Recently I attended the ISES REC meeting in Atlantic City.  I was a panelist at two one-hour educational sessions.  In both sessions, I was asked to discuss how a wedding film can tie the guests emotionally to the event.  Unfortunately, what most planners in the audience acknowledged was that “wedding video” was not only seen as a low priority by some clients, but it was even expendable!

Prepared for this discussion, I of course brought along a couple of clips to show the audience.  The first clip was a Same Day Edit we did last year.  I felt this film demonstrated that there is really no better way and no better time to present the highlights of the day than that same night.  This split screen presentation we created after the event shows how the couple and some of the guests at the reception reacted to the film.  But that wasn’t the film that got people asking the most questions.  What did that was much simpler. 

I showed the following Maid of Honor’s three-minute toast.  This very simple scene turned out to be the most cherished moment of that day for the bride and groom, Holly and Bill.

After watching Bill and Holly’s clip, four different wedding professionals came up to me and told me that the “Wedding Film” just moved up their lists as one of the “Must Have” items at a wedding.

So why do some not see the value?  We ask that same question often of clients who say, “I wasn’t going to do video.”  All of us have been to at least one wedding where video cameras were in the way of the guests during the ceremony.  Recently, a photographer friend of mine told me of a wedding where three video cameras on tripods were circling the cake on the dance floor, blocking not only the guests’ view, but made it difficult for even the photographer to get a good shot.  Naturally, most people don’t want that, but it’s pretty much burned into our DNA that this is what a videographer does.  The short films I presented in Atlantic City showed everyone that a well made wedding film is a very different experience, often with guests unaware a film is being made.  It was great to see their reactions!

Even when clients do order a video, they typically are not budgeting as much for video as they are for photos.  Could it be that clients don’t want the same quality in their film as they do in their photographs?  Maybe not, but advice on what a videographer should get paid is everywhere, usually recommending that more be spent on photography.  Even is a little unbalanced with their Wedding Budget Calculator.  TheKnot’s calculator recommends 6%-7% of the entire wedding budget should be set aside for the photographer and only 5% for the videographer.

This misconception is often not realized until AFTER the wedding.  Bill and Holly admitted it would have been a huge mistake to not buy a film.  They “weren’t going to do video” until they found us two weeks before their wedding.  They certainly are glad they changed their minds now.  Check out this email we got from them:

As we began planning for our wedding, we initially thought that our pictures would be enough to take us back to our wedding night and that we didn’t need a video. But when two weeks before the wedding the opportunity arose to have CinemaCake film our special night, we jumped at the chance. I can honestly say it was one of the best decisions we made. At the end of my wedding night there were so many memories that I wanted to hold on to and I knew that pictures would only tell part of the story. And now that I have our film from CinemaCake, I know it would have been a huge regret to not have it. Our wedding film literally takes me back to those exact moments and emotions. You listened to the things that were most important to me about my night and made sure they were all included in the final product. It truly exceeded my expectations. I cry every time I watch it.


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