This article and photos are by Christian Nachtrieb of Brighter Lights Media (website) and originally appeared on his blog.

For most couples, you’ll only need to search for your wedding vendors once, so it’s important to get it right the first time! It can be especially daunting when it comes to photography and videography because of how technical in nature our field is. Keep reading for our crash course on what terms you should familiarize yourself with in your hunt for a wedding filmmaker.


This one is pretty basic, and it has to do with how many hours you elect to have your photographer or videographer present on your wedding day. Most studios offer basic coverage options starting at around 6 hours, and for more extensive coverage, times can go all the way up to a full day, with no overtime.

Raw Footage

Depending on who you book to film your wedding, certain filmmakers will allow you to buy the raw footage of what they shot that day. Raw footage refers to the un-edited, straight-out-of-the-camera Quicktime .MOV files. Our company does not offer this option. Instead, we include a “clean-up edit” of the entire wedding ceremony, toasts, and special dances with all our packages. We create a polished cut of these moments to eliminate the need for offering raw footage.

We do this for a couple reasons. First of all, what bride is going to want to spend hours on her computer double-clicking, closing, re-opening file after file in order to scrub through the day’s material? It’s incredibly pain-staking. The other reason is simply because we don’t want files of our raw material out in the open for people to see. A lot of the times while filming, we’ll have multiple takes of the same event, shaky footage when positioning our camera, etc. We only want to be judged on our final product, otherwise anyone who may see the ingredients to our films could get the wrong idea of the quality of our work.


DSLR stands for “Digital Single Lens Reflex.” Most modern wedding videographers these days shoot on DSLR cameras. There’s no need to go into detail on them, but there are a couple important things to know about these cameras. Some of their benefits include:

  1. Low-light capability. They perform excellent in poorly lit situations eliminating the need for videographers to use on-camera lights
  2. Size. Most of the time, we’ll be shooting on the same camera as your photographer. It’s important for us to leave a small footprint and to remain as unobtrusive as possible at all times.
  3. Video quality. The Canon DSLRs we use shoot in full 1080p High Definition video, and look great on your HDTVs at home with our Blu-ray discs.

Wedding Trailer, or Highlights Film

These two terms can be interchangeable and mean the same thing in most cases. Generally they’re between 2-6 minutes in length, and are much like a movie trailer you would see on to get you excited for the full feature film. These are great for sharing on your Facebook page to show friends, or to send via email to your family relatives who couldn’t attend the wedding. Check out our Blog if you’d like to see our examples of recent wedding trailers we’ve produced.

Same Day Edit

The same day edit is much like your wedding trailer, only it’s edited and played back the night of your wedding. Impossible you say? Why not have a look at some of our recent Same Day Edit films from the 2012 year. Depending on which company you talk to, prices can vary for this add-on, and often times you’ll find that the majority of studios won’t offer them because of how difficult it can be. Although the cost can be high (depending on your region), it’s well worth it once a bride sees the look of amazement all over her guests’ faces. A few of our past clients who booked us for our Same Day Edit have even left wonderful feedback on our WeddingWire page talking about how great their experience was.

We hope this was a helpful article that’ll provide you a little insight into the world of wedding filmmaking. Always be prepared and have a list of questions with you to ask a potential wedding videographer so that you can find out quickly if they’re the right fit for you. If you or anyone else you know is engaged or in search of help on this topic, please share this article with them!

This article and photos are by Christian Nachtrieb of Brighter Lights Media (website) and originally appeared on his blog.