Not all couples plan on getting a wedding video at first.
Which means all too often it’s a last minute decision (one that really needs to be made sooner than later).
There’s so much to decide on and if you’re not the kind of person that video is an immediate “YES!” trying to figure out if you actually want one can be a long process.
When it’s hard make that decision, booking a wedding video is often pushed to the last minute.
Waiting until few months before the wedding to book wedding videography can be much more stressful because there are fewer open dates available, especially when it comes to popular wedding dates (like any date in September).
Most upscale wedding videographers book their dates 6-12 months in advance.
So how can this process be easier for you?
The 5 most common struggles couples have when deciding to get a wedding video
1. Are we really going to watch our wedding video?
There’s a lot to the question of “should I get a wedding video if I’m not going to watch it ALL the time”?
And there’s a lot more to unpack in that question that it first seems.
First, let’s consider what a wedding video REALLY is.
A wedding film is not a back-up or a bonus to wedding photography. It’s an entirely different type of experience.
A wedding video is the single closest thing to reliving your wedding that you can possibly have. There is no other way to hear your vows, watch your first dance, and listen to your toasts.
It seems silly to note that your photos don’t have that ability. But they don’t. They do make your new apartment or house pretty.
But they aren’t going to help you remember any of the words you both spoke, the tone of your voice, or any of the nuanced experience that you are only going to have experienced a single time in your entire life.
And there are a lot of things you only do ONE TIME that day:
- walking down the aisle
- saying your vows
- your first kiss as a married couple
- dancing your first dance
- seeing the way your parents react
- hearing the heartfelt speeches that are given in your honor
Even if you only watch your video once a year, wedding videography gives you the ability to relive all of it again.
Everything you invested to make your wedding what it is: your time, your heart, your energy, (and yes, that big chunk of money)… wedding videography lets you experience the result of your hard work of that as many times as you want.
It’s an investment in life, in memories, and experiences and that investment is one that compounds with interest over the years so that decades later it’s utterly priceless.
So when it comes to whether or not it’s worth it to get a wedding video—that value doesn’t come from the number of times you watch it but the quality of the memories it preserves for you and your entire family.
So how do you figure out if wedding videography is something YOU really want?
I see a lot of brides on wedding forums ask others for validation if it’s worth it to get wedding video or not. I can tell you for sure, that’s not the place to figure that out for yourself because it’s subjective for everyone.
For every person who hated their video and tells you it’s just FOMO and don’t waste your money there’s going to be someone else loved their wedding video and they’re going to tell you it’s a must-have.
None of this means boo unless you know yourself. In the end, you’re the only one who matters and the only person who knows you and your fiancé is you.
Consider your personalities. Are you introverted, extroverted, or an ambivert (a combination of the two). Do you watch wedding videos online of perfect strangers, get addicted, and cry? If so, then a cinematic wedding video is going to be up your alley.
This fact is still true: 98% of couples who decided against getting video regretted the decision immediately after their wedding because they didn’t realize they would miss so much of the day that they took over a year to plan.
An off the cuff “no” might be jumping the gun.
It’s important to think long term and of your family and friends, too.
Do you have close relatives that would love to watch this? Are you planning to have a family of your own? Would you want to have your film for them to watch as they grow up?
2. Can we afford to get the amazing wedding video we really want?
Including videography can be a hard decision to make when originally coming up with up with your budget but if it’s really important to you, it’s important to include it upfront and with a realistic amount.
Despite what WeddingWire and The Knot tell you, in the northeast, that means a budget for video over $3,000 is standard. And it shocks a lot of couples when they find that out when researching vendors.
Zola’s wedding planning survey actually found that couples’ #1 regret was not spending more on a wedding videographer. Not. Spending. More?! I know… hear me out.
Most of the time when people hate their wedding video is not because they’re not wedding video people or unsentimental but because the wedding video isn’t high quality. It doesn’t represent them.
The video doesn’t tell a story. It doesn’t have the intimacy that it should and therefore no connection. Of course you’d hate that! I’d hate it and would think it’s a waste of money, too.
Budget wedding studios tend to hire inexperienced freelancers who don’t know the shots to get that will make a good story. They edit the videos indiscriminately, just kind of chopping and sticking it all together without feeling.
Boutique studios offer far more personal attention because they strive to know you and create something that’s meaningful. We know that a high quality wedding video is something you’ll have forever and that brings a lot of value to the table.
Your wedding video has some of the highest return on investment of any wedding purchase you’ll make because the wedding video watching experience is unlike any other.
It’s such an interactive experience and it’s one you get to enjoy as often as you like. The feeling that returns when you watch your wedding video is incomparable to any other product because it takes you back in time.
Ugh. Still, that still feels like a big chunk of change.
Some studios (like us!) will be happy to work out payment plans with you.
3. Do we want to add a wedding videographer to our growing vendor list?
Planning a wedding is both exhilarating and exhausting.
The average wedding uses 13 different vendors to pull their big day together and the thought of adding one more vendor can seem like it’s just too much to handle.
That said, video is a special kind of time capsule that even photographs can’t compete with.
Unlike photos which snap just a fraction of a moment, video captures the fluidity of your entire day. All of your wedding’s special moments, both big and small, are captured and edited together to create something that’s magic. You’ll be swept back into the moment like it was just yesterday.
But you aren’t going to find this experience with everyone. It’s going to take extra effort into finding the right videographer for you—but it’ll be worth it.
The earlier you start with your search for the perfect videographer the easier it’s going to be on your planning process.
4. Will it be awkward to have a video camera on us all day?
Rarely do I find someone who jumps up and down to have a camera pointed at them all day. (It happens, though, and “yay!” for them.)
To some degree, we all feel odd when we have a camera pointed at us. I feel odd with a camera pointed at me. But there are ways to beat this feeling.
First, videographers are nearly indistinguishable from photographers.
Most of the time you and your guests won’t be able to tell if you’re being filmed or having a picture taken. (I have to tell people not to strike a static pose all the time.)
When you’re in the thick of your wedding you aren’t going to be thinking of performing for a camera. No one will be. It’s your wedding… and there happens to be cameras there.
We know you’re probably not comfortable. It’s not something most people do on a regular day. We do our best to get you to relax, be yourself, and just have fun.
Hire a wedding cinematography team who has a stand-back approach.
You want a team who understands personal space and that they’re there to capture the event, not necessarily be a part of it.
The first dance should just be the two of you on the dance floor, not you and your video team people all having the first dance together.
Unfortunately, sometimes even some very nice videographers end up in your face during your first dance (which is not only distracting to you but it ruins the shot for your wedding photographer who won’t be able to commemorate the moment for you without getting the videographer in there).
This makes for a VERY cool shot for them. But it’s going to be exceptionally weird for you and your guests.
Make sure you ask potential videographers about their method of shooting. How do they work with their clients? And be point blank about it. Ask them the exact thing you don’t want to have happen. Get your answer up front, there’s no need for you to be guessing and hoping.
A studio like ours respects your space. We stay out of your way, we don’t orchestrate scenes, and you aren’t asked to perform. Everything comes out entirely natural.
5. What if I end up with a bad videographer and get a wedding video I hate?
There’s plenty of proof throughout the internet that bad videographers exist.
The best way to avoid a wedding video you won’t watch is to make sure you hire someone with a solid reputation. A studio that shoots in a style that you are in love with—I mean totally and utterly adore.
If you love vintage film, a modern videographer isn’t gonna cut it for you—no matter how attractive the deal is. If you enjoy laughing and being light-hearted, make sure your team is the same way.
A large or national studio is going to higher a freelance who you won’t necessarily meet in advance. You’re taking a gamble on their personality. This doesn’t mean it won’t be great, but make sure this is something you’re comfortable with.
Love the idea of feeling like your life is a movie?
Then make sure you hire someone who films and edits with a cinematic technique in mind. Because the sequential timeline of a documentary style wedding video is going to feel a bit stale when you want to be blown away by emotions and storytelling.
When you get the thing you’re in love with, you cherish it forever.
This is universal for pretty much everything. Clothing, furniture, the same dish you order at your favorite restaurant. You know the quality you love and when you’re dealing with something this important, it’s best not to fight what you love.
Your wedding video is not the time to go with something that’s “good enough” to capture your memories.
Just “good enough” is the kind of wedding film that gets watched one or two times and then tossed in a drawer until one of your 10 year old kids finds it; watches it out of novelty for the weird clothes everyone was wearing, and then make fun of your hair. (I *never* did this to my mother, ever… ahem.)
Trust your friends recommendations. Trust your photographer’s recommendations.
If you’re the first in your crowd to get married, do what you need to do to get to know your wedding vendors. We take pride in developing relationships with all our clients. Get on the phone with them. Have a video call.
I know (omg, I know) getting on the phone is not most people want to do. I’m with you, I’m an introvert. I hate the phone (ask Sean, I won’t call to order a pizza). But I also know it’s one of the best ways to get to know someone if you can’t meet in person. So much nuance gets lost in text and email.
We’re completely invested in the outcome of our clients wedding and their final film. We’re in touch with them all the way from their first encounter with us to their first anniversary (and sometimes even beyond) because it’s so important to us that we have an amazing relationship with you.
Use your best judgement when picking a wedding videographer
Seasoned wedding professionals will be a higher investment. But it’s worth it.
When you buy only one wedding film in your lifetime, you want to make sure you get exactly what you want.
There are no re-dos with wedding videography. It can’t be restaged like wedding photos.
Invest in a true professional. The value is in their years of experience, eye for artistic composition, and stringent professionalism when it comes to working with you and other vendors (your photographer will thank you for this).