Welcome back to Emily Plans a Wedding! Today I would like to talk with you about our videographer. Yes, we are having a videographer at our wedding!! I am so very excited about this. I’m particularly excited because for a while it didn’t look like it was going to happen for us, and so I’m still pinching myself a bit. I’d love to tell you all about it, and about how we eventually fit video into our budget, because I hope it might help one of you! Let’s go!
As I said, we knew from the very beginning that we wanted a videographer. We hired an insanely talented wedding photographer almost immediately (yay Tanja!) and know without a doubt that come our wedding day, she will do what she does amazingly well. However, because we went over our budget to hire Tanja (which I don’t regret at all!), we only were able to allocate $1,000 for videography in our initial budget. Working at SW, I knew that was far too low, but it didn’t seem there was anything we could do about it except cross our fingers.
On top of the fact that we initially budgeted too little for videography, we didn’t budget anything for videographer travel expenses. Why would that be necessary, you ask? Unfortunately, John and I are not a fan of any of the videographers we’ve been able to turn up in Connecticut, Rhode Island, or Massachusetts. They’re just not our style, and most are so well established as to be prohibitively expensive, at least for us.
Of course, there was one videographer we fell in love with, and of course, they happened to be based in North Carolina. Yes, I’m talking about Inkspot Crow Films.
I had the good fortune to work with MacKenzie and Philip on a shoot SW produced for V4 last summer (you can see their behind the scenes film of the day here!). I, like everyone who meets them (I can only assume), quickly fell in love with their warm personalities and immediately apparent honesty and integrity. Of course, John and I also love their modern but classic filming style, and their story-driven editing. All in all, they are exactly the sort of people you want following you around on your wedding day.
There was only one thing to do, then, and that was inquire about their packages and pricing. Ladies, I was so nervous!! Not because I thought they’d be mean to me or anything, but because before I inquired, I could hold out hope that our budget would be enough, even though in my heart of hearts I knew it wouldn’t be. Do you know what I mean?? And yes, as nice as MacKenzie is, even her niceness couldn’t help the fact that their basic package was three times our budgeted amount. So we sadly parted ways, though MacKenzie did offer to waive their travel fee if we could make everything else work, since they could combine the trip up North with a visit to her Mom. A supremely kind offer to be sure, but still, not much to go on.
Fast forward to two months ago. I received a completely unexpected and very generous gift, and immediately decided to put it towards video. With that gift plus our initial budgeted amount, we were suddenly 2/3 of the way towards our goal. At that point, we knew we could make it work, so we sat down and took an even harder look at our budget. Extra hors d’oevres? Gone. Beloved bamboo chairs? Replaced by less fancy ones. Custom cocktail napkins? Gone. Less expensive (but still awesome!) band instead of more expensive band? Yes. Borrowing a few accessories from dear friends and family instead of buying them? Yes. Mini cutting cake? Now being made by yours truly instead of our caterer. With these cuts and more, we were able to shift enough of our resources towards video to make it a reality for us. Thank goodness Inkspot was still available on our date!
I know that videography isn’t a priority for everyone, and if it’s not for you, then that’s totally fine! But if it is a priority, and you haven’t hired someone because you don’t think you can afford it, I would encourage you to look again. I would make those cuts and more three times over to have a moving record of our day. We have a lifetime to throw parties with awesome details, but only one chance to capture the ones we love the most in action on one of the most special days of our lives. I have never heard a bride say she regrets spending money on videography, but I have heard more couples than I can count say not hiring a videographer is their number one regret. I didn’t want that to be us, and thankfully, it won’t be.
Whenever I got sad about something we were cutting from the budget, I had a few tricks to make me feel better — maybe they’ll work for you, too! First, watching one of Inkspot’s highlight films can always put a smile on my face. I’ve sprinkled a few of my favorites throughout this post! Second, whenever I had a doubt about whether the expense of videography was worth it, I’d go read through Inkspot’s reviews on Wedding Wire. Hearing the beyond-glowing affirmations of past clients is what really tipped the balance for us in the end — not so much about MacKenzie and Philip’s talent (we already were convinced of that!), but of how GLAD and thankful these couples were that they had spent the money in the end.
Trust me, I am not trying to put the lean on anyone to hire Inkspot Crow or anyone else, I’m not encouraging anyone to bust their budget, and I sincerely hope I’m not making you feel worse if you’ve already looked at the numbers and concluded videography’s not in the cards for you. BUT. If you love videography, if you see the value of it for you and your fiance, and if you REALLY want to make it work, I’m here to encourage you!! To finish, here are a few more budget tradeoffs that I think would be worth it in the end:
— Do your hair and/or makeup yourself, or have a talented friend do it.
— Cut back on your bar package.
— Forgo ordering an album from your photographer (you can always ask for it later as a Christmas, birthday, or anniversary gift).
— Buy a less expensive pair of shoes (mine were $35!) or wear a pair you already own. Same goes for jewelry, hair accessories, clutches, etc.
— Skip favors.
— Make one larger menu instead of placing one at each guest’s seat, or drop menus all together.
— Cut back on ceremony decor or cut it altogether. Whether you’re getting married outside or in a church, the focus will be on you and your fiance, not fancy decor, anyway. We might have wreaths on our church doors, but that’s it — nothing inside the church.
— Serve just one hors d’ouevres at your cocktail hour, or none at all. Consider shortening your cocktail hour to a cocktail half hour if you choose to do this.
There are many more ways to cut costs at a wedding, but I trust you’ll find the ones that pain you and your fiance the least :)
Ladies and gents, tell me: Are you hiring a videographer? Whether or not you’re hiring a videographer, I’d love to hear some more suggestions on relatively painless ways to cut costs. I’m sure we could all use some help in that department, and I’d love to learn from y’all!
In case you missed a post…
The main characters
Where we’re getting married
I go dress shopping
We choose a photographer
I ponder bridesmaid style
We’re renting a tent!
We discuss bouquets + boutonnieres
We send out our save the dates
I gather hair and makeup inspiration
We talk cake and sweets
Note: As many of you know, Inkspot Crow Films is a member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory. However, this post is NOT a form of paid advertising, and they did not give me any special discounts for my wedding… though I wish they had :) Just kidding!! But seriously, John and I obviously love them, and this post is the straight-up truth containing only my personal opinions.