In 2011, it was pretty easy to find a wedding videographer simply because your options were limited to a handful of vendors. Today, there are lots of companies offering wedding videography, many in your own backyard. Having options is a good thing; it means you get the best value for your wedding. You can be picky when it comes to finding the right team to film your wedding but you might not know exactly what things to be picky about. Here are 6 things we recommend considering when looking for your wedding video vendor.
1. Communication and responsiveness
This is the first on our list because it’s so important. How quickly does your potential videographer respond to your emails or calls? It’s 2017; people expect to receive responses to their emails within a few hours or less. You’re bound to have questions about your wedding video, maybe lots of them. Having open and quick lines of communication with your vendor is important. If your videographer isn’t responding to you quickly in the early stages of the conversation, they probably won’t be quick to respond when more pressing things come up later. A quick response also shows you that the vendor cares about you as a client.
2. Location of the videographer
The location of your videographer may not seem like a big deal but consider this…travel costs money and if your videographer has to travel to get to your wedding, they’ll charge you for it. Travel fees may not amount to much, but wouldn’t you rather have a drone or an extra hour of coverage over paying your videographer to drive or fly to your wedding?
Also, we think it’s important to meet with your videographer face-to-face in the preliminary stages of deciding who should shoot your wedding. Yes, Skype and FaceTime calls work but meeting in-person allows you to determine within a few minutes if your potential videographer is going to be a good fit for your wedding. This way, you’ll know if the team is one you can get along with and work with.
If you’re getting married in Grand Rapids or locally in West Michigan, consider a team who knows the area and won’t charge you for travel. There are lots of good options right here in town and they do just as good a job as those in bigger cities.
3. Videography Team
Who will be on your wedding shoot? Is it the person or people you’ve been interacting with during the initial meetings? Or maybe they’re sending the summer intern to shoot your wedding because you didn’t buy the most expensive package. Ask your vendor who will be on the shoot and make sure you get to meet them too. Some companies have a client rep who meets with you and gets you to sign the contract but they won’t actually be at your wedding. We’re not saying these companies do a bad job but there is a definite advantage to interacting with the team who will actually be at the wedding. When you do meet your team, ask them about their experience in the biz, just to make sure you know what to expect.
How flexible is your videographer in terms of schedule and last-minute changes? Wedding schedules can change quite a bit and you may need your videographer to show up at a different time or shoot for another hour. Are they going to be double booked on your wedding day in which a schedule change can derail your videography plans? You probably won’t know about last-minute changes when meeting with your videographer but you can certainly ask them about their policy around schedule changes and adding additional coverage at the last-minute.
5. Experience in the industry
How long has your potential videographer been in the wedding industry? Weddings can be their own kind of animal in terms of video production. They can be stressful and flexibility is key. You can’t re-take the kiss at the ceremony and you have to make sure your audio is crisp the first time. So, being able to “run and gun” is crucial in weddings. A videographer well-versed in video production in a studio or commercial setting may but limited in wedding experience may not be the best choice. The good news is that a lot of video pros get their start in weddings so most are experienced to some degree. Just ask about the experience level of the videographer on your shoot and it’ll all be good. Sometimes you can find an awesome videographer who doesn’t have a ton of experience, they’re just getting started in the biz. The best thing you can do is talk to a few different vendors to see what’s out there and make sure you watch some of their previous work.
Depending on the kind of package and coverage you’re looking for, you can expect to pay somewhere around a few thousand dollars for your videography service (for the Grand Rapids area anyhow). If it varies widely from that, ensure that you know why you’re paying a premium for the service. Seek to understand the vendor’s pricing up-front; we’ve heard from a lot of couples who thought they understood what they were getting but then later realized they had to pay more to get that. Some companies will nickel and dime you for “add-ons” that rack up your bill fast. Don’t be fooled; higher prices and fancier package options do not always equate to better quality. We can’t stress enough that you view their portfolio and see if you like the vendor’s style, that’s ultimately what will be most valuable to you.
The moral of the story here is to do your research. Consider your options and if you’re looking for high quality and affordable videography, give us a shout.