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Y’all, I legitimately teared up reading all of the sweet comments on our wedding posts this week! (In case you missed them, they are here and here.) Thank you, thank you, thank you. I was thrilled to have the chance to share our photos with you, and now, our highlights film. As stunning as Tanja’s images are, there’s just something about seeing a wedding day in motion that is unlike anything else. Enter Inkspot Crow Films.

In this post, I mentioned that one piece of advice I had for those still planning was to “do what feels right for you.” There were many times throughout our engagement that people thought we were crazy for the decisions we made, and flying in a videographer from North Carolina was definitely on that list. However, I didn’t give naysayers even a second thought on this point, because I knew in my heart that there was no one else for us besides MacKenzie and Philip, and I was right, gosh darn it! Please enjoy…

For those of you still struggling over the videographer question, I’d encourage you to read this post I wrote about our decision-making process. You can also check out this post that I wrote with my videography thoughts after our wedding.

P.S. You can see all of our vendors listed in this post!

Inkspot Crow Films is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily
  1. avatar Sarah Jane reply

    OHHH! Couple of things…Watching this makes me so grateful that I decided to go ahead with a video, even though it wasn’t initially in the budget! As gorgeous as your images are, there are so many sweet moments that the video brings out. Also, I chose a veil nearly identical to yours, horsehair border and all! After seeing how it moves in the breeze, I am even more in love with it! I’d never heard of Sperry tents before reading your blog, but I almost wish I needed a tent so I could have one – those flags are just so festive :)

    Gorgeous day, Emily…your details are charming and wonderful in every way.

  2. avatar Clara reply

    The view is breathtaking!

  3. avatar Kat reply

    Emily THANK YOU for pushing wedding videography!!! Reading your thoughts, along with a few others by bloggers I love, really helped my fiance and I realize how NECESSARY videography is… and now, seeing your video come to life makes it all seem so RIGHT! We officially booked our videographer yesterday and I am SO grateful we made it work in our budget; It wasn’t initially in the budget but man I just knew it needed to be! Your still images are fantastic, but you’re right, the video is priceless…it’s a beautiful video girl. Thank you for sharing your thoughts so openly with bride-to-be’s! Your words of wisdom really do help!

    • avatar Emily reply

      Kat, I am SO glad to hear it. It sounds like you are in exactly the same situation we were in, with videography not being in the original budget, but I promise, you will NOT regret it. With all the things we spend money on over a lifetime, I can think of few better ways to use it than to record those precious few hours of your wedding to look back on for years to come.

  4. avatar brett reply

    philip and mackenzie, you two are ridiculous. beautiful, as always!

  5. avatar Southern Traditions: Anniversary Gifts, Part 1 – Southern Weddings Magazine reply

    […] Y’all, can you believe that John and I have been married for almost a year?? Sometimes it seems like just a few minutes ago that we were sharing our wedding photos and film. […]

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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If, like me, you were eager to see Kelsey + Brandon’s bourbon bar and black and white dance floor in action, then you’re in luck! Please enjoy their film from the talented Inkspot Crow Films, and have a wonderful weekend!!

P.S. More wedding films

Inkspot Crow is a fabulous member of our Blue Ribbon Vendor Directory!

emily Written with love by Emily

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

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    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
    Mini food!
    The music
    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.

    emily Written with love by Emily
    1. avatar amanda reply

      I’m curious to this too. I’m not sure if I really need a videographer or not! I’m dying over the new videos like Inkspot Crow but I KNOW I can cut things, but also my budget IS small, around $15,000 total in Raleigh. But I found a videographer whose prices aren’t bad but I’m already chipping in for the photographer and maybe the invitations myself (photographer is unbeknowst to my family but I just HAD to have her so I fudged the price a little) so I’m just not sure! Ah! I’m curious to how other brides/wives/brides to be feel about this! So I’d love some response too. :) Yay for your ability to get Inkspot Crow!

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Amanda! We’re definitely chipping in for things ourselves, especially for things that are traditionally considered “extras.” Our budget is split as follows: 43% my parents, 32% John’s parents, 14% John and me, and 11% my grandma. We definitely could have cut our budget and not put in any money ourselves, but I think of our budget contribution as being for things (like, perhaps videography), that I wouldn’t necessarily expect our parents to pay for, but that are extremely important to US as a couple. I hope that helps a bit! :)

      • avatar Brittany R reply

        Emily: I love that you let us in on your budget percentage breakdown. So glad to hear that someone else is having their groom’s family paying for a significant portion of the wedding! I think that’s more of a reality these days anyways. Thanks for sharing!

    2. avatar Jessica Stephens reply

      Emily you won’t regret it one bit! Hiring a videographer for our wedding was hands down the BEST money we spent on our wedding. We had to stretch a bit ourselves ( smaller centerpieces at the reception, less decor, bought cheaper shoes, my best friend did my hair, etc.) but I wouldn’t trade it for anything! We honestly watch it all the time between my nieces and nephews who want to see me in my “princess” dress :)
      See for yourself if you would like!

      • avatar Emily reply

        Oh Jessica, I love hearing from people like you! Can’t wait to watch your video! :)

      • avatar Jessica Stephens reply

        Emily: Oops! I meant to post the trailer ( ) not the full length! Sorry about that!

      • avatar Ashley, Indie Atlantic Films reply

        Yay! We just love Jason and Jessica!! Your wedding was by far, one of our most FAVORITES to capture!! You guys are just AMAZING!! :)

      • avatar Ashley, Indie Atlantic Films reply

        Hey Brandy, we would love to chat with you about our packages and what we offer. We can customize our packages to fit within your needs/budget. Send me an e-mail and I would be happy to send you our price guide. :)

        Indie Atlantic Films
        [email protected]

    3. avatar Victoria reply

      I don’t know if I want to spend the money on a videographer. I went over my photography budget, and I’m SO excited about that aspect, and I just don’t know how often I will watch a video…I know I would love having it, but I’ll be just as married without one and I feel like my photos will cover everything I want them to. :)

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Victoria! If you aren’t passionate about having videography, then 100% don’t do it!! It’s by no means a necessity. And, knowing the amazing choice you’ve made for photography, I know that will be a wonderful way to remember your big day by :)

    4. avatar NatalieG reply

      Hey Emily,
      I was looking at your post about your photographer using … just wondering if you ladies at SW could suggest a photographer in the AR area :)


      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Natalie! I’m happy to try! Unfortunately, I just am not familiar with too many (if any!) photographers in Arkansas. My best recommendation would be to bring someone in from a neighboring state. Josh McCullock is one of my FAVORITE photographers and he’s based in OK. Amanda Watson is also a great photographer based in OK, with a bit more of a vintage processing style. I hope this helps a little bit, and if I think of anyone else, I will definitely email you! Best of luck with your search!

    5. avatar Jennifer reply

      I hope you share some clips with us of your happy day! What is your new last initial going to be? What colors are you using? I may be able to help you on your wreaths for the church doors. I DIYed two for our church doors & have some helpful (budget friendly) tips.

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Jennifer! Of course I will share!! My new last initial will be T :)

    6. avatar Jenna reply

      I loved this post. I admit I was a little nervous when I started reading that it would end up as a case where you were granted some sort of special privilege (although I guess since I know you and know who you are that wouldn’t make sense with your personality!), but I loved how it all worked out. You are a real bride talking about how you make things work, and I love reading your posts. I look forward to watching your video and seeing so many faces I recognize (and love!)

      • avatar Emily reply

        Thank you so much, Miss Jenna! Yes, I think it will be especially fun for you to watch our video :)

    7. avatar Ashley Pepitone reply

      There are oh, so many things I would have done differently if I could re-plan my wedding, but probably the biggest would have been to hire a videographer. I had never seen the beautiful, artistic work that is available now and I just kept envisioning the cheesy reels of yore. Good on ya for recognizing the importance of capturing the sounds, sights, and movement of your day- not just for you, but for future generations to enjoy.

      • avatar Emily reply

        The work that some wedding videographers are turning out now is SO different that even just a few years ago, don’t you think? Honestly, before we found Inkspot, we would rather have just filmed and edited something ourselves (with the help of family and friends, like we did for my sister’s wedding), than hired someone whose style we didn’t love!

    8. avatar Kelsey reply

      Emily, I totally agree – I had such a similar situation! There was no room in the budget for videography when we started planning, so I put it out of my mind. Then I started interning for a wedding planner here in Raleigh and realized what I would be missing out on! I started inquiring about prices – was pretty crestfallen like you were – but then decided we just had to make it work because I’d regret it if we didn’t do it! I decided to go with somewhat of a beginner on the wedding scene, because his prices are still lower than most, but he has excellent experience in videography and filmmaking in general. We’ve decided to dip into my fiance’s savings to cover it, but I think it will be so worth it. One thing my videographer does that I’m really excited about is interviews with those special to the bride and groom – I think those will mean so much to us to watch over the years! Something else for brides to consider is that even though photography will capture the moments, it won’t capture the voices of those you love (like your groom saying his vows!), the music, or the action of things you might not see, like the groomsmen getting ready and guests arriving! :)

      • avatar amanda reply

        Kelsey: I live in Raleigh and I posted about thinking of whether or not I did want a videographer but if you have any recommendations for a lesser price I would totally be interested in looking at your vendors if you don’t mind! It seems the people I find in the magazines scattered about town want $3,000+! Which is definitely and physically out of budget for sure! Thanks!!

      • avatar Kelsey reply

        Hi Amanda! I am using Peyton Lea (Peyton Lea Productions: Weddings are not his main thing, but you could certainly inquire! He just started his own company and previously worked for Exum Photography. Also look at f8 in motion ( They have been doing wedding photography for a while, but more recently started doing videography. You could definitely do either for less than $3,000!

    9. avatar Kelly reply

      Videography is something that I so desperately want, but haven’t had the courage to ask my fiance to put in the budget. I would love to be able to share our vows with our children or grandchildren as well as relive our best friends’ speeches. John and I are covering all of our expenses ourselves and he just wants to throw a great party. I am hoping that once it all comes together we can find a videographer that I love and he wants to pay for. It will probably be one of the last decisions we make, which will also limit we can book.
      I hoping that I can cut corners in other places on top of the savings we have already found so we can afford it. We blew a lot of our budget on an expensive venue but it doesn’t need much decor. I LOVE flowers, but we won’t have any floral arrangements outside of bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres. John proposed with candles so I think it would be great to incorporate them. Everywhere.
      I won quite a few contests, including invitations, a birdcage veil, a gift certificate for our DJ among other items.
      I used a Groupon for Vistaprint for to get our save the dates that I designed which ended up costing $24. I opted for a postcard design so the postage will be less. I plan to do the same for our RSVP cards to cut out the cost of an extra envelope as well as cutting postage there.
      I go back and forth on this, but I love baking and might end up making cupcakes or purchasing donuts to make a tower topped by a cutting cake.
      We selected a caterer that will allow us to bring in our own alcohol, so we can purchase a couple of kegs and some wine. Anything that doesn’t get consumed, we get to keep.
      These are just some of the ways we are keeping our budget in check, and hopefully we can get everything we want!

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Kelly! Love all these ideas! I also love candlelit weddings, so I 100% go for it!

    10. avatar Sarah reply

      Hi Emily, I was so glad to see this post, and am thrilled that you hired Inkspot! Your story really resonated with me as I went through the same agony and decision process, and was eventually able to make room to hire Inkspot Crow for my wedding in August as well! I’m especially excited as MacKenzie’s sister Meredith Perdue is our photographer, so it’s going to be quite the family affair!

      It was so reaffirming to hear another bride going through the same thought process, and making the same decision! Best wishes — I can’t wait to see your highlight video!

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Sarah! Oh, I’m SO happy to hear that! I completely adore MacKenzie, Philip, AND Meredith, and I know you will be in excellent hands. Can’t wait to see YOUR video (and photos) pop up on their blogs!!

    11. avatar Brandy reply

      I am currently struggling with this decision as well. I am trying to figure out if we want to add the expense right now or not. My gut feeling tells me i will regret it if i dont but it’s so expensive for a good one. I have considered hiring Inkspot, Heart Stone, or Life Stage Films. I am pleased to her that Inkspot was willing to work with you guys but still unsure. I am absolutely LOVE Life Stage but I am betting they are pricey. Has anyone used any of these videographers in the past?

      • avatar Emily reply

        Hi Brandy! I have worked with both Inkspot and Lifestage before (and we love Heartstone, too!). Inkspot’s basic package is $2,900 (or at least it was when we booked them). The package with Lifestage was about $5,000, I believe, so they are more expensive, but we loved working with them, as well. Other readers have posted some good options on this post that you might want to look into: Indie Atlantic (FL) and Peyton Lea (NC). I also JUST heard about another Wilmington film company, Blueberry Fusion. I’m not sure what their pricing is like, but they could be worth a look!

      • avatar Brandy reply

        Emily: Thanks! I will take a look at your suggestions. Such a hard decision!!

    12. avatar Kelsey reply

      We’re using MacKenzie and Phillip for our June wedding and I couldn’t be happier! I struggled with finding a videographer too because I knew what style I wanted and our budget wasn’t working with us. I’m so glad we figured it out because I know our video is something that we’ll watch (as will our family and future children) for years to come!

    13. avatar Katie reply

      I can’t believe I just now discovered this post, because this is the battle I currently feel like I am fighting. We’ve been going back and forth on the videographer for about 6 months now, and every time I think we are going to move forward with booking, something happens to change that (and by “something” I mean we lose the funding). I definitely think there are many places we can cut corners, it just comes down to finding something quality that’s not going to cost over $5000 total (we’d prefer something around $4000). Also, our wedding takes place in southwest VA, so choices there are extremely limited, which means we always have to pay for travel. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

    Reply to: