How to Hire the (Right) Wedding Videographer
First off, a hearty congratulations is in order! You have decided to emphasize the importance of a wedding film. I can’t tell you how many couples I know who are married and decided to skip videography are regretful of that decision. In 2018, one of the most common myths about filming weddings is that it’s just too expensive. In this blog post I’ll debunk that myth, as well as a few others, as we talk about how to hire the right wedding videographer for your wedding!
When choosing your wedding videographer, it comes down to a relationship between your budget, and their creative style. The right selection for you will be within your budget, and their creative style will match the vision you have for your wedding film. We’ll begin with budget, then move on to creative style, continue on to advice on finding the right videographer, and finish with a few bonus tips!
Let’s begin by addressing the elephant in the room: your budget. One of the biggest mistakes that I see couples making when deciding to hire a videographer is NOT setting a budget. I understand that sometimes hiring a videographer is a bit of an after-thought decision in your wedding planning, but not having a firm number in mind when setting your budget sets yourself up for a bad experience when hiring your videographer.
When you don’t have a budget in mind, it’s hard to get a solid quote from different videographers, and often it can mean that you yourselves aren’t serious about hiring a videographer. Pro tip: There are talented videographers out there for ALL price ranges. But you’ll have a very hard time booking one when you don’t have a solid number in mind. A good rule of thumb is to hire a videographer with a similar price range as your photographer. Often that will mean you’ll receive a very similar product in both categories. Setting a budget also means that you won’t be tempted to go over-budget when hiring your videographer!
Let’s talk specifics. Let’s say you’ve set aside $2,500 to hire your wedding photographer. I would recommend hiring a videographer who’s packages range from about $2,000 to $3,000. If you’ve set aside $1,000 for photography, I’d budget $750 - $1,000 for your videography as well.
One of the biggest turn-offs for videographers is when couples say that they didn’t think about videography until the late stages of their wedding planning, and say that they’ve spent all of their budget on a photographer, and are hoping to find a videographer that “doesn’t cost an arm and a leg”. We take that as you want an awesome film and you don’t want to pay for it. So make sure when planning your wedding, you have a fixed budget for your videographer so that everyone’s experience goes as well as possible!
Once you have a set number in mind, it’s time to start looking for your videographer. As videography is still emerging into the mainstream wedding market, it’s not uncommon to come across a variety of different creative styles. Most videographers will offer a combination of a highlight films and a ceremony film, so I’ll spend my time talking about those films.
Highlight films are the meat and potatoes to any wedding package. Every videographer produces them a little bit differently, but all of them take footage from the entire time your videographer is there, and condenses them down to a short film that shows off the very best parts of your entire day. The best ones are cinematic, story-driven and intimate. They’re the films that you’ll watch, hopefully fall in love with, and help you truly decide if you want to hire that videographer. Here’s a great example of the highlight films Foster Creative produces:
Ceremony films take the documentary approach, and are quite simply footage and audio taken from your ceremony. Most videographers offer them as a part of their highlight film packages, and the films simply capture your whole ceremony from start to finish.
Many videographers offer highlight films that range in times. Foster Creative offers films of 4-6 minutes in length, which is pretty standard. Other companies can offer highlight films that range closer to the 20-30 minute range. At the end of the day, your decision should be based on watching the different films videographers offer, and deciding which style you like best.
Other styles include elopement films, full-day documentary films, and more. It seems that as the industry firmly establishes itself in the mainstream market, most videographers and couples opt towards the shorter highlight films + ceremony films options.
Finding Your Videographer
Once you’ve decided on your budget and creative style, it’s time to find your videographer!
The first place to start is your own network. Ask your friends and family, ask your photographer who they enjoy working with, and even ask your hair and makeup artist! Join groups on facebook that help couples plan weddings in your region. Word of mouth was, is, and always will be the very best way to find services you need.
Looking out for unique events such as The Colorado Wedding Collective meetups is an awesome, non-traditional way to find vendors like your videographer!
If you like bridal shows, research a few good ones! Pro-tip: I’d stay away from the biggest bridal shows, as they are often overwhelming for couples. Try and find smaller shows, as they’re more intimate and you’ll usually be able to spend more time chatting with vendors.
Winning videographers want to go out of their way to deliver a great experience. Foster Creative loves to treat our couples to a free beer or coffee during their free consultation, and we’ll spend as long as it takes to answer any and all questions you may have. Once couples book with us, we stay in communication up until their wedding day so that we have a solid game plan and can be confident in your wedding day timeline.
WHEW. All of this can be a lot to process, but you’ll do just fine during your wedding videographer hunt as long as you…
Set a budget.
Find a creative style you love.
Ask your friends and family, as well as the other vendors you’ve hired for recommendations, and find time to attend wedding shows and pop-up events like The Colorado Wedding Collective.
Did we miss anything? Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org to share your thoughts!