Find out why hiring the right vendor team will make or break your wedding.
Weddings are tough. They’re expensive. They’re stressful. And they’re overwhelming. They can have you questioning all kinds of things you’d otherwise never question. (That said, they’re also a blast… stay with me.)
Have you ever found yourself thinking, “It’s the END PRODUCT that matters most”? Or even, “maybe we can get these cheaper people to copy the more expensive people’s work?”
If you have, grab a seat. Because this is also the answer to “WHY ARE WEDDINGS SO DAMN EXPENSIVE?”
I am writing as a wedding videographer, and because that’s my expertise, I’ll be using a lot of videography as a wedding service reference.
But you can easily swap “videography” with “photography” or “florals” or “decor” or whatever service you’re currently seeking out.
The people you invest in to give you the incredible day of your dreams is as important as the work they provide. And to prove that point I want to talk about something you’ve already experienced—likely in both a good and sub-par way. I’m going to talk about coffee.
Yup. Coffee. Hold tight; we’ll get back to wedding videos in a minute. You might already be thinking: nope! Just getting coffee. But you’re NOT. And I can prove it.
Every purchase you make in your day is an experience. Every. Single. One. Regardless of how big or how small.
You can jump into a gas station to grab a cup of coffee, or you can get a cold brew from The Snowy Owl in Brewster. They’re both coffee—but those coffees aren’t REALLY the same, are they?
In our imaginary beginning to our imaginary day today, you have two options for coffee. Coffee is your morning lifeline to your internal humanity. It’s what makes you happy. It helps you deal with people.
Today you have the option of quickly running to the corner gas station to grab a cup of coffee, or you can get a cold brew from The Snowy Owl in Brewster (it’s a boutique coffee shop on Cape Cod for those of you not in the area… if you visit here, you should try it).
Both locations offer coffee that will give you a much-needed caffeine boost—but those coffees aren’t REALLY the same, are they?
“OMG, I’m so tired. I just need a coffee right now to wake me up. Besides, I’m running late. This will do fine right now.”
You decide to get a large gas station coffee. You know, the one with that weak-assed plastic top that always leaks onto your shirt (every. single. time.), and it’s handed to you by a counter clerk who’s looking at you weirdly but never says anything.
You know that weird look, it’s the one where you’re not entirely sure if he’s just having a bad day or if he’s plotting your death. *shudder* Gross. It creeps you out.
You get to your car and take a sip, nearly spitting it out; it tastes so burnt and bitter you can barely drink it. Five more sugars out to help it.
Your stomach starts to protest the acidity of the gas station coffee as you sit in traffic. All you can think about is that creepy dude who gave you a weird feeling. It puts you in just enough of an off mood that you feel grumpy and snappy and you’re not exactly sure why
The gas station coffee didn’t RUIN your day, but it through it off enough to imprint your day with a weird and unpleasant start. And this keeps you a little off balance for the entire day. (Not to mention that creeper was likely the topic of discussion at least twice. Because of that, you actually never forget the creeper—because we never forget the creepers.)
The night before, you set your alarm 5 minutes early so you wake up with enough time to get to your favorite coffee shop and manage to make it to work on time. Why? Because this coffee actually makes you happy. You look FORWARD to this coffee.
It’s just a little thing and it kind of feels silly when you say it out loud, but it’s the little things that make life worthwhile, right?
Your Snowy Owl cold brew is delivered to you by your favorite barista who knows your order without you having to say anything. The barista hands your coffee to you with a warm smile. When they tell you to have a great day, and they look forward to seeing you again tomorrow—you feel like they truly mean it.
Honestly, you’re looking forward to seeing them tomorrow, too.
You get in your car and take a long sip of that gloriously smooth, naturally sweet drink, and smile as the caffeine starts to warm your brain. The lids they use are molded differently. You’re not sure how but they never drip. It’s a tiny detail, but clearly, the owner is thinking of small things that impact their customers’ experience. You appreciate the gesture.
You breathe a long sigh of contented relief. Today’s gonna be a good day. You go about your day with a smile and absolutely crush it.
Did the coffee crush the day for you? Probably not, because you’re awesome. But it sure as hell set you up for an amazing day. And being set up for success is half the battle.
Those people at your boutique coffee shop know the roll they play in your morning is small. But they also know it’s an important part. And they make that the BEST possible experience you can have. They make the MOST of your experience with them.
The obvious difference between the coffee is product quality. That cold brew takes 12-18 hours to make, and the gas station coffee—no more than 5 minutes.
The experience the extra effort put into the product delivers a remarkably superior coffee.
But service also affects how you receive that product. You don’t necessarily think about it when you’re buying it—but it’s true.
The human connection you have as a service impacts the product.
If the service was reversed and your glorious cold brew was delivered to you by Mr. Creeper, while it’s still delicious, that weird experience is going to leave an eerie impression on your day. And you don’t enjoy it the same way.
And if the 5-minute coffee were served to you by a gracious and caring attendant, while it would still not be as tasty or smooth, it would have a positive impact on your day. The appreciation you feel elevates your experience.
So many of us only consider the final product (your wedding film) and what gets us to the final product (your wedding videographers’ skill level), but most folks don’t consider the experience they’ll have as a client (aptly referred to as: the your client experience—mind-blowing stuff, I know).
Your client experience will affect your wedding’s outcome—especially your wedding film.
I’m talking about the attentiveness, mindfulness, and perceptiveness you’ll encounter while working with your team. While these are soft skills, these lovely intangibles mean everything when it comes to receiving exceptional service.
It’s simple but profound. Because simple doesn’t always mean EASY. This is actually one of the biggest parts of a vendor service that gets messed up by inexperienced or blasé vendors.
Your wedding experience (and for my purposes—your wedding videography experience) is everything from how the videographer handles their communication with you before your wedding (are they prompt, courteous, and professional) all the way to “here’s your wedding film—enjoy!” (Did they keep you informed, make you feel included, considerate of boundaries, etc.)
There’s A LOT of interaction in the middle of your client experience area to consider.
And because this is probably your first time getting married—you don’t know what you don’t know—meaning, you know you need something but that’s the only part you know. You don’t even know what to ask because you don’t know enough about it. (And why should you know this? It’s your first time.)
And that’s not an awesome feeling.
A lot of times, this is where I’ll get clients in consultation calls flat out admitting to me, “I have no idea what to ask you, I know nothing about videography.” And then they hope to god I’m not a jerk to takes advantage of that.
They made sure every part of the process was personalized to us and that we got everything that we wanted. It was very clear that they care so much about the work they do and the people they work with.
Elizabeth & Nick
Wequassett Resort Wedding
We’re all susceptible to dropping the ball on our personal values when tempted by what seems like an irresistible deal (ALL THE THINGS AND TOYS!!). But, unlike with coffee, this is a choice you’ll be living with forever. You pretty much get one shot at hiring the right team.
You’re investing in a wedding film that will endure for decades. So make sure you’re investing in exactly what you want. This way, you’ll appreciate your wedding film the same way at 75 that you did when you were 25.
When you’re doing your thorough research, make sure you’re considering all three components.
The first two you can tell by watching their films. But the third one comes from reading reviews and talking directly with the videography team.
Hire a videographer who provides you with an experience that’s worth investing in because this team will rarely leave your side that day. And I’m sure you know what it’s like to be affected by people that rub you the wrong way, especially when you can’t get away from them.
I bet you can think of an example or two right off the top of your head. It’s not pleasant. And it changes your otherwise sunny outlook no matter how hard you try. Someone close to you could probably tell right away from the look on your face something was wrong, right?
Now imagine that happens on your wedding day. And it’s all being recorded for you to remember forever. So it’s vitally important that they’re the right ones for you.
Get to know the people who will potentially be your videography team. What are their values? Are they in line with your own? Do your personalities click? Do they make you laugh and feel comfortable and taken care of—or do you get even a little bit of a weird vibe? Pay attention to that thing that feels a little off.
If you get a great connection right away—lock that down immediately.
In March 2020, when COVID-19 was beginning to get serious in the States, Sean and I reached out to all our couples. Even though it was very early in the process, we knew our couples would feeling worried and disconnected at a time when they should be feeling giddy, full of love, and light as their wedding day was approaching.
I want to make it clear—we were scared out of our MINDS. As professional wedding videographers—where this is all we do for a living—we were terrified we were going to lose everything we worked so hard to achieve. As were all other vendors. No one knew what was going on.
But our clients were terrified, too. They were terrified that their once-in-a-lifetime moment wasn’t ever going to happen. Because our couples are so important to us, and we treat them like family, that’s exactly what we did instead of being scared.
We offered our reassurance—we told our couples how we were vigilantly protecting our health so we would be there for them on their wedding day. As their dates drew nearer, we set up easy-to-access calendars for them and their planners for when they were considering making a Plan B. We explained all rescheduling and cancellation policies in open and friendly terms. If they didn’t already have one, we connected them with planners who were donating their time when their venues closed and were unresponsive.
And we were just there for our couples in general to be someone they could lean on or vent to in this unprecedented time of stress and uncertainty.
While many vendors were afraid that reaching out would trigger mass cancellations—we were happy to be a port in the storm for our clients.
It was important for us to be there for our couples when they need us the most (even though we were just as scared as everyone else was). Being brave doesn’t mean the absence of fear, you just find the strength and face it head-on. Which we did and it made all the difference in the world to our couples.
Now having had the wedding, I can confirm Sean and Cindy are the very best. They are so kind, hilarious, friendly, and talented. They will make you feel like a million bucks on your wedding day, even if you hate being filmed like I do. Cindy leant so much of her time to answering my insane emails and giving advice about things that extend far beyond just videography.Cassidy & John
This is why it’s vitally important to speak with the wedding vendors that you’re considering hiring. Even if they get an amazing recommendation from friends and family, have stellar reviews, and are on every vendor list from here to the moon.
You’re incredibly unique. And it’s important that these people can give you the kind of experience that’s right for you, specifically.
I know it’s tempting to keep everything online and at a distance in our digital world and fast-paced lives. More now than ever, we realize that the human aspect of direct human interaction is necessary for a great connection.
So don’t skip this important step. And don’t let anyone tell you it’s not as important as keeping within a budget.
I realize that sounds crass coming from a wedding videographer, which is not my intention. But there are better places to cut. (Hello, printed programs—why do you exist anymore… literally no one keeps you, you’re just the destruction of a beautiful tree. And what was the last wedding program, invite, or favor you remember cherishing?)
You don’t have to hire us. And that’s fine.
But hire the best wedding videographer who will give you the very best experience. Trust me. No one has ever said, “I regret investing in my memories… if only I splurged on nicer placards, my wedding would have been the best day ever.”
To say that I’m impressed doesn’t adequately express what I’m feeling right now. I write novel-length blog posts. You’ve spent so much time here with me; I feel like I owe you a coffee or a tea, or at least a friendly hug. You know, I suspect if you made it down to this part,
So, maybe you want to procrastinate from doing work a little bit longer (your secret’s safe with us) and check out our site to see what we’re all about?
And if you’re getting a good feeling about our genuine and authentic vibe—we’d love to get to know you. So, please fill out the form on our Contact Page and introduce yourself!
Hello, I'm CINDY CAUGHEY.
Drawing from our experience as a graphic designer (Cindy) and journalist (Sean), we see stories differently. Our films reflect honesty, strength of character, and real moments, all in a way that's natural and comfortable.
Whether our films help you to find the light within or provide a story of your day, we feel this is our opportunity to help your legacy live on throughout time.
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