Videography: Our Take on It

OK. Truth time. Back when we started planning, we were VERY unpleasantly surprised by photography costs. So, I thought I was being clever when I took all the money from the videography line of the budget and simply switched it over to photography. Voila! Easy-peasy! I discussed it with Mr. Waterfall and he was on board. We figured it’s not like we’re gonna make people sit down and hold them captive for an hour and MAKE them watch our wedding video when they come over…it’s like home video etiquette—you just don’t do that. Pictures, on the other hand, are much less non-committal. You simply leave your album on the coffee table and guests are free to bask in your bridal beauty browse the photos at their own leisure and pace.

Plus, I’m a huge self-proclaimed cinephile. I mean, I live for the Oscars. Needless to say, my cinematography expectations were ever so slightly on the unachievable side of things. And since Stephen Spielberg and James Cameron don’t moonlight by doing wedding videos on the side, we thought it was better to do without video than pay for a super cheesy ’80s-style video montage with our now nonexistent video budget. Done. Case closed. Right?

Wrong. As the months went by, I started mulling over the concept, and I had doubts. I love photos like nobody’s business, but photos don’t talk. Photos can’t catch the moment when you mouth “I love you” to your fiancé at the altar. Photos don’t capture your two-year-old ring bearer waddling down the aisle. I completely love and trust our photographers, and I know they’re gonna deliver some stunning stills, but there are just some things that you can’t capture in a photo like you would on film.

I came across Mrs. Giraffe‘s post about why you need a videographer and just knew that we had to have one. I sent the post to Mr. Waterfall, but he still needed some convincing. On the one hand, we had already spent both our photography and videography budgets on photography alone. On the other hand, we agreed that there were certain highlights that we would absolutely want to capture on film, like our vows. But on the other hand, we certainly couldn’t afford what some companies were quoting us. So since we were running out of hands, there was only one way to solve this conundrum: “Mr. Waterfall, get me my legal pad—it’s pros and cons time!”

And kids, we really cheered! (any excuse to use my legal pads, really)

After much consideration, we decided that, although a wedding video wasn’t essential, we really wanted to try and at least have somebody film the ceremony. Something that really struck a chord in Mrs. Giraffe’s post was the way she talked about her grandfather. I’ve already lost two of my grandparents and I miss them every single day, and Mr. W recently lost his grandfather. So we know just how important it is to capture not only our living grandparents, but also our parents and other family members to have something to remember them by after they’re gone.

In the end, we set aside a relatively small amount for videography and were very strict in sticking to it. One of the ways we compromised budget-wise was by agreeing to pay for less coverage as a way to cut down costs.

Are you having a videographer? Why or why not?


Mrs. Waterfall

Wedding Date:
June 2013
A Highland Fairy Tale: We Dress in Kilts
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  1. Member
    texasaggiemom 595 posts, Busy bee @ 12:59 pm

    I’m currently struggling with this piece of my daughter’s wedding budget, for all the reasons you expressed so eloquently. I think the bride and groom end up missing a great deal of what happens on their day, and the video is a great way to capture it. Although the first quotes I got were in the $2,500 – $4,000 range, I have located a highly recommended videographer who would provide six hours of coverage with two cameras for $1,295 total, including tax. He has filmed in both our ceremony and reception venues, and works frequently with our DJ, so it seems like a good fit. Hoping other brides will post their thoughts and pricing in this thread to make me feel better about this unbudgeted expense!

  2. Member
    adventurer 209 posts, Helper bee @ 1:46 pm

    Even before I was engaged, I loved watching friends’ (okay, and strangers’) wedding trailers and short videos online. LOVED.
    I knew right away I wanted to have a video of some of the moments of our day. Like you, I also wanted something that was done well.
    I spoke with several videographers and found one I really loved – with a price tag that was way out of my budget (8K!! No thank you). My fiance also wasn’t sure we needed a videographer (read: was vehemently opposed to booking one).
    I know how fast important days and moments can go by and decided I was sticking my ground on this one. We live in a mid-sized city but booked out of a smaller city (slightly over an hour away) where there was a less expensive option. We also got a cash discount of 20 percent. Our total for the mid-sized package is $2800. It includes two videographers all day and a 9-minute feature video, plus full-length recordings of the ceremony, toasts and first dance. I thought the videographer we got is better than many of the videographers who charge more in our area. We also have the option to upgrade to a 15-20 minute video that then comes with a 1-2 minute trailer if we want to bump up the price a few hundred dollars. We can upgrade up until the day of the wedding or even after if they have enough footage. We would love the trailer but are waiting to see how much wiggle room we have closer to the date :)

  3. Member
    adventurer 209 posts, Helper bee @ 1:51 pm

    And, as we’re talking about wedding films – this is one of my all-time favorites :) And I have never met the couple . . .

  4. Member
    beerod527 592 posts, Busy bee @ 3:18 pm

    I know how you feeling. FI is convinced we don’t need a videographer. But we do have grammies who are all in their 80s and 90s and might be the last time we see them in motion while alive. Plus, I would love to capture our vows in video. If we have enough money left in our budget, we’ll consider it.

  5. Member
    deneemotion 3 posts, Wannabee @ 3:24 pm

    In all honesty, it is very hard to find a decent videographer for less than $5k who will use DSLRs and not camcorders. Otherwise the quality will suffer a lot.

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Lisa, Guest @ 3:37 pm

    Yes, yes, yes on the videographer. We had a DW and were lucky to find an amazing one for $550/hr with 2 cameras. We only did 1 hr and he filmed for about 1.5hrs and we got a 6min trailer and raw footage from both cams. It was totally worth it! I get family coming up to me all the time telling me how amazing our video was and it made my friends cry lol. It captured moments I missed like my DH talking with the minister before the ceremony, our personal chefs cooking and my little flower girl dancing around being super cute. I watch the trailer all the time, plus I’ll love showing it to our kids one day.

  7. Member
    jennyinstereo 310 posts, Helper bee @ 4:05 pm

    I’m in Montreal, too and am regretting not settind aside money in the budget for a videographer. Who are you going with and do you mind my asking the price? I feel like I’ll regret it if I don’t have at least the ceremony on video.

  8. Member
    arig101613 29 posts, Newbee @ 4:10 pm

    I found an AMAZING ” GROUPON ” deal . 2 hours of videography for 130 dollars !! He does nice work and I am pleased with the samples he has shown me :)

  9. Member
    adventurer 209 posts, Helper bee @ 4:34 pm

    @deneemotion: I love our videographer, he does great quality work, and we are paying only $2800. Of course, that’s with a 20 percent cash discount and if we upgrade from the middle to the top package it will be around $3200-3400. We looked at several in our area who were around 4-5K though – I kept looking and think our videographer – who shoots with DSLRs – is just as good. There was one videographer who I was really blown away with who is 8k+ and probably worth it – but we didn’t want to spend that much on video when we found someone whose style is a little different but still beautiful for so much less.

    All that said – I work in marketing in addition to law and I have edited video. It takes a LOT more time than people realize.

  10. Member
    tarheelgurl 1416 posts, Bumble bee @ 5:55 pm

    We are. The future Mr. doesn’t think it’s worth it, but I know I’m the type of person who will look at a wedding video over and over again more than pictures. Our videographer does great work and we’re going to go with his second package which includes reception and ceremony highlights for $800. Not too bad.

  11. bluewhale Member
    bluewhale 638 posts, Busy bee @ 7:22 pm

    Mr. Whale also wasn’t convinced that we needed a videographer. But now that the wedding is over, he says all the time, “I can’t wait to see the video!” We don’t even have it yet, and I’m already so glad that we did it.

  12. Member
    adventurer 209 posts, Helper bee @ 7:50 pm

    @Mrs. Blue Whale: ei!! I haven’t even gotten married and I can’t wait :) <3 Hope yours is beautiful and hope you share it on the Bee! @Tarheelgurl: Great price! My FI didn’t want to spend the money on it either :)

  13. Member
    JJBelle 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:25 pm

    For many of the reasons you pointed out in the blog, we decided we needed something on film even when the budget said no. So we decided to go with FlipAHit: They send you 5 HD cameras that you can designate to whomever and then after the wedding you send them back. In addition to a copy of ALL of the footage, you get a professionally edited video, too. The price is listed at $499, if you email them they will give you a “special deal” of $399 and I actually was lucky enough to find a Groupon for them (AFTER we knew we were already going to do it!) for $250. Because Groupon takes such a large portion, you may be able to contact FlipAHit and ask them to still honor the Groupon price without Groupon getting their cut.

    In addition to the price, there are two things about this option that I like EVEN MORE than a professional videographer: 1) You get the cameras about a week before your wedding. That means you can capture EVERYTHING from the rehearsal dinner to the last kiss the night before the wedding, to the gift opening brunch — and of course, your ENTIRE wedding day. 2) FIVE CAMERAS. I can only imagine the insanity our friends will catch as they pass these badboys around.

    Now, of course, our friends are not professionals. And perhaps some of those horribly important memories may be missed still because our friends and families who have the cameras aren’t trained to be aware. But with five cameras, I’m banking on SOMEONE with a camera being aware of what’s going on at the right times (at least most of the time)!

  14. Member
    JJBelle 173 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:27 pm

    Sorry for 2 posts, but it looks like the Groupon may still be going on:

  15. Member
    This Time Round 10219 posts, Sugar Beekeeper @ 4:03 am

    Glad to see you changed your mind.

    My First Wedding (circa 1980) and Videography was just becoming “a thing”… of course that was because the folks who did it had to invest in very expensive equipment, and haul the massive stuff around (remember this was the DAWN of the Betamax / VHS era… and very few people even had this stuff in their homes yet for playback, and the Video Camera was strictly a “commercial enterprise”)

    In the end cause of the pricing of a Videographer, and the fact that my Hubby-2B and I didn’t own “a playback machine” yet (in that they were well over a $ 1000 to buy) we decided to forego video taping our Wedding.

    I can tell you, I was married for over 20 years, and I regretted that decision the whole time (lol, today it still bothers me). And it was precisely for all the reasons you mentioned… (that and it would have been nice to have a Wedding Video to show our kids).

    Although my Wedding Pics were lovely… there is no film / video that brings them to life, and captures “that moment in time”. And yes, particularly The Vows. BUT also the “Bridal Party Children” that were our Ring Bearer & Flower Girl (now both well into their 30s), along with the youth of ourselves and our Friends, and the many Family Members who turned out, and sadly some of the now gone. :-( *frown face*

    Hon if I could turn back the hands of time, I would certainly have paid the high-price that was being asked, and just done it.

    Lol, interestingly, this time round… I didn’t do Videography either.

    As Encores, Mr TTR & I chose to Elope and have our “just the two of us” Destination Wedding on a Beach in a place we love dearly.

    We opted for no filming because the whole element of going alone was to appreciate the fact that there was just us… and we didn’t want to feel anything other than our LOVE for each other, and “be in the moment”. Lol, it was bad enough that we had a Photographer snapping pics of us (altho I do appreciate having those photos).

    The funny thing is, I think our Family misses the fact that we don’t have video of our Big Day… they sort of feel cheated that we Eloped and they weren’t there to witness it. But c’est la vie.

    Nothing could compare to the movie I have in my head that I can play back whenever I please… lol, and besides, in my version, neither Mr TTR or I look like the older Encores we are… we very much are the “young at heart” LOVERS we believe ourselves to be.

  16. Member
    luluvohn 1194 posts, Bumble bee @ 4:21 am

    We are definitely having video. We were able to get it as part of our photo package with this awesome, highly recommended company that we really like everything we’ve seen so far. Like a PP, I love watching people’s wedding trailers online, and that’s what I’m looking forward to having. I don’t have to pin people down for the whole 30 minutes if they don’t want, they can just watch the 5 minute trailer! FI and I are also in the midst of a move from Florida to New Jersey and the wedding is going to be in New Jersey. A lot of our friend-ily (friends who are like family) won’t be able to make it up for the wedding, but this way we’ll be able to share the video with them.

  17. Member
    shortbread 290 posts, Helper bee @ 7:01 am

    We knew from day one that we wanted and in my mind needed a videographer. We received a preview video two days after the wedding and my husband probably watched it ten times that day. In that three minutes our videographer captured some hilarious and touching moments that I wasn’t there for. He was our eyes and ears for some priceless moments. I cannot wait to see what he does for the full length video.

    I think you are making the right decision by carving out some money for the videographer. You do not need an Oscar winning film just something to capture the special moments.

  18. Member
    lovelyduckie 756 posts, Busy bee @ 7:26 am

    We’re taking a chance on diy videography. The cost just isn’t worth it to us to do any more than that.

  19. Member
    blonde17jess 1290 posts, Bumble bee @ 7:27 am

    I feel the same way… we don’t want to pay for the videography, but at the same time, at least for the ceremony, I feel like we would like to have a video. We’ll see what happens with money, I guess. It’s definitely still not prioritized in our budget, because if it comes down to it, we’ll have a friend with a flipcam shoot the vows and that’ll be it.

  20. Member
    anjanette.thomas1 166 posts, Blushing bee @ 7:35 am

    I feel really blessed on the price we are paying for our Videographer. He is a family friend but we get him pre-ceremony, first look, me getting dress and the FH too. I also get a second shooter at the ceremony and reception. That whopping total 750 bucks!

  21. Member
    jmarvellous 550 posts, Busy bee @ 8:59 am

    I have no regrets about not having a video, for what it’s worth. My husband was incredulous enough about the need for photos, and I couldn’t see ever watching a wedding video. :)

  22. Member
    monh13 154 posts, Blushing bee @ 9:08 am

    A videographer is DEFINITELY worth it!!! It was something that originally wasn’t in our budget at all and about 2 months out, I told him that I really wanted one, citing pretty much the same reasons as Mrs. Giraffe. I ended up finding our videographer on Craigslist and he did an amazing job. He was just getting into wedding videos and was going to use ours for his portfolio, so he wanted to make a great video not only for himself, but for us too! We’ve already received our highlights video and here’s our First Look: His price was originally $700-800, but I talked him down to $500. Try and find someone who is building their portfolio!!!

  23. Member
    anemonie 1578 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:24 pm

    The bit about not only remembering you and your husband on film, but also the joy of your other loved ones, is very true. My mother very recently passed away, and I love that I have my brother walking her into the ceremony, her smiling face during the vows, her and my dad dancing during our anniversary dance (they were married the longest!), and other precious moments on film. Our video isn’t cinema quality (we had a friendor), but I love being able to relive those moments.

    One thought: if you have a friend do it, make sure they have a camera with a good microphone and a tripod, or even a way to hook into the sound if you’re using a clip-on mike for the officiant. You may also want to make sure s/he can turn the camera on the tripod to capture you and bridesmaids as they enter.

  24. Member
    celticbeachbride 778 posts, Busy bee @ 11:01 pm

    We set aside a larger budget for video than for photos. Next to the venue, it was my TOP priority. I want to see the things I miss on the day (like the processional) and be able to revisit our vows and our friends’ speeches.

    Frankly, we got an AMAZING videography team and I couldn’t be happier with my decision.

  25. Member
    sharonmariep 382 posts, Helper bee @ 11:22 am

    we had a friend do ours and im very happy with it,it cost nothing.we could not afford to hire someone and having a friend do it is just as special and just as beautiful as if i paid a thousand or more

  26. Member
    sharonmariep 382 posts, Helper bee @ 11:23 am

    i also got a few hours worth and i can edit it anyway i want and make as many videos as i want to,i even think i can get pictures from it somehow,i just have to learn how :)

  27. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:32 pm

    @TexasAggieMom: That sounds like a good price actually!
    @Adventurer: We negociated something similar in terms of being able to upgrade.
    @BeeRod527: I hope you’re able to fit it in your budget!
    @deneemotion: Maybe so, but most people don’t have 5k to spend on videography…
    @Lisa: I definitely wanted at least the ceremony! Glad you liked your footage :)
    @jennyinstereo: I’m going with cinemomento and negociated a custom package. We got one cameraman for 8 hours; a 3-5 minute trailer and all the raw footage. If we want to upgrade to a full length 20 min video, it will be an extra 900$ but we have a year to decide.
    @arig101613: Amazing!
    @Tarheelgurl: Sounds good :)
    @Mrs. Blue Whale: Agree! I can’t wait for our video!
    @JJBelle: We didn’t go with the flip cams ’cause we didn’t really trust our friend’s skillz, and we wanted them to enjoy the ceremony instead of worrying about filming. But that’s a great price!
    @This Time Round: Funny how that worked out! I can’t wait to see ours.
    @luluvohn: Agreed! Everyone loves a short wedding trailer :)
    @Shortbread: I hope Mr. W loves it as much as your husband did, and I agree, I think we made the right decision for us.
    @lovelyduckie: @Blonde17Jess: You should definitely have at least a friend film it with a flip cam. The day after our wedding, I saw the video of my father-daughter dance that someone had captured on their iphone and it was so amazing to see it since we didn’t get to when we were in the middle of experiencing it!
    @anjanette.thomas1: Great price!

  28. mswaterfall Member
    Mrs. Waterfall 1403 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:36 pm

    @jmarvellous: wow, I couldn’t imagine now not having a video! It’s good that you’re happy with your decision though :)
    @monh13: Sounds like a great find! I scoured craigslist for hours trying to find something similar when I was looking.
    @anemonie: So sorry for your loss, but I totally agree, it’s nice to be able to watch them at such a happy occasion.
    @CelticBeachBride: Cool! It’s not often that you see video being placed higher than photos on the priority list 😛
    @sharonmariep: You should always accept the kindness of your friends while planning a wedding! I just don’t have any super video savvy friends.

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