How to get a Wedding Film with Value
Updated: Feb 24
Making the right investment with your budget.
I've touched on this concept of 'value' a lot in my posts - what exactly you're getting for your money and how it can best be spent - but I wanted to break it down more specifically and pointedly.
When you're planing a wedding (which I imagine you might be doing at the moment - just a wild guess) there are a TON of costs involved (something you ALSO have probably noticed.) It can be tricky to figure out what to spend the money on and where to save; "Will I be glad I spent that money, or wish I'd saved there?"
According to one national poll, Videography the was most common thing couples who didn't opt to get it, regretted not spending money on.
One thing that I can happily report is that according to at least one national poll (and corroborated by couples and friends I've spoken to) Videography is the number one thing couples were glad they spent money on after considering reducing their budget. Videography was also the most common thing couples who didn't opt to get it, regretted not spending money on. Basically what I'm saying here is, people usually see value in their video after the fact, and that's important to me.
Just a few screenshots from around the web
But you came here for tips.
And so here they are:
"My wedding was over 20 years ago, and now that is the last time I have video of my whole family together. I've lost all my grandparents and my mother-in-law, plus a close friend. Having that video is such an incredible comfort and something I would never have otherwise."
1. Get a keepsake that you can cherish for a long time. There are two things couples seem to value most about video: the first is the immediate effect of reliving your wedding day in emotional detail immediately upon receiving your edit. Seeing your story and the events of your day, which somehow passed so quickly ("I was there, right??"), can take you right back there. Sometimes there are even great moments you missed and you get to watch and experience them now! The second is years later. I recently had someone tell me, "My wedding was over 20 years ago, and now that is the last time I have video of my whole family together. I've lost all my grandparents and my mother-in-law, plus a close friend. Having that video is such an incredible comfort and something I would never have otherwise."
The point: make sure you have someone that will capture both the emotional truth of your wedding day, and someone who will make sure to document your loved ones. Get footage of the speeches your friends and family make. In 20 years you'll want that, and you'll love being able to remember what it was like 'back then'; before kids, or before you moved across the country, or your career took off, whatever it is that life throws at you.
There is a big trend in sharing an instagrammable video full of beauty-shots. Those can be great fun, but they might not be what you'll be thankful for 20 years later.
2. Invest in someone who is investing in you. OK, so, I'll be honest, I've worked for a lot of other people as what's often called a 'contract' or 'associate' videographer. I receive a date and location, show up usually knowing the couples names and general times for things like ceremony and reception start, but that's about it. I do my best, get some good shots, hand off the footage to the company and never speak to the couple again.
There are HUGE national companies who will charge you [a little] less then average and send out someone they say they know, but may have never met, to film your wedding (I've been contacted less than a week in advance before!).
There are some mid-level companies who will send people they know and trust that that have worked with before, so at least you know they will get good footage.
Then there are small companies (like mine, but there are lots) who will only take on films for dates they KNOW they can cover themselves, and will never send someone else in their place. These people will take the time to get to know you and be involved in the run-up to your wedding. They will spend time speaking with you, your planner, and whomever else they need to, to make sure they get exactly what you want, need, and will value years down the road.
People in category 3 often cost a little more than categories 1 and 2 (although not always!), partially due to the smaller number of films they can make compared to a larger company, and partially due to the fact that it takes a lot more of their time and care to walk you through the process and to treat your film with individual love and care.
3. Make sure you're getting all the footage you'll want. This goes along with one and two, but speak to your videographer. Make sure you know what you'll be receiving, and that what you're getting is what you'll be glad to have. If it's important to you to have a video under 1 minute that will wow all your friends on Instagram, tell them that. If you know you'll want to have lots of audio of your parents' or grandparents' voices, or your dance with your mom, or video well wishes from your friends, ask for that too! Most [good] videographers are there to help make sure you get something you love. Ask them questions about how to best get what you're looking for. Chances are they'll know how to get it and will be happy to do so, but if they aren't willing or able to do what you'd like, THAT'S OK TOO, it just means they probably aren't the right videographer for you.
Find someone who you'll be glad to have around.
4. Make sure you're comfortable with their personality. Last, but in many ways, most importantly, find a videographer that you can be comfortable with. Best case scenario, it's someone you can laugh with and be 100% yourself with (It's ok, girl, I see you!). Emotions can rise up, timelines can get messed up, and rainstorms can pop up. Find someone who you'll be glad to have around when those things happen. You're going to be spending a huge portion of your wedding day with your filmmaker, so make sure their energy is going to be something that helps you, not hinders you. You need to be able to relax in front of the camera, and you need to be able to have someone you can tell "stop, that's enough for now" or "I want to change things up" or "I need to run to the bathroom, like, right now!" and know that that will be OK.
Are these helpful? Let me know below! If you want more tips and ideas, check out my other posts to help you become an expert in wedding films, so you can make sure your choice on videography isn't YOUR biggest regret!