Why does wedding videography cost so much?!

Wondering why the typical wedding videographer cost is so expensive? Here is an in-depth explanation of the WHY.

Planning a wedding can be an extremely expensive event. Most couples are footing the bill themselves, with little to no help from relatives. However, when you’re spending so much money on all of the details of your big party, it’s important to consider the long term–what precautions are you taking so you will remember this important–and expensive–day? You’re so busy on the day of, it may fly by without you even getting the chance to look at the centre pieces that you spent a LOT of money on!

Many couples look to wedding videography to resolve that worry. Wedding cinematography not only lets you revisit the important details that made your day yours, but it also lets you listen to your vows being spoken at the altar, hear the sweet speeches from your friends and family and sway to the beat of the music as you watch your first dance as a married couple.

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It’s a very important investment that will become a family heirloom. Everyone from your grandparents to your children (who may not even exist yet!) will love pressing play and diving into the history of your family.

Even though it’s such an important day, many couples still struggle with understanding the cost of hiring a wedding videographer. A common misconception is that when the word “wedding” is tacked on to a service, companies jack up the price. This is NOT TRUE! There is a lot of equipment, time, education and liability that goes into filming weddings.

Below is a visual representation of what you get when you purchase our lowest wedding videography package:

You get $29,732 of wedding videography equipment

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x2 for your second cinematographer

The cameras we use and our special camera profile settings are what give our films a cinematic look. The lenses in the middle smooth skin and let us capture details. The lens on the right allows us to film from far away, like from the balcony of a church that restricts our access during the ceremony.

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x2 for your second cinematographer

A battery charger and multiple back-up batteries are essential. We need enough power to film for six to twelve hours, as well as have some extras on hand for emergencies.

x2 for your second cinematographer

All cinematographers carry a back-up camera. If for some reason the camera malfunctions, we won’t miss a minute of your wedding day. A tripod and monopod are necessary for capturing clear, stable shots and the slider is for steady, cinematic pans.

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Wireless microphones, one for the groom and one for the officiant, pick up perfect audio. Footage is stored on massive external hard drives and high-powered computers with the latest editing software are needed to manage and edit footage.

These aren’t one-time purchases either. Cameras and computers need to be professionally serviced from time to time, hard drives need to be purchased and editing software needs to be renewed yearly.

PLUS

Editing Time - 20-35 Hours/Wedding at $40/hour

Education - $1000-$5000/Year

The time it can take to edit a 3-5 minute wedding movie can be anywhere from 20-35 hours at the editing dock. We don’t let just anyone take a stab. All our editors are trained and spend hours and hours of time and education into learning the craft.

We didn’t even include the years of experience that each one of our wedding videographers have. And not to mention the pressure on this day because it’s a live event and anything can happen and we have to ready to capture it.

We also didn’t mention the insurance policies that we pay every year to make sure everyone involved is protected should an emergency happen. Venues require proof of insurance before they allow us to work there.

So, in conclusion, this is just behind scenes idea of why wedding videography costs what it costs.

What to Know Before Hiring Your Wedding Videographer

Wedding videography may not be a new thing, but we are loving the trend of more and more couples adding talented videographers to their wedding vendor team. Videography is an investment, one that we think is worth it if you have the budget. After all is said and done, your wedding photos and film are what you have to remember your day by! Whether you’re interested in hiring a videographer for your wedding or hadn’t considered it yet, we wanted to give you a starting place of what to expect as you begin to browse portfolios and take meetings with potential suppliers.

Destination wedding videographers

WHY HIRE A VIDEOGRAPHER?

When it comes to looking back on your wedding, having a film brings the day back to life just by pushing play. Having video to accompany your photos can give you a more full experience to look back on, but it can also be amazing to have this piece of art — starring you!

Here is what a past client had to say about the importance of wedding videography.

Hiring a wedding videographer was an important process for me and my fiancé because we want to be able to re-experience our wedding in motion. There are so many moments that occur in between photos being taken, and that extra experience adds to the authenticity and depth of a memory. A video of my wedding day will allow me to revisit my vow readings and remember all of the jokes my older brother cracked in his speech.

Equally as important was our selection of the videography style we wanted. My fiancé and I have somewhat-unconventional styles, so we knew a traditional wedding video wasn’t quite the right fit for us. After going through dozens of wedding videos, we decided that a modern cinematic style was perfect for us. We were happy to find a videographer that “got” our styles, and we trusted enough that we wouldn’t have to worry about the finished product.

PACKAGES

Like with any other wedding vendor, videographers offer a variety of packages to help you receive exactly the services you’re looking for. Packages can be great because you can choose the services that both align with your expectations and your budget. The most common misconception about videography is that you will receive full-length footage of everything that happened on your wedding day. While some videographers offer this as a package option, most likely your final product will be a stylized and edited masterpiece to remember the best parts of your day by.

Here are some of the most popular package options you’re likely to see when hiring a videographer:

Trailer/Teaser Film (1-2 min) – Have you ever watched a movie trailer? This is the same concept, but for the movie of your wedding! Often accompanied later by a short film, this trailer or teaser film is created by your videographer while they continue to edit and craft the final product. Some videographers include a teaser video as a part of their package, while others offer it as an add-on.

Highlight Film (3-7 min) – With many videographers, the highlight film is the final product you will receive. More commonly, this film is non-linear and takes a more modern approach, where the videographer has truly created a piece of cinematic art out of the events and moments throughout your day.

Short Film (10-20 min) – If you decide on a package with a short film, you will receive an edited version of your wedding footage that takes a more linear form, often including a portion of your vows, reception toasts, etc. Depending on how long you book your videographer, the film may also include getting ready footage, first look footage, and grand exit.

Same day edit (4-6 min) – Some videographers offer an option to have footage from your wedding edited on the spot and shown during your reception. This can be a fun surprise for guests on the day-of!

Full-length documentary (15-20 min) – If you are interested in reliving the majority of your day, this option is for you! Your videographer can create a longer film that includes entire sections of your wedding, like your ceremony. Due to the length, this option is the most like a true movie of your wedding.

Add-ons –  Most videographers offer à la carte options to receive additional footage from your day. A few popular add-ons include:

  • Full ceremony/reception – Edited footage of your wedding ceremony or of toasts/speeches during your reception

  • Raw footage – Unedited footage from your wedding day

  • Drone aerial coverage

  • Rehearsal dinner coverage

  • Greetings from guests during cocktail hour

  • Trailer film (mentioned above, as an add-on)

  • Love story – Similar to an engagement session, this footage is filmed before your wedding day, usually in plain clothes, which may include an interview with you as a couple as well as a lifestyle shoot

STYLES

While each videographer puts their own artistic touch on their work, there are a few styles by which most videographers can be categorized. These are the most common styles to look for in your search:

Cinematic – Cinematic is the most popular style of videographer you will find in your search. These films are most like a real movie, edited and stylized as a piece of art. There are two main styles within cinematic videography:

  • Modern Abstract – Modern abstract style is characterized by a non-linear approach. These films are created to make the viewer feel something, both in the way the footage is arranged and the music used. The footage used in a modern abstract film is more likely to include atmospheric footage, or B-roll, which helps to capture the mood of the day. Modern abstract films typically use little or no speaking from the day. This is a great option for couples looking for something more artistic to remember their day.

  • Classic – While modern abstract films are almost entirely non-linear, classic cinematic films may provide a stylistic edit of events from the day in between bits of B-roll. While you still feel a sense of the wedding atmosphere, your video will include more intact footage or sound bites of events.

Video Journalistic / Documentary – Like documentary photography, a video journalistic approach is meant to capture the day as it occurred. This means that your film will include footage of some of your day’s biggest moments, but will also highlight the other happenings of the day — getting ready, guests interacting before the ceremony, dancing at the reception, etc.

Storytelling – Unlike the other types of wedding films, a storytelling style relies on sound bites, both from the day and recorded at another time, to, as you might have guessed, tell the story of your day. The way that music may be used to create an emotional reaction in other film types, storytelling uses sound bites for dramatic effect.

Nostalgic – There is a trend in wedding videography as of late to use Super 8 film, or 8-millimeter film, to capture weddings with a vintage flair. Some videographers may use this film to document the entire day, or will blend it with modern recording technology for a unique effect. 

OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER

Budget – If videography is a priority on your wedding day, it’s a good idea to incorporate that into your wedding budget as early on as possible. The price of having both a photographer and videographer isn’t cheap. Depending on what your budget situation is, you may have to make cuts in other areas of your day to afford having it captured the way you want. For a good videographer, we recommend budgeting as much (if not more) for their services as you would for your photographer.

Coverage – How many hours of coverage you want is also an important budget consideration. How important is it to you that the videographer films you getting ready or your grand exit? Having less hours of coverage and focusing on the most important parts of your day can be a good way to keep your budget down and still book the videographer of your dreams.

Delivery – Another thing to consider when choosing a videographer is how the film and footage will be delivered. Different videographers have their own system, but you may want to keep these delivery methods in mind when choosing which vendor is right for you.

  • USB Stick

  • CD-rom

  • External Hardrive

  • Online File Drop

In addition to receiving your film or footage to use, your videographer may make your video available for viewing online. Typically, videographers host their films on Vimeo. However, be sure to check in your contract how long online viewing will be available. Some videographers only offer one year of online video hosting, while some will host it indefinitely. This is a great question to ask in your interviews, as well as what options they have if the video will be eventually taken down.

Lastly, you will want to find out if the videographer will deliver raw footage in addition to edited video. While photographers most often do not provide raw images (and prefer that you don’t ask!), some videographers will provide an option to receive raw, unedited footage of your ceremony, reception, or other parts of your wedding so that you can watch your vows and toasts in full — as many times as you want! If this is a priority for you, be sure to ask whether raw footage is included in any packages or if they can add it on as an à la carte option.

5 Reasons to Hire a Wedding Videographer to Capture Your Day

The question of whether or not a couple should hire a wedding videographer to capture their day continues to be one of the most common questions we hear. And we totally get it! Hiring both a wedding photographer and a wedding videographer can seem like an overwhelming cost, and some couples find it hard to justify spending a large portion of their budget on documentation when there are so many other things to purchase. But, after years of experience and hearing from hundreds of couples, we know that wedding videography is one investment couples never regret making. If you’re still on the fence, we’ve got 5 reasons to hire a wedding videographer that just might change your mind!

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1. You can relive the memories over and over.

Your wedding day is a once-in-a-lifetime event, but your wedding film allows that day to live on forever. While some memories are bound to fade over the years, having every moment on film is a truly priceless benefit of hiring a wedding videographer. You are going to be making so many precious memories on your wedding day, and we guarantee you won’t regret getting to relive them year after year. Anniversaries will be even more special when you get to watch your wedding film and reminisce about all the love you felt that day. Even a random Tuesday can be made a little sweeter by blocking off time to relive your beautiful day. Seriously, this is one movie you’ll never get tired of re-watching!

2. You can easily share the video with people who couldn’t make it.

As sad as it is to think about, there is a chance some family members or friends might not be able to attend your wedding due to illness, distance, or age. And, if you decide to elope, it’s likely nobody but your officiant will get to witness your special day. So, having a wedding film allows your loved ones who couldn’t make it feel like they were there and experience more emotion than they could get from just your photos. Because videographers can easily post your wedding film on YouTube or Vimeo, you can easily give everyone who wishes they could have been there a front-row seat to the best love story in town. Your videographer can even create shorter clips that you can share on social media for your extended friend group to get a peek into your day.

3. Your vows, music, and toasts cannot be photographed.

These are some of the most emotional parts of the entire day, and we guarantee you will be grateful to have the full impact of that emotion captured forever. There’s nothing like getting to hear your spouse read their vows to you in that exact moment, but getting to see and hear that moment, again and again, is a very close second. A videographer can freeze that exact moment in time, in a way that photographs would never be able to capture. The same can be said of the toasts at the reception. Your photographer will capture great stills of your and your guests’ reactions, but you’ll never get another chance to see and hear your loved ones deliver those carefully crafted jokes unless you have it captured on film. As for the music: that’s the glue that ties the entire day together. How many days of your life will have a literal soundtrack? In our opinion, that’s an opportunity too rare and too sweet not to document!

4. You’ll get to see moments you might have missed.

It’s no secret that you’re going to be busy on your wedding day and so many things will be happening at any one given time. There will be things you and your spouse will miss on your actual wedding day. But the beauty of having a wedding videographer present is that they won’t miss a thing! On your wedding day, you’ll get to focus all your attention on your spouse and soak up all the love your heart can handle. Then, when it’s all said and done, you can watch your wedding film and get to see the entire day through your guests’ eyes. You’ll get to see the moments of anticipation just before you walked down the aisle. You’ll get to see what your parents saw as they watched you promise your lives to each other. A wedding videographer is essentially another set of eyes and ears on your wedding day that will be able to capture so many more moments than you will be able to see and hear on your own.

5. You’ll be creating a family heirloom.

Your wedding film will be an invaluable heirloom that you can pass down to your children, they can pass down to their children, and on and on. The future family you might not have even thought of yet will get to see and know you on the best day of your life in a much more real and personal way than just through your wedding photos. Additionally, if you’re having a traditional wedding, you will likely have your entire family together in one place. How many times in life will that happen? Probably not many. So, having a wedding videographer document your entire family in that season of their lives is an invaluable gift you will be giving yourselves and your family that will live on indefinitely.