One of the first questions we get asked with our highlights films is if we can use your favourite song as the soundtrack. Sadly, the answer is no and here’s why.
We want to break it all down for you and help shine some light on the laws of music copyright!
Any song that you do not personally own the rights to, you can not use unless you gain permission from the person who owns the copyright, this is what licensing is. We license the tunes used in the highlights in order to have the rights for us to send you the final film and for you to be able to share the highlights online with family and friends. Most of the songs we use are by local or independent artists, we are proud of supporting indie artists as much as we can.
If you wanted to license a popular song, it’s definitely possible, but it’s going to cost a LOT! Usually licensing a tune by a famous artist will start at around $10,000 for one highlights film. And please keep in mind, we usually license anywhere between one to three songs to suite the moments happening in the film and keep the momentum going!
But our friends had their favourite song for their wedding video and didn’t have to pay?
The risk of being sued by copyright violation has done more than enough to drive some people out of the wedding videography industry. Social media in particular has also recently started cracking down on the use of illegal music. If you try to upload a video with unlicensed music, Facebook will automatically flag and remove it due to copyright violation and you won’t be able to share your highlights online with everyone!
Its not all despair though, let’s move on to some good news and share how we find the perfect tune for your highlights.
How we pick your music
A little about Dan personally (who is our amazing videographer here at Swoon!) which might better explain how the music side of things typically works here, Dan actually has a background in music curation and composition so part of what we do is make sure we pick the right tunes to fit all the unique highlights we create by paying close attention to what you guys have playing on the big day.
What we normally do is get a very good idea of what you guys are into on the big day! Your ceremony, reception and first dance songs speak a thousand words and give us an idea of which style to follow. We then pick and license music that will suit both the footage and your music taste, we're quite spot-on with picking tracks that will suit the style as Dan personally has a background in music supervision.
You can also send us a small playlist of your favourite songs that will be playing at your wedding or you would love to have for the highlights film so that we can get an idea of what you guys are into, we love a bit of inspiration to go off!
Can we still pick our own music?
Yes! Some couples like to be involved in the process however most prefer to be surprised with the highlights edit/song selection. If you want to be hands on with your music selection, we have a few places we like to use to license the perfect song for your highlights. Feel free to scroll through and let us know if you find a song you love that you’d like us to use!
If you have a look through our films, all our highlights use licensed music and they still have the emotion, cinematic feel and tell a story from the day. We have spent years creating a distinctive style that we hope you love!