How can I find an “affordable” wedding videographer?

Updated: Oct 16

Ok people. Let’s be real. When you say “affordable” what you really mean is “cheap.” Insert smiley, laughing emoji here. Yes, I know. When I was engaged, I asked the same thing. The truth is, most brides are looking for the best quality film ever for the cheapest cost. This… is not realistic. At ALL. And I do say this respectfully. Why? For many reasons, some of which are mentioned in Blog 2. And yes, my next blog will tackle explaining what goes into the “price tag” that wedding videographers charge. For now, let me say it is not impossible to find a truly affordable wedding videographer for a great quality film. Here are a few options to help out with this.

Look for an upcoming wedding videographer

...basically, a new wedding videographer. I.e. someone who is just starting to film weddings, someone who just finished film training school, or someone branching out from photography to wedding videography. You can find people like this by asking in bridal or wedding vendor oriented FaceBook (Fb) groups or even videography Fb groups. Or ask your local photographer if they know of anyone. This is a great method because these individuals know about the equipment and editing software needed for videography, and likely have experience with shooting and editing already so you will get a better quality film than someone who has no experience whatsoever.

Reduce your hours of coverage or film type

Limit the hours of coverage and what films you’re asking for. Meaning, it’s unrealistic to expect a highlight reel, teaser, full ceremony edit and whatever else you’re thinking, including the raw footage, for less than a thousand bucks. Unless someone is just throwing your films together, this is a tall order for a quality videographer to commit to. Consider asking a videographer who you would like to hire but maybe is out of your budget, to give you an offer for producing a highlight reel of several minutes for only a few hours of coverage as opposed to the whole kitchen sink. You might be surprised at what he or she offers you and it may be exactly what you didn’t know you wanted. *Shameless plug here. This is something I am a huge fan of and I offer in what I call an “Elopement-style” package. (Formerly a B.O.B. package, a.k.a. “bride-on-a-budget” package). It includes almost everything that I can possibly offer for my basic highlight reel package with the exception of limited hours of coverage. For this package, I limit the hours of coverage I provide which is strictly to obtain footage before, during, and immediately following the ceremony. For me, I take wedding videography extremely serious because a bride and groom are trusting me to capture their day to remember forever. That is a huge honor! So I give my absolute best when I’m filming and producing a wedding film. Which means it takes up a great amount of time, effort and cost to ensure this. In order to maintain that high standard of quality but make the price more budget friendly for any bride, I reduce the hours of coverage for what is considered the moments of the day… the ceremony and the events immediately surrounding it. Find someone to do this for you and the beauty is, you'll at least be guaranteed the quality of what you're wanting.

Buy footage/film edits after the wedding day

Book a videographer for their basic (cheapest) option and following the ceremony, see if you can go back and purchase more edits. Some videographers save the footage for a certain period of time for this very reason. By doing this, you can save whatever funds to go back and obtain what you want. It’s not a hard fast rule to book for everything before the wedding if your budget doesn’t allow in the moment. Just check that this is a viable option with your videographer before planning on something like this.

Film your own footage, pay someone to edit it for you

This one is a possibility, but again, probably takes planning beforehand. See if you can have your own cameras (GoPros, etc.) set up strategically or filmed by designated trusted loved ones at your wedding. Once you have the footage, see if someone can compile this into a film for you. There are issues with this in the sense of the quality of footage obtained. Videographers, ones that produce high quality films, will make sure their camera settings are best in the moment that your day’s events are recorded. Exposure, aperture, white balance, shutter speed, and other such settings are key to dial in correctly so the post-production process is optimal. Having loved ones try to fill in for an experienced videographer is risky but might be doable. And things like professional audio, licensed music, will likely not be accounted for. What will likely be tricky is getting all this footage to someone who can edit it into a film for you. There are basic editing software available that could possibly do the job but this option is full of risks. For a day as special as your wedding day, I would say go with one of the previous options.

Whatever you do… just book a wedding videographer. This is one of the biggest regrets that I hear brides having and I truly believe a videographer is just as vital as a photographer. So budget for it and don’t fall into the category of being one of those who later regrets skimping out on it. Hopefully one of the options listed above gave you an idea of some affordable options to consider.

'Til the next one. God Bless,

Ruth Elaine

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