Wedding Videography vs. Cinematography: The Future of Wedding Films

Gone are the days of the long, boring, cheesy, home video style wedding videos. These days, we have “wedding films”. While this is well known to professionals in the wedding and event industry, people outside of the industry still don’t realize how far wedding “videos” have come.

Terrence Lighten of Lighten Films has written about the difference between wedding videography and wedding cinematography for us and I am so excited to share! I hope you find it educational!

There is a new wave of wedding videos coming out – however they are no longer called videos, they’re “films.” Cinematography and event film-making has spread across the globe rapidly.

So, what’s the difference between wedding videography and cinematography? Videography is more of a traditional approach that documents and chapters the day in a very simple format.
Cinema offers much more than the upgraded filming gear of the popular DSLR cameras, steadicams, and lighting. It is not only about capturing the unique day of each couple but also developing the footage into an in-depth story that comes to life and makes the day seem even more amazing than you remember it!

Wedding videography has gotten a stigmatism for being boring and cheesy over the years. “It’ll never be watched, it’s not important, and my photos are all I need to remember my day,” were commonly uttered when anyone brought up hiring a videographer. Well, those days are over. More and more couples are declaring that their wedding film is hands down the best remembrance of their wedding day – far surpassing the best of photography. If done correctly, your wedding film brings back every emotion from that day, and oftentimes, emotions that you didn’t even have time to experience.  It’s not about watching your wedding that was recorded, it’s about reliving your wedding day when you watch it.

What are some of the differences, you ask?

1. Long form videos vs. Short form films.
The assumption that you get more for your money with longer videos is completely false. As a matter of fact, longer equals boring, which is why wedding videos are only watched maybe on anniversaries, if that.
We live in a world today that moves fast. From technology to our food, we want it fast – because that is what we have time for.  Our attention spans have even gotten shorter. Short form films are more entertaining, leaving a stronger impact, and will be watched hundreds of times over the years.

2. Coverage vs. Story Telling
Another difference is basic coverage where a couple just wants the ceremony and/or the reception recorded, which there is nothing wrong with, by the way. In this type of videography coverage, you would get your ceremony and reception in full-length, but there is no creativity behind it, which also leads to boring. Most cinematographers capture the entire day starting from 7, 8, 9 or up to 14 hours. Why? This is how much time is needed to tell an effective story of your wedding day. Also, getting to know the couple more personally is key, how can you tell their story if you do not know who they are.

It is oftentimes customary for the cinematographer to meet with all of their couples before their wedding day and hang out for an hour or two just so they can have a better idea of who they are filming on the wedding day.

One of the most frequently asked questions are: Why longer hours filming and shorter films? I personally always tell my couples, to compare us to real feature films in the theatres. They film for 3, 4, up to 6 months, and you end up with only a 2 hour movie. Short form wedding films are the same way, and you end up with an emotionally entertaining feature film that you will want to watch over and over again. Then there are other features that are offered like coming attraction trailers that give couples a sneak peak of what to expect from their films, here is our latest…

Krystal + Joshua \\ Coming Attraction from Lighten Films – 702.266.6226 on Vimeo.


Film Maker: Lighten Films ~ Photographer: Mia Dolce Photography
Getting Ready Rooms: JW Marriott ~ Wedding Venue: Bears Best Golf Course
Floral: Floral by Kathy ~ Lighting: Woolard Production ~ DJ: Knight Sounds ~ Cake: Cravin Bakery

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  1. I couldn’t agree anymore! I have always been in love with this style and it works as strong as the photos from their wedding day. The important emotional roller coaster at a wedding doesn’t need all the long filler that would otherwise leave people craving the emotional connection lacking in a dragged out 5 hour wedding video.

  2. Pingback: Wedding Videography vs. Cinematography: The Future of Wedding Films | DSLR Camera Update

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