There's a common misconception that when you get married that you should spend tons of money for high quality stuff. Websites like Pinterest has proven that wrong many times. In a time where venues and caterers cost an arm and a leg, you try to spend most of your time trying to find cheaper alternatives or DIY sites that show you how to accomplish your dream wedding without going into debt. The last thing you want as a wedding gift is a shared debt that will last for years.
Let's try to keep the memories to last a lifetime, not debt. One thing that is for sure though, you should get a photographer and (in my opinion) you should get a videographer too. Pictures are a great way to remember things from your wedding day, but having a videographer will help you remember why that picture was such a cherished memory. Only problem is, sometimes the videographer is not in your budget. You start looking around and find out quick that some videographers are just as much, if not more, than a photographer. Here's how to look for the right videographer.
On average and depending on your budget for a videographer, you may be in the $1000 range for a videographer. You may have just read that and said to yourself, "Holy Crap, I don't have that kind of money for a video guy!" Some people's budget is less and some are more. So just stick with me for a second. When you look around for a wedding videographer, the main thing you want to look at is how they take their payments. I'm not talking about which credit card they take, I'm talking about how much they want for a deposit, how they take payments before the event, and how long do you have after the event to pay off the remaining debt. Looking at this alone will either put some people on your "Yes" or "No" or "HELL NO" lists.
Some videographers will have examples of their weddings that they've shot before and it'll give you an idea if they are worth the price they are asking for. Be prepared though, you will see some amazing work and some terrible work, but pay attention to detail. Look at the shots they capture. You want to make sure that they aren't just catching the important moments, but that they are telling your story through the moments captured. Some people will just put a highlight video together with only the best shots they have and you won't ever see what kind of day the couple had. A good example of what I’m talking about is the guys from Pennylane Productions. Based out of New York, they put out some amazing work, but you more than likely won't want them to travel from New York to California for you wedding unless you have the money to do so. If so, great, if not, let's continue with the cheap alternatives.
You'll want to meet with the director. You'll meet some people and immediately say no because they want to have full creative control over your day. Those are the people who you need to stay away from. Remember, it's your wedding, not their project to make themselves look cool. If a director tries to tell you, "This is how we do our work and this is our price. If you don't like it, then we're not for you." then be sure to write reviews and put the word out on Facebook because they don't care about you, they just care about your money and that's what we're trying to save. You'll want to find a director that says something like, "We want to know what all you have planned so we can make sure we get the best shot possible and we would also like to be at the dress rehearsal so we can know exactly how the ceremony will go so we can plan where to put our cameras so we can capture the moment as perfect as we can.". It may sound cheesy, but trust me, when you're looking for a director, this is what you want to hear. Someone who will work with you to make sure your video is as close to perfect as possible is priority number 1!
If you're like me, you probably think that someone who charges $2000 for a wedding video and only uses IPhone's is a rip off. If you're cool with a family member recording your wedding, then go for it. If you're wanting professional quality, then another thing to look out for is their equipment. I've said in past blogs; bigger equipment isn't always better. Ask what kind of equipment they use and what image quality they offer. Some people offer 4K now, but don't waste your money on that unless you have the TV's at home that support it. When they tell you what they have, be sure to write it down and research it. It'll tell you very quick if what they are using is a good camera and if they really have your best interest in mind. If they only answer with a name brand like Sony or something, be sure to ask which one. The last thing you want to find out is that it’s either a very old camera or it’s a lower model that doesn’t have a good quality image. If they are hesitant to say what they use, then there's the red flag that you've been searching for.
Always remember, it's your money that you're spending on your special day. Don't let others dictate how it should look or how much you should spend. When I got married, we did so much DIY stuff and save tons of money on decorations and it left us with some extra money for the photographer and the videographer. More importantly, don't let a director tell you what you need to do on your wedding day to make the video better. Don't let him charge you tons of money for him to tell you what you have planned isn't going to look good on video. Find someone who will do what you ask and do it well.