How to Save Money on Wedding Videography

More than 90% of couples in the UK hire a wedding photographer, but only one in three couples hire a videographer. Wedding photographs are a wonderful keepsake that the two of you will come back to again and again, and your wedding album might even become a family heirloom that will be passed down through generations.

The same might not necessarily be the case when it comes to a wedding video. However, a third of couples do still choose to capture their wedding on film, which is a more candid way of immortalising their big day.

In the UK, couples who hire a videographer pay an average of £1,300 – £1,500. This is a large expense, especially when you consider that the overall average cost of a wedding is £20,775.

Whether or not you hire a videographer for your wedding will likely come down to budget, with the average cost of a photographer being more or less the same. When it comes to one or the other, most couples choose to hire a photographer. However, there are ways to save money on a wedding videographer so that you can have the best of both worlds.

In this post, we’re going to explore how to save money on a wedding videographer and still have a lovely video you can watch again and again.

Why is wedding videography so expensive?

Photo © Affordable Wedding Videos | See their Bridebook profile

So, with couples paying an average of £1,300 – £1,500 for a wedding videographer, what exactly are they getting for their money and why are they so expensive? Videographers’ rates are based on:

  • High-quality equipment, including cameras, computers, edit equipment, stabilisers, microphones and even drones
  • The amount of time they spend shooting on the day, which could be during peak times
  • The amount of time post-production can take, which can range from less than a day to several days depending on the level of complexity
  • Skills and expertise which may have been refined from years of experience
  • Team and assistance, such as if they have a second camera operator and a dedicated editor

This is on top of other costs the videographer might have, including insurance, travel, software, equipment maintenance and more.

Do you need a videographer at your wedding?

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As we’ve already highlighted, only 33% of couples choose to hire a professional videographer for their wedding, so you shouldn’t feel pressured to hire one if it’s not something that suits your style, preference or budget. With the cost of many weddings reaching £20,000 and above, another £1,500 for a videographer can be difficult to justify. However, videographers will capture your special day in ways that photographers can’t, and a wedding video is a fantastic complement to your wedding album.

12 ways to save money on a wedding videographer

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If a wedding video is important to you but you don’t want to pay costs anywhere close to the average, there are ways to pay less. Below are 12 ways to save money on a videographer and still have a fabulous wedding video.

1. Choose the right video length

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While some couples prefer to have an hour-long feature that documents all the happenings of their wedding day, others choose a more budget-friendly version by asking for a shorter film. After all, the really important elements will all be there, only in a much more condensed format. So, instead of the wedding equivalent of The Lord of the Rings, something smaller will cut the cost at the same time as cutting the length.

2. Focus on the ceremony

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The ceremony is arguably the most important and emotional part of your wedding day. This is when you make lifelong promises to love each other, as your nearest and dearest watch on. This is when all the dads get a bit teary giving away their daughters and when you share your first kiss as a married couple.

It’s also likely that you won’t have much other footage from the ceremony (as opposed to the Reels and stories you’ll see of the breakfast and evening reception) – especially if you ask your guests to adhere to an unplugged ceremony.

Ask your videographer to record just this part of your wedding day, saving you some precious pennies and giving you a wonderful keepsake.

3. Choose a basic package

Photo © Sam Baly Films | See their Bridebook profile

Just like photographers, videographers tend to have package offers when it comes to wedding films. Instead of choosing all the extra editing and special effects, go for the most basic package, which will simply follow the wedding day and generally avoid the more complex filming and editing techniques (as well as extras like a trailer and highlight reel). 

For example, Affordable Wedding Videos in Oxfordshire offer a basic ‘Carnation Package’, which costs just £700 and includes filming from the moment guests start arriving until the completion of the speeches.

4. Attend wedding fairs

Photo © Capture House Weddings | See their Bridebook profile

A lot of professional wedding videographers will attend industry fairs and many of them will offer great deals to the couples who meet and chat with them there. So make sure you go, ask plenty of questions and secure yourself an awesome deal.

Another quick tip is to make your booking early – if you find yourself hiring a videographer at the last minute you might have to pay rates that are higher than normal.

5. Become an editing guru

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If you’re something of a wannabe-Spielberg, you could have a go at editing your wedding video yourself. Your videographer will have hours of priceless, beautifully-shot film from the day that will practically speak for itself. If you’re a tech-savvy couple (or have techy friends), you may be able to do the editing yourselves and save on post-production costs, which is one of the most time-consuming (and expensive) parts.

The good news is, decent edit software is readily available and fairly affordable. Professional edit software such as Adobe Premiere offers a subscription service, so for around £50 you could subscribe for one month, edit your film, and then cancel. Or, there are plenty out there that are free, too. iMovie might not have the functionality of paid programmes, but it’s hard to argue if it saves you cash. Plus, iMovie can be downloaded on a smartphone or tablet, so you can edit on the go.

Do note that if you have no prior knowledge with editing software or any experience in the videography field, you might struggle at first. If you want high-quality results fast, hiring a professional videographer, with years of experience, is the way to go. Turning the raw footage from your wedding into an emotional film set to music, which perfectly tells the story of the day, is no small feat! So, be prepared to compromise on the quality of the final product if you go down the DIY video editing route.

6. Only hire one videographer

Photo © A Beautiful Day Productions | See their Bridebook profile

Some videographers have an assistant who helps them film on the big day, which ensures they get plenty of coverage of your wedding. While this will give you a greater variety of shots and options in the edit, it will also add extra pennies to the overall cost.

You can still have a great wedding film with just one videographer. There’s even the option of setting up multiple unoperated cameras, too. Have a word with your videographer and see what they’re able to do without the need for an assistant.

7. Hire a local videographer

Photo © Into Vision | See their Bridebook profile

The videographer you hire may charge you more if they have to travel a long way to get to your venue, so try to hire someone who makes it clear how far their catchment area covers.

The only exception to this may be if your wedding is taking place in London. Videographers based in the capital can have higher rates than those based outside of the M25, so make sure you get several quotes and weigh up the better option for your budget.

Check out our fantastic range of wedding videographers to find one close to you.

8. Ask a friend or family member to film your wedding for you

Photo © Severn Scent Videos | See their Bridebook profile

Know what the best thing about most of your friends and family members having a smartphone is? You in theory instantly have dozens of guests with relatively high-quality cameras at your disposal.

Consider asking one or two trustworthy guests to whip out their phones and record the ceremony. For a little extra professionalism, you can pick up a tripod that will hold a smartphone and allow for remote operation for around £20. That means your chosen friend or family member can record your wedding without having to miss out on actually watching you exchange your vows. That sounds like the perfect solution!

But again, as with the DIY video editing route, there are drawbacks to forgoing professional videography services. As we outlined above, there’s so much more to putting together a wedding film than simply pressing ‘play’ and letting the events naturally unfold. If you just want the simplest possible footage, and are prioritising minimising costs at all costs, then this could be the best choice for you. However, if you want a beautifully-shot and expertly-edited video which truly captures the story and spirit of your big day, then there’s nothing like that professional touch. 

9. Don’t agree to pay extra for unnecessary extras

Photo © Tom Jehu Media | See their Bridebook profile

It’s 2023: high-definition should always be the absolute minimum standard for a wedding video. If HD isn’t offered as part of a standard videography package, we recommend either insisting upon it or finding a videographer who does offer it at no extra cost.

You may also want to think twice about whether or not you want a DVD or Blu-Ray copy of your film. In the age of streaming, fewer and fewer people have a Blu-Ray player, anyway. A USB stick, or even just a download link, should be more than enough. Then, if you change your mind later and realise you do want a DVD copy, you can use your home PC to create one without much trouble.

10. Hire an up-and-coming videographer 

Photo © Wedlock Films | See their Bridebook profile

The more experience with shooting wedding videos a videographer has, the more they’re likely to charge. Of course, this experience will help them produce a fabulous video, but a videographer with less experience should still be capable of creating something magical.

It’s also worth remembering that less experience isn’t the same as no experience. If you hire a videographer who has never made a wedding video before, you’re unlikely to get a final product that meets your expectations. Then again, even the most skilled and experienced videographer had to start somewhere.

But, it’s about balance, and while an inexperienced videographer might not have a huge portfolio, they’ll have loads of enthusiasm and will want to impress you – and if they can do that while making sure you pay less, it might just be worth the gamble.

11. Avoid using drones and other expensive equipment

Photo © G&G Weddings | See their Bridebook profile

If you hire a videographer who uses a lot of technical and expensive equipment, like drones, then that can seriously add to the cost. Of course, sweeping drone shots will look stunning, cinematic and romantic in your final film, but it’ll likely cost a small fortune.

So, if you’re on a tight budget, speak to your videographer and let them know you want to keep things simple to help keep costs down.

12. Avoid peak times

Photo © ChrisJFilms: Wedding Videography | See their Bridebook profile

The date your wedding takes place will have a big influence over the cost of your videographer, as it will over many other aspects of your wedding. If you get married on a Saturday during the summer, you’ll pay much higher rates than you would if you got married on a Tuesday in winter.

If you can, try to plan your wedding during off-peak times. Not only will you pay less for a videographer, but for your venue, your catering, your transport and more, which will help your overall wedding budget. 

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