Why do wedding videos cost so much?

I have no doubt that most, if not every bride wonders why wedding videographers charge so much for their packages. And, yes, that is a very good question. So let's break it down by discussing three broad categories that go into creating a wedding video.



EQUIPMENT

This is varied depending on the videographer but most likely includes the following:

- Multiple cameras for multiple views

- Multiple camera lenses

- Audio recording equipment such as individual small microphones and recording device(s) and cables to connect to the DJ's sound system

- Stabilizing equipment (gimbals) and stands for the cameras

- Filters for the cameras to counteract harsh light in outside weddings

- Camera and microphone batteries

- Lights for reception settings

- Light stands

- Possibly 1 or 2 extra videographers


This is a short list that does not take into account the cases that are used to carry all this equipment, wear and tear of the equipment requiring replacing parts (i.e. stickies for the microphones, battery chargers, etc) and other little bits and pieces that, can quickly add up. This also does not take into account the quality of the equipment. If you're wanting a 4K picture, you can trust that your cost is somehow going to reflect that. Camera bodies, that means WITHOUT the camera lens, can be as much as $5000! Some are more expensive than that. Hence the saying, again, "you get what you pay for." Now, listen, I'm not trying to be rude. I honestly am not. But these are things that MANY people (including myself before I got into videography seriously!) are not aware of. So if you find that "deal" where you get a highlight for 6 minutes, a full ceremony edit, all day coverage, audio vows recorded, for only $1200, be very, very careful. Someone who is producing high quality wedding videos is highly UNLIKELY to charge that amount because it wouldn't even cover their basic expenses, let alone allow them to make any profit.


FEES

Depending on the element, fees can be recurring throughout the year or an annual fee. Here are a list of things a videographer will be paying a fee for when it comes to producing each wedding film.


- Music license fee per song (can be upwards of $60 per song, the better the quality, the more expensive the song)

- Insurance for equipment (which some venues require before allowing videographers on their property). This is typically an annual expense.

- Renting fees (for any extra equipment, like multiple cameras, specific lenses). This is cheaper than owning the equipment since a lense for a camera could be $2000+.

- Fees for editing software. Yes, the software that is used to edit videos/films do typically have a fee associated. Some pay this monthly, others annually.

- Delivery costs. This can include digital or USB methods, shipping, etc. This can be costly, meaning the more films or the longer the films are, and the better the quality of the films, the more storage that is needed to deliver these films. The more storage, the more expensive the delivery method fee.


TIME

This is a HUGE one. While it make take 4-10 hours to obtain the footage of your wedding day, it will take MANY hours to edit into a cinematic wedding film unique to you and your day when it comes to highlight films. First, all that footage has to be stored safely, sifted to remove the poor footage, and synced with the audio recorded during the ceremony, toasts, etc. Then the music has to be found, which can take hours (depending on the wedding videographer). Then that footage has to be compiled into a "story" according to the music your videographer deems best for you. This can be 1 or more songs, depending on how long your film is. You're talking 4-7 minutes, easily 2 songs. Longer than that? You get the point. :)


So then, after all that footage is compiled, it has to be color graded. This means giving your film a certain color/look that is specific to the wedding videographer's style. You'll see some with a light and airy look (beautiful but not my style), versus a rich and deep color look (my style). Of course, there's all types in between, but that would probably be the two extremes to reference. That means every individual clip has to be looked at, edited, and formatted to the overall story and music. It's tedious! And for those videographers with type A personalities, this is a process that takes a while to do and usually why their costs are expensive... especially if you're looking at a high quality product. Then comes the editing of the audio. The videographer will be editing the audio of what was recorded during the day in comparison to the music licensed for the background. The goal is to make it seamless and where you can clearly hear vows or speeches without the background music overpowering. This is also a huge time-consuming process.


Then some will go the extra mile to sound design, meaning putting the sounds of nature into the film, where appropriate. And any other sounds that help bring your film to life (for example, "foley") for each clip that's being played. For example, I had a wedding where there were outside chandeliers blowing in the wind. For that particular clip, I added a "chimes" audio sound that truly made it come to life as if the sound of each glass lightly hitting each other as the wind blew, was captured when I recorded the footage. Spoiler alert... it wasn't. But those watching would never know! I mean, now the secret's out. But this is all a part of a time-consuming process to make YOUR film as high quality as possible.


THEN think about doing this all over again for a full ceremony edit, etc. This is why videographers will charge what seems to be a high price for a "small" video. I know some brides cannot believe the cost of a 4-5 minute highlight film of their wedding day. But if you take into account ALL of the above, this is why you will see certain differences in the quality of the films produced and their associated prices. I know, a lot of food for thought!


SO my advice is just to keep a little bit of this in mind when you are shopping for a wedding videographer. If you want high quality, double-check and see what you're willing to pay for it. If that doesn't mean much to you, then there are many options out there but I'm sorry to say, I'm not sure you'll be happy with the product!


This is just a small snippet of the process and thus the resulting costs of wedding videography, but I hope you found this helpful! If you have questions about it... let me know. And if you're wanting to keep the costs down but the quality high, check out my other blogs! There are some options to consider there.


'Til next time,

~Ruth Elaine


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