As a filmmaker, I absolutely love stories and movies. Your wedding day is one of the biggest chapters in your story. Great photography is a must BUT you’ll never be able to HEAR your vows, WATCH the dances, SEE your dearest loved ones again then you will with video.
And even with that thought, so many couples still choose to cut wedding videography from their list. I am a member of a few excellent filmmaker groups on Facebook and so I decided to reach out to them to get their thoughts on the subject.
THE BUDGET ISSUE
Too often I see posts from brides asking if videography is “worth the money”. While it is true that video can cost as much or even more than photography, there are reasons and there are options. Most companies offer a variety of packages from a beautiful 10 minute highlight reel to a 90 minute epic feature. With all these options, it’s hard to come up with a reason why you wouldn’t go for it. Right?! Until, in walks your budget to ruin everything.
Even if you’re only purchasing a short highlight reel, it may still come with a price tag that you can’t quite understand leaving you to forgo the decision on videography til the end of your planning. The problem here is that good videographers get booked just as fast as good photographers, so leaving it to the last minute in case there’s any “leftover money” could mean that all the really good people are already booked.
Matt talks about how video will capture the “emotions in motion” and also allow you to see all the little things you missed throughout the day. He also cites a recent poll that found “some newlywed’s biggest regrets after their weddings suggests that 35% of couples wish they’d hired a videographer in the first place. Additionally, 25% of couples mentioned Videographer as the top vendor category they wish they’d spent more money on.”
At the end of Matt’s article, he has an awesome side by side video of a couple watching their highlight reel for the first time. In it, you can see how many times the bride mentions that she had missed a moment or forgot that something had happened.
UNDERSTANDING THE CRAFT
When it comes to understanding the investment you’re making in video you have to consider this: It’s a skillful combination of artistic storytelling and masterful, yet time consuming post production.
Kelsi Dean of Indie Glow Films says “Hire a good videographer that specializes in STORYTELLING. Don’t hire someone that just has pretty shots set to a music track. That is not very different than your photos and may be a waste of money. Hire someone who incorporates clean audio and weaves your wedding story together with skillful editing. Then it will be one of your favorite investments on your wedding day!”
After your storyteller/videographer has captured every nuance of your day, the hard work really begins. Brian Kuenn of Kuenn Photography & Videography says: “We watch back every second of recorded video to grab all of those perfect moments to add to a highlight or documentary video that takes double the amount of time that a photographer needs to edit.” Brian’s wife is a photographer so he respects their process as well but goes on to say that, “Video just has a lot more complexity to it. Even picking the best songs for the film. We spend a ton of time to find that perfect song.”
AN EMOTIONAL INVESTMENT
The other frequent post comment I see is that brides wonder if they'll ever watch their video. But Cali Hlavac of Silver Shades Studio says to consider the bigger picture because, “it’s not always for YOU. Your kids are going to love love love it. Your parents will love it. And you will eventually love it when your loved ones pass and you have that keepsake to be able to not only see them but HEAR them!”
This is a tough conversation but it’s true. Times goes on and dear loved ones depart. Having a way to see and hear them is like owning a time machine you can step into anytime you like. It transforms your wedding film from a beautiful recording of one day to a family legacy.
ALWAYS AN OPTION
So now you have a better appreciation for what goes into your wedding film investment. The problem is now you really want one BUT the numbers say you still can’t make it happen. Don’t lose hope. There’s always an option!
Max Palmer of Max Motion remembers his own wedding when “video was not nearly as popular – at the last minute, I paid a video student $300 to film my wedding, and he did so for 6 hours, with a professional-level cam and lav mic. If anyone is on a strict budget, I would say ask around at any of the schools that have media departments; they’ll still get better results than “Uncle Al” standing in the aisle filming on his iPad.”
Remembering those days, Max says that if he’s not the right fit, he’ll always reach out to his network and find someone who the couple will love and will work within their budget.
As a member of these networking groups myself, I’ve met some wonderful people and would be happy to provide you with a great referral. Ask your photographer and your other vendors too! I truly believe, if you find the right person, you won’t regret it! As Matt Garza sums it up for us: “We’ve never run into a single bride who’s mentioned regretting hiring a videographer; only regrets in not hiring one.”
All my best with no stress!