I am going to start this blog post out with a quote I heard years ago that stuck with me and is so unbelievably true…
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of a low price is forgotten”.
Photos By Andrew Jade Photography
I write this post after a string of inquiries I have gotten as of late that had couples budgeting way too low for a wedding film. I read today on The Knot that the average amount a couple spent on their videographer in 2017 was $1912. I about threw up… Now I am not a fan of “national averages”… There are too many factors to consider for that to be an accurate amount to spend. But judging by the inquiries I have been getting lately for couples wanting a quality wedding film for $1500 the information is out there somewhere that this budget is doable… I am here to tell you that in Phoenix Arizona it is not… Not for a quality wedding film at least. When we started in 2005 we started at $1500 and that was 15 years ago… I would like to the think my sector of the wedding industry has increased pricing even if you are a new videographer on the scene. When planning a wedding you don’t know what you don’t know. As vendors it is our responsibility to help guide you and educate you about wedding world. Let me break it all down for you…
You Get What You Pay For
With a wedding film no words have ever been truer… Can you get a wedding film for $1500??? Probably… But will you be happy with the finished product and experience… The only two things that you get at the end of this momentous day is your photos and your wedding film. Do you really think it is wise to invest minimally in the one thing you get to preserve this day in your life history? And for $1500 do you think you will get an amazing experience? Be serviced properly? Have your entire day documented? Get the deliverables you are wanting? And at what level of experience… Generally in this price point you are getting a weekend warrior or a newbie… Again is it wise to take a chance on a lack of experience with your wedding day? Point blank… the more you invest the better your experience and finished film will be.
What Exactly Are You Paying For
Often times what videographers do and how we do it are unbelievably downgraded… “What’s the big deal… You show up, you hit record and then you edit it… I have an iPhone, I have iMovie… It’s not that big of a deal”. What we do is far more complicated that that… First let’s start out with our equipment. We have to have far more cameras and far more lenses and far more equipment than your Photographer does. We also have to have cinematic tools like sliders, drones and Osmos. All things that create those pretty cinematic and moving shots our couples love so much. All of that equipment costs… a lot… and we constantly have to upgrade it… Then there is the wedding day… We have two cinematographers to document this blessed event. Labor isn’t free… Then there is the bulk of what you are paying for… our editing time, our creativity and our filmmaking expertise. We use professional editing programs that they edit Hollywood films on. It takes an average of 40 hours to complete a fabulous wedding film. That doesn’t include our time meeting with you, prepping for your wedding or wrapping up the details of revisions to your film once we’ve shown it to you. All and all it is a lot of time to create wedding day masterpieces… and our time isn’t free nor should it be cheap.
So What Should You Expect To Pay For A Fabulous Wedding Film
To be direct… For a fabulous wedding film??? Nothing less than a minimum of $3500 in Phoenix. For something more simplified, music video style with less deliverables and less hours of cinematography on your wedding day you can get by with a $2300-$3000 investment. Truthfully anything under $2500 I would ask A LOT of questions and look long and hard at the work. If video is not a priority to you in your budget then you can choose to invest less. However I caution you… You need to think about how much you will have wished you had invested 10 years from now when maybe your grandparents are no longer with you or heaven forbid your parents or other family or friends. You will never regret an investment in your memories. But you will significantly regret it if you choose not to invest appropriately.