Wedding Films, Wedding Planning Tips

Wedding Tip: When to Book Your Wedding Video

Now.  The answer to that question is now. Now is the time to book your wedding video.

JK.  But not really.

The wedding timelines you see online all vary greatly in the answer that they give, and are straight up when they tell you that it all depends on the kind of wedding video that you want.  If you’re looking for the cheapest video out there just to have one, you will be able to book that pretty much any time.  New people start every single day and are always looking to fill their weekends.

If you want a MotionWorks wedding video, you want to book as soon as you’ve set your wedding date. (If you’re not in our area and have your eyes on another talented boutique videographer, my advice is the same).

Here’s why:

My Calendar

If you read my recent post on boutique wedding videography, then you’re familiar with how we do business.  Basically, when you book MotionWorks to film your wedding, we (Chris and Rebecca) show up to film your wedding.  We don’t have 5 teams of interns that we’re sending out every weekend, we’re not scrambling the week before your wedding to hire a warm body with a camera. We’re showing up to film your wedding.  The laws of physics being what they are, I can’t be in two places at one time, and our calendar fills up quickly.

By booking in advance, you get your date on our calendar before it fills up.

Wedding Calligraphy Details
Unlike Mumford and Sons or your dearly beloved, I will not wait for you. Book your film today.

Quality over Quantity

Not only does our calendar fill up, but we also don’t book every available date on which we could possibly be filming.  The main reason for this is our edit.  It takes time to create the edits that we do for each of our wedding films.  We know how much time we will need to work on each one, and we also know that if we book too many weddings each year, we take time away from the editing timeline of each of them, and we’re not willing to compromise our quality for quantity.

This number isn’t a hard and fast number like the dates on a calendar.  Editing happens on our own time, so it’s much more fluid.  Just like everyone else, during our busy season, we buckle down and spend long hours in the editing studio so that we can deliver the best films, on time, to our clients.  We do all the usual things you’ll find professionals doing: scheduling all of our conferences and education during the off season, making our ‘to-do’ lists of all the things that need to be done around the studio for when we’re less busy, making the most of every moment of time.  Sometimes, we find we can fit in an extra wedding or two, but sometimes we just can’t.

We’re also always working and improving our workflow.  But our bottom line for those changes will always be “Are we producing a better product and getting it to the clients quicker than before?” not “Can we edit this faster to book more weddings.”  We know you want to see your wedding film as soon as possible, and we’re always working toward that goal: the best film, at the best time.

The other reason is that wedding days are glorious, beautiful, wonderful, and LONG days.  We’ll spend the whole day with you. We’re getting up early, staying up late, and carrying a bunch of gear.  The day after your wedding, you will likely wake up and think “That was the best day ever” and also “I am so tired.”  Both are equally true.  I think the exact same thing when I wake up the day after your wedding.

We don’t often book weddings back to back (ie, Friday and Saturday, or Saturday and Sunday) for this reason, and when we do we are sure not to do this more than one week in a row.  Because while all things are possible with proper hydration, good shoes, Motrin, and a little caffeine….they are not sustainable that way.

Your Budget

A wedding video is still one of those things that often gets thrown into the category of “Let’s see if we have money in the budget after we’ve booked everything else.”

Newsflash: you will not have money in your budget after you book everything else.  In fact, most couples will get near the bottom of their wedding checklist and have to cut corners.  Often, if they’ve left video at the end of the list, they decide that it’s a thing that one or both of them really wanted, but now the budget is too tight to accommodate.

I get so many inquiries for weddings this month with the disclaimer “We’ve already spent our whole budget so we were hoping you could cut us a deal” and they name a price that is less than 1/2 or 1/3 our usual wedding package.  Sadly, the answer is ” I can not.”  Not only would it be incredibly unfair to all the clients who planned, booked in advance, and paid our listed price (or even the ones that booked during one of our specials, of which we run about 2 per year)….but also, I would lose money on that wedding.  It’s not that I don’t like you, or think your wedding would be wonderful….but no matter how famous you are on Instagram, I don’t need more work for my portfolio. I need to eat and pay my mortgage.  Honestly, all of the weddings that we film are gorgeous and great for our portfolio.

It’s a bit of a misconception within the creative industry, that the check you write us is the money we keep.  It is not.  All of us, no matter what field, have a set overhead cost.  Our cost of doing business.  Most of us have complicated spreadsheets to calculate this for every project, and that number is the number we use to determine how much money we charge for our products.

Some of those costs are variable.  Costs will be less if we charge less.  Like taxes, which…no surprise here….is by and far the largest and completely unavoidable portion of our overhead. I’m not talking about the itemized 6%-7% line item for sales tax you see on your invoice, I’m talking about the almost 30% that most creatives and small business owners take straight off the top to pay to Uncle Sam for the privilege of doing business in America….we do not get the same tax breaks as corporate America does.

Some of those costs (insurance, the cost of maintaining all that expensive gear we use, etc) will remain the same no matter how much I charge, and if we give you that special deal….we end up making less than minimum wage to work your wedding.

So not only can I not cut prices to help you out, but if you wait until close to your wedding date, you no longer have a wedding budget to work with, and you no longer have the time needed to stretch that expense out.  Just like any other expense in life, while most of us might be hard pressed to afford it at the last minute, if we have an entire year to pay for it, the cost is something we can manage.


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