You know you want to capture your wedding so you can look back on it for years to come. If you’re like most people, you will probably choose to have a photographer on your big day. But what about video? What is the difference between wedding videography and cinematography, and which is the best way to go?

The Terms

Video camera

Heart Pounding Productions

Wedding videography and cinematography have been used interchangeably for some time. This has resulted in some confusion, leaving people to wonder if they’re different or the same. Perception and marketing have contributed to blurring the lines between these definitions. Digital technology has also impacted how these two mediums operate. However, despite their differences, both styles focus on quality video. The equipment and approach are the primary differences between the two.

Wedding Videography

Wedding couple outside holding hands

Sarah Keenan Creative

With long form video as a priority, videography tends to capture weddings in a linear fashion. Even though a videographer might make some edits to the video they’ve taken, they will be very minimal. Your video will still tell a story, but it will be a more straightforward documentation of the day as it unfolds. Having your wedding captured this way may feel like watching a home movie.

As mentioned earlier, equipment can also make a difference. Videography may be done with camcorders, and footage may be shot by one or two people. As the use of DSLR cameras are becoming more popular, though, videography may use this instead of a camcorder.

Wedding Cinematography

Wedding couple in the rain under umbrella

VMA Studios

Lighting, angles, narrative storytelling and editing are the distinguishing features of this style. A video like this will have a cinematic feel with more dramatic shots. After the wedding, the footage will be edited together to tell a story. Some videos may feel like a movie trailer, others may feel like a movie and documentary combined

With wedding cinematography, there is also most likely to be a larger group working to capture footage of your big day. They may also be using DSLR cameras and lighting equipment. Finally, the footage is edited after your wedding to bring the final product together.

Questions to Ask

At the end of the day, wedding videography and cinematography isn’t not better than the other. It comes down to which one you prefer.  When figuring out which approach is best for you, here are a few questions you can ask yourself.

  1. What kind of feel/tone do you envision for your wedding video?
  2. Do you want your video to feel like a home movie or a cinematic film?
  3. What level of image quality do you want?
  4. How does your vision for your wedding video fit with your wedding videographer or cinematographer?

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