An absolutely massive part of wedding planning is finding the perfect vendors for your big day. It can take a lot of work and research to make sure you’re finding folks who will be a good fit for you and your partner, as well as the general plan for the event! And none of the vendor choices are as difficult or personal as your wedding photographer and videographer! These people are the ones you’re trusting to document the day in ways you’ll continue to look back on for years to come, so making a great choice here is particularly important. So what are some things to consider as you’re making this big decision?
The first thing to think about would be what style of photography or videography you personally find yourself drawn to. Begin by searching out styles of all kinds. For photography you might explore bright and airy, dark and moody, film-based, or digital. For videography, you might consider whether you prefer someone to come in and capture the entire day to create a full-fledged wedding film, or if you’d rather have only your ceremony and speeches recorded. Get a feel for what options are out there and which you and your partner are personally drawn to. This should give you a place to start as you continue to narrow in on finding the perfect person to work with!
Once you’ve considered the style you prefer, it’s a good idea to look into what you’re hoping to receive as a part of your wedding package. How much of your day would you like covered? Do you want your vendors to arrive early to get some images of you and your party getting ready? Or do you want them to stay late to capture as much of the killer dance party as possible? Or maybe both! It’s a good idea to start looking at your wedding day timeline to see how much you’d really like covered and to narrow from there as you look at what the vendors you’re thinking about offer.
In addition to the amount of time spent with you on your big day, another important thing to consider is what you’ll receive as an end product. Some photographers, for example, have prints and other add-ons as the final package, with the option to purchase digitals or additional prints. Others provide all fully-edited digitals with no prints included. Still others provide a watermarked online gallery where you and your partner choose which photos you’d like edited, made into prints, or put into a physical wedding album. This is where it’s really helpful to figure out what you and your sweetheart would like for your final product so there are no surprises when your photos come! All of these options are awesome, it just depends on what you’re looking for and often what your price point is. Some photographers even include a complimentary engagement or bridal boudoir session as a part of their packages. Finding out what options are available to you can really help you get the best fit for your big day!
Videographers often have slightly less complicated final product options, but it’s still important to make sure you know what you’d like to get. Are you hoping for just a simple, unedited video of your ceremony for posterity, or would you prefer a full 30 to 40 minute wedding film to represent your day? Some videographers also offer a short, highlight reel version of your wedding film, which is great for sharing with friends and family or on social media. All of these are options, so look into what you’d like best.
Price can vary quite a bit for photographers and videographers based on experience level, how much time they’ll be at your event, what your final product will be, travel needs, and more! On average, most couples spend around $2500 to $3000 on photography and around $1500 on videography for their wedding. Many vendors will have a starting price listed on their website so you can at least have a basic idea of what the cost might be before you contact them further. I would personally recommend creating a solid budget to get the photography and videography you really want, as that will last a lifetime longer than many other aspects of your day, but it’s ultimately up to you and your partner’s priorities!
Now that you know what style of imagery you’re drawn to, what you’d like for a final product, and your price range, it’s time to start narrowing down your search! Close in on options that are either in your area or are willing to travel. Once you have a list of people who fit your criteria thus far, it’s time to start contacting them! Make sure you have a few vendor options on the table so that your heart won’t break if one of your preferred folks isn’t available.
How Well You’ll Work Together
It’s likely that the vendors you’ve emailed will want to set up a phone call or meeting to get more information and chat more about your big day. Definitely do this! It may seem nerve-wracking to speak on the phone or meet in person, but it’s actually super important. You want to make sure you get a good feeling and jive with the people who you’ll be up close and personal with on your wedding day! If you’re just not getting the right vibe, don’t move forward with them! Whoever you choose will spend almost your entire day with you capturing all of the important moments; you want to feel comfortable with them! If your photographer includes it as an option, I highly recommend scheduling an engagement session with them as well, not only because you’ll get additional gorgeous photos, but also so you can get some experience having them take your photo before you’re actually in your wedding garb!
There are certainly a lot of things to consider when choosing the right photographer and videographer for your big day, but as long as you’ve done the legwork in researching exactly what you want, you shouldn’t have any problems with what you get out of their services.