Wedding Videography Styles at a Crossroads: Hollywood Cinema Vs. Documentary Filmmaking


It can be difficult for engaged couples to navigate the sea of wedding videographers and find the best option to document their day. To simplify your decision, brides should know the two main categories of wedding videography: traditional documentary style and the contemporary, cinematic DSLR style.

In 2012 there is a big push for DSLR wedding videography. It has become popular because the result is a beautiful and highly stylized 20-30 minute film of the day. Some people prefer this more modern approach but there are a few things to bear in mind before choosing this style of filmmaking.

To make the perfect DSLR wedding film often requires the technical effort of 3 filmmakers, tripods, steadicams, and specific lighting. The shots are usually staged, directed and blocked in order to achieve the maximum cinematic effect.

For those of you who are looking for a more realistic depiction of your day this isn’t the best style to go with. DSLR videography is for those who want a stylized Hollywood film of their wedding.

If you are looking for something more candid and perhaps a bit less stressful the more traditional style of videography is a better option. Traditional documentary videography captures the real nature of your wedding day without the frills and without intruding on your day.

By taking a “fly on the wall” approach, newlyweds can enjoy their wedding day among the company of family and friends while letting the videographer anticipate and shoot the important events with minimal interference. The unscripted details and spontaneous occurences are accurately documented with this cinéma vérité style.

The result is a naturalistic wedding video that shows the couple celebrating the day with their loved ones.

So for those of you who are searching the market of wedding videographers but are unfamiliar with the different styles of videography the first step is to decide whether you want a DSLR film or documentary-style wedding video.

The two styles are quite different mainly because DSLR videography stages the moment while documentary-style is unobtrusive. Both forms require a certain amount of technique and experience to achieve a professional and beautiful product.

With the videography business evolving, there are more choices than ever when deciding what type of videography is appropriate for your wedding day. It is easy to get overwhelmed but by knowing about these two main styles the decision is quickly simplified.

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