Congrats on your engagement! I'm so excited for you! During your search for a videographer you either have seen so many prices you don't know how much to invest OR you haven't started looking yet and you're just now asking yourself, "How much is a wedding videographer?"
Every videographer that creates wedding films is completely different. Some may have some similarities, but their experience, work quality, filming style, and demand are all different. Because of this, there are many different price ranges and the average cost of wedding videography varies greatly. So what are the price points and how much is a wedding videographer?
Typical Videographer Starting Price Points
Beginners $1000-$1500 This person is just starting out and may not have even shot a wedding yet. My first wedding was free and my second was only $500! Videographers in this range may be college students or people just starting out, so their prices will be lower. However, their lack of overall experience and proper equipment may be evident in your experience with them and in the quality of the final film. How important is a video of your wedding day to you and can this person deliver to your expectations? If video of your wedding day is really important, you may want to consider someone else with more experience. If not and you just want your day captured in video on a budget, then maybe this the route you take.
Amateurs, Hobbyists, and the Outsourcers $2000-$2500 Those that are at this price point may just do a few a year on the side for fun or aspire to become full-time wedding professionals, but are still refining their workflow and style which could be reflected in your final video, their equipment, and the planning process leading up to your wedding day. They aren't necessarily beginners, but they haven't been doing wedding films for more than a year or two.
You also need to be aware of companies that subcontract or outsource the video work to random videographers and slap their name on it. They may not touch your wedding film at any point along the way. These companies will contract tons of weddings every year and are focused on quantity over quality. You'll find their ads on social media offering photo + video for under $2500 or films for under $2000 with long coverage hours and long edits. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Seasoned Amateur $3000 - $3900 This person has a couple years of experience and likely does weddings on the side of their normal job. Otherwise, this price point could be a gamble on what you get resulting in okay quality at an okay price. If video isn't super high on your list, but you don't want a beginner, this may be the price point for you. However, if video is really important to you and you want top quality, you're going to want to hire a wedding industry professional or even a luxury wedding videographer.
Wedding Professional $4000 - $6000 This person has several years of wedding industry experience or more and may even do wedding films as their full time job. You'll find packages and options that are thoughtfully put together to fit your wedding day and their style has been refined and established. In addition to a beautiful film, professional wedding videographers typically give a seamless experience in all facets of the booking & planning process leading up to your day and have professional-level options for delivery. If a gorgeous video is on your wedding day must-have list, then this definitely is the price point for you! If you want more insight as to what a film by a Wedding Pro has to offer, read my other blog post below!
Luxury $7000+ This person is a Wedding Professional that specializes in high-profile, destination, or luxury weddings. Because of this, their films and filming style are in ultra-high demand. These films have many of the same overall features as your typical higher-end wedding professional, but offer a few bonus extras including same-day edits, multi-day shoots, and larger crews to create that Hollywood feel.
Why are the prices what they are?
Wedding videographer prices have many different factors. A few may be experience-related, location, or style. But why are prices so different? If videographer A and B do it for $xxx, then why can't Videographer C?
More experience and a higher skill level translate into better films and therefore higher demand. If you want to have a great videographer with high demand and limited availability, they're going to have higher prices. Especially if they film weddings full-time.
Another lesser-known fact is that video production can also be expensive for videographers, both in time and actual expenses. Videographers pay for music subscriptions, editing software, cameras, lenses, computers (all of which cost THOUSANDS of dollars), drones (also expensive), audio equipment, second videographers, taxes, retirement, office expenses, gas, rental of additional gear, etc. That's before a salary is taken or money is put back into the business.
For us, close to 30-40 hours per wedding is spent editing each film so it's absolutely perfect for you. So if you add up the hours planning, driving, filming your wedding, and editing your film, a videographer quickly invests almost 80 hours of their time per wedding. This means a videographer charging $2,000 - $2500 is likely making, at most, $25-$30 an hour before expenses!
How much should you invest in wedding videography?
How much you personally should invest is a tough question to answer because of so many factors, but I checked around and did some research to be able to answer that question for you as best as possible. The truth is, the price points above really do line up with the type of videographer you would get and how much you should expect to invest in a wedding film. However, at the end of the day, what you invest is really is up to you and depends on how much you value a wedding film and its quality. Is it a necessity to you or a luxury? I may be biased, but a high quality wedding film is always worth the investment to relive your wedding day whenever you want!
Visit Strata Wedding Films for more!
Check out my other article on "What to Look for In Wedding Videography Packages."
Read about why "A Cinematic Wedding Film is a Wedding Day Necessity."