It’s a hard call sometimes, deciding what to spend money on for your special day. It’s even harder when you start to look at the price tags for certain services. And the “White Tax”, aka Wedding Upcharges, can be crazy. Ask for a service for your birthday party its sometimes hundreds of dollars less than if you say it’s for a Wedding! So how do you decide what is worth it and what isn’t.
A big area of interest in this recurring debate for many couples is the cost of the Videographer. Videography services can run you from $1000 to $5000 or higher, and there are so many add ons you can choose and options, that it’s sometimes hard to make sense of what the best options are.
If you decide to hire a Videographer, be on the lookout for reviews. Look at the worst reviews first, BUT take them with a grain of salt, considering for bad customers, not necessarily bad service providers.
Sometimes the best deal might not be such a good deal if the person doing the work isn’t experienced, or they don’t have the right equipment. Other times, the highest price might also be someone over selling themselves and then you are out a lot more money for something that isn’t very good. This is where paying solid attention to the reviews, can be a big stress saver.
All of that said, I think a videographer, or some method of capturing your ceremony in a professional way, is a great thing. Many couples go into their wedding feeling that pictures are enough, but there is something about having the ceremony captured in video that really brings out the emotions of the moment in a way that pictures cannot. To hear yourself and your beloved speaking your vows, to feel that moment of love as you join together your lives with words and deeds, is magical. I cannot tell you how many times I have watched my own wedding video and cried with joy at the magic of the moment.
So, what is the real deal?
If you are going to hire someone, vet them first, ask to see their portfolio if none is present online already. Ask for references, this may or may not garner you any contacts, but it doesn’t hurt to ask. Make sure you only get what you want, and nothing you don’t. If they only list packages that are high cost with lots of little things you don’t know if you really want, ask for a price on what you do want.
Also, if cost is high, and the bank account insufficient, ask about payment plans. You can often work out deals with your provider to pay them in installments in advance of your day over several months, if you are like me and plan well in advance, or you can even work out a payment plan after the event that allows you to pay and receive the product upon final payment. Look at your options, and never be afraid to ask.
What should you want?
Well that is going to vary, but here are some things I would recommend.
- At minimum get yourself a Highlight Video, this will be a great way to share your joy on social media.
- If you can get two videographers, do it, one with a second stationary is acceptable as an alternative, if pricing is high, but it’s really worth it to get those more variable shots from having two actual humans running cameras.
- Enough time with the videographers to capture the ceremony at least. You probably want to have them capture the reception a bit as well, maybe some of the photo shoot, if you have one, and certainly the entrance to the reception and a little dancing. If you can be sure to schedule everything there to fit into a 5 hour block, you will likely find a decent rate for that.
- All RAW Footage. The day will be a whirlwind, and you will miss 95% of what is happening that day. You may not even remember little details you found so meaningful in the moment. So having the raw footage means you can always go back to it, and you can look at having other videos cut from that footage later when funds are more liquid. You can even do a great deal of this yourself these days by using this footage in a video editing program, or working with a family member who might be more comfortable with the technology if you are not. Just be sure to thank them for their work, maybe a gift, or even paying them something would be the right thing to do.
What to watch out for?
One of the biggest things that people don’t always know to be careful about is drones, yes, just like the one pictured here. Drones are a great way to get some amazing shots, but they are frequently prohibited in many areas. Some venues stipulate that drones are not permitted to be flown on their premises. Even if you are having a back yard wedding, some HOA’s do not permit drones to fly over their areas. So be sure to know if the videographer is planning to use one and if so, if it is permitted around your wedding. This can be a costly issue if not properly addressed as some venues and other locations can impose fines for violating their terms.
The Final Word
Sometimes, you need to weigh the cost of things more than the benefits, and you just have to say ‘no, we can’t do this’. If that is the case, don’t give up on having it recorded, but find some friends with good phone cameras, or even a DSLR that can record video, and ask them if they can help. Make it worth their effort, include them in your gift giving, but at that point, something really will be better than nothing. And trust me, you will want a video of your ceremony, if nothing else.