Have you ever watched a wedding video of a loved one or even a complete stranger and started to cry? If so, you’ve witnessed the power of a good wedding videographer. Similar to finding a great wedding photographer, quality videography is an investment you cannot afford to skip on your special day. It will capture one of the most important moments of your relationship from a whole new perspective and allow you to cherish those memories for the rest of your life.
To help you prepare for, hire and get the most out of your wedding videographer, we put together this guide on everything you should consider. We include options, tips and questions to ask when you’re ready to hire. We also list the average cost of popular videography packages and what they typically include. Once you make your selection, you’ll be ready to check this task off from your wedding planning checklist.
How Much Does A Videographer Cost?
To get a good idea of what most people spend or are willing to spend on wedding videography, we recently surveyed over 1,000 married women. Our findings showed that on average, couples spend about $2,000 for a full-time wedding videographer which typically includes eight hours of shooting. Of course, a $2,000 price tag isn’t your only option. Basic packages can run much lower and hiring film students or up and coming videographers can help you cut costs as well. Below are some tips and options to help you customize the best package for your wedding.
- Equipment: Most basic packages will include a single camera setup, audio and appropriate lighting. If you opt for a deluxe or premium package that offers special effects and shots at different angles, your videographer will come prepared with a more detailed setup to accomplish your vision.
- Staffing And Videography Service: Your videographer will be present at your event and bring any necessary staff to capture everything you’ve agreed upon. Keep in mind that they will only be present for the set amount of hours on your contract so be sure to schedule them appropriately. Booking them too early or too late can cause them to miss an important moment of your wedding.
- Post-Production Editing: Every package will include an allotted time for editing. Be aware of how many rounds of edits your videographer allows to avoid any additional costs. As this is the most time-consuming part of putting together your wedding video, keep your edits precise. Compile all of your edits after you and your partner review it several times and send them in one batch.
- Final Product: The most common formats for obtaining your final product are DVDs and USBs. If you’d like your video in another format like a Blu-ray disc, be sure to let them know. Keep in mind that most videographers will charge for extra copies.
- Travel: If your videographer has to travel far for your wedding, you’ll most likely foot the bill unless otherwise specified in the contract. If you’re planning a destination wedding, keep costs low by hiring a local videographer as opposed to one from home.
- Extras: Last-minute requests for special equipment and additional footage will quickly add up costs. This can include anything from drones and special lighting to adding guest interviews. Be sure you know exactly what you want and what you can live without in your video to avoid racking up a list of extra fees.
- Tip: A good rule of thumb is to tip your videographer if they do not own the production company. If your videographer is the owner, they normally don’t expect a tip. When working for a company, however, most videographers are paid hourly, so it’s customary to give them a tip of $50–200 depending on the overall cost of production.
Typical Wedding Packages
Ranges from $500 to $1,500. This typically includes coverage of the ceremony and/or chosen highlights, one to two cameras set up with audio equipment, three- to five-minute final edit, and 45–60 minutes of raw footage.
Premium Or Deluxe Package
Ranges from $1,500 to $4,000. On average, this includes eight-hour coverage of the ceremony and chosen highlights, two videographers with a two camera set up, aerial footage, three- to five-minute final edit, 60 minutes of raw footage, and optional special effects.
Photography Package Add-On
Many photographers offer a videography add-on, typically at a lower rate than stand-alone videographers. These all-inclusive packages can range from $1,200 to $5,000 depending on your needs.
How To Save Money On Videography
Hire a newbie
Many couples prefer to hire a novice as it helps them cut costs while providing an opportunity to an up and coming videographer. Whether you hire a relative or a film student from your alumni network, you can still obtain a high-quality video for your wedding at a fraction of the cost. Be sure to check out their past work, have them join you on your next venue run-through and send them examples of what you want in your video. You can also ask them for professor and colleague references.
Create a shot list and stick to it
Well in advance, put together a list with your videographer of everything you want documented. This will help your videographer better prepare and give you an accurate estimate of their fee. A shot list will also come in handy if you’re hiring an amateur––they’ll know what to expect and how to tackle what you want.
Ask them to bring an apprentice
A good way to obtain a few of the deluxe package perks at a discount is by asking your videographer to bring an apprentice. Many videographers work with interns who are more than willing to jump at the opportunity to film extra footage.
Cut time and footage
Not filming your entire wedding will help you save on videography. If the ceremony is the most important part to you and your partner, ask for a two- to four-hour package that will just capture the ceremony and maybe a couple of guest interviews and well wishes.
Skip the editing process
As previously mentioned, this is the most time-consuming task for a videographer, therefore, the most costly. If you don’t have the budget at the moment but would still like to capture your wedding, ask for the raw footage. You may choose to edit the footage later once the rest of your wedding expenses have been covered.
How To Find The Right Videographer
- Watch videographers’ past footage. The easiest way to know whether you’ll like a videographer’s style is by watching their past work. You can usually find this by visiting their website or emailing them for some samples of their work.
- Read reviews. You want a videographer who will make your experience a breeze. With everything else you’ll have going on at your wedding, the last thing you want to worry about is a tardy videographer or ending up with useless footage.
- Check for their experience. If you’re interested in a seasoned videographer, knowing how many weddings they’ve filmed will give you a better idea of the type of service you can expect. Keep in mind that videographers with a well-built reputation will charge more. When hiring a student, check for past work, samples and even references from their professors or past clients.
- Confirm their location. If you’re looking to save, booking a videographer local to your wedding venue is key. Many videographers list several cities as their location because they’re willing to travel for your special day, but keep in mind that it’s customary for the client to pay for their travel expenses.
Questions You Should Ask A Wedding Videographer
- How would you describe your rapport with your clients?
- How would you describe your filming style?
- Do you allow client input on the final edit?
- How many rounds of edits are included in the cost?
- Will we be able to choose our own music?
- When should I expect to receive my final edit?
- Have you shot at my venue before?
- How many weddings have you filmed?
- Are you open to customizing the packages you offer?
- Do you bring additional videographers or an apprentice?
- Which moments do you think are the most important to capture?
When To Book Your Wedding Videographer
Along with sending out your save the dates, we recommend you start looking at your videography options around 10–12 months out. Once you’ve had the chance to look at past work and prices, plus talk with a few videographers, it’s best to make your final decision about eight months before your wedding but no later than four months prior.
When it comes to wedding videography, you have plenty of options that will cater to what you envision for your wedding. Whether you want your videographer to just shoot the basics or give your wedding a movie-type feel, they’re sure to capture the bond between you and your partner.