6 Types of Wedding Films Explained
Updated: Aug 21
It's engagement season, which means a whole lot of you are walking around with some new bling on your hand, as well as a stress headache resulting from the numerous late-night-Pinterest browsing sessions. If hiring a videographer for your wedding is something you're considering, then you've probably encountered terms like "highlight films", "doc edits", "teaser films", etc. And to someone who's not in the wedding filmmaking scene, this can be a bit confusing, what's the difference between these types of videos? Well, we'll get into that.
1. Teaser Film
Length: Between 60-180 seconds long
Ah, a teaser film. A lovely way to show off, erm, I mean share your wedding on Instagram & other social media.
Typically, a teaser film will be the first thing you receive back from your videographer. You should receive the teaser back 2-3 weeks after your wedding, depending on what season you're in.
As the name implies, it's a teaser for what's to come. Being so short, its main purpose is to excite you and set the tone for your final film. Also, as mentioned earlier, it gives you something to share on social media that fits within the upload limits of popular apps. It's a great way for friends and family who couldn't make it to get a quick recap of what happened while the wedding is still fresh in everyone's mind.
2. Highlight Film
Length: Between 4-10 minutes
A highlight film is typically a cinematic composition of beautiful moments that tell a story. The story is usually related to the relationship between you & your partner, but the emphasis doesn't necessarily have to be on the two of you the entire film. There are usually clips from any powerful speeches. Highlights also usually include peak moments such as first look, first kiss, first dance, getting ready, letter reading, vows, etc. Highlight films are amazing for giving you the ability to view your day from a third-party perspective. It's like being at your wedding day, but without all of the worry and stress.
3. Feature Film
Length: Between 10-25 minutes
A feature film is like if a documentary film & a highlight film had a baby. A feature film is generally very cinematic, BUT it includes a lot more of your day than a highlight film. It's generally more movie-like than documentary, meaning things might not be in chronological order. Instead, there will be little "chapters" within the movie that align with the rising and falling plot points. Generally, there will be a few different songs & moods being portrayed in a feature style film. The final product should take you on an emotional journey of your day.
4. Documentary Film
Length: Between 25-60 minutes
A documentary edit is different than highlights & feature films. It is usually in chronological order and is less cinematic than a highlight or feature film. A documentary edit will emphasize parts of your day that involve a lot of speaking; letters, ceremony, speeches, reception, etc. Documentary edits are less explosive and more relaxed. They are best enjoyed with a glass of wine and your husband/wife by your side. This isn't the best type of video to share on social media as they tend to be less exciting than highlights or feature films. There usually aren't any crazy transitions or effects, it's just your day for what it is. Their purpose is similar to the purpose of a wedding album.
5. Same/Next Day Edit
Length: 2-6 minutes
Same day edits are usually videos from your morning (ceremony, getting ready) compiled into a 2-6 minute film that you can play at the reception. It's a great chance for guests who couldn't make it to the ceremony to see what they missed out on. It's also a great way to pause and appreciate what has happened so far.
Typically, same-day edits are performed by a team of people. You'll have two team members filming the morning & ceremony, then after filming any footage, they will pass off their memory cards to an editor who is a pro their job. This editor has a very limited amount of time to get the same day edit together, usually just over an hour or so. This is the reason that same day edits are more expensive. Not every videography studio offers same-day edits due to the increase in workload, but most will make amendments if it's something you don't think you can live without.
Next day edits are similar, but the editor usually works through the night to produce a highlight film that encompasses your entire day instead of just the ceremony. This is perfect if you want to relive your day as soon as possible.
6. Keepsake Edits
This type of edit includes EVERY detail captured on video at your day. It's like a documentary film but even more raw. This is perfect for those extra sentimental people who want to remember what each & every moment looked like on their wedding day.