The most important step of wedding planning is deciding your budget. Professional wedding videos make for beautiful memories and hiring a videographer is a decision couples do not regret making. That said, it definitely is something you'll want to be sure of early in your wedding planning. As you begin budgeting for your wedding you may find yourself wondering, what will hiring a wedding videographer cost? It’s important to have an idea of what goes into the price of a wedding videographer so you can find one who best meets your needs and your budget. Don’t let skipping the videographer because of cost become a wedding regret.
Understanding wedding videographer costs
It’s important to note that the average wedding videographer cost varies from business to business. Before you write off being able to afford a videographer based on one price you saw, make sure to do your research. Look at several wedding videographers with different years of experience and company sizes. Getting a variety of price points will help you to get a better feel for the average wedding videographer cost in your area. Different videographers have different package prices for a reason and it’s important to know what goes into them.
What goes into the wedding videographer cost?
Prices between videographers may vary, as do the cost of the different packages each videographer may offer. Several factors go into a wedding videographer's cost. Each videographer has business and equipment expenses to cover. This includes not just the costs for the cameras you see on your wedding day but also the software, computers and other operating equipment back at their office.
Videographers also have team members to pay as well as needing to pay themselves for all the hours spent planning with you, going to the wedding and editing the video after. Be respectful of their pricing as a lot of work has gone into calculating that specific cost. Prices are prices and your videographer has a reason for them that they do not need to justify to clients. Do not ask wedding vendors for discounts or for price matching to another videographer you saw.
What's included in the cost of a wedding videographer?
To get a better understanding of the calculation of a wedding videographer’s price calculations, it’s important to remember you are paying for much more than just the hours the videographer spends at your wedding. Too often couples divide the cost of the package by the number of hours their wedding lasts and think they are paying their videographer some astronomical hourly rate when the truth is there are a lot of factors in this price.
First and foremost is the actual service. Without paying for the actual videography time, there’s no video. Beyond the filming that is done on the day of your wedding, there is a lot of planning time that goes into creating that video. This includes time for planning meetings and email exchanges with you and your partner before the wedding day to discuss your plans. This is important for making sure they don’t miss filming anything you have planned, whether it be a first look with your family or a secret flash mob you plan to surprise your spouse with during the reception. The videographer works with you and their team to create shot lists to make sure the cameras don’t miss a moment.
A videographer is useless if they don’t have cameras. Video cameras, lenses, lighting, memory cards, backup memory cards, there is a list of costly yet critical equipment that your photographer has to invest in and insure. If equipment wasn’t important you could just ask someone to film your wedding on their cell phone. Covering the cost and maintenance of this equipment is a business expense that is factored into wedding videographer costs.
Beyond the day-of equipment, your photographer has a list of post-event equipment needed to produce the final video. Starting with the computer(s) for video editing, post-production equipment also includes external hard drives to store all the raw video footage and even fireproof safes to store hard drives to protect your precious wedding footage from possible tragedy. In addition to equipment, videographers have additional expenses such as editing and production software.
Transferring large files can be costly. Depending on how your videographer delivers your final video, they will need to account for subscription fees for services such as Dropbox or other file sharing services as well as DVD and disc burner costs.
Wedding videographer costs also incorporate the behind-the-scenes expenses that keep the business running and growing. This includes everything from office supplies and studio rent to marketing and advertising to accounting and bookkeeping to legal and licensing fees. Also included in expenses are employees such as virtual assistants, office managers or full-time photographers on staff.
Not included in your contract price is the tip for your wedding videographer. Your wedding vendors are service-based businesses. Just as you would tip a server in a restaurant, it’s important to tip your vendors, videographers included. Tips are not required for business owners, which is often who you are working with if you hire a small videography business, but tips are always welcome. Tips for videographers range in the $50 - $200 window.
There are a few other ways to support your wedding videographer that are completely free and go a long way in promoting their business. Start by sending them a thank you card for the great job they did on your wedding day. Let them know what watching your wedding video means to you.
Be sure to write your videographer a review. Reviews make a huge difference for wedding vendors because they provide potential bookers with proof from real couples about what to expect. Knowing other people have been happy goes a long way in building trust. Word of mouth, especially on social media, also makes a big impact on wedding vendors. Be sure to tag everyone who worked on your wedding video when you post it on social media or send it around to your guests.
What impacts a wedding videographer’s prices?
Aside from the fixed costs that go into your wedding videographer’s price, like equipment and production, there are other costs that can affect the final price you are quoted. Situational expenses are often the reason when couples are wondering why they received a different price quote than a friend who used the same videographer. Depending on when and where you hold your wedding, there may be variable costs your videographer needs to factor in.
If your wedding is not local to the videographer, your videographer will calculate travel expenses. This can include gas prices, airfare, and hotel costs the night before and after the wedding so as to avoid traffic and the risk of being late to the wedding. Some videographers have a base travel cost factored into their price that includes a certain number of travel miles or hotel fees already built in.
Some photographers offer the option to add drone footage into your wedding video. This allows for overhead angles of the ceremony, video of everyone treating up the dance floor and views of the beautiful venue you selected.
A videographer sets the number of hours they will be present on your wedding day into their package. If your videographer’s package includes six hours but you know you want them an extra hour to get footage of the end of your reception or other special wedding day event, communicate this as early in the booking process as possible. If this is something that your videographer offers, an additional fee will be added to cover the extra time.
Depending on the size of your wedding, your videographer will bring one, two, or maybe even three additional videographers to assist them. This is something they will discuss with you ahead of time.
Final product and edits
Videographers will offer different deliverables for couples looking to order multiple copies of their wedding video. For example, if you are looking to purchase DVDs to gift to your parents there will be additional costs.
What is the average cost of a wedding videographer?
The average wedding videographer cost varies by location. Hiring a wedding videographer in New York City will come with a much different price tag than wedding videographer costs in a Midwest suburb. This is due to several factors including cost of living and demand for services.
Wondering how much you should save? Hiring a videographer for your mountain wedding in Denver, Colorado can cost an average of $2,000. A videographer for your beach wedding in Tampa, Florida averages $1,100. A New York City wedding can range in the average of $2,000 to $4,000. Like with all services, some costs may be lower and some price points may be significantly higher.
Having trouble finding a wedding videographer in your area within your budget? Consider looking in other cities to find a wedding videographer cost in your price range. You may find there are videographers whose packages plus travel expenses are less than other videographers you have looked at in your area.
Wondering where to start your research? Here’s how to find a wedding videographer.