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What is documentary wedding videography and how do we approach our films?


When it comes to styles of filming the term “Documentary Wedding Videographer” might for some sound a little misleading. Whilst a TV documentary might feature interviews, direct to camera shots and maybe even a little voiceover from Attenborough (we tried to get him but he was busy in some forest in Burma), when we talk about Documentary in wedding videography terms we generally mean something a little different…

For us a documentary wedding videographer is someone who films without intrusion or interruption to the action in front of them. A narration of sorts might be included but again in the form of naturally obtained audio – not a series of questions or a pre-scripted voiceover but an extract from speeches, readings and other real moments recorded throughout the day, used with the intention of telling us a little more about the people on screen. There are definite similarities between these two forms of factual story telling, but documentary wedding videography is perhaps more closely related to documentary wedding photography than to its moving-picture counterpart.

Stay in the moment …

For us that similarity is all important. On a wedding day we don’t look simply to capture everything that happens in long, continuously rolling shots, instead we look to capture singular moments; moving snapshots that cut straight to the heart of the scene. We want to find the truth of the moment and reveal the personalities behind it, telling not just the story of the bride and groom but of their friends, their family and the relationships between them, along with those little events the couple themselves might have missed over the course of the day.

Your wedding day is potentially the only time everyone you know and love will all be together in one place. We believe that’s something worth celebrating not just for you but for them too. That’s why we look to create a fast moving, dynamic and exciting film that not just the bride and groom but all of their guests, family and friends want to watch over and over. We believe that the job of the documentary wedding videographer is to create a film that not only tells a story and records a significant event but that brings back real memories and emotions.

As documentary wedding videographers, that commitment to authentic memories is central to everything we do, yet sometimes it’s what you don’t see that can stir emotions and memories more powerful than anything we could show you on screen. Sometimes all we need is the slightest glimpse of a moment to take us right back through the screen to how it felt, who was there and how they each reacted. In other words the duty of the documentary wedding videographer in our eyes is to stimulate memories, not to replace them.

Key to our authentic, unposed, documentary story-telling style is the ability to get straight into the action without being encumbered by equipment or restricted by set-up times. We strive as much as possible to blend in and get close: just us and the camera, not a huge crew, distracting lighting or dollies, cranes and drones to take you straight out of the moment and onto a hollywood film set. We want our couples to simply live and feel every moment of their day and forget we’re there, relying on timing and composition, not cinematic tricks, to get to the heart of the occasion and make every wedding film completely unique to the couple.

Documentary wedding videography - a feeling, not just a record.

That word ‘unique’ is important to us. As documentary wedding videographers our central focus is on people and personality, and that expression of personality extends through everything from the way we edit the film together to the style and pace of music we choose to accompany it.

We want our films to truly capture the feel of each individual wedding, creating wedding films not through pre-defined templates and structures but through empathy and immersion. In capturing shots by being present in the moment rather than having our minds in the editing room we hope to understand a little of who this group of people around us really are, what’s important to them and what it was that made that day, that unique occasion so very special.

Blending in …

By blending in to the day almost as guests we hope to experience it the way your friends and family do. We see every wedding we film as a blank canvas and try to remove all preconceptions about what this particular film should be. We want to feel every moment fresh and forget about anything we’ve done before. In shooting and editing this way no two films should ever look the same.

Wedding Films have come a long way over the years and the options available to us now as wedding videographers are extraordinary. For us though it’s not flashy equipment, cinematic slow-mo’s and once-impossible aerial shots that excite us. It’s the pursuit of authenticity, the capturing of a feeling and the creative exploration of a moment that makes documentary wedding videography our true love and passion.

So that’s how we feel about the documentary wedding videographer style, here’s a little compilation of how those ideas look on film:

So those are just a few of our thoughts on wedding videography, click the button to find out more about Dominique & Liam’s approach as documentary wedding photographers!

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