 5:48 AM on April 11, 2019

I'm VERY grateful that there was no video camera at our wedding 12 years ago b/c I made an off-the-cuff joke in our speech about doing a full solo dance routine to the Grease medley and then the evil DJ played it later on and everyone expected me to do the routine and OH GOD I WENT AND DID A FULL IMPROVISED ROUTINE TO THE GREASE MEDLEY BY MYSELF.
posted by joelhunt at 6:19 AM on April 11, 2019

Nope, we didn't have one and haven't regretted it for the last 10 years. However, two of my cousins hired videographers for their weddings recently and I was pretty impressed with the output from both. When I've been forced to watch wedding videos in the past it meant watching the whole boring ceremony, but I guess videography has evolved to short montage scenes set to music. Not my cup of tea, but cute if you're into that.
posted by galvanized unicorn at 7:23 AM on April 11, 2019

Married 6 years, great photos, no video, no regrets. We did get an audio recording of our ceremony, which is nice to have.
posted by tangosnail at 9:40 AM on April 11, 2019

I apologize for not directly answering your question, as I'm in the process of planning a wedding so I can't say whether I would regret it or not. But I have also been researching this question a lot (as we are also considering whether to pay for videography), and I have a few observations based on reading this thread and many others around the internet:

1) Wedding videos have changed a lot in the last decade or so. All of the wedding videos from the 80s/90s were just straight up recordings of different parts of the wedding, with very limited editing if any. But these days it seems almost impossible to hire a videographer who won't do a 5-10 minute "highlight film", where they edit together the key moments in a specific order, have nice transitions, overlay vows/music, etc. That could be good or bad, depending on your inclination for/against those type of videos, but I think it does affect the usefulness of people's responses who got married more than ~15 years ago, as they may have been considering a different product. I may never watch my wedding video if it is 2 hours long, because who has time for that? But a 5-10 minute video is a less intense commitment that might get played every anniversary or something.

2) Another aspect that I think biases the responses is something that's different for everyone - do you like videos of yourself? You and your spouse will be the main focus of the video, so if you're someone who gets uncomfortable watching yourself on video (or hearing your voice on a recording), it's not likely your wedding video would be the exception. If you are a person who already likes videos of yourself, then a wedding video is something you will probably like/want to watch again.

3) As you can tell from these responses, and probably from other threads you've read online, I find that there are very few people who got a videographer and regretted it, or who didn't get one and regretted that. There are some people who didn't get one and regret it, but typically it's due to budget that they didn't get one. All that to say, like with #2, I think you should go with your gut - if you want one, you probably won't regret it (assuming it is within your budget/not replacing some other item for cost reasons); and if you don't want one, you probably won't regret not having one.

Obviously take this with a grain of salt as it's just based on my recollections of various anecdotes, but I hope it helps somewhat. Some things I've seen suggested as kind of a middle ground, in case you're still torn: 1) Have a friend/family member record the ceremony, first dances, and maybe speeches, on a phone or already-owned video camera, just so you have them even if the sound/video quality is bad, or 2) Hire someone to record the wedding on their nicer equipment/with their experienced eye, but pay them a discounted price for just the raw footage (and the rights to edit it), and pay someone later on to edit the footage if you find yourself wanting that (or not if you don't). The latter can be hard to find though, as many videographers won't sell the raw footage or won't sell it without also charging for editing.
posted by jouir at 12:01 PM on April 11, 2019 [1 favorite]

I'm a videographer, and I wouldn't and didn't have a videographer to shoot my wedding. I don't shoot weddings professionally and there are people doing a lot of great things in the field. But, I just feel like I'd rather leave some things to be smudged up by the fuzziness of memory.
posted by trbrts at 5:13 PM on April 11, 2019

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