Congratulations, you’re newly engaged! Planning for your wedding has already begun and you have a very busy time ahead of you with so many decisions to make…
Where to have your wedding… at home or abroad? Which venue? To have a planner or not to have a planner? How much should you spend on your dress, flowers, photographer, etc?
And…. should you invest in a wedding videographer?
“Not having a videographer is today’s bride’s biggest regret”
This quote is from a bridal magazine almost five years ago, but does it still stand? There must be many reasons why you shouldn’t have a videographer?
After all, from my research, having a videographer is often one of the final decisions couples make and typically the last supplier booked for a wedding. And, by then, often only if there’s enough budget left over.
There are many myths and misconceptions about having a videographer at your wedding and these can definitely lead to the decision not to have one.
So let me help you with that! And let me also offer you some tips on how to make the best decisions for your day.
1) Videographers are expensive and an expense I can do without
Let’s face it. Budget, or lack of a good videographer budget, is often the reason why a couple doesn’t book one. Of course it goes without saying that ‘you get what you pay for’ and so the more you invest, the more experienced and skilled your videographer will be and the better your film will be.
I sometimes get enquiries well ahead of time and when I offer a quote I get told by some couples that they can’t afford me. But, of course, if they prioritised their wedding film… one of the only things they will have to remember their day by… then of course they could make it happen.
I won’t go into detail now about why you should invest wisely in a videographer once you’ve decided to have one but I have written a blog post all about that.
But even with a limited budget, investing in a professional over an amateur is always a much wiser decision. More on that later…
TIP: Ask if your videographer offers a payment plan to allow you to pay over time. I even offer my clients the chance to pay 50 per cent before the wedding day and 50 per cent afterwards, to allow those who are having money as a wedding gift, to get their funds together.
2) Videographers get in the way and aren’t discreet like photographers
This USED to be the case when videographers filmed on large video cameras with huge tripods and sliders. But this idea is a common misconception these days. Of course there are videographers who still use the older style camera equipment but it’s rare or it’s for large scale weddings that are more like productions rather than an actual wedding.
These days most videographers use DSLR and mirrorless cameras, the same as your photographer’s. Many film ‘hand-held’ as well, apart from for the ceremony and speeches, so other than the microphone on top of the camera there’s little to distinguish between a photographer and videographer.
As for being discreet. That’s all in the filming style of your videographer but very much achievable. I’ve been at many weddings where the celebrant or priest is more distracted and sometimes annoyed by the photographer moving around all the time with a loud distracting shutter (clicking) noise going off all the time.
TIP: Ask your videographer what kit they use. Video cameras or smaller DSLR or mirrorless cameras and what ‘rigs’ they use. If you’re looking for discretion on the day then you’re probably looking for a videographer with a minimal amount of kit who doesn’t run around with gimbals and sliders. The amount of kit does not determine the quality of the film nor the skill of the videographer. As I often say to the videographers I train and mentor … avoid being that person ‘All the gear, no idea’.
My USP is that I am ‘a woman with a camera telling your story’ meaning I am very discreet. I also work very closely with the photographer on the day to work in a team for the best results. I use small DSLR and mirrorless cameras and my style means I avoid running around chasing the action but allowing it to unfold, undirected as it happens.
3) My priest might not like my ceremony being filmed or might charge me
I’ve been filming weddings since 2013 and only once have I had an issue with a priest refusing me to film at the front of the church. I have however, on several occasions, been in church where a photographer has been told to stand at the back to avoid being a distraction. So it’s just not the norm for whoever is holding your ceremony to refuse it to be filmed.
However there may be restrictions in terms of filming the choir or organist and sometimes even the sermon. But there are laws that regulate this and in most cases they don’t apply and work in YOUR favour.
TIP: Check with your priest / venue etc about permissions and then seek advice from your videographer.
Also check how they would deal with this situation. I ALWAYS speak to all the suppliers I am working with ahead of a wedding and so there are no surprises on the day. I have never turned up to a church wedding without having spoken to the priest first and introduced myself and discussed positioning on the day so again, it’s about working together to achieve the best results.
4) I can get my friends to film my wedding, after all everyone can film these days
Yes you can do this because let’s face it iPhones, Go-Pros and other handheld gimbals and video recording devices are such amazing quality these days. But it’s not what kit you use to film a wedding, it’s how you use it that gives the best results. Most people can point a camera and film but if they’re not trained they are not going to achieve anything more than you’d see in those old wedding movies you’ve watched of your parents from the 70s and 80s. Just saying!
You can also use one of the videographer companies that sends out cameras for your guests to film the day and then they edit it for you… but you know what they say about making a purse out of a sow’s ear ????!
In addition to the filming there’s also the editing and this is where a lot of the skill takes place. No automated software can edit together a well-produced film that will capture the sights, sounds and the emotion of a wedding day. Not to mention tell a story!
TIP: Go one further and make your wedding an ‘unplugged wedding ‘ where you ask your family, friends and guest to turn off their phones, iPads, cameras and other digital distractions during the ceremony, speeches or even the whole day.
This means they can stay in the moment, your professionals can do their job without people getting in the way and there won’t be any social media posts of your wedding day found online before you’ve seen them first!
5) I’ll never watch my wedding film
… no one ever said! However good your wedding film is I can assure you, you WILL watch it.
Not once, not twice, but countless times over the days, weeks, months and years. Not only that, but gone are the days when you have to watch your film on VHS, DVD or even Blu-ray with just your close friends and family. Now you can share your wedding film trailer online over social media, sending direct links over email and even just one your phone or iPad.
Once I have sent Instagram teasers and wedding film trailers to my clients I can see how many views the films have had. It’s often thousands of times in the first week. But don’t worry if that isn’t your style, like myself, most other videographers can password protect films to limit the people who watch your films down to those you select.
TIP: The longer your wedding film, the least likely it’ll be watched all the way through or even at all. So make sure, if you’ve decided to go down the longer ‘docu-edit’ style, you still ask for a trailer as that’s the film that’s likely to be viewed the most as it’s the most ‘digestible’ for those of your friends who are not 100 per cent invested in watching an hour-long film of your wedding.
I offer a range of different edits for my clients and although my longest films are a cinematic style and are up to 20 minutes long, I also provide a trailer of about 3-4 minutes with the choice of having 1’00 Instagram sneak peek films too.
I just this week had a groom from a wedding I filmed in 2013, yes 2013, ask if he could duplicate his DVD copies as he’d run out of them to share. I am someone who always thinks my latest film is my best work yet, so don’t often look back at my ‘older wedding films’, but here was a client wanting to look back and enjoy his film seven years on from the big day.
6) I don’t like the sound of my voice
This might sound like a silly reason for anyone not to have their wedding filmed. Yet, although I was previously a broadcaster for the BBC and used to the sound of my own voice, I do remember back to when I was studying radio for my media degree and I hated my voice when I first heard it played back.
This is actually less of an issue these days because so many of us use social media on a daily basis for lives and recordings, or have answering phone messages, and so on.
But if you’re still worried about that, I can honestly say that I have never in all my time as a wedding videographer had any feedback from my clients about their voices in the film. And anyway, feeling slightly uncomfortable about your voice at first is a small price to pay as your friends and family hear it all the time.
TIP: If it really worries you that much you can always ask for a ‘music montage’ style wedding film where there is no audio captured on the day, or ask that it isn’t used in your wedding trailer. This is not something I offer as audio is very important in my filming style in order to tell your story of the day.
7) I am too shy to be filmed and would feel awkward all day
It’s a little like the scenario above but you’re worried that on the day you’ll be conscious about having a videographer around filming your every move. I can’t speak for every videographer but I know that there are some that direct moments (and even redirect moments that they missed first time around). And others who are up close and personal with you and your guests.
But any experienced videographer (and photographer for that matter) should be discreet at all times. You should forget they’re even there! Last year I filmed a wedding at La Fortaleza in Majorca over a three-day celebration. Towards the end of day two (the actual wedding day), the father of the bride came up to me and asked me where I’d been! He hadn’t actually noticed me filming at any time up until that point.
TIP: However big or small your wedding is, you want your videographer to be discreet and unnoticed as much as possible. Check with your videographer how they will achieve this on the day to ensure you enjoy your wedding without any intrusion.
8) My photographer can capture the day perfectly well
YES … but to some extent. I always recommend to my clients, even those considering not having a photographer, to have one. BUT if a picture speaks a thousand words then imagine what a film can do?
While a photographer capture a moment in time, an experienced videographer brings those moments back to life and brings your day back to life. You should have a photographer but you cannot compare a photographer to film when it comes to capturing emotions in real time on film.
It’s my belief that a photographer and videographer should complement each other both in what they capture and what they produce at the end. For me it’s about capturing a story and I’m less interested in capturing the details (like the dress, flowers, rings and shoes for instance) when that’s the photographer’s role. I am there to tell a story so I concentrate on identifying and capturing that element to give you much more than a wedding film but the story of your day.
TIP: Make sure your photographer and videographer can work well together so you get different coverage from each on and not the same moments in stills and in film – that would be pretty pointless.
9) I’m having a destination wedding and don’t want to pay the travel costs for a videographer
Destination weddings are becoming more and more popular and while there are ways to keep your costs low and secure local suppliers… a wedding videographer is not one of those times.
If you’re getting married in a country where the native language is your own then sure, booking a local videographer makes a little more sense. Although bear in mind that filming styles and trends differ from country to country.
I would always urge anyone to book a videographer whose first language you share so they better understand everything that is said and also the nuances.
AND, investing in a wedding videographer also means that those of your friends that couldn’t afford the time or cost to attend your wedding can actually enjoy and share your day with you.
Rebekah and Jarrad travelled all the way from Australia to the Greek island of Ios for their wedding at Liostasi and while they did bring 60 guests with them, there were many friends and family left behind. They decided to have a party on their return and were able to share their wedding story with everyone.
TIP: Always make sure you know the additional travel expenses involved for your videographer and if they charge more for destination weddings. Unlike many videographers, I DO NOT charge a premium for the additional days ‘out of the office’ and in most cases include a pre-wedding shoot the day before the actual wedding day.
10) I just can’t afford it – videography is a luxury item
More to the point, you don’t THINK you can afford it. But let’s take a look at some of the other areas you’ve allocated your budget to for the day itself.
You have a photographer but you’re also thinking of having a photo booth. You’ve chosen delectable meal options and the tables are decorated beautifully but you still think you need favours (very 1990s). How about a sweet cart for the younger guests or an ice-cream van? All lovely touches but all eat away (excuse the pun) at your budget at the expense of other investments.
OR another way to look at it … why spend all that money on just one day and not have a well produced wedding film to remember all of those things you have spent your money on?
Not only that, but there will be moments in the day you will miss (think about when you’re having your portrait session or your family and group photos). Your videographer will be there to capture all your friends and family having fun, which you might not get to see yourself.
TIP: Don’t leave any of the larger investments until the last minute because you might run out of money and this could be a real regret. Videographers and photographers should be something you consider seriously at that start of the planning stages to avoid disappointment. Videography should not be regarded as an add-on or luxury item.
Another little hint here: Ask your parents ????! I often get commissioned by the bride or groom’s parents, as happened with this wedding of Gerry-Rae and Nick in Austria …
So… while you THINK there may be a good reason not to have a videographer… for every objection, I can reasonably and logically argue against it. Have I convinced you? Then here’s some tips on choosing the right videographer for YOU…
Or better still have a look at my destination film gallery or UK wedding film gallery and then contact me for a chat to discuss how I can capture your day, your story… for you to have lifelong memories to cherish on film.