While searching on TikTok for ideas for her April 22, 2023 wedding, Mila Tweel came across several videos of former brides discussing what they would have done differently. Many regretted not hiring someone to capture behind-the-scene videos and photos of their wedding day.
This prompted Ms. Tweel, 29, a wholesale senior account executive for Mint Showroom, in Hoboken, N.J., to look into having a wedding content creator for her celebration in Malibu, Calif. “I wanted moments that my groom and I couldn’t be a part of ourselves captured,” she said, “such as our guests arriving and everyone mingling at the cocktail hour.”
Ms. Tweel hired Kaitlyn Cabrera, the owner and lead content creator of Gifts for the Girls, based in Laguna Beach, Calif., after seeing her work on TikTok and Instagram. Ms. Tweel’s wedding planner, Alesha De La Cruz of De La Planning, also in Laguna Beach, had recommended Ms. Cabrera as well.
“One of the best experiences my husband and I had after our wedding was waking up the next morning to 800 pictures and videos that Kaitlyn sent us to review,” said Ms. Tweel, who posted more than a dozen recaps on TikTok and Instagram a couple days after the wedding. “We’ve been watching the videos and looking through the photos almost every day since the wedding.”
Wedding content creators typically deliver hundreds of shareable photos and videos within 24 hours of a wedding. By contrast, traditional wedding photographers provide couples with preview images within a week of their event, and they’ll have to wait up to six weeks for their full photo gallery and as long as four months for the video.
While traditional photography and videography still remain a top priority, more couples want to document, via social media, the in-between moments not normally captured.
A 2023 Instagram poll of more than 2,600 brides and grooms conducted by Joy, a digital wedding planning platform, found that 94 percent of couples said that social media played a big part in the planning of their wedding. Sixty-two percent felt pressured to have an extravagant event and showcase it because of what they had seen shared on Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest.
“My husband and I put so much time and effort into planning our wedding and we wanted to see it all,” Ms. Tweel said. “I didn’t expect to value the videos and photos that Kaitlyn took as much as I do my wedding photo album, but we got so many amazing videos of our guests dancing and eating, as well as some special moments that we had no idea were happening at the time.”
Content creators use a smartphone to capture candid, behind-the-scenes, or BTS, moments, then edit the photos and short-form videos and set them to trending audio or the couple’s favorite songs. They post the finished product to the couple’s preferred social media platforms. Couples can also choose to receive raw content that they can edit and post themselves.
Postings can also be done in real time during the celebration. “One of my most popular services is the Instagram takeover,” said Lauren Ladouceur, a New York-based wedding content creator and the founder of Plan With Laur. “I step into the couple’s shoes and live-post behind-the-scenes moments of their wedding day with captions that feel authentic to them on their Instagram account.”
Costs typically range from $1,000 to $3,800, plus travel expenses. Pricing will often depend on the content creator’s time spent on-site, usually starting at six hours and up to three days of coverage, and the amount of content delivered. This includes edited reels, highlight videos and hundreds of unedited photos and short-form videos sent over Dropbox or Google Drive.
Toni Norton, a fitness coach in Charlotte, N.C., and the owner of Fine Fit Fitness, hired a wedding content creator for her three-day wedding celebration in May 2023 because she felt it would be “the best way to truly enjoy every moment.”
“We didn’t want just clips of our family and friends smiling and laughing with voice-overs of them congratulating us,” Ms. Norton, 33, said. “We wanted to hear the excitement as the moments were happening during the weekend.”
While perusing TikTok, she came across Ms. Ladouceur. “We asked Lauren to film our guests, not us,” she said. “We knew that our photographer and videographer would get those special shots. It was important to us that our family and friends felt like they were part of our wedding.”
For around $3,000, Ms. Ladouceur captured BTS of Ms. Norton’s entire wedding weekend, including her rehearsal dinner, pre-wedding family bowling night, the wedding day and post-wedding brunch. And because Ms. Norton is an influencer on social media and had been doing daily TikTok Live videos for the last three years, like posting about her bodybuilding competition, she decided to have her wedding ceremony streamed in real time.
“Some of my followers who knew I was getting married asked if I could share my wedding on TikTok Live. I thought it was a great idea,” Ms. Norton said. “In addition to recording content during my ceremony, Lauren also went live on another mobile phone. We had over a quarter of a million viewers and over one million likes during the 20-minute ceremony.”
Lauren Jaffe-Laidlaw, an insurance broker at Jaffe Insurance Agency in Los Angeles, had thought about asking a friend to capture some short BTS videos for her June 10, 2023 wedding. “But anyone I would have asked I wanted to be in those videos,” said Ms. Jaffe-Laidlaw, 26. “I wanted my friends and family to enjoy the day and not feel pressured to take on such a time-consuming responsibility.”
She hired Stacey Moran, the founder and lead content creator of the BTS Bride in San Diego, who captured some of Ms. Jaffe-Laidlaw’s favorite moments of the day. This included “just before the wedding officially started when everyone in the bridal party held a glass of champagne and danced away the pre-ceremony jitters together,” she said.
While some videos were shared on social media, most ended up remaining private. “I didn’t post many of the videos because it wasn’t my goal to create content for my followers,” Ms. Jaffe-Laidlaw said. “I get to watch them and be transported back to the feeling of being surrounded and celebrated by the people I love most.”
Ms. Jaffe-Laidlaw plans to use the 300 short video clips she received from Ms. Moran to create compilations and montages for her future wedding anniversaries. “All of the behind-the-scenes videos Stacey captured are a treasure trove of potential social media content,” she said.
Wedding content creators will offer guidance on the best type of content to shoot and curate, and most are up on the latest posting trends. “An experienced content creator has the ability to adapt to the ever-evolving landscape of social media,” said Persephone Maglaya, a founder and the chief executive of the Media Socialites in Dallas, “such as before-and-afters, and editing techniques like specific timing and cuts.”
As a full-time content creator, Kristina Rodulfo wanted someone who would understand her vision and style of videos she likes to create. She hired Ms. Moran after learning about her professional experience managing social media for beauty brands like Shani Darden Skin Care and Briogeo, which aligns with her own work as a beauty brand consultant.
“I didn’t have to explain specific TikTok trends, types of detail shots or what angles to capture because she intuitively knew what to do,” said Ms. Rodulfo, 31, who is based in New York. She was also glad that Ms. Moran used the proper equipment, such as a smartphone stabilizer and additional microphone, to ensure that the content she recorded was high quality.
Traditional videographers, working with on professional gear and equipment, can create high-quality short videos that eventually could be used on social media. But the finished product can take awhile to complete and they typically don’t post for couples nor do they have access to certain apps and options for posting found on mobile devices.
Some wedding planners may offer content creating as an add-on service with varying fees; others, like Dee Lee, the owner of Dee Lee Designs in Los Angeles, have it as part of their service.
“Our team created BTS of what happened throughout the wedding day because we wanted to capture the things couples don’t typically get to see, such as the getting-ready and hype-up with the wedding party,” Ms Lee said. “We wanted them to be able to recap their day by watching all the moments when they had time to sit and take it all in.”
Diane Kolanovic-Solaja, the owner and creative director of Dee Kay Events in Howell, N.J., also offers content creation, though as an extra. “As we tell our clients, we are not only wedding planners and designers but also storytellers,” Ms. Kolanovic-Solaja said, adding, “It was only a matter of time before we saw the business of wedding content creators grow. It’s a brilliant concept that highlights the natural progression of this generation of brides and grooms.”