There are two things I can’t change: that having a great video of your wedding day is an important investment for couples, and that it’s also expensive. But expensive doesn’t have to mean unattainable. After all, most of us are driving around in our own car, carrying delicate little computers in our pockets. We recognize that these expensive things have become necessities in modern life for most of us, and we budget for them. We also get a little help from sellers on these, and that is where I come in with regards to a wedding video.
Wedding Video Payment Plan
The costs associated with a Wedding Film through MotionWorks are unchanging. I have a bottom line that needs to be met. While I wish I could lower that, I can’t. I have a finite number of wedding days that I can work, a finite number of hours that I can dedicate to editing, and certain costs necessary to provide the kind of products we do. Those things make up the boring equation on how we establish our pricing.
What I can change is how and when we accept payment for your wedding video. You see, it doesn’t matter to me if you pay me all at once, or in comfortable payments right up to your wedding date. Unlike your car dealership, financial institution, or cell phone carrier, I also don’t need to do obnoxious things like charging your interest or adding on fees for the convenience of paying at a comfortable rate. I use a client management system (Honeybook, in case you see that name in our emails or other communications) that allows me to set up your payment schedule and it automates the rest. So it doesn’t require any extra time from me, meaning it’s not something for which I need to charge extra. So I don’t.
Our default payment schedule is 50/50. Half due upon signing your contract with us, the remaining balance 30 days prior to your wedding. Many of our couples prefer the simplicity of this. We have some couples who prefer to pay the entire thing all at once, and some who prefer to split the balance into smaller payments, beginning with the date they sign a contract, ending 30 days prior to the wedding date.
Why pay before the wedding?
Well, it’s industry standard. You’re probably finding that most of your wedding vendors require payment in advance. The reasoning is that you can research us to see if we are reputable companies, who show up when we say we will and provide the product we advertise. If a vendor doesn’t do that, consumers have quite a few courses of action they can take to get their money back*.
Vendors really can’t research our clients in this way, and it’s actually a complicated and expensive process to extract money from people who were supposed to pay you, but did not. Larger companies account for this by building those costs into pricing. You pay for that credit check when buying a car or even picking up the newest iPhone through your cell phone provider. You pay interest and fees, which gives those companies the means to go through the process to get their money back when they aren’t being paid. Most of your wedding vendors are just like us: small business owners who have no desire to become a financial empire. We just want to create beautiful things, and charge the money we need to live off of to do it.
*You can get your money back, but you can’t get your wedding day back. This is why I recommend thoroughly vetting your wedding vendors. I use photographers as my example because it’s a creative service that almost everyone uses. You might take a chance on an unvetted or new photographer for some family photos, yearly reunion photos, product pics, headshots, senior photos, etc. A friend who wants to try things out. If you have time to spare on a possible redo, then the risk is pretty low. But for once in a lifetime events or delicate situations, hire a tried and true pro. Yes, we’re more expensive. Yes, it’s worth it. In my mind, this is for your wedding, birth events, and other sensitive sessions like newborn or boudoir. The first two only happen once, and both posed newborn photography and boudoir photography requires a specialized skillset. Babies, particularly newborns, can be injured by inexperienced photographers trying to achieve difficult poses, and a skilled boudoir photographer can make ANY woman look and feel amazing, while an unskilled one can make the most beautiful woman look awkward and question her self image for years. Don’t gamble on those things.
Prioritizing Wedding Video
A big part of managing your overall wedding budget is deciding which items are a priority for you, and allocating your budget toward them. It’s so tempting to see all of the ideas and options for truly amazing weddings and get carried away, as the expense of the items that are truly important to you.
There are a billion wedding blogs out there that will recommend that you cut this vendor to afford the other, etc. I’m not going to do that. Because only YOU can decide what’s important for your wedding day. I hope it’s a video. I’ve written a lot about why I feel that a wedding video is a crucial investment for a couple. Martha Stewart, The Knot, Brides, and every other major wedding publication has written about the importance of wedding video.
Is Hiring a Wedding Videographer a Must or a Maybe?
In short—it’s definitely a must.
– The Knot
I feel it’s important, they feel it’s important, but only YOU can decide if it’s essential for your wedding. If it is, allocate your budget in that direction, and book early to be able to spread out payments with a payment plan.
The Cost of Wedding Video
There is a whole thing around what the ‘reasonable’ cost for a wedding video is. After so many years, the word ‘reasonable’ associated with wedding vendors tends to make me bristle a bit. The phrase “doesn’t cost an arm and a leg” gets me downright exhausted.
Nobody wants your limbs. I just want to give myself a paycheck that covers life basics and these expensive shoe inserts that my feet now require on 12 hour wedding days. Our prices are reasonable for the service we provide.
But I get it. There’s a disconnect. What you and your family members (some of whom might be helping you pay for this wedding, all of whom feel like giving input on what you should be paying for this wedding) see is paying someone to show up for one day. Yes, it’s an important day, but it is just a day.
On my end, it’s so much more than just a day. It’s the 10 hours that I put planning and preparing for your wedding, my time to come to rehearsal so that we’re fully prepared for the ceremony. Filming your actual wedding day. Then over a week (cumulative) of editing your films. That’s just the time aspect of what I do, none of the other things that matter: insurance and cameras and oh my gosh all the hard drives.
I have a whole separate post for those of you who are really interested in why our films are priced as they are. It’s full of details about our film packages, but also things you might need to take note of and ask others about if you’re shopping around. Most of the things on my end aren’t things you are likely to care about, so I explain a bit about how boring things like insurance affects your wedding film. If you’re still shopping around, check that post out for some helpful wedding planning tips.
If you’re done shopping around, you’ve watched our films and you are ready to talk about booking a wedding film with MotionWorks, let’s do it! I’m happy to answer any questions you might have or meet up in person to go over our contract and payment process!