7 Questions You NEED To Ask Your Wedding Videographer— 2019/2020 Weddings

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1) WE ALREADY have a photographer. should we still invest in a video?

Organizations that have experience in storytelling and capturing memories should understand the sensitivity and importance of preserving and capturing your special day. On one of the most important days of your lives’, you must justify whether its worth spending a couple thousand dollars to have a living breathing video. Is it worth the additional cost to have something to share with generations to come?
A well done video should give you chills— enabling you to relive the candid moments of your glorious day in real time and giving you a full spectrum of emotions every time you click play.

So, the question then becomes why do we put photography on a pedestal?
It’s because photography is beautiful. Photography captures us (when done right) at our highest highs, or lowest lows and shows the raw emotion from that particular moment. Think about a decision, experience, vacation, purchase or victory you’ve had in the past….. Really think about that particular memory. What makes it special to you? How does it make you feel? Why does it make you feel this way? Emotion. We are emotional creatures. Emotion drives everything. We’re impulsive. We care with so much intention. We cry… oh boy do we cry. And we love. My gosh do we love deeply.

Emotion is at the pinnacle of everything we do. It’s the driving force behind our purchases. Emotion is behind expression, education, empowerment and decision making. It’s why we choose to spend the rest of our lives with our significant other. The way something makes us feel is EVERYTHING. Imagine life without emotion for a second. It’s pretty desolate. The best events, memories and experiences in life all come back to one thing; the way it makes us feel. Video is about capturing a moment. GREAT video is about capturing and preserving a lifetime of emotion. Video should tell your unique story in a way that spotlights your love for your significant other, makes you cry, laugh and feel whole. It should bring back the tears of joy, the memories of arguing with Mom over the price of your dress and the napkins, and the joy you received after smashing cake into the face of your new husband (or wife).

2) WHY IS VIDEOGRAPHY IMPORTANT FOR OUR WEDDING?

From our personal experience, videography is something that is cherished and sacred to the families that invest in it. We often receive messages of gratitude from past clients who had lost family members, but their memory lives on through video. While no longer here in physical body, one family was able to relive the memories of Grandpa moon-walking across the dance floor. A son was able to listen to his Father tell him how much he loved him, even after he had passed.

We think videography is worth every penny, but ultimately the decision is now in your hands.

3) what should i be asking to ensure i am getting the highest quality video and trained videographers?

Here are a few questions to ask your videographer in regards to the quality, along with explanations on why these questions matter.

  1. What type of camera is best for shooting weddings?

    • We will spare you the technical jargon and just give you the details to ensure you get the highest quality video.
      DSLR cameras are great and they are very common in the wedding industry. The majority of photographers/videographers are utilizing DSLR Cameras including Nikon, Sony and Canon. A few years back, high quality cinema cameras were nearly unaffordable unless you were working on a Hollywood budget film. Now that high quality cinema cameras are becoming more main stream, we highly recommend you book a video company that has access to Cinema Cameras. Cinema Cameras are also able to shoot up to 120+ FPS (frames per second) allowing for true slow motion without motion blur and choppiness. That means Dad’s moves look even smoother on camera than on the dance floor.

    • A few companies that make high quality cinema cameras include: Sony, Arri, Black Magic, RED, Panasonic and Canon. We find the Sony A7S2 and RED Scarlet W 5K make for a beautiful pair. The Sony A7S2 does exceptionally well in low light.

    • If you have multiple videographers make sure they’re shooting on the exact same cameras OR shooting in LOG.
      What is LOG? All cameras have a different color temperature and the look will slightly differ. In other words, each camera has its own color personality. Shooting in LOG allows your editor to color match each camera PRECISELY to another. What that means—-you can have multiple videographers capturing different elements of your event and make the footage look identical as if your wedding was shot on one camera.

  2. Will you need LED lighting for your cameras to operate in low lighting?

    • As important as the type of camera is the glass your videographer is using. The higher the quality the lens (glass) your videographer has paired with their camera, the better and more crisp the images. Most high quality cinema cameras are NOT designed with nighttime and low-lighting shoots in mind. That being said, it can be challenging to find a videography company that does not require forced lighting.

    • A videographer that requires bright LED lighting throughout your venue and mounted on their camera is intrusive and takes away from the overall ambiance. Working with a videography company that invests in high end cameras and glass will likely eliminate the need for LED lighting at your wedding.

      Aim for better cameras.

      Aim for better lenses (glass).

      Aim for more experienced videographers.

      These major details are worth the extra money.

  3. Are you able to export in 4k or 5k?

    • 720p and 1080p will eventually become obsolete. If your videographer cannot export in 4k look elsewhere.

  4. How many video projects do you shoot per year?

    • The more projects, the more experience! Videographers typically book 6-8 months ahead of time. Find your preferred videographer and plan to book them right after your venue, photographer and entertainment.

  5. What videos do you work on outside of weddings?

    • When you’re only seeing things through one lens (no pun intended) sometimes your perspective and creativity becomes jaded. Look to videography companies that have experience in shooting videos outside of weddings. This will ensure you work with a well-rounded videography company that doesn’t have a one-size-fits-all mentality and portfolio.

4) how long are your wedding videos? is raw footage included?

  • Most wedding highlight videos range from 3-7 minutes. Once filming is completed, some videographers will offer to send over raw footage (unedited) to preview before editing begins. You’ll most likely never watch 5+ hours of unedited raw video. If raw footage will cost you extra (which it often will), we recommend investing in an additional longer video. Instead of paying for raw video, ask for two videos. One highlight video 3-7 minutes long and a second (longer) 30-60 minute video that captures your entire day in more detail.

5) Can we choose our own music?

  • You should be able to, yes. To some, this is an important element. However, may we suggest you do not choose your own music. Each video has a unique feel and story. An experienced videographer will choose music that fits your theme and love story. Most videographers pay to access a database of license free songs. This allows you to share without worrying about upsetting a producer, record label or agent.

    If you choose to use licensed music by popular artists, sharing on Facebook, Instagram and other social media platforms is often flagged and deleted.

  • Videographers put a lot of pride and joy into their artwork and love to showcase the quality of their end-product. Just because KE$HA’S-”TIK TOK” is your favorite song does not mean it belongs in your video. Your video company will have a knack for what belongs and what does not.

6) How many events have you shot? WHAT IS YOUR TURN AROUND TIME?

  • You should make sure that your videographer has captured other high-stress events that are time sensitive. Too many times have we heard the horror story of working with a family friend, a journalism major in his third year of college that has no real world experience. It takes preparation and practice to manage flow, timeline, and all of the important aspects of a wedding. Capturing a wedding requires intense concentration, experience and knowing where to be, when. Further, it takes a pro to manage all of that and edit in a timely fashion. There is no do-over. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to capture your special moment. Plan to work with an experienced videographer and don’t try to cut corners to save money.

  • Expect your turn around time to be within 60 days. If its more than that, might we suggest looking elsewhere. Your wedding videography company might make you pay more for an expedited edit if your request is same day / same week.

7) SHOULD WE DO AN INTRODUCTION VIDEO?

  • Increasingly popular is playing an introductory video - to be shown on screens at your venue before the official welcome of the new couple. This video can showcase the proposal video / pictures, and any memories of you and your significant other from before your wedding day. These videos typically range from 60-120 seconds. Ask your videographer how much they would charge to edit this if you provide the footage. These videos are a cute way to spotlight your love before your grand entrance.

Newest & Trendiest Venues in St. Louis

Opened- August 2018 (Venue)

Where- Augusta, MO

What type of events?— weddings, conferences, birthday celebrations, holiday parties, business meetings, class reunions, etc.

What makes their venue unique?— The Outdoor and indoor ceremony spaces -Farmhouse with bridal suite, grooms saloon, wine cellar, large wrap around porch, and upper and lower patio area (perfect for cocktail hour) -Outdoor "Party Cove" area with 3 large bonfires -Picturesque landscapes for timeless photos on 24 acres in Augusta, Missouri.


Opened- January 2018

Where- St. Louis, MO

What type of events?— all types! charity, silent auction, rehearsal dinner, weddings, conferences, etc.

What makes their venue unique?— The location! Beautiful 360 view by the arch, great atmosphere and tons of photo opportunities with enclosed patio. Built in 1882 and once owned by Henry Shaw, the founder of the Missouri Botanical Garden, 612North is located in the historic Laclede’s Landing Cutlery Building, encompassing three spaces each unique in their own styles.  Modern meets history here. 612Norths mouthwatering menu is only made from the finest quality ingredients.


Opened- Mid-Summer 2018

Where- Cottleville, MO

What type of events?— weddings, birthday celebrations, holiday parties, etc.

What makes their venue unique?— Russo’s proudly announced their newest Wedding and Special Events venue. The design concept of Piazza MESSINA is the perfect marriage of rustic and modern Tuscan décor in a beautiful natural setting. Includes 8,000 + square feet of private event space situated on 14 ½ acres of agricultural land. Featuring a bistro, ballroom and both an indoor and outdoor bar, the venue overlooks a beautiful four-acre lake. One of the most unique features is the seamless transition from an indoor to outdoor setting, including a wraparound covered portico with a view of the lake.


Opened- Summer 2018

Where- Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, MO

What type of events?— weddings, celebrations, etc. During the week and for scheduled days ahead of time they offer opportunities for public events and community gatherings. Check out what events they have going on during the month!

What makes their venue unique?— They are a boutique style event space where you’re able to customize your wedding with unique vendors and decor housed in an untraditional style venue. They accomodate wedding receptions as well as indoor/outdoor ceremonies. The max capacity for mixed style seating is 400 and 250 seated.  Reimagining the old Shaw Theatre into an industrial - yet - chic multi use space.

Fun Fact- Altar’d Events is hosting an indie wedding show— Off White on Sunday, March 3, 2019


Opened- 2017

Where- St. Charles

What type of events?— weddings

What makes their venue unique?— This historic venue is a 200 year old stone house & is the focal point and center of activity on our 10+ acre property. Yours for the entire day! The upper story of the stone house is dedicated to the Bride and Bridesmaids for hair and makeup preparations. The guesthouse loft with a balcony overlooking the courtyard is for the Groomsmen. The splendid courtyard with black tumbled pavers underfoot and an venerable sycamore tree with chandeliers hanging from its robust branches is the segway into the big timber framed event space. The Grand Hall can hold 350+ reception patrons.


Where- St. Louis, MO

What type of events?— weddings, conferences, birthday celebrations, holiday parties, business meetings, class reunions, etc.

What makes their venue unique?— The ANEW Rooftop event space sits at the intersection of old and new. Of the past – and of the future. Of the classic and modern. This is a place to celebrate longtime friendships and make new connections. The rooftop is an indoor/outdoor space for up to 100 people.

Fun Fact- At Big Brothers Big Sisters of Eastern Missouri, they build relationships. Those relationships build communities and improve lives. That’s why, atop their headquarters in St. Louis, they built Anew – a rooftop event space and street side test kitchen. ANEW gives a chance to strengthen the connections among networks of friends and supporters. It’s a chance to bring their mission to more people than ever. But most of all, it’s a chance to make St. Louis better and stronger than ever.


Opened- 2018

Where- St. Louis, MO

What type of events?— weddings, private events, holiday parties, and mitzvahs

What makes the venue unique?— Featuring modern furnishings, artwork by artists such as Christopher Guy, chandeliers from celebrity-designer Michael Amini and a bar with a cascading waterfall feature.  The 3500 sq. ft. ballroom boasts 24 ft. high ceilings and an overlooking wrap around balcony with rococo style moldings. Able to hold up to 250 guests.


Opened- 2018

Where- Catawissa, MO

What type of events?— weddings, social events, conferences, birthday celebrations, holiday parties, business meetings, class reunions, etc.

What makes their venue unique?— This Venue can accommodate up to 300 guests with unlimited options for ceremonies and reception styles! With a minimalist, high-style design, the modern building is the perfect blank canvas. Multiple ceremony sites, incredible wedding party suites, and an expansive open floor plan, there’s something to wow every guest. Experience the natural beauty of the lush greenery, the woodlands and the Catawissa Stone House, all while overlooking the 4 acre lake and hillside beyond on a former llama farm.  Also, guests can enjoy amazing food & drink experiences from Ces & Judy’s Catering.


Opened- 2018

Where- St. Charles, MO

What type of events?— weddings

What makes their venue unique?— Heart Events announces its newest location, Le Belle Coeur, located on Historic Main Street in St. Charles, MO. This location has a style all its own with a rustic yet elegant feel. It has 2 large crystal chandeliers you need to see to believe, as well as the most beautiful doors you could imagine. It has become a very sought-after venue.

Fun Fact- Heart Events also has two other locations, Old Stone Chapel and Heart of St. Charles


Where- St. Louis, MO

What type of events?— wedding ceremonies, rehearsal dinners, holiday parties, and corporate events

What makes their venue unique?— Slate is a modern new event space in downtown St. Louis across the street from sister space Willow. With an open floor plan & floor-to-ceiling windows that bring in tons of natural light, the flexible decor offers a “blank slate” for your unique event. This modern space is perfect for all functions for up to 170 guests. Specialty services include seasonal vegan, gluten-free menus, an In-House Bakery & Customized Signature Cocktails.


Opened- 2014 (Venue)

Where- Pacific, Missouri

What type of events?— weddings, corporate and charity events

What makes the venue unique?— The farm has grown to include 246 acres and a 7,000 square foot venue, which has hosted more than 200 large celebrations. From the new ceremony area (voted 2018 best ceremony spot by votes in the Missourian Best of Weddings contest), to the romance of a cracking fire in the stone fireplace and the thousands of pieces of decor they have in inventory to borrow for no additional fee, this venue is a must see!

Suggestion- They book up SUPER fast, so if interested make sure to grab your date asap!


Top Wedding & Event Lighting 2018-2019

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GOBO - Monogram Lighting

Another newer trend is the "gobo" which is a disc template that light shines through to project an image onto a surface. You can display your monogram, names, wedding date, or even designs onto surfaces such as the dance floor, main wall, or entrance to the venue for a special wedding lighting effect.

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LED Fairy String Lights

One of the newest trends is fairy twinkle lighting. Every bride deserves to feel like a princess on her special day. Talk about a fairytale wedding! These elegant lights can be displayed vertical or horizontal depending on how it fits with your decor. Fairy lights are a great addition to your design to give the night a magical atmosphere. The twinkle certainly adds a romantic touch.

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Pinspot Lighting

Pinspot lighting is typically used for highlighting certain designs or decor at your wedding. Lighting up items such as flowers, centerpieces, and the dessert table is most common. Photographers are big promoters of these lights as it helps with picture quality. Pinspots add a pop to the room decor and help your beautiful centerpieces (you spent hours deciding and putting together) pop! Pinspot will ensure they get noticed.

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UPLIGHTING - Color Wash

Uplighting is the foundation of all lighting. Most likely, every wedding you’ve ever been to has used uplighting to transform the ambiance of the room. The colors you choose decide the mood, so do your research on what goes best with your theme. We’ve found most people go with light lavender or champagne. These colors are more neutral and blend well with warm and cool colors.


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Moving Heads

Moving heads bring energy to the party as they move and sweep the entire room. An array of disco colors typically go behind the DJ or Band setup at your venue and are displayed towards the dance floor.


Blisslight

Make your event a starry night with the ceiling washed with sparkling sky views. Take an adventure into the forest with lush trees and branches, or join your wedding party in a winter wonderland with snow flakes.

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Laser Lighting

Laser Lighting is the highest energy, most technologically advanced lighting system. Our high end lasers have character generators to include custom shapes, names, patterns, characters, and custom designs.

Blacklights

Go for a unique experience with UV Neon Glow-in-the-Dark lights. These lights are commonly used for post wedding reception ‘after parties’. Looking for extremely high-energy? Try black lights with DJ Silent Disco!

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Neon Lighting

Hottest Trend for 2019* Customize a neon sign to place above your sweetheart table, dessert table, entertainment stage, or on a green wall for photo backdrop. Different fonts, sizes, and colors are available.

Giant Letter Lighting

Customizable large letters can be placed throughout your venue! Some fun ideas are: LOVE, MR & MRS, I DO, JUST HITCHED, or your last name.

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Source: www.pinterest.com, www.etsy.com/shop/MKNEON, www.aliexpress.com, www.cheersevents.com, www.idjnow.com

11 Questions to Ask Your Wedding DJ

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1. How far in advance should we book entertainment?

 
  • First and foremost make sure they have your date available!
  • Most couples start booking 9-12 months before their wedding. Obviously your venue should be the first on your list, but quality DJs tend to book up, so give yourself enough time to research.

2. How many weddings have you done?

 
  • You'll want someone with quite a bit experience.  While working with a friend of a friend might seem more cost effective, it could end up costing you more in the long run. It's probably not a great idea to use Uncle Joe and his Ipod playlist for your special day.
  • Going with a larger entertainment company could really save you some stress. We've heard horror stories of friends-of-friends DJ's canceling within days of a wedding and the bride and groom must frantically search for a replacement. 

3. Do you offer other services such as lighting design & decor, videography, or photo booth?

 
  • The average wedding couple deals with 12 vendors. What if one company could be your Event Planner and handle everything from your Venue, DJ, Band, Caterer, Decor & Design, Photographer, Videographer, Photo Booth, Florists, Dessert Options, Bar Services, etc? Those are the type of organizations you'll want to work with for a stress-free wedding day. If you aren't already on the knot it's a great resource for planning. 

4. Have you done parties at my ceremony/reception location before? If not, will you check out the power and best location to set up beforehand?

 
  • Your vendors should always plan a site visit with you. While most venues have ample power, making sure your floor plan is thoughtfully planned out will ensure vendors have the access to power they need. Don't leave anything to chance on your wedding day. 

5. How do you motivate a shy crowd to get on the dance floor?

 
  • There's nothing that motivates a shy crowd to get on the dance floor more than the bride and groom themselves getting on the dance floor. If the guests are there to celebrate you, they will feed off your energy. If you have high energy entertainment, great music, and a bride and groom on the dance floor, your wedding will be an energy packed, fun experience for kids and adults alike. 
  • Consider having an MC at your event in addition to your DJ. This allows your DJ the ability to focus on music and read your crowd while your MC  makes announcements, engages and interacts with your guests. When interviewing MC's always ask about their dancing ability. A fun crowd always loves an emcee that can spin on their head!

6. Do you have liability insurance?

 
  • Accidents happen. Make sure you cover your a$$.

7. How extensive is your music library? Are you able to offer the genre we're looking for?

 

Music changes very rapidly. Your entertainment company should meet with you months prior to your wedding and then again before your wedding to make sure your music taste, timeline, and structure of your event hasn't changed. 

8. How do you handle song requests?

 
  • An option is to submit a poll to your guests on songs they'd like to hear on the dance floor prior to your wedding. The last thing you want is for your DJ to get distracted with guests constantly going up to the booth.

9. What sets you apart from your competition?

 
  • Make sure the company you go with makes your event feel special and not just another number. Ask how their company differs from others.

10. If we choose to have a "surprise choreographed wedding dance" are you able to assist us with music ideas and/or dance routine?

 
  • Entertainment companies may have dancers that help choreograph a fun dance for those brides and grooms wanting to show off some skills!
  • Work with a company that is able to help you plan your wedding from beginning to perfect ending.

11. What are your payment options?

 
  • Work with an organization that is conducive to your budget, whether that be a payment plan or quarterly installments. Find out when deposits are due and don't forget to budget in tips for certain vendors.