Video Killed the Budget…Until!

Disclaimer: I’m going to hope all of you love wedding videos of strangers as much as I do, because I’ve included a few!

Guys, I was just not feeling videography at first. I, like many others, thought it was just another expensive expense we couldn’t afford. And I was perfectly happy thinking so! Until the lovely Mrs. Coach (or maybe Vanessa McKellar?) went and ruined it for me.

The first time I became even the slight bit interested in videography was after Coach posted about choosing her videographer, which happened to include this incredible piece by Vanessa McKellar.

The music, the love, the FUN! It was all captured so perfectly! And dang it, hive, I was hooked. Soon I was creepin’ all over the interwebs for more and more of these videos. Mr. Manatee found me several times cuddled up with my laptop and my comfy comforter (IKEA, you can make a mean goose down) with a single tear and the fear that our budget was out the window on this one.

Well, seriously, miracles happen. As it turns out, the woman that originally handled the wedding coordination at our ceremony location passed the reins to a new coordinator. This coordinator met with us to discuss our membership and for the final word on if we wanted the sanctuary versus the chapel. We’d been members for about nine months at this time and had been attending faithfully. She was shocked that we still hadn’t received any info about any member discount, and promptly gave it to us. And I swear. I danced. My eyeballs popped out of my skull. I kid you not, it was a grand cheaper than what we had been quoted for non-members. A G. One thousand dollars. I literally hugged the woman for releasing this information that made such a huge difference. Videography was on!

After checking out Ms. McKellar’s website, it quickly became clear that no matter how the budget was coddled and stretched, it was just not going to happen with her. So I kept looking. The downside was that by the time we started looking at the beginning of June, we were no longer “ahead of the game.” At only a year out from our wedding, we didn’t have the pick of the litter anymore! It was a long process, but so worth it!

I initially stumbled upon Jeffrey Coombes at JChristopher Films. It seemed like a miracle, too good to be true. His prices started at $500. Turns out it was, since he was booked! However, remember that strategy I talked about where you vendors if they could refer other professionals with similar styles? He kindly referred us to the talented Candlelight Films. Their videos were just as swoon worthy! Their swanky website alone led me to believe that maybe we were back out of our budget. I was right.

Sarah + Kyle :: Coming Soon from CandleLight Films on Vimeo.

I told them upfront I was not looking for any type of discount, since June is prime real estate and we all have bills to pay! Clint and Lauren were happy to refer us to the buried treasure, I Do Cinematics.

Now guys, I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again (like with our wonderful photographer June Bug Company): If you glean nothing else from my posts let it be this. Get. In. On. The. Ground. Floor.

Matt and his now-fiancee Claire were brand spankin’ new on the scene, but they had talent out the ears. Since we were mostly working on trust —they didn’t have many videos to show me at the time—they were willing to work with us on our budget and got us an amazing package for an amazing price. Did I mention they are incredibly talented? They’ve recently been shooting a ton of styled shoots with some serious players in the wedding world like Southern Fried Paper, After Yes, and Couture Events by Lottie. And did I mention they’re already on the Black Book for Wedding Chicks and have been featured on Ruffled Blog? Seriously. Talent. We met once and hit it off, and it was a done deal. I’m subscribed to them on Facebook, and every time they post some great news about their thriving business and recent engagement (yay!) I’m so happy and just a little more in love with them!

erica + jason // sneak peek from Matt McNeill on Vimeo.

If you haven’t figured it out by the videos I’ve posted, I adore the “sneak peek,” which is usually less than five minutes. I’m a strong believer in the fact that your coworkers and acquaintances don’t want to see a 300-picture album of your wedding. They don’t even necessarily want to see a 12-minute video. But hey, under five minutes? Post that shiz on Facebook, on Twitter, wherever your heart desires. Flaunt it—it’s adorable.

I hope I’ve been a videography eye opener like Mrs. Coach! Were any of your vendors a labor of research love? And wasn’t it totally worth it?


Miss Manatee

Fort Worth, TX
Wedding Date:
June 2013
Apple-y Ever After: First Look
Add a comment


  1. Member
    shaynapunim 654 posts, Busy bee @ 12:38 pm

    I wasn’t interested in videography until a college friend of mine posted her wedding video on Facebook. It was, hands down, the best wedding video I had ever seen in my life. I immediately contacted her videographer; after he gave us a generous discount, I sent the check for our deposit that week!! 🙂

  2. Member
    jbarker09 382 posts, Helper bee @ 1:00 pm

    I’ve tried to find a budget videographer/student from craigslist, but no go. It’s just a huge cost and I’ve given up hope in my dream of a videographer at our wedding 🙁

  3. Member
    samsmartypants 37 posts, Newbee @ 1:09 pm

    Oh I wish I hadn’t read this – now I’m going to “need” videography too! We did save a bunch on our photographer, so maybe we’ll put it toward video!

  4. manatee Bee
    manatee 31 posts, Newbee @ 1:22 pm

    @kbarker09 try to find a professional whose style you like and ask them if they know anyone just getting started! Thats how I found mine!

  5. mscoach Bee
    mscoach 130 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:10 pm

    Aww, I’m flattered! Haha, but really, I think videography is such a good choice, and I’m glad you were able to find someone you were happy with! Can’t wait to see YOUR video 🙂

  6. Member
    texasaggiemom 595 posts, Busy bee @ 3:20 pm

    I’ve been missing the Manatees – so glad you’re back! I’m taking careful notes on your vendors, since we’re in your area. Hope you’ll do a post reviewing them after the wedding – so far it sounds like you’ve got superstars for rookie prices, in keeping with your “get in on the ground floor” mantra.

  7. Member
    HOGUE 28 posts, Newbee @ 9:57 pm

    Can’t wait to see YOUR video 🙂

  8. Member
    jcp0240 21 posts, Newbee @ 5:33 am

    The same recently happened to me! Totally wasn’t planning on a videographer because of the expense and then I found a bunch of highlight videos online and decided we needed to get one! I found a student at a local art school majoring in videography, she’s done a few of my friend’s weddings and they came out beautifully.

    @jbarker – check your local colleges and universities!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Kate Whyte, Guest @ 10:00 am

    Do it! I did without a few other things to make sure that I had a video of the day. It’s such a great keepsake and it’s so fun to show it to your babes as they grow. They love to see their parents in love!

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