7 Types of Wedding Films Explained
Updated: Mar 23
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", "raw footage", "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 30-60 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 3-10 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.
The first film is an example of a shorter highlight film that would showcase an "elopement" or smaller wedding.
The second film is an example of a longer highlight film that really lets you get to know the couple & their day.
3. Engagement Film
Length: Between 1-3 minutes
An engagement film is an awesome way to spread the good news to your family and friends. Some use their engagement films as a "save the date", others like to use their engagement films to serve as a memory of "before" they were legally married.
Personally, I think engagement films are super great because we can use the footage from the engagement film in your actual wedding film. This adds a completely different layer to your film and will help bring out your personalities so much more.
Engagement films are typically filmed alongside your engagement photo session. This also is a great opportunity for your videographer to meet & work with your photographer before your big day.
4. Documentary Film
Length: Between 15-30 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. Ceremony Film
Length: 15-60 minutes
When filming the ceremony, we use 2-3 cameras & high quality microphones. When purchasing the ceremony film, you will receive every moment from your ceremony exactly how it happened. All the vows, tears, laughter, first looks, are all captured & smoothed out in post-production for a very pleasing viewing experience.
6. Raw Footage
Length: not applicable
Raw footage is the ability to have access to all of the unedited video & audio files. I do not offer this unless you or a loved one has a background in video editing.
The size of the camera files can range from 700 GB to 2 TB in size & most computers cannot open raw video files without using a special video editing software. The videos that are produced straight out of the camera are very flat & lack luster. The other issue is the sound won't be synced up to the video properly. For this reason, if you're keen on preserving every moment of your day, I highly recommend the keepsake film (listed below)
7. Keepsake Film
Length: Between 1.5-6 hours
If raw footage had wings, it would be a keepsake film.
A keepsake film includes EVERY detail captured on video at your day. This includes:
Getting ready (both partner's perspectives), letter readings, interviews, first look, photo session, ceremony, family photos, grand entrances, first dance, cake cutting, reception games, entertainment, dancing, grand exit, etc.
Every video clip we have from your day is stitched together in chronological order, synced with audio, color-graded & put to suitable background music to provide a pleasing viewing experience. We also provide timecodes to all of the events so you can skip to any part of the day you'd like.
Personally, I am an extremely forgetful yet sentimental person, so having access to moments like these are invaluable to me.
The biggest complaint I hear from brides after their wedding is that "it all happened so fast". & in the heat of the moment, you forget to breathe & take a look around.
This is why videography is so special. It allows you to have eyes on all of these moments while still being able to enjoy your day.