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Wedding Film Style

Documentary vs Cinematic


It is a good idea to decide what you would like or want from a wedding video before contacting suppliers. This may involve some research, but, to save you some time, we have put together some of the most common decisions people should have made before contacting a wedding video supplier. 

Having a good idea of the kind of wedding film you want, will allow you to better understand and compare offerings from vendors. 

Film Style

This is the most important decision any couple needs to make about their wedding film. Will it be a cinematic or documentary based film? 

What is a Documentary Wedding Film? 

A documentary wedding film can be regarded as a traditional wedding film. It documents your wedding day exactly as it happened. It should resemble a fly on the wall kind of documentary, with the wedding videographer having little interaction with the bridal party or guests. Depending on the style of documentary wedding films, some cinematic elements can be and feel can be introduced and certain points where appropriate, especially for a highlight version of a documentary wedding film. 

Advantages of a Documentary Wedding Film 

  • Generally lower cost, due to requiring less resources such as people and technology, than a cinematic film

  • The documentary film is longer in length than a cinematic film, greatly reducing the likelihood that moments, which are important to the couple, might be missed. 

  • Does not require any “fake”, or repeated shots of the same event 

  • Requires significantly less time from the couple, who will also have to spend time with their photographer, freeing them up to enjoy their day with guests. 

  • Ability for couples, children, and family to look back at your wedding in years to come, exactly how it happened

  • Due to the nature of a documentary wedding film, wedding guests will be captured interacting naturally. Many couples consider this a lovely keepsake to have in 10, 20, or 30 years time. 

Disadvantages Of Documentary Wedding Film Edit

  • A documentary wedding film is longer, which might not suit all couples, but the film will be arranged in the order events occurred, from bridal prep, wedding service, dancing, so the exact point of the film you wish to watch can be found easily. 

  • A documentary wedding film does not have the amazing “WOW”, factor when you first watch it

What is a Cinematic Wedding Film 

A cinematic wedding film is generally much shorter than a documentary wedding film. While a documentary wedding film with a catholic church ceremony and speeches can easily run longer than two hours, a cinematic film can be as short as 3-5 minutes. A documentary film runs at the same speed as normal TV, and cinematic films coveys most of its story via slow motion shots, either half or a quarter of normal speed. A cinematic film will regularly show the same clip from multiple different angles. This can involve setting up of equipment per scene, the use of multiple videographers, and/or shooting the same scene multiple times. A cinematic wedding film can have the feel of a movie trailer. A cinematic wedding film is more likely to evoke an intense emotional response from the couple when they view it. 

Advantages of a Cinematic 

  • Has a “WOW”, factor the first time it's viewed

  • Likely to evoke an intense emotional response the first time it's viewed. 

  • Relatively short in duration 

  • Looks excellent on social media


  • The initial “WOW”, factor diminishes after each viewing 

  • Higher cost due to higher production costs

  • Not a true representation of your wedding day due to staged and managed shots and so much of the footage is in slow motion. 

  • Requires additional time from the wedding couple on the day, which reduces the time they have to interact with guests and enjoy their wedding day. 

  • Almost no footage of guests interacting normally is captured. As time goes by, 10, 20, 30 years and people age, and loved ones pass away, the value of a cinematic look fades, whereas a documentary film will have ample footage of guests interacting as they were on your wedding day. 

Our Style 

We believe a wedding film is a family keepsake, which will be a part of a couple's lives for as long as they are together, and as such, be meaningful every time it's watched. While the initial WOW factor of the cinematic style is amazing, we believe, that over time, this diminishes and having a more realistic representation of your wedding day to look day on in 10, 20, or 30 years time, will mean so much more to couples, especially if they look back at their kids on their wedding day, or show kids which were not born by the wedding day Mammy and Daddys big day as it happened, or to look back at loved ones who may not be with us any longer. It is because of this reason, we have adapted the documentary style as our preferred and only style of wedding film.

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