The unexpected cost of a friend filming your wedding video
It’s with the best of intentions when a beloved friend offers to help you save some bucks by shooting your wedding video. But there are some things to consider before you say "Yes."
Cutting professional video from your wedding budget is one of the most common ways to save money on a wedding.
Having a friend (who would otherwise be a guest) film for you sounds like a compelling idea at first. Especially considering almost everyone has access to good quality video right in their pockets.
But having a friend film your wedding ends up being a very costly mistake that can’t be made right.
A friend is a guest first, cameraperson second.
A friend as stand-in videographer is tricky business since by default they are a guest and as a guest they are going to inherently want to experience your wedding. You want them to enjoy your wedding, too!
But the split attention of simultaneously experiencing the wedding AND working the wedding is a difficult task which opens the door to errors.
As simple as it sounds, it takes a lot of skill to hold a camera steady for a long time. It’s physically exhausting and people who do not do this on a regular basis will not provide a steady video.
Lighting will not be perfect. Video will be dark and grainy. Colors will not be balanced. They will not have access to quality audio.
My friend is awesome with a camera, what could go wrong?
Something always goes wrong at a wedding—always.
Batteries run out at the worst times. Someone runs for a bathroom break without realizing the first dance is happening. The timeline was totally effed and professional vendors like the caterer and photographer aren't going to fill them in on the timeline change. And it's likely they're not going to be prepared.
If something goes wrong, they’re not your favorite friend anymore.
They’re the friend who ruined your wedding video, who missed the cake cutting and has the shaky footage of the first dance because she was trying to enjoy the party, too.
It’s almost impossible to resist being a part of the party when you’re a “working guest”. They’re going to be distracted because that’s the nature of being a guest at a party.
You might end up hating them when they miss filming your first dance.
A wedding is unlike any other type of event. They're complicated and require the experience and knowledge of a seasoned professional to be in the right place in the right time and ask the right questions.
Because we've done this hundreds of times, we’re able to be in the right places to capture important moments, ensuring they're picture perfect instead of out of focus because of being rushed. We have assistants. We've all worked with each other before. There's a rhythm to your event that we know inside and out.
We also know how to light a scene and how to set up mics for audio quality.
That might not seem important now but it will be incredibly important to you when you watch your wedding video and you can't hear your vows or speeches.
It’s your wedding you don't want your irreplaceable memories to be hampered.
This might be the only day of your life that you’d like to be absolutely perfect. You've lived and breathed Pinterest for over a year know and you know exactly how you want the day to go.
Because of the rush and excitement of your big day, you’re going to be too distracted to remember even half of what happens. You aren’t going to be able to spend a fraction of the time with your guests as you think you will.
Video is the single best way to relive those moments that you don’t remember or didn’t experience.
I strongly suggest forgoing the amateur filmmaker and be sure to hire a professional who knows what they’re doing.
Whether you hire me or another wedding filmmaker, if your wedding video means a lot to you—don’t take chances.
Your friend will still be at the wedding, I’m sure. But instead of rolling the dice and praying the images and audio come out alright, just hire a professional and let your friend enjoy the party.