When you might not be able to afford a Wedding Videographer

Hi friends, I trust that you’re doing well today, thanks once again for coming back to the blog, for everyone that’s new, welcome!

One of the major things I’ve gotten over the last roughly 20 years as wedding filmmaker is this: “Josh – we love your work, but we can’t afford a videographer for our wedding, it’s just not in the budget…”.

Hey, I get it.

Listen, I’ve been a groom before myself, I know how costly things can be with regards to weddings and the costs of them. Even here in SWVA where wedding costs are less than the national average, it’s still a stretch to some couples. Well today I want to provide you a few things that you can do where you can afford wedding video, put it in the budget and still have a great wedding too!

Listen, I want to tell you some important. A video, while it’s at the bottom or your list or it’s a “well see what’s left in the budget” mentality, it’s honestly one of the MOST IMPORTANT services from your wedding that you can get, I’ll talk more about that in a minute.

Trim the Fat Elsewhere

But first, one of the first things you can do is trim the fat so to speak with regards to your wedding budget. Without expanding your budget, go back to a few things on your wedding punch-list and adjust some things. Here’s a couple of examples for you to think about during the planning process.

Say you have a budget of $1,400 for a wedding dress (that’s typical in our area btw).

Instead of spending $1,400, spend $1,100 instead. Sure, you might not get that $1,400 dress you want but shaving a few hundred bucks off can help push those funds towards a wedding video or film.

Think of it this way. You’re going to spend $1,400 on a wedding dress that you’ll honestly wear less than 10 hours, maybe 12 tops. Instead of spending $140 in a dress that honestly, you’ll never use again, buy a less costly one and take that extra funding and put to the wedding video.

Another great example is the wedding photographer. Here in our region of Virginia, the typical cost of a wedding photographer is about $1,900. Yes, $1,900. Now before you start complaining that there are $500 wedding photographers, the cost is an average of what clients pay. Some pay upwards of $4,500+ in the area too. Instead of forking out $2,000 for one, try limiting at $1,500 instead. You’ll still get a great wedding photographer in our area and again you’ve found another $400-500 for a wedding video without expending the budget.

Just in these two examples you’ve been able to find $700-$900 for a wedding video.

Ask for a Budget Service

One of the great things about what we do as filmmakers is that we come in all breeds. From basic documentary guys to full blown cinematographers charging $10,000+ there is usually a solution for just about everyone in the marketplace. Here at Wedding Films (aka Roanoke Wedding Video) I focus on the middle tier couple with services ranging from $475-$2,300 in price.

Sometimes couples can’t swing $1,500 because they’re already outside the scope of trying to trim the fat so to speak and that’s fine too. I offer a basic ceremony video service for $475. It’s me, couple of cameras, wireless mics and an audio recorder. While its no frills, you get a clear picture, great audio, and a replacement warranty for 10 years too.

My point is this, think about getting more of a basic video than a film, yes there is a difference. While many couples choose a feature film, sometimes a basic video is just want you need and that’s perfectly fine as well.

Look for the Deal

If you can swing a bit more, many of us wedding filmmakers and videographers offer an online deal, usually on the website or social media page.

For example, I put up a great money saving deal every 60 days or so and I run them throughout the year. In the wintertime, November- March, I typically offer my best rates, 35-50% off my normal rates. During peak season, not so much, although I always have specials that can save a few hundred off on certain packages or collections as I like to call them.

My suggestion is to ask us if we have any deals running and how can you best save in the process. If you ask, typically most of us will work with you, the worst is that a wedding filmmaker says no and that’s fine as well, you’re not out anything.

You can also see if we offer monthly payments too, I’ve been offering 0% in-house financing for many years and it’s a great way for couples to be able to get their film without having to sacrifice the budget all at once too.

The Most Important Service for Your Wedding

Right now, you’re not thinking about it, but a wedding video or wedding film is the most important thing that you must remember the day. It’s true, in fact couples that didn’t get a video for the wedding, roughly 97% of couples in America state that they regret not having one. By year two it’s 98% of couples.

Think about this, the venue you booked after a year has had another 20-40 weddings on the property most likely, the wedding photographer, caterer, florist, DJ, officiant, and all the money you spent on the day, gone. Now that’s not a bad investment because hey, it’s your wedding day and it’s a great experience!

But, do you remember what you had to eat for lunch three weeks ago on a Thursday? What about two months ago? Most likely not and that’s my point.

Unlike anything else, a wedding video allows you to relive the day, listen to what you said to each other, what people told you, see the emotions on your face and how you expressed them to each other too. A video also allows you to see friends, family and even loved ones that might not be with you any longer.

It's a time capsule and when you hire one of us wedding video professionals, you’re not just getting a video, you’re getting a moment in time that you can relive over and over again, something you can share with your children and family and something to take out every year to watch at the anniversary.  

For those that have reservations about hiring us because of changing formats, talking about how video formats have changed in year from VHS to DVD to BluRay and now streaming, one could say the same thing about wedding photos too. Not 20 years ago photos were only on photo paper, there was no digital media, there was no jpeg, png or raw file. Formats are always going to change over time with any technology, just look at cell phones or computers we use today versus the ones we had 10 years ago.  Today, all wedding videographers use digital technology (linear computer systems) to edit your film. You can have it on a USB, YouTube, in a multitude of formats and still be able to watch them 20, 30 or 40 years from now.

Listen, invest in your wedding the way that you want too but remember after the stoke of midnight and everything goes back to normal, you’ll wish you had everything on a video that you can relive whenever you want.

Thanks again for checking out my blog and be sure to check out my experience of having an affordable wedding video or film for your big day!


Joshua Gabrielson

Wedding FIlmmaker