Cinematic Wedding Videography

Wedding Videography

Eloping couple on Oahu's North Shore
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As a Hawaii wedding videographer since 2017, I have a unique perspective of the Hawaii wedding industry. My website is here to help you navigate getting married in Hawaii.
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Cinematic wedding videography transforms your wedding day into a story, capturing the day as it happens, along with the emotion, detail, and atmosphere.

While a “documentary-style” wedding film typically follows the day chronologically, cinematic wedding videography crafts a narrative by creatively filming and editing the footage for a wedding film that feels more like a romantic movie.

Wedding couple on the beach in Hawaii
A must-have for any style of video is shots of the couple together.

Tips on How to Choose the Right Videographer for Your Big Day

When choosing a wedding videographer, it’s important to consider their experience, style, and your own comfort level with them. Do they have a background in cinematic wedding videography? Is their aesthetic compatible with your vision for the day?

I recommend watching at least a few wedding videos from videographers to see how they shoot weddings. If you only choose based on reviews or recommendations, there’s no guarantee your wedding film will turn out how you want. For example, if you want a cinematic style, it won’t take you long to notice a documentary-style wedding videographer.

As a Hawaii wedding videographer, I see many different styles from fellow videographers, yet I don’t often hear “what’s your style” from couples. I believe that’s because couples watch videos before inquiring, which is the wise thing to do.

Ideas for Creative Cinematic Shots to Include in Your Wedding Video

Incorporating creative shots in your wedding video can make it stand out and express your unique love story.

Consider adding drone wedding videography to establish the scene or shots of the beautiful surroundings.

Close-ups of the wedding attire, flowers, rings, and decor details add depth and texture to the narrative, and the close-up shots blend well with the wide and mid shots, making more of a cinematic film.

Ceremony moments, of course, are super important parts of the day. To capture you at the altar with your wedding officiant while you make it official.

Slow-motion shots of the flower shower, the bride and groom’s first look, the exchanging of the vows, or the first dance can magnify the emotional moments, not to mention people look better slowed down a bit.

Finally, candid moments of joy, laughter, and tears among the couple and guests inject warmth and authenticity.

The key is to look for these elements in the films of the videographer you are considering. Do they capture the moments and details that are important to you?

Drone shot of a wedding couple walking on the beach in Hawaii
Drone footage adds so much to a wedding video.

Making the Most of Your Outdoor Venue with Cinematic Videography

Outdoor venues offer several opportunities for stunning and dramatic footage. Lush and expansive landscapes, gorgeous sunsets, and natural elements can all contribute to the cinematic quality of your wedding video. Beaches, mountains, and tropical surroundings are personal favorites for wedding films.

Lighting is also a key factor; the golden hour—the period shortly after sunrise or before sunset—provides soft, warm light that can create a magical ambiance, but shooting at all times of the day has advantages. For example, direct sun can make the ocean water pop, but as the sun goes down, so does the color of the water. Experienced wedding videographers can work with whatever light is provided to make the couple look good.

Videographers can also creatively use elements such as the ocean, trees, or architectural details for interesting reflections or framing techniques.

Wedding ceremony at the Royal Hawaiian Golf Club on Oahu
Weddings happen in beautiful locations, and you’ll want that beauty captured.

Editing Tips for Crafting an Engaging & Memorable Cinematic Wedding Video

A well-edited wedding video is an immersive storytelling experience, not just a chronological recording of events. It’s crucial to create a smooth narrative flow that builds emotional engagement.

Varying the pace of the video can effectively hold viewers’ attention. Combining different types of shots—wide, medium, close-up—adds visual interest and helps to break up monotony. Transitions can be used to create continuity and move the narrative.

Music is vital in setting the mood and is usually important to couples, especially the brides. I personally believe it’s important to include couples in deciding on the music for their highlight film, but this is not standard practice.

Many cinematic wedding videographers do not allow couples to choose the music, so you should discuss this if it’s important to you.

Additionally, snippets from the ceremony’s speeches or vows as voiceovers can bring a personal touch to the narrative, but for cinematic wedding videography, less will be used compared to a documentary style.

Newlyweds posing for a photo on the beach in Hawaii

Capturing Spontaneity and Special Moments in Cinematic Wedding Films

Spontaneity can be difficult to catch, but along with traditional moments of the day, they can often be some of the most precious. These unscripted moments are filled with genuine emotion, humor, and cuteness.

As a videographer, anticipating and capturing these moments requires observation, quick reflexes, and awareness. It’s not just about the technical skills; it’s about being a silent observer, discreetly present, ready to document the laughter, the tears, and the unexpected surprises that make wedding films unique and personal.

Cute daughter watching the sunset after a beach wedding
A wedding filmmaker always needs to be on the lookout for special moments.

The Importance of Quality Sound in Cinematic Wedding Films

Sound is an important aspect of film production that you might not consider. Quality sound recording can be difficult to capture, so proper equipment is vital.

Although some couples may request no voiceovers or speeches for their highlight video, the ceremony video is something you’ll want to watch for years to come and to show family who couldn’t attend, and those special moments and speeches during the reception are more enjoyable to relive with quality audio.

Conclusion for Understanding Cinematic Wedding Videography

Don’t get too hung up on the technical differences between cinematic and documentary wedding styles. If you are looking at the videographer’s portfolio and like the style of the videos, that’s what’s most important. However, do be careful, as some videographers can do both styles.

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