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The Pros and Cons of Recording Your Entire Wedding Ceremony

Is it worth it to you?

Contributing Writer
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Photography by: Greg Finck

It might seem like there's an endless list of decisions that have to be made about your big day, especially when you consider the fact that almost every decision you make leads to more questions. You choose a baker, then it's time to pick a cake flavor, which in turn leads to a discussion about the overall design. Call it the life of folks in the thick of wedding planning.

 

Choosing your videographer is no different. Once you hire a pro to document your day on video, you have to then decide what he or she will shoot. Do you want a trailer-length video that shows the progression of the entire day, or something a little more in-depth? Are you interested in just the highlights, or do you want your entire ceremony recorded just as it happens? That last one is a tricky question to answer. Here, wedding experts share their take on the pros and cons of having your videographer document your entire ceremony.

 

Related: Tips for a Great Wedding Video

 

Pro: You can hear exactly what was said.

For anyone who's not a guest at the wedding—basically the officiant, the bride and groom, and their respective families—the wedding ceremony flies by. Not to mention, the bride and groom are thinking about a million things while the ceremony is taking place, so they might not be focusing on all the little details that become important after the fact. That's why Artie Mandato, co-owner of The Main Event in New Jersey, says it's great to have the entire ceremony on film. "It allows you to step back into time and watch this moment over and over again." If you and your partner choose to write your own vows, it'll be especially meaningful to be able to hear them again after the fact.

 

Con: You might find the cameras distracting.

This one of the most intimate moments of your entire wedding, so if you think you might be distracted by cameras moving in for a shot, having the ceremony recorded might not be for you. Discuss the idea with your videographer well before the big day. Is there a non-intrusive solution that will allow them to document the full ceremony from one vantage point but still capture all of the emotion of your vows? If so, that might be the best option for you.

 

Pro: You can make a tradition of reliving your vows.

Having your ceremony recorded in its entirety means you can watch it as many times as you want. It also means it's the perfect activity for anniversaries to come. It's also a treasured memento to share with important family members and to pass on to your children.

 

Con: It will take up a lot of hard-drive space.

As Dmitri Tsitelauri, from Megaset Photography in Florida, points out, cameras shoot at very high resolutions—therefore, files could be pain to deal with, whether you're uploading them onto your computer, smartphone, or your hard drive. If filming your ceremony is that important to you, you will find a way to make it work, but it's worth noting that you might need a bit more storage space on some of your devices.

 

Pro: You get to see the audience's reactions.

While your ceremony is underway, you'll probably be so absorbed in the moment that you won't take in much of what's going on around you. Plus, you're pretty busy. Not only do you have to repeat phrases as the officiant instructs, but you'll also have to say your vows. You probably won't be staring out into the audience making eye contact with every person out there. When you have your recording in hand, you can look back and see the way your parents and friends smiled the moment you said "I do."

 

Con: You may catch some guests using their cell phone.

If you've been seated at a wedding ceremony and been a bit distracted, whether it was a plane flying overhead or by a text you received on your phone, you can understand that these interferences do happen. But when it's your special day it might be nice not to see Aunt Harriet responding to an email about her book club.