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nj wedding videographer danny morales

What to look for in a wedding videographer?

Recently, my cousin became engaged, and I will be his best man. Naturally, the subject of who will be his wedding videographer came up. His answer was simple: what should I look for in a wedding videographer? I had to think a little bit before answering. I mean, I never really thought about it from a client’s perspective, and I realized that this must be what many couples go through when choosing a wedding videographer. So I would like to shed some light on the subject.

What to look for in a wedding videographer?

…from a videographer’s perspective!


When I was looking for a doctor, a good friend of mine, who is an excellent surgeon, told me: “If you have to select a doctor, would you go with the one that does one or two operations a month, or the one that does three surgeries a week?” I did not have to think twice. The answer was obvious, the one who does three operations a week. Why is that? That doctor who does more surgeries is obviously more experienced.

When you look for a wedding videographer, that same remains true. On average, a busy wedding videographer will record about 20-35 weddings per year. Above 35 weddings could be overkill.

First of all, make sure that your wedding videographer has done more than thirty weddings. A wedding videographer that has done more than fifty wedding could be easily considered an experienced videographer.

I wouldn’t really put much weight if the wedding videographer says that he or she has two, three or five years of experience. It does not really matter.  What matters is how many wedding he or she has done. The more the merrier.

Why is experience so important to me ? Because in DSLR video, focusing is extremely important and difficult, and practice makes master. Unless your taste is for video that goes in and out of focus, you should look for a videographer what will keep your video in focus.

One vs Multiple videographers

Ask if the videographer can show you videos that he or she has done alone in a wedding. And then work that they have done with 2 or 3 videographers. This is really important.

Depending on your budget you may want to go with only one wedding videographer instead of multiple wedding videographers. Watch samples of his or her work while shooting a wedding video alone. Ask what is the best position he or she adopts during the ceremony and the reception.

Ask to see work while working with several videographers as well. How they position each camera during the ceremony and reception.

Ask to watch excerpts of a wedding video more than a highlight. Many wedding videographers emphasize in the highlight more than the wedding video itself. I have seen wedding videographers missing important parts of the ceremony because they are working to get an exotic angle down from the aisle floor or with the slider. They do this just to create more production value to their highlight to show future clients.


Another important matter to discuss is their equipment. If you are paying a wedding videographer, let say more than 2000 dollars, check that they are using DSLR cameras, preferably canon cameras.

There are many, but many wedding videographers still using regular HD cameras, which give you acceptable image, but not cinematic look like DSLR cameras would give you.


Ask about lighting. Discuss about the lighting at the ceremony. Churches usually have good lighting, but if the church it not well illuminated, ask the wedding videographer how they deal with low light situations.

It’s really important to ask about lighting for the reception. How do they plan to use them and what type of lighting equipment they use?

Reception halls are usually very dark, which makes wedding videography very challenging because you have to manage good lighting while not killing the mood. Confirm that your wedding videographer will have enough lighting for introductions, first dance, dance with parents, speeches, cutting the cake – the all the important moments of the reception.

Ask about lighting while dancing. Check that they do not use too much lighting that could kill the mood of the reception, or the lighting the dj or lighting specialist are using for your wedding. But, make sure they use a good source of lighting to illuminate your guests dancing.


Image quality is just half of your wedding video, sound is the other half.

A wedding video with bad sound could damage the quality of the video.

Ask the wedding videographer how they capture sound during the ceremony and reception, specially if you are getting married at a church, which has a lot a reverberation. Just make sure your wedding videographer mics the officiant or officiants, the groom and podium. They should be able to capture good sound from anywhere people will be talking or singing.

Make certain that they put a microphone on the singer, or at least put a recording equipment close to them if they do not have more lavaliere microphones or there are more than one singer.

Sound at the reception hall:

The reception is very noisy. People cheering, talking, etc. Talk to your wedding videographer and make sure they get the sound from different sources like plugging their recording device right from the dj or band. Wedding videographers must also capture ambiance sound (ambience sound is important to get reactions from your guests)

Being unobtrusive

One important matter to discuss is how they work. I have seen videographers who are very obtrusive, so much, that they have 2 or 3 videographers very close to the bride and groom while doing the first dance or when they are dancing with their parents. They are very obtrusive in a way that it is impossible for the wedding photographers to capture a decent picture of the couple. Many videographers, trying to capture exotic angles or images for their highlights, become noisy and noticeable during the wedding ceremony and during the reception. Make sure they are respectful, unobtrusive and share a good working relationship with the photographers or any other vendor.

Video Length

Ask how long your wedding video will be. I have heard of wedding videographers that charge a great amount of money for their service, but only provide a 5 minute highlight and unedited raw footage. If you pay a couple thousands more, they give you 20 to 30 minutes wedding video. They reason that a video of more than 30 minutes could be boring and people would not enjoy it. I am one of those wedding videographers, who does not believe that. I think that the client could get a nicely edited wedding video of the entire wedding without being boring. If you would like to jump to certain part of the video, there are always the chapters. Just go to the scene selection on your dvd or blu ray and select whatever you would like to watch. Don’t take me wrong, a shorter version of your wedding video is awesome, and we do offer it. In fact, we were one of the first studios to introduce this concept, but I just don’t think that it should replace a long version of your complete wedding video.


Ask about the turnaround of the work. There are many wedding videographers that promise a first draft of your wedding video in five or six months. In my opinion that is too long. I provide a first draft of a wedding video within 2 months from the wedding day, so I can’t really comprehend six months.

Check how the final product is delivered. There are many wedding videographers that are still providing their clients with dvd only, and what good is it to record something in hd if it will be delivered in standard definition. Other wedding videographers will charge extra for blu rays. So make sure you know the final format. Even if you don’t have Blu-ray, make sure you get Blu-rays.

Ask if they provide unlimited access to the video online or the digital copies for your mobile device.

Check if they allow changes to your wedding video and how the terms are for these changes.

A wedding video is one of the best memories you will have from your wedding day. You need to make sure that you will get the best possible wedding video.

Have a happy wedding!

Danny Morales

Wedding Videographer, Best of Weddings in Wedding Videography

NJ Jersey Wedding Photographer - Arabic Wedding Photography

Macaluso’s wedding video – Elias + Dareen’s Arab wedding video

Arab wedding video

Elias and Dareen got married on November 20th, 2011 at St. George Greek Orthodox in Little Falls NJ.

Several days before we got together with Dareen and Elias to go over everything for the wedding video and the wedding photography. Then at that moment I realized that Dareen is very organized as her sister in law mentions it in the video. Elias is really a funny guy and kept us laughing all night.

The day of the wedding, we divided the team in two. Erica Camille and me went to Elias house and Gaby and Sako (second videographer) went to Dareen’s house.

Honestly, I could not stop eating the amazingly good sweets from Jordan they had. I was filming with one hand and eating with the other.

The Reception was held at Macaluso’s. This banquet hall is not only beautiful but the food, oh my god!!! One of the best I have had.

The whole wedding went smoothly. Guests had a lot of fun with a mix of arabic and american music. It was truly a beautiful wedding!!

Northern New Jersey Wedding - Bergen County Wedding Photographer

Hackensack Country Club Wedding Video – Dominie and Kenny

Dominie and Kenny is that type of couple that feel naturally comfortable with each other. They make each other better, and their love is written in the way they look at each other. We were so happy to be there to capture their love and their wedding day.

Photography: The Wedding Central/ Venue: Hackensack Country Club/ Wedding Planner: Pure Ambiance/ Cake: Palermo Bakery/ DJ: LJ Productions


NYC Harvard Club Wedding - NYC Wedding Photographer

Harvard New York City Wedding – Erica & John’s Wedding Highlight

Erica and John’s wedding at The Harvard Club in New York City was scheduled to take place the same week hurricane Irene hit New York City, but not even mother nature could stop this beautiful young couple from getting married.

Their wedding was the perfect occasion to bring family and friends, from all over the world, together under one roof and for one whole weekend; add to that wonderful music from Irish fiddlers, the rhythm of great Indian music mixed by DJ Akash one of the best NYC dhol players, and you have a perfect NYC wedding that embraces love, family and culture.

NJ Wedding Photography , Hoboken engagement photos

NJ Wedding Video – Engagement Love Story – Rebecca and Tommy

New Jersey Wedding Video – Rebecca & Tommy’s Love Story Engagement Video

Being wedding photographers and videographers for a long time, we decided to include a video session to all our engagement photography session. We think that would be a great touch to our wedding videos.
For Tommy and Rebecca, we selected the waterside in hoboken, which is a great place to do an engagement session.

As Gaby was doing the engagement photography session, I was filming them. Afterwards, we sit down for a several minutes to do the interview about their love story.

When I got home that I imported all the footage, I noticed that the sound was not optimal, as it was very windy that day. I contacted Rebecca and explained the situation and we agreed to do the interviews again.

I went to their house and we found a very nice spot at their backyard. It was quiet, except for a couple of birds that were chirping like crazy. I said “you know what? don’t worry about it” and we continued.

As I love the way that Gaby processes the pictures, I am trying to color correct my videos similar to her photos. Staying away from those dramatic wedding pictures people are used to, Gaby uses a fresh style that I also want to use in my videos.

I could say that I am very happy with the final product.

Behind the Scenes : Meet the Photographer

After much hesitation, I decided that it was time for me to post this “Behind the Scenes” video Danny captured. After all, he cut a business trip short and flew all the way from Miami just to help me out with this project.

Voted Best of the Knot Weddings 2011, among New Jersey’s Top Ten Wedding Photographers and Wedding Videographers, and recipient of Bride’s Choice Awards 2011. The Wedding Central is a wedding photography and wedding cinematography studio owned by Award Winning Wedding Photographer and Wedding Videographer, Gaby and Danny. The studio is located Northern New Jersey and serving Bergen County, Morris County, NJ, Northern NJ, Central NJ, Jersey Shore and New York City, Rockland and Hudson Valley and Metropolitan area.

New York Bridal Market Expo 2011 – Video Recap

This week, we ventured into something new. We covered the New York International Bridal Market, and it was so much fun that we are thinking of covering these types of wedding related events again. I have done many things in my life, and one thing I didn’t expect to do was to venture into reporting, but don’t worry, I will gladly pass on my interviewer post to an experienced and knowledgeable interviewer or reporter, but for now, I was the only volunteer.

We interviewed five great designers and a representative from a great accessory line, Sorrelli. We are thrilled to see some of them launching their bridal lines in New York City for the first time. Thank you so much to all the designers who agreed to be interviewed. Your work is absolutely amazing, and I can’t wait to see brides wearing dresses, accessories and veils from these collections.

To read and see more pictures of our bridal week coverage.

Credits: Claire Pettinone – Jessica Fontaine – Alison Miller of Monvieve –  Linda Broman for Sorrelli – Jessica Charles of Terra AmoreOlia Zavizina