What to look for when comparing wedding video prices

filmed by Harborview Studios Wedding Films

What's the average price for a wedding video?

You’re probably here looking for how much wedding videos cost because you’re trying to figure out if you can add it to your wedding budget.  

I wish I could give you an easy answer but if you’re looking for a magical average—it doesn’t exist. 

It’s always going to depend what part of the country your wedding is in and we have a very, very big country to take an average on. Further, still, it depends on if you’re in a popular wedding area (Boston—you’re 2nd highest in the nation. Cape Cod—you’re 3rd highest).

Cape Cod Weddings: expect to invest at least $5000 for wedding videography

Is that the average price for wedding videography in Massachusetts? No. Is that what it will cost for good videography from experienced vendors who are putting everything they have into your wedding? Yes. Don’t believe me? I’ll wait while you do some research…

It also depends on WHO you want to film your wedding and what values you’re looking for.

The less you care about who films your wedding the more flexible you can be with the initial investment for your wedding video.

Why did I think wedding videography would cost less?

The answer: wedding blogs and magazines. They poll the entire nation and there’s a huge variable in that method.

The Knot and WeddingWire will always be wrong and you will most likely have sticker shock. Because those numbers are derived through surveys they give to couples. Their average will then depend on who returns that survey and the people those couples hired.

The answers will include people who filmed weddings for free or for an extremely low cost—which drastically throws off the average of what it will cost if you want it done by experienced professionals. 

What they give you isn’t even an average of the nation, it’s an average of their respondents. You have to like filling out surveys, taking time to do them, and disclosing how much you paid for your wedding (not something a lot of folks like to do).

the good news

Stay with me, though—I’m going to teach you something much more valuable than what the average cost of wedding videography is. Because asking what the average price is will drive you bananas, anyway. 

It’s really only good for the very beginning and very basics of budget planning. Because when you move on to finding someone you love, it’s almost inevitable those numbers will change.

the better Question to ask.

I’m giving you something better, though. How to figure this all out and how to get someone you adore. Because unless you have tons of discretionary funds, you already know the amount you’re comfortable spending—the average, whatever it is for your area, is irrelevant. 

The only way is to start doing some research. Once you compile a list of videographers who your’e thinking of hiring—that’s where the magic, or mistakes, happen.

On The Most Magical Day Of Your Life, You Shouldn't Be Bargain Hunting​

We all want the most for our money and we all like to feel like we snagged a great bargain. But you miss out on the most important part when you only use price and packages to guide your decision. What you miss out on the most important component to your videography—your video EXPERIENCE. 

If you only focus on the cost and what comes in the wedding videography package, you’re unknowingly putting yourself on uneven footing right out of the starting gate.

Why Should I Put My Experience Ahead Of How Much A Wedding Video Costs?​

Right now, you’re probably only thinking of your wedding film as a product. But before it’s a product, it’s a service. And it’s a service that has a BIG impact on the end result (how awesome your wedding video comes out). 

Right now during planning: “I’m buying a thing.”

After your wedding: “Wow, our videographers made us feel AMAZING, GORGEOUS, COOL, AND NATURAL in front of their cameras all day—and we thought we’d hate having cameras in our faces but that didn’t happen at all. Working with them was our favorite part of the day. I can’t WAIT to see the film they create for us.”

That is a soft skill that doesn’t go into a wedding videography package so you’re never going to see it listed. You can’t compare it side-by-side with another company’s prices. And let me tell you—that is not a skill that every company has.

So how much are you willing to allocate to your budget to feel amazing, gorgeous, cool, and natural in front of cameras all day so you can remember it forever? 

Not sure? OK—whenever I bump up against a not-sure, I like to ask the opposite…

If amazing, cool, and natural were your currency—which one of those would you be willing to cut from your budget to fit something else into it? I’m being completely serious. 

Because you’re not buying a wedding film. 

You’re hiring a team that has the talent to create everything you’ve ever wanted to see yourself be. And if you have a hard time seeing that in yourself—the wedding videography experience is worth its weight in gold because it’s always going to make you feel amazing, gorgeous, cool, and natural. Even when you feel anything but that. 

Wedding videography is going to contribute to the overall awesomeness of your biggest and most amazing day.

But the easiest way to show you that might be to walk you through a wedding day scenario. Let’s fast forward to your Cape Cod wedding for a moment.

This is another example of how the the wedding videography experience can go.

You’ve hired Joe Filmmaker to film your wedding. His work is stunning and he’s only been filming weddings for a couple years. He was nice enough on the phone but mainly you couldn’t believe what a bargain he was at $1500. Joe Filmmaker lives off-Cape but assured you getting to Chatham from Boston on a Saturday in late June wouldn’t be a problem.

Now it’s the day of your wedding. You get a call from Joe Filmmaker, he says he’s stuck on the Sagamore in bridge traffic. He’s going to be late (he’s very embarrassed and sorry, btw). He misses you getting ready and the first look with your dad and bridesmaids.

Now it’s 90 minutes later and he still hasn’t shown up. You and your photographer decide to go ahead with the first look with your fiancé—without Joe Filmmaker. (If you wait any longer for him to show up, it’ll impact the ceremony start time.)

Joe finally shows up 30 minutes before the ceremony. Once Joe got over the bridge he was hungry and stopped to get lunch before getting to your wedding. So that’s why he took a little bit longer than anticipated. You and your photographer are furious. (Like, eyeballs popping out furious). And then you get ready to walk down the aisle to get married.

(That’s a true story from 2019, btw.)

Besides the obvious parts where Joe Filmmaker missed the things he was contracted to film—the more subtle part is you’re walking down the aisle angry and distracted when you should have been beaming with joy and delight. That’s hella hard to get out of your mind (and consequently, off your face—which shows up in pictures).

So now your wedding memories are imprinted with: “Holy shit, I was pissed at my videographer when I walked down the aisle. And then for the rest of the night!”

That crappy experience becomes part of your wedding day memories for LIFE.

When you first hired Joe Filmmaker, you didn’t think your wedding memories were going to have anger and regret attached to them. You were excited that you got a bargain. And that meant getting some extra money to play with or put toward your new home—um, hello? KitchenAid, I’d like to upgrade my order, please).

But Joe Filmmaker didn’t turn out to be a bargain. Because now, instead of having delightfully pure wedding memories; your experience with Joe Filmmaker is a part of those memories now and forever. Even if he refunds you, he can’t fix your memory of that and you’ll never get back the moments that he missed.

Let’s talk about some more common traits you’ll bump up against.

5 Types Of Videographers You Don’t Want To Film Your Wedding

Sometimes narrowing down the kind of person you want to work with is easier when you know the kind of person you DON’T want to work with. And, BTW, these folks can come at almost any price point although the higher price point you allot, the more readily these guys are weeded out. 

The odds of hiring a high-end videographer who’s inconsiderate and a poor communicator is much, much smaller than if you hire someone because of their ultra attractive bargain basement deal that included all of the shiny things. 

the poor communicator

After booking this videographer, you don’t see or hear from them again until a day or two before the wedding and then they disappear after your wedding leaving you unsure when (or if) you’ll get your wedding film. You spend a lot of time trying to track down where your film is when they should be keeping you informed the whole time.

The over-excited filmmaker

This ultra-talented videographer tends to aggressively film your wedding. It’s all about the art and they are way too close to you all the time and in everyone’s way. Chances are, someone you know has already had an encounter with these guys. Their only concern is the artistry of their film. They don’t give a hoot if they’re in your photographer’s shots at the alter while you’re exchanging rings or are annoying your grandmother.

The inexperienced team

These videographers have their hearts in the right place but because they’re inexperienced, they only understand how the wedding timeline works IN THEORY. These teams know how to create a great film but filming a wedding is a highly specialized talent. No other filming condition can prepare you for the high intensity, fast-pace wedding day. And how this videographers underperform tends to have a domino affect on all the other vendors duties. #ittakesavillage

The INCONSIDERATE DRESSER

This videographer is seriously casual. A wedding day is a hard day of work and they’re determined to be as comfortable as possible. They wear cargo shorts, flip flops, and a wrinkled shirt to your wedding as they film it. Which may not be terribly offensive in and of itself, but when they become the talk of your party, it’s a whole nother thing.

The I-don’t-know-you Team

This videography team comes from a bigger company that books multiple weddings per day and then hires freelancers to film those weddings. Sometimes those companies can be really good. But sometimes they overbook and you can end up getting someone who can hold a camera while remaining conscious. How do we know this? Sean started out (waaaaay back when) as a freelancer for some of these companies. This can be a really weird experience. The worst is when they say it will be them filming but you get the bait and switch with a freelancer. Ugh.

Now You Know To Avoid—How Do You Actually Avoid Them?

Get on that consultation call and use it to your greatest advantage. 

Specifically ask what they wear to their jobs, exactly who will be filming you that day, how do they work with you before, during and after your wedding day, and what is their filming style—specifically where and how they film.

Then pay attention to their answer (and how they answered it). Ask follow-up questions if you’re not satisfied with the answer.

The magic question about wedding videography

Don't ask: "What's The Average Price Of Videography"
But Rather, "How Much Are My Wedding Memories And Feelings Worth To Me?"

Considering your photos and videos will be the only thing left of your wedding after it happens—it’s worth making the investment in them.

OK, but what if you video just isn’t a high enough priority to make a big spend on it? What if you just value photography more? It’s tricky. 

You’ve invested $20,000 in a world-class photographer. You’re SO excited. A few months from your wedding you realize you probably should get videography, too, as 100% of your friends are telling you it’s worth it. But you spent $20,000 on your photographer and you can only allocate $1,000 to a videographer—oof. But you do find one—success!  

Sweet relief! (or is it….)

Quick side note: Never approach any videographer and start the conversation with “I spent $20,000 on my photographer and all I have left is $X, can you do it for that?” #1. it’s unintentionally offensive to the videographer #2. IF you get a response back—it’ll be the fastest “no” you’ll ever get.

What’s going to happen is that you’re going to get exactly the kind of service that a $1,000 videography team can provide—and so is your photographer. 

Your $20k photographer is going to have a lot more experience shooting weddings than your $1k videographer. And it’s entirely likely their inexperience will interfere with the world-class photographer that you invested in. This can do a lot of damage to the investment you’re trying to prioritize by making your photographer’s job harder and sometimes having left stuff in the shot that your photographer can’t possibly edit out.

These are things most people don’t consider starting out. So don’t worry if you’re late to the game on this.

You might get lucky—but bargain companies are less expensive for a reason. You’re making a trade-off of quality, experience, or both when you go for the bargain. And I’ll be the first to say—there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all. But understand the unspoken risks and consequences if you go that route. And if your video is important to you at all—searching for a bargain will be a disaster.

The best way to handle it is to prioritize both of these services equally for your best result. 

Now, friend, go forth bravely and research videographers like there’s no tomorrow. Find that videographer that’s perfect for you and book them ASAP (because we book just as fast as photographers do—lately, even faster).

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