Top 6 Tips to Create Cinematic Wedding Highlight Videos (6 Templates)

Business Filmmaking 20/05/2021 6 min read

There are so many different ways to create wedding videos, just like there are so many different ways to have a wedding. Will it be simple and honest, with a few close friends and family? Or will it be a major event with a spectacle lighting up the night sky?

Ultimately, your wedding highlight video must tell a story that reflects the wedding itself, and we have some creative tips to guide you along the way. And read on to find some fantastic wedding highlight or reel templates to help you save time.

Part 1: Top 3 Wedding Highlight Video Styles

Looking for some inspiration on how to edit your wedding videos? There are a few key styles which wedding video producers implement, and these styles are popular because they work very well. If we revisit this topic a couple of years from now, styles might have altered, but let’s take a look at how weddings are shot these days.

1. Candid Wedding (Documentary) Videography

This style of wedding video paints the event in natural light, presenting the day as it was in an honest way – with authentic reactions from the bride and groom’s guests and tears of happiness. 

The documentary style of filming is often handheld and makes the most out of the natural light and the beautiful landscape. It works beautifully when the wedding takes place on a beach or in a winery. Shots of the landscape itself can be intercut with finer details such as wedding signage, gifts, food, and drink. The goal is for the wedding to feel organic and genuine, and when the bride and groom look at each other, the shot captures exactly what that feels like.

2. Storytelling Wedding Videography

This style of wedding videography focuses more on a single narrative. Visually, these films tend to start at the very beginning of the day and flow naturally until the evening. But the edit may favour shots with more emotional meaning, such as the bride’s mother helping her with her veil, or her father holding her hand before entering the church, or the groomsmen helping the groom and each other get ready.

The narrative is often built around the vows and speeches throughout the day, with a lot of focus placed on matching the footage with soundbites from special guests.

3. Cinematic Style Wedding Videography

Cinematic wedding videography turns the event into something truly special. The production becomes less about the small moments of the day and more about spectacle. In large events that feature hundreds of guests in stunning locations, the film needs to be carefully planned and directed. The crew might use higher-end gear with cinema-grade prime lenses, slow-motion shooting, and aerial filming to capture incredible cinematic footage of the event.

The film is then edited in a premium, luxury style that would be well suited for high-end fashion brands. Cinematic wedding videography is all about how it looks, and the quality of the entire production needs to reflect that.

Part 2: Tips for Editing Wedding Highlight Videos

So, you’ve been commissioned to edit a wedding highlights video. How do you condense an entire day of filming down into a short video?

1. Turn the Day into a Story

Wedding videos might sometimes seem directionless, drifting without narrative. But they don’t have to be. Weddings tend to follow a similar narrative arc: preparation from dawn – of the guests, the bride and groom, and the venue – guests arriving, the ceremony, lunch, speeches, and celebration to finish. It all takes place from dawn until night so there’s a natural flow of a narrative there. 

But your video doesn’t have to be chronological. Think about an interesting alternative narrative, maybe cutting together shots out of sequence that match with something poetic mentioned in one of the speeches. Overall, try not to just throw random shots together – have a clear beginning, middle and end in mind.

2. Use Transitions

Employ cinematic visual tricks to create an interesting way of transitioning from scene to scene. By passing the camera close behind objects, like tables and chairs or even people, it gives you an opportunity to crossfade to another scene in what looks like a seamless transition. Use transitions at key moments or when cutting back and forth between the speeches and the preparation.

3. Vary the Cuts

Use hard cuts from scene to scene where it’s appropriate, but also keep in mind other types of cut. Cross cuts, J-cuts and L-cuts help the dialogue of the speeches flow seamlessly in and out of the b-roll, creating an overall fluid edit. 

4. Keep it Short

People have long attention spans when it comes to reliving their own wedding – but not too long. Keep it well under 10 minutes, and if you can get the video between 3-8 minutes, you’ll be in a good place. You won’t have a shortage of footage to play with, and you’ll have to be ruthless when deciding what to leave out.

5. Choose the Right Music

If possible, choose the music you intend to use before you start editing, and make the music a key focus of the video. It helps motivate edits, rhythm, and tone, and tie everything together. Use royalty-free music from websites like Motion Array or to make sure you’re fully licensed.

For candid, documentary-style wedding videos, try something slow like country or indie wedding songs. More emotional, story-driven films work well with instrumental strings, and cinematic wedding videos can be incredible when paired with dramatic, uplifting cinematic music with strong drums.

6. Apply Color Grading

Color grading will help you get across a certain tone for your video. Weddings work well with lighter, bluer hues, lower contrast and saturation, but it depends on the location and the ultimate objective of the film. Try using light leaks to add cinematic lens flares, which add a lot of value when filming around candles and other dramatic wedding lighting setups.

Part 3: 6 Popular Wedding Highlight Video Templates & Effects

1. Wedding Reel

This cinematic wedding reel template includes a set of pre-made transitions that incorporate floral designs, light leaks, and spark effects to move between scenes in a very modern and stylish way. 

Download Wedding Reel Now

2. Wedding Reel

This Adobe After Effects template is a beautifully designed and animated set of transitions and effects, ready for you to swap out for your own footage. It’s perfect for warm natural weddings in beautiful landscapes!

Download Wedding Reel Now

3. Cinematic Love Story

This stunning template for Premiere Pro contains everything you need to make a premium, cinematic wedding video. With text animation, color overlays, and plenty of media placeholders, all you need to do is replace the clips with your own footage to create your own high-quality cinematic video.

Download Cinematic Love Story Now

4. 10 Light Leaks Transitions

If you’re editing something bespoke in Premiere Pro, try using this pack of light leaks transitions to step up the quality of your video. Each light leak is designed to transition cleanly and stylishly from one shot to another. Place them carefully in the edit as the camera moves around a light source for the best effect.

Download 10 Light Leaks Transitions Now

5. Wedding LUTs

LUTs are a very quick and effective tool to grade footage, letting you add a specific look to your raw clips immediately. If you work in Final Cut Pro, try using these LUTs designed with Final Cut in mind. They give a high-contrast, cinematic look, and can be applied in just the click of a button.

Download Wedding LUTs Now

6. Wedding Color Corrections

If you prefer to grade your footage in DaVinci Resolve, download this pack for quick and effective cinematic color corrections. These presets are a simple drag-and-drop from DaVinci onto your raw footage to create instant colored footage in multiple styles.

Download Wedding Color Corrections Now

When it comes to creating a good quality wedding highlight video, really think about the style of video you want to create and how it reflects the style of the wedding. Do you want to paint an authentic movie of the day or create epic and cinematic footage? Use editing techniques like transitions, different types of cuts, grading and light leaks to bring it all together and ultimately tell a story. 

For additional wedding video resources, check out our list of amazing wedding titles or a list of memorable royalty-free music for wedding videos

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