How to Make the Perfect Wedding Film

How to ensure your wedding video is Oscar-worthy (or at least a moving memory maker that you’ll want to watch again and again).

“I approach every wedding as both the director and cinematographer of a mini-movie that, in the end, will hopefully make couples laugh, gasp and cry,” says Jared Wortley, wedding videographer and owner of Jared Wortley Films. Though his career path veered briefly to physical therapy after he earned his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Wortley has focused firmly on artistic visual storytelling for the last decade. Along the way, he’s learned what makes the difference between a simply good wedding video and a truly memorable one that a couple watches again and again throughout married life. “Much of it is about the prep that happens before the wedding day,” Wortley says. Here are his tips for making sure your wedding film is one you’ll always cherish.

Wedding Film
Photo courtesy of Jared Wortley


“Wedding filmmakers generally work by the hour and so, to come up with a budget, I advise couples to think about the last event on their wedding itinerary and then work back from there,” Wortley says. He advises couples to think also about those events that are not part of the actual wedding day—shots like drone footage of the wedding venue, first-look images or the rehearsal dinner, when people outside of the wedding party traditionally offer toasts and well wishes to the couple.


“Repeating what an officiant says simply does not have the emotional power of original words that a couple reads or recites to each other on their wedding day,” Wortley says. He also encourages those who are giving toasts to prepare their speeches in advance rather than winging it.    

Wedding Film
Photo courtesy of Jared Wortley


Ensure that toasts make it to the final cut of your wedding film by designating a place at the reception where guests can go to give them. “A mic stand and a table to place a drink on is a great way to control both the lighting and sound,” Wortley says. “But we always have a remote mic on hand for the inevitable rogue groomsman who wants to rove around the room while delivering their toast.”


Wortley will often gather upwards of 12 hours of footage to create a single 10- to 15-minute wedding film. “My intent is to beautifully highlight the couple and their day but also leave the viewer wanting more,” he says. “I can certainly make a longer piece, but then viewers usually get bored.”

Jared Wortley

Read our tips for choosing the right wedding photographer here!

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Melissa Fields
Melissa Fields is a wife, mother, freelance writer, editor and—since the moment she migrated to Utah from Michigan more than 25 years ago—a huge fan of the Wasatch Mountains. A few of the outlets Melissa writes and edits for include Salt Lake Magazine, Park City Magazine, Utah Bride & Groom Magazine, and When not wordsmithing at her laptop, Melissa spends her time volunteering, hiking, pedaling, skiing, rock climbing and playing her guitar.