You're thinking of hiring a wedding videographer to capture your big day, but how do you know what price you should be paying?
Welcome to the first in a series of blog posts designed to provide you with all the necessary information about wedding videos. Whether you're undecided on whether a wedding video is right for you (it almost certainly is), or if you simply want to know what you should be looking for when choosing your videographer, my aim is to help understand the world of wedding videography.
“It's important to understand that a wedding video is not simply a case of someone turning up with a video camera.”
Chances are you've already made a start on looking for videographers to film your wedding. You may even have a few quotes from videographers that have been recommended to you and are already alarmed at prices you're being quoted. If this sounds like something you've experienced, then I encourage you to read on.
Cousin Dave has a video camera, maybe he can film our wedding for us?
First of all, it's important to understand that a wedding video is not simply a case of someone turning up with a video camera. So however tempting it is, please don't ask your cousin Dave whether he minds filming your wedding if you promise to buy him a few beers later on. If you're already receiving quotes from videographers that are pushing £1000 (or even more), I know how tempting it is to ask a friend or family member to film your wedding for you. This will almost certainly result in disappointment, and perhaps worse, a falling out. When your realise that Dave has missed half the speeches because the beers you bought him earlier have started to kick in you're not going to be happy.
Let me put it another way. Would you give your friend Julie (assuming she doesn't have her own business doing this) the responsibility of dressing the tables at your wedding just because she did a wonderful job of the table decorations last Christmas? I sincerely hope the answer is no! A wedding videographer has a tremendous amount of responsibility to capture all those special details of your big day and to edit them into a beautiful video. They get one shot at it, so to put it bluntly you need someone who knows what they are doing. Sorry Dave!
Understanding the costs involved
“There's a lot more to producing a wedding video than you might think.”
As I've already mentioned, someone simply turning up with a standard video camera is not likely to result in a great wedding video. There's a lot more to shooting a wedding than you might think. To help you understand why you might be receiving some eye-watering videography quotes (they don't need to be that expensive by the way), I thought I'd give you an idea of what types of costs are involved in producing one.
First of all, if your videographer tells you that the price is high because they've recently bought more expensive equipment, then that is simply not a good excuse. As with any profession, equipment (in this case a video camera, sound equipment, tripods etc) is an investment to allow you to offer your services to customers, not be a reason to charge you more for the privilege. Obviously there are exceptions to this rule, drones for example. Drone use in wedding videos is becoming more popular; however, you are unlikely to see this option included in basic wedding video packages due to the expense that goes into being able to operate it legally.
There are plenty of costs involved in producing a wedding video that may be resulting in a higher price than you expected. These include:
Sound equipment - You want great audio of those hilarious speeches
Public liability insurance - To protect you, you guests and your chosen venue.
Music licensing - All music/performance recordings need to be licensed for your video
DVD/USB - The costs of materials to produce this for you
Travel - Fuel and travel costs can be quite significant when filming weddings
Of course there are two more key features of filming a wedding that cannot be ignored when trying to understand the price you're being quoted: your videographer's skills and expertise, and the amount of time it takes to produce your video. These factors of video production are rarely taken into account when it comes to pricing. Ignoring the inevitably long day of filming (sometimes upwards of 12 hours), it can often take several weeks to edit your video.
So how much should a wedding video cost?
I'm sure you can appreciate that there is no single answer to this question, but it is likely that a professional wedding videographer will quote you anywhere from £500 to £2000+ depending on the package. Many videographers have drastically different reasoning for the prices they quote (I will be writing another blog post on this topic soon), but the important thing to note is that there are professional videographers out there to suit any budget.
Important: When looking at a videographers website (they should definitely have one), or when contacting them, make sure you fully understand what it is included in the package you're being quoted. I've seen too many couples thinking that what should come as standard is included, only to find that it comes at an extra cost down the line. At the very least, you should expect to have the ceremony and speeches covered, after-all, these are the 2 key areas of a wedding that sets video apart from the photos. If coverage of these is classed as 'extras' then I suggest you walk away. There simply is no good reason, other than an upselling technique, to not have these included as standard.
Final thought: Unless you want your wedding day to feel like a Hollywood production, or if your paying to fly your videographer to the exotic location of your wedding, in all honesty, you really don't need to be spending more than £1000 on a wedding video. If this figure makes your eyes water, then don't worry, you can have your entire wedding day beautifully shot for as little as £545 by CP Video and Photo Weddings. Think this is too good to be true? Look out for my next blog post explaining why our prices are so affordable.