Even more than photographs, a wedding video truly captures the spirit and magic of your big day—in living color. And, thanks to advancements in digital technology, the quality of these videos has improved dramatically over the years.  Instead of using the large, obtrusive analog (VHS) cameras that were standard 10 years ago, most videographers now shoot with small, discreet digital video cameras.

Also, you'll probably get a video mastered in DVD format, ensuring better picture quality and a shelf life of 100 years (as opposed to 15 years with a VHS tape). What can you expect your video to look like? Here's an overview of your options, plus how to get the most for your money, and some tips on finding the right pro.

Basic Service "Point-and-shoot" videographers, as they're known, provide only elementary documentation of your day, so they're your least expensive option (around $1,000). If you've seen any of your friends' wedding videos…well, you get the picture.

While these videos adequately deliver a record of the events, some brides have told us that their "point-and-shoot" videos look a bit cheesy, thanks to the pros' use of gimmicky animated graphics and sound effects—you might want to tell your pro to tone down these kinds of treatments.

Also, tell your videographer not to approach your guests, prodding them to "say a few words" to the camera: This is considered very passé. And be sure to specify the music you want included in the soundtrack (videographers tell us that a popular pick is "The Blower's Daughter," by Damien Rice, which was featured in the movie Closer).

Tips on Finding The Right Videographer For You: The best way to find a reliable videographer who works in the style you want is to get recommendations from friends and family. Your wedding photographer might be able to provide you with a list of names, too; some photographers may even offer videography as part of their services. Or, try the Wedding & Event Videographers Association (weva.com).

You can gauge a particular videographer's style by first checking out his or her website, where you may be able to view sample reels. If the videographer doesn't have a web site, or if it's poorly designed, take it as a sign that he or she is not technologically up to speed. And if that's the case, keep looking!
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When you start meeting with potential videographers, ask to see an example of an entire, edited tape from one wedding instead of a "best of" demo—this is the most effective way to gauge the quality of the product you're actually going to get.