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Detroit Wedding Cinematography // Frequently Asked Questions

Updated: Apr 25, 2020

We are confident 97 Films wedding cinematography will capture every special moment of your wedding day. We love what we do, and hope to get to film your special day. We are Detroit-based, but have travelled everywhere to capture footage of bride and grooms tying the knot. We understand that planning a wedding is a challenge, and we want to do our part to make partnering with you simple and headache-free. Here are some answers to our frequently asked questions. If these don’t answer all your questions please email us.

Meet the 97 Films Cinema Team (from left to right: Shelly, Katie, Bo)


The 97 Films Cinema Team, Detroit Wedding Cinematography.

What is your style?

We take an unobtrusive, natural approach to filming. We want moments to happen organically and rarely do we direct (sometimes we may have an idea for a pose during your photo session). Check out our blog post to read more about our cinematic style of filmmaking.

Why do you call your pricing “investment”?

The value in investing in us is our artistry, storytelling, connecting with our couples, and attention to detail.

Check out our 2019 Wedding Recap Film

All of our 97 Films couples tell us that the investment they made in their film was the best money they spent for their entire wedding. More than the flowers. More than the cake. More than the dress. And, quite surprising to even us: more than their photography.

Why? Because their 97 Films wedding film transports them back to the moment so quickly, deeply and emotionally. There's something about the imagery, audio and music together that really enhance their memories of such an awesome day.

And, lastly, so many of our couples are constantly telling us that when they share their wedding film with other married friends who didn't have one, their friends say it's their biggest regret.

What types of wedding films do you offer?

Trailer: 1-2 minute film released online one week after wedding.

Wedding Film: Artistically composed 6-8 minute film. We tell the story of your wedding day

Same Day Film: 4-6 minute film played during reception…usually an hour after introductions during dinner.

Where are you based?

We are based in Detroit, Michigan and love traveling to Northern Michigan, Chicago, and beyond!

How many cinematographers will be there on our wedding day?

There will be 2-3 cinematographers at your wedding depending on timing and logistics of your wedding.

How much experience do you have?

I (Katie) have been filming weddings since 2009, and telling love stories is my passion. I started 97 Films in 2013. Since then we have filmed over 115 weddings. I have filmed many cultures and traditions, and it’s always exciting to get to film something new.

Why don't you use a drone?

As of right now we don’t use drones because they are not legal to fly over people. We know other companies offer drones but it’s a huge liability. And worst case…we don’t want the drone to hit a guest. We may use drone shots to establish your ceremony or reception locations.

How do we book you?

To lock in your wedding date with us sign our wedding cinematography agreement and then pay the retainer (50% of your collection). Send us an email when you’re ready.

What if someone else inquires about our wedding date?

We will let you know if anyone else inquires about your date. But whoever books first, gets it. A signed agreement and 50% retainer will lock you in!

Do you offer photography?

No we don’t offer photography. The film and photo world are totally different. We always tell our photographer friends that we could never do what they do. They have to time their shot to capture the instant the moment happens. We’re lucky because we can capture the time before the moment and after; we need at least 3-4 seconds of footage to be able to use that clip in a film. We have a lot of photographer friends I’d be happy to refer you!


Do you work well with other photographers?

Yes we do! We know it’s a team effort when capturing your wedding. Our goal is to not only be invisible to you but also to your photographers. We don’t want to be in any of your wedding photos. We like to make efficient use of your time during your photo session so we will shoot alongside and behind your photographer. Go team!

Can you recommend a wedding Florist/DJ/Planner/Photographer/etc.?

Over our 10 years of experience we have worked with a lot of vendors throughout the wedding industry. Check out our favorites page to see our favorite wedding vendors.

Is 10-12 hours of coverage enough?

We typically start in between hair and makeup in the morning. If your photographer is taking you somewhere for photos before or after your ceremony we’ll usually tag along. We will stay til about 30 minutes into open dance. Using this "formula" allows us to capture all of the important moments of your wedding with out missing anything!

Do you really need to capture us getting ready?

Umm yes! The getting ready part of your wedding day is my absolute favorite. It’s the quiet time before the ceremony when you’re with your closest friends and family. Those moments are so precious. We promise to stay out of the way and let you and your bridal party do your thing.


Can you stay til the end of my reception?

Yes we are happy to stay. We want you and your guests to have a great time so keep in mind we will need our lights and cameras on the dance floor. Capturing 30 minutes of open dance is more than enough time to capture the best dancing. The longer we stay the more evidence we capture ;) Additional hours of coverage are $350.

Can you make changes to our Wedding Film or Trailer?

Yes! We want to make sure you are 100% happy with your films. Requested edits are billed at $125/hr with the first hour of editing at no charge. Small edits are easy like swapping out a shot or making sure we include a shot of your grandparents.

We love love love the new Taylor Swift song. Can you put that in our film?

We only use music that we can license and unfortunately we're unable to use most songs on radio. I mean if you’re friends with T-Dizzle and she signs off on the use we’d be more then happy to use it. We license music from these sites: The Music Bed, Audiosocket, Soundstripe, and Songfreedom. Take a listen and let us know if there’s a song that you love!

Can I suggest the music for our wedding film?

If there is a particular song you'd like us to use we'd be happy to include it in your wedding long as we can license it.

What I can say about using a mainstream song is that if you hear it on the radio ALL the time it may get too repetitive. If we use a song you have never heard before and it's not on the radio it becomes your wedding song. It makes it more special :)

How do you back-up our wedding footage?

The day after your wedding I transfer all of your cards to an external hard drive. Once all of your footage is transferred I copy it to another external hard drive. Once your footage is on two archive drives I’ll transfer it once again to a bigger hard drive to work off of. I keep one of the archive drives and give the other one to Shelly to store at her house. I sync up your ceremony and footage and verify all the data from each memory card has been transferred. I let your footage sit for a week (as long as I can) before formatting all the footage.

How long do you keep our wedding footage?

Once we deliver your wedding films we backup all files on our archive drives. We keep all footage and files backed up on these drives. Make sure to download and backup your film, we are not responsible for destruction, damage, or corruption of the files once delivered.

What are Full Edits?

Full edits are your whole ceremony: from you walking down the aisle, the vows and other ceremony features to walking back down the aisle as husband and wife. The length of your ceremony will determine the length of your Full Edit. Your Reception Full Edit includes intros, cake cut, speeches, bridal dances, first dance, and open dancing. They are typically 2-3 hours in length.

Click here to see what Full Edits look like.

What are Mini Edits?

Mini edits are strictly your vows from your ceremony, full speeches, full first dance, and full dances with parents.

Click here to see what Mini Edits look like.

What is raw footage? And why don't you offer it?

Raw footage is unedited footage - sometimes shaky, out of focus, and over/under exposed, not yet color corrected. It's a lot of footage that will probably seem overwhelming to watch. That's why we offer wedding films and full edits. Everything is edited and you can watch it in full.

When do we get our films? And what’s the format?

All cinematic Films and Full Edits would be included as a downloadable digital copy 6-8 weeks after your wedding date.


Can we get our films on DVD or Blu Ray?

We don’t burn DVDs and Blu-Rays anymore. We want to offer the best version of your film that’s why you’ll get a digital copy. You’ll be able to view and download your films online.

There are other companies that charge less, why should we invest with you?

The value in investing in us is our artistry, storytelling, connecting with our couples, and attention to detail. Check out our blog post on investment.

Our goal with our films is to evoke emotion. We want you to feel something every time you watch your wedding film. And if you tear up watching someone else's film...imagine what it will feel like when you're watching your own film!

Do you offer payment plans?

Yes we do! We offer payment plans of equal 1/3s and 1/4s.

We would love to book you but our budget right now is less than your starting price. Do you offer an “a la carte” collection?

We totally understand budgets. We do have a collection that allows you to add on your Wedding Film after your wedding. Below is what is included in this “a la carte” collection.

Up to 10 hours of coverage

Trailer (1-2 minutes)

Investment: $2800

You can also add on Mini Edits of your Vows, Speeches, and Bridal Dances, or Full Edits of your Ceremony and Reception after your wedding as well. Contact us for more details.

Do you use a drone now?

Haha still no. As of right now the laws are still the same. You must be a licensed pilot and submit a flight plan to fly a drone for commercial use. We are keeping our eyes and ears on the law, waiting for it to change.

What is your cancellation/refund policy?

Your wedding retainer is non-refundable. Once you sign the agreement and pay the retainer we lock your wedding date and don’t allow others to book your date. We get it, things happen. If we are able to re-book your wedding date we will refund your retainer.

Do you offer engagement sessions?

Yes we do although it doesn’t include’s Paula Abdul style film (straight up video)!!!

For $500 it includes up to two hour engagement session at a location of your choice (must be within Metro Detroit area) and a 1-2 minute film. Within that two hour session we could go to your first date spot. About a week after the session I’ll send you your film and you can share on social media and even use as your save the dates!

Another exciting thing is if you choose 97 Films to capture your wedding we can use the payment of your engagement session toward your wedding film investment! Win-win for you!!

Your engagement film would look something like this:

Do you only do weddings?

We love filming weddings but that's not all we do. We love filming live events including christenings baptisms, mitzvahs, and creating business, family, and legacy films.

Christening - Bar and Bat Mitzvahs, Christenings, and Baptisms are a big deal. We love capturing these milestones.

Business Film - We love sitting down with business owners and talking about their story. We highlight features that set your business apart from the rest, allow customers to experience everything you offer, connect customers to the business owner and staff, and give potential customers the ability to experience the environment before stepping inside.

Passion Film - We believe successful businesses are made up of passionate people. These films focus on one person and their passion for their career.

Family Film - We spend a couple hours with your family and document a day in the life. We'd love to meet your family and freeze this moment in time. The best way to make children good is to make them happy. - Oscar Wilde

Legacy Film - We interview a parent or grandparent on their life story. We capture and share their legacy to pass on to future generations.

We hope we answered your questions. I know I'm probably missing something so please reach out with more questions. I love chatting about what we do. Send me an email or let's meet for a beer! Cheers!


The 97 Films Cinema Team, Detroit Wedding Cinematography.

Check out these blogs to learn more about 97 Films

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