What Length to Have My Wedding Video?

A good question. Not a simple one either!

There are a lot of different approaches to this. The way I have always found to be the most helpful when making any video, of any kind, is to work backwards. This process of reverse planning makes it far easier to see what the best length of video is for you. So to start with there are some basic questions I think you need to ask:

  • Who is going to be watching it?

  • How often is it going to be watched?

  • What do you want people to feel?

  • How are people going to watch it?

By answering these questions you can start to build up an image of what your video could and should look like. There is no right or wrong video either, it really can be whatever you want it to be!

Are you going to be sitting down with some popcorn to relive the whole day? (Photo byPhillip GoldsberryonUnsplash)

Who is going to be watching it?

This is important because you need to think about who your intended audience is. If you're having your day filmed for the two of you to relive it all then that is a very different video to sending it round to all the guests as a memento of the day. When it's just the two of you there's no reason you can't enjoy a 30-40 minute epic of your day. With prep, travel, ceremony, speeches, dinner, drinks, dancing, the works! But when your guests are sent a copy of the film is that the same way they are going to want to relive it? You know your friends best, but it's worth considering who is going to be watching.

How often is it going to be watched?

Again is this a repeat affair you can fall back on every few months? Or is it going to be a main event where you bust out the wedding video and everyone gathers round to watch it? Do you want people to see it every time they come to your Facebook page? In which case the shorter and punchier the better! But if you want to revisit the day at length then you need that longer format to delve deep into the day as a whole. A good test for this is how frequently do you watch your favourite movies? Is it a monthly affair or do you leave long breaks so you can come back to them and relive the experience?

What do you want people to feel?

What kind of experience do you want for anyone who views the wedding? Maybe you want them to see what a fun, and exciting day it was. A shorter length might work better for that, high energy music can really help give a raucous and fun feeling to a video. Or on the other side maybe you want people to really feel all the details of the day, the anticipation leading up to the ceremony, the laughter of there speeches and the fun of the first dance. All things to think about!

How are people going to watch it?

This is important to, the size of screen does matter! We typically have shorter attention spans the smaller the screen. So if you want to share your video with everyone on Facebook then consider the fact that shorter videos will work better. Highlight videos of the day are much more easily shared and distributed between your guests and anyone else you want to share it. But on the other hand if you've got a big TV and you want to get your video up on there then go for it! Go for the cinema experience.

There is no right answer!

Every video is different, every video is unique, because every wedding is unique, and every couple is unique. So there really is no right answer to how long a video should be. In my experience, most people find 15-30 minutes works best for them, but maybe that's not right for you. As long you spend some time thinking about what you actually want, and then communicate that with your videographer you'll get the video you've always dreamed of.

From the past few years of making videos I've found that having an approximate time frame is also useful. If you are expecting a particular length, but then the final product is a few minutes shorter you can feel short changed. That's never a feeling any videographer wants a couple to have. Sometimes the way the footage works out is that 26 minutes works better than 29. The difference is only a few minutes but it can have a profound effect on the quality of the video. A few seconds shaved off here and there has a big impact on the overall feel of a video, and can add up to a few minutes sometimes. I would implore you to trust your professional on this, and expect there to be a time frame that the video may fall under or surpass. It's part of the organic nature of making films of events and is what keeps it so interesting to people like me!


Thanks for taking the time to read this. If you have any questions please get in touch! Always happy to give pointers and advice, who ever needs it.