Should You Hire a Wedding Videographer?
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 get it! Employing 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.
We knew immediately after arriving why they chose to get married in these mountains. While the hills were fantastic, Allison and Chris were even more amazing. They were just so sweet and thoughtful. Their love is so genuine, and you could tell how pleased their family and friends were for them. We wish they could get married again and again so we could relive this day constantly. Check out Cosmopolitan events Wedding Venue for your ultimate wedding reception.
When a couple trusts us to capture their wedding, there is a grave responsibility that we carry to tell their unique story and capture their beautiful wedding. For us, we do not take this lightly. We both want to create the best possible wedding film because we are creating a way for our clients to relive their wedding day. The wedding films we create will be cherished for generations. We hope you love our wedding videography guide.
As a professional wedding videographer, my fantastic job has already taken me across much of Devon and Cornwall, The South West of England, and even as far as Cyprus. By this time next year, I expect to have travelled across much of the UK and many new and exciting wedding destinations. I’ve learnt many lessons very quickly and combining this with years of experience working in a professional function band, performing at hundreds of weddings, I could no doubt answer many questions that brides and grooms to be may have.
We learned that Ray Roman’s success is built on years of experience, a stellar reputation, and exceptional expertise, but that he made a few mistakes along the way too. Mistakes that cost him money. Mistakes that he’s sharing with us—with you—so that you can learn what to stop doing today so that you can start making better money tomorrow.
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 five reasons to hire a wedding videographer that just might change your mind!
They were such a laid back and sweet couple. Their wedding was perfect, and we are so grateful we could play a small role in the festivities.
Because of this, we developed the ultimate wedding videography guide. With over 12 years with combined experience in the wedding industry, We wanted to share the best practices couples can take on their wedding day to get the final wedding film.
So I thought it would be good to share my lessons and some tips that may help you plan your wedding and get the absolute most out of your day. Most wedding suppliers will have their tips, tricks and guides, having learnt lessons from their own experiences and the role they play on a wedding day.
How can taking on too much work cost you money? It sounds counterproductive, right? You’re getting paid to do what you love—to make films. So shoot many weddings, get much practice, become a better (compensated) filmmaker. Right? Wrong.
Why Should You Hire a Videographer
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 genuinely 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.
Check out the beautiful photos by Lance Nicoll and the advice Jesica has to other brides on their wedding day. Below is a link to their wedding film.
In this wedding videography guide, we will cover everything from the best place to get ready for your wedding to how to have perfect audio in your wedding film. By no means are any of these suggestions required, every single wedding is unique. But, we do believe if you follow these steps to the best of your ability, your wedding film and photographs will be fantastic!
Some times you may find that advice from various wedding suppliers will conflict. Therefore I recommend taking note of all the suggestions from everyone concerned and compromising accordingly. The purpose of this post is to provide couples with advice specifically from the perspective of a videographer.
Being able to go out every weekend and travel to different locations to film is one thing. Having months and months of video backlog is another. Having hours and hours of footage sitting on hard drives in the editing bay—just haunting you, is another.
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!
We have never been to a wedding where all of the guests were looking so fine (all of the men wore white tuxedo jackets!). And these excellent looking guests partied all night! We had such a wonderful time with Tascha, Patch, and all of the fantastic vendors they hired to make their dream wedding a reality.
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.
Before the wedding, we did something a little different with them. We met up with them before the wedding day and interviewed about their love story. It allowed us to know them in such a more intimate way, which in turn gave us a much deeper insight on how to tell their wedding day story on film best.
So, to make the process easier on you on your wedding vendor team, this is what we suggest.
- About one month out from your wedding day, the details will all be coming together. Either you or your wedding planner creates a master list of every single wedding vendor from the caterer and cake baker to the florist and photographer.
A wedding video captures the essence of your day in a way that (in my opinion) photography alone cannot. Yet, your professional photography is an absolute must and perfect for mounting on a wall. I honestly couldn’t recommend one above the other, as I believe each to be equally important. Every couple has a budget, but a wedding photography/videography combination can be affordable and well worth the cost. After all, what could be more important that capturing those memories so they can be relived for years to come?
We were trying to find editors, and we were trying to evolve at the same time. There was a brand new technology that we had to sit down to learn, so the backlog just kept piling up. Everything that we were doing in terms of our work was just taking longer and longer.
Because videographers can quickly 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.
We are so happy with how this turned out. When we re-watch their film, we find ourselves laughing one minute and crying the next.
- Once you have this list, email it to all of your vendors. Your wedding vendor team will communicate ahead of your wedding, and it will allow your vendors to have a master list after the wedding!
- Share the timeline you create with your vendors as well! We also encourage couples to talk with your photographer, videographers, and planner to come up with a timetable that is suitable for everyone! This creates a stress-free wedding day for everyone!
Your vows, music, and toasts cannot be photographed.
These are some of the most moving 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.
We thought this was incredible. Twins who were best friends also marrying their best friends!
When they booked us to film both weddings we were over the moon, excited. It just meant we could hang out with them and their kind families for multiple days!
Relax and don’t be afraid to talk with your vendor team if you have any questions. We are here for you and more than willing to answer any questions you have!
You will end up producing something that looks and feels more like a home video than a high-end wedding film. My films are modern, contemporary and cinematic. I have a real, genuine commitment to quality throughout the production process, from shooting the bridal prep on the morning of the wedding, right up until the final stages of the edit. Making a film feel cinematic is a long and complicated process. However, there are a few key points.
How do you avoid taking on too much work at the risk of your reputation? Taking on less action sounds simple enough, but it may be hard to know when—or how. To get a good idea of when you need to start saying “no”—look to your backlog.
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 you have a literal soundtrack? In our opinion, that’s an opportunity too rare and too sweet not to document!
We knew JP had a heart of gold when we heard the speech he gave at the rehearsal dinner at The Southern Hotel thanking his parents and Mackenzie’s parents for everything they’ve done for them throughout the years. I won’t spoil anything, but let’s just say it’s a good one!
Second, we wanted to dive into the getting ready process. Many times the getting ready process starts hours before the photographers and videographers arrive at the location. We suggest getting prepared in front of the windows if there are some available. Natural light is always the best for photographers and videographers. If necessary, we can bring light into any space, but your skin still looks best with natural light.
I am making use of light, having the right equipment, dynamic camera movement, cinematic ‘colour grades,’ high-quality audio recording and selective use of cinematic music. Of course, the importance of having a natural eye for composition and catching those critical moments, cannot be understated!
Let the number of wedding films you have completed and ready to go out the back door inform how many brides you’re letting in the front door. Don’t accept more jobs if your backlog is out of control. Your customer service, and ultimately your income, will suffer as a result. Need a Wedding Video Company for your special day? Look no further, Cosmopolitan events have you covered.
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.
All of their details were so unique and beautiful. And to top things off, right as their ceremony ended, the sun was PERFECT, so we took Savannah and Really and captured some fantastic footage of them enjoying the sunset on their unforgettable wedding day.
Normally your hair and makeup team will do their best to find a place with natural light, but it can never hurt to suggest it! If you are getting ready at a hotel, talk with them about your concerns, some hotels have better window options than others!
The natural light is also beautiful when you put on your dress and details! Speaking of more information, the second thing we suggest is to have a box with all of your wedding day details in it. This can include:
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.
If you are planning on writing letters to each other on the wedding day or saying private vows to each other, this is a magical and special moment that we love to document. For our wedding, we wanted traditional vows for the wedding ceremony, but we wrote custom vows to share right before our first look. There are so many creative and unique ways to incorporate this into your wedding. Just ask us!
One thing that many people would not necessarily think to consider would be lighting. From a videography point of view (and photography too), the more natural, balanced light, the better. If a room is bright and airy feeling, chances are it will fair well through a camera lens too. I would also recommend checking what the artificial lighting looks like after dark. It is a good idea to think about where the ceremony is taking place and how much space is there for a videographer to operate? If you intend to book a live band, it would also be worth asking the venue manager what the acoustics are like where the group will be performing.
To stop giving too much away with packages, stop offering packages—now. Instead, work with an a la carte system similar to Ray’s.
“Establish a base price based on your value, and based on the product you’re delivering. And you go from there. Our base rate is a certain amount, and this just includes eight or nine hours of coverage, a feature film, and the tape that’s going to be covering the event. Beyond that is a la carte.”
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 whole family in that season of their lives is an invaluable gift you will be giving yourselves and your family that will live on indefinitely.
We have a few tips to share to make these moments look and sound amazing.
- First, when reading your letter or vows, we will take you to a quiet place to relax. Wedding days can be hectic, and you will want to be calm and not bothered.
- Read slowly, as if you are talking to your fiancé(e).
- If you mess up, it’s ok just keep going.
- Don’t hold back any emotions; after all, it is a fantastic and emotional day. We love keeping everything genuine and real!
Whatever venue you choose, a professional videographer will work with it, and I always bring my portable video lights in case they are required. A professional will always do their utmost to ensure the venue looks at its very best on-screen. Even so, I would certainly recommend at least considering lighting, space, and acoustics when it comes to venue choice. This way you will end up with the best photographs, the best wedding film, and the band will sound at their best too!
When you quote clients a price, start with a base working rate that reflects what your time and skills are worth, and the quality of what you do.
From there, offer—not include—an array of filming services (like capturing the reception’s live act) to editing services (like a highlight trailer the couple can share with the family online) for couples to pick and choose from.
Ready to hire your dream team? Read this article on what to know before hiring your wedding videographer, and then check out these helpful resources to guide you through utilizing the rest of your vendors:
Wedding Video Stages
COUPLES SESSIONS AND FIRST LOOK
We always will suggest to our couples the first look. About 75% of our couples choose to do a first look, so by no means is it required, but we do believe it makes the wedding day flow smoother. There are a few reasons we suggest a first look, but the main reason is it takes away some of the anxiety and stress of the day.
Timings – Perhaps the most crucial point to consider from the perspective of a videographer. Wedding videography is extraordinarily fast-paced, and therefore the day’s events need to be well thought through. When I am shooting a wedding, I’m always looking ahead to the next shot, the next game, and the next stage of the day. A videographer has to ensure they (and their equipment) are always in the right place at the right time, ready to capture those all-important moments and to provide nothing important is missed.
Then charge for these items in addition to your base rate. As the couple makes these decisions, your contract rate is going up very quickly. And you’re making more money.
You have the opportunity to see your best friend and have a private moment together before the day gets very hectic and crazy. Enjoy this moment and take a moment to yourselves. We like to capture the first look and then give our couples a few minutes alone to just take in the time with each other.
This can be a challenge, given a videographer will usually have much more equipment than a photographer. For example, a videographer will need to consider when they will put microphones on the groom, father of the bride and best man, ready for the speeches. They will also need time to set up a second camera ready to film them. I recommend giving the timings some real thought and consider the advice given to you from all of your various suppliers. Photographers and videographers will often have very similar needs and requirements, so I recommend working with them both very closely when planning out your wedding day.
This idea of allowing the couple to pick and choose from an assortment of options directly relates to another big mistake that wedding cinematographers make: They limit the bride’s spending.
This is another downside of wedding packages.
But what does this mean?
Second, it allows us to do a couple’s session before the wedding and a small sunset session after the ceremony. (We LOVE sunset sessions and highly recommend working this into your timeline.) For sunset sessions, we usually quickly pull the couple away from the reception to get a few more shots. These quick sessions are generally only 15 minutes, and you will be so happy you did this! Find the perfect wedding video company to help capture those special moments here.
The main points will be the times between each of the day’s events, and of course, to make the most of natural light (especially so in winter when daylight hours are shorter). I always recommend making a note of the time the sun sets at your location, and on the day of your wedding. Make sure no other event conflicts with this time and, if possible, the hour leading up to it. This part of the day is known as the “golden hour” where the light is low and warm, and weather permitting, it’s the perfect time of day, as anyone who works behind a camera will tell you!
The inverse effect of bundling your services is that you take away the bride’s ability to pick and choose—to amass several functions and to spend much money.
When Ray was first starting, he packaged wedding deals that included his pay, the filming of every shot from the first look to the end of the reception, to full-service editing and raw footage. Doing this severely restricted the bride’s ability to spend more money on top of that package.
As wedding videographers, we do not typically capture family photographs. We leave this time to the photographer to capture your family portraits. However, by doing these before the wedding ceremony, it gives us time to set up for the service itself. To make the process easy for your photographers, we suggest working with them on a list of family photos before the wedding day!
Fingers crossed! We’ve all seen those stunning sunset shots, so if it is at all possible, try to make sure the bride and groom don’t need to be anywhere else during the hour before the sun finally dips below the horizon!
My third, final, and probably single most important tip that I could give to any bride and groom, would be to make sure you enjoy yourselves as much as possible on the day. Goes without saying, right? The number one comment all wedding suppliers hear from newlyweds is that the day flew by, and some tell us that they weren’t able to take it all it.
Things are different now for Ray. Now, he has that extensive a la carte list so that no bride is constrained in how much she can spend.
THE WEDDING CEREMONY
The wedding ceremony is one of our favourite parts of the wedding day. It is the moment you each get to commit your lives to the other. We capture every single ceremony using three cameras, and we usually place a microphone on the officiant and the groom. This allows us to get high-quality audio of the officiant and the bride and groom.
As a wedding supplier, our number one priority should be to ensure your day runs as smoothly as possible and that you ENJOY yourselves. Weddings can be intense, and at times stressful for some, so I highly recommend doing everything possible to avoid any kind of stress or worry. Allocate jobs to others, and let them deal with anything that may come up. This is your day, so make the most of it. As a wedding videographer, my favourite part of the whole wedding is without a doubt that a short amount of time we get to spend alone with the bride and groom.
Your creativity and imagination only limit the services you can add to this a la carte list.
“Anytime I can think of something that I can sell on the backend, I add it to the a la carte list. We have drone service; we offer a jib service, we offer raw footage, we offer a concept film. Shooting in 4K. There are so many things on our list.”
If you plan on having readings, a soloist or vocalist, or anything unique in the ceremony, let us know, so we can be sure to take steps to make sure this is recorded for you. There is nothing worse than a surprise reading, and there is nothing we can do once the ceremony has started.
Not only because it is our time to do what we do best, get creative and arty, but it’s also our opportunity to give the bride and groom a few minutes to themselves, take a breather, reflect on the day so far, and most importantly take a few minutes away from your guests to enjoy each other’s company! Trust us; you will not have many opportunities to do this, so take full advantage of it. When everything is said and done, you will be glad you took this time out. The enjoyment factor is the most crucial point for me with any wedding booking.
While drone shots may be out of your budget, there are other shots and editing services that you can break down and offer individually.
Let’s get the party started! You are married! Relax, and dance the night away with your friends and family. There is nothing special we suggest here. Enjoy the party, and you might even catch us on the dance floor too.
I want my clients to be relaxed, excited, overjoyed, and I want the video to shoot itself to be fun. This is going to give me the most original footage and result in the most beautiful wedding film. Win-win!
So there we have it—just a handful of tips for brides and grooms to be. I hope you found this content useful, and if you haven’t done so yet, why not check out my wedding films and then drop me a message to see what we could do for your big day?
You can charge additional fees for covering the rehearsal dinner or producing a highlight trailer—which is two popular options, according to Ray. You can also charge additional fees for covering any live acts during the reception. These are just a few ideas. Documentary footage of the complete ceremony. Complete coverage of toasts and speeches. Raw footage. These are a few more ideas.
Whether you have a sparkler exit, bubbles, flower petals, streamers, or another creative way to send you off, we suggest you stop in the middle for a kiss or the classic dip and kiss. This is a perfect photo opportunity and moment with all of your guests celebrating you as husband and wife! After all, you are married and off to spend the rest of your life with your best friend!
The more things you can sell a la carte, the better. The more money you can potentially make.”
So now that you’re building your a la carte services list, remember to be creative with the services you offer.
Look through your entire process from production to shooting to post, to see if there are things (there are) that you could be offering a la carte. And don’t bundle it, let the bride choose to her heart’s content.
WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY GUIDE, TIPS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
On booking Rowe Films as your wedding videographer, I would sit down with you and have a good meeting to go over all the details and help you plan your day, however here are a couple of tips to get you started. My suggestions are from the perspective of the wedding videography and intended to help you get the most incredible wedding film ever! Naturally, they will also mean you have the best time on your wedding day too…
But Ray also saw an opportunity. Right then, he decided that he was going to stop giving too much away with his packaged wedding deals.
It happened so many times. When Ray would sit down with couples and go over his wedding packages, there would be so much in the box that some couples wouldn’t want one or a few of the services offered. Then they would ask how much cheaper it would be without that service, and Ray found himself driving down his price even further.
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 understand what your parents saw as they watched you promise your lives to each other. A wedding videographer is virtually 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. With so many Wedding Videographers out there it can be confusing to choose the right one. Check out our top picks here.
When we arrive, this allows the photographer and videographers to quickly and easily find the details and get the shots of them without having to hunt down all the little pieces. You can even give the box to your maid or matron of honour so she can have them ready when we arrive.
Venue – Wedding venues come in all shapes and sizes. From manor houses to marquees, golf clubs to hotels, log cabins to teepees. The choice is truly endless, and each couple will have their preferences and requirements when it comes to venue choice. It is perhaps the most personal item to consider when planning a wedding, and therefore a videographer’s perspective might not be particularly important on this point. Even so, I believe it useful to provide our perspective.
What did Ray do to stop giving too much away?
“I decided, I’m going to take everything that’s not relevant out of the package, and I’m going to sell it separately. I’m going to create this a la carte system like the photographer had.”