Do a quick Google search and Wedding Wire will tell you that you should only be spending $1,500 on your wedding video. Now, I hear ya. Budgets are REAL! But speaking from the perspective of an established videographer, let me explain why that isn't exactly in your best interest.
So how much does a wedding videographer cost?
The short answer, is anywhere from $0-$10,000, and in the case of an ultra-luxury wedding, that number only climbs.
Now looking at that range, you might feel a little confused. How exactly does a wedding videographer price from nothing to a sum like $10,000? Well, there are a few factors that influence a videographer's price range. As you read through this article, consider the value that each of these could lend to your day:
1. Experience and Expertise
2. Type of Business
Probably the most valuable factor to consider when comparing videographer prices is experience. A videographer that's only done a handful of weddings compared to one that's been in business many years is going to approach a wedding very differently. You might not think that matters, but it does. Consider how an expert might handle a wedding that veers off the timeline, has malfunctioning gear, or poor lighting situations--because unfortunately, these things can happen. More often than not, the videographer with more experience is going to be able to adapt more efficiently to unplanned mishaps that happen throughout the day.
This is also where expertise plays a big role. Experts in the field will understand their craft to a level where they can confidently make suggestions on how to optimize your experience, clearly communicate with you and other vendors to ensure your day goes off without a hitch, and run a sustainable business that will deliver consistent results.
Here's a real world example: We once did a walk-through with a bride and it became clear that the reception was going to be set up in a way that was unflattering for the couple's photos and video. Since we're in the business of making you and your wedding look totally fab on camera, we knew that things needed to move around. We made suggestions to hold the formal dances in a place that would show off the gorgeous, ornate décor, and where speakers of the toasts should stand to make the most of the lighting we had available to us. Ultimately, this helped us to create a beautiful film. But, we were only able to make these suggestions because of our expertise, and our ability to communicate clearly with the DJ and wedding planner without stepping on toes. It's important to hire a videographer that is going to be a team player, and not make other vendor's jobs harder.
This one might not be as obvious, but the type of videography business you're hiring will play a significant factor in how much a wedding videographer charges. Consider whether the wedding videographer is part of a larger, corporate company or if they're a boutique business. Corporatized companies typically have a bigger staff on hand, with separate departments to handle marketing, video production, and editing. They are financially driven to churn out as many wedding videos as they can in a year, and their larger staff allows them to do just that. Because they strive for volume and have the staff to double or even triple book events on the same day, they're able to undercut prices quoted by boutique wedding videography businesses.
Meanwhile, a boutique company has a much smaller staff -- usually of only one or two-- and typically focuses more on building a quality experience than the number of events they book in a single year. Most times, the business owner or face of the company is also the filmmaker, so they aren't able to double book on a single date. Because they book less weddings than their corporate competitors, they charge more to maintain a sustainable business.
The fact is, company's are run by humans, and humans have real budgets and real financial needs. No one type of company is better than the other--it really comes down to the overall experience that you're looking for.
Style also plays a big role in how a videographer prices their services. Higher priced videographers may have either found a style that is in high-demand, or crafted their own unique style that only they can fulfill. Depending on the style of the videographer, this might make them in high demand in your area. And, considering wedding videographers can only take so many clients a year, a high demand could push videographers to raise their prices.
Then, of course, the actual services a wedding videographer offers are going to affect the price point. Every videographer is different, and will prioritize different things to include in a package.
A single wedding day can generate SO many hours of work. To use our own business as an example, we log about 100 hours per couple from the moment of inquiry to the final delivery of a film. And because we are a boutique wedding videography company, we wear many hats to run a successful business.
So, to return to the Wedding Wire example---if your typical wedding videographer puts in 100 hours of work, and they're only paid $1,500 for their services, that only comes out to $15 an hour (before taxes) that you're paying a supposed expert and artist to capture one of the most important days of your life. We don't mean to come off in any negative way here--we just know first hand how much time, energy, and devotion goes into crafting each film.
Ok so what do wedding videographers charge?
We've noticed that the starting price structure goes something like this:
$0-$1000: This price range likely is just starting out and has not shot many, if any, weddings. Many videographers just starting out will look to friends or acquaintances to gain experience. This is not considered a professional price point.
$1,500-3,000: This is either a price-point of a high-volume company that mass produces wedding videos every year, or this is a boutique company that is still new and without an established business.
$3,500-4,500: Fairly common price point for professional wedding videographers who have a higher demand. They likely shoot less weddings a year to focus on providing each client more support.
$5,000+: Full-time professionals in high-demand, likely serving a luxury market. Considered top-level experts in their field.
There are general starting prices--you may end up spending $5,000 with a videographer that only starts at $2,500, and that's totally ok! Remember that pricing is not fixed, and that not all videographers operate with the same financial needs and goals.
Should you pay for a wedding videographer to travel to your wedding?
Depending on where a videographer is located, they may include a travel fee into your package price. So, is it worth it to pay for a wedding videographer to travel to your wedding? The short answer: it's up to you.
Videographer's are unique in the way that they film, edit, and color grade. So it's possible that you may not find a similar artist closer to your wedding venue. Our suggestion is always to go with your gut. If you cannot picture anyone else capturing your wedding, we think the travel is worth the splurge. Don't hesitate to ask how the travel cost is broken down and what you'd potentially be looking at.
When shopping around for a videographer, consider the value that you get preserving your wedding day. Any videographer you hire is probably going to work their butt off for you, so you can't go wrong if you've found someone you truly connect with. There is no wrong choice--only the right choice for YOU! Be sure to read our "How to Choose a Wedding Videographer" article next to learn a little more about wedding videography and what you should look out for!