So you’ve hired a photographer. You secretly already think that’s pretty darn expensive, and then you have it in mind to also have your wedding filmed. And Good for You! It’s a brilliant idea and something that many couples say they regret not doing. Those that did get their wedding filmed often say it was the best money they spent. But then you see the eye watering costs. Why is it so damn expensive? Did they just bump up their prices because it’s a wedding?

Well I’m going to break down the costs here for you so you can see what kind of expenses a videographer incurs in the making of a wedding film.

1. Equipment Investment

There is a huge price of entry to becoming a wedding videographer. Although tech is becoming better and more affordable, which makes creating a wedding film an actual realistic proposition at all, it’s still mighty expensive and you need a lot of it to be able to do justice to a wedding. Here’s a list of some of the gear that I own.

  • Multiple (3) 4k cameras capable of shooting at 60 frames per second.
  • Collection of lenses that can be used on ups to 3 cameras
  • Multiple gimbals capable of holding the weight of a mirrorless camera and lens plus accessories
  • Multiple tripods with fluid video heads that can make smooth camera movements.
  • Monopods for video with fluid heads.
  • Multiple light fixtures capable of outputting light at different colour temperatures
  • Small lighting LED fixtures that can be used to light detail shots
  • Multiple high quality audio recorders and lavalier mics
  • Multiple 6inch field monitors to see what we’re filming more clearly
  • Huge numbers of spares for everything from batteries to cables
  • Protective cases and bags for everything.
  • Multiple drones
  • All sorts of accessories including everything from light stands to microphones
  • A high spec editing computer with professional audio monitor speakers and acoustic treatment
  • Hire of any equipment you don’t own

Not only that, but tech is constantly being improved and in order to create the best quality films possible, it’s necessary to continually invest in new equipment. The cost of this equipment alone is enough to stop you making a profit for considerable time.

2. Subscriptions

Filmmakers have various other ongoing costs that are required to do what they do. Here’s some of the ones I have:

  • Software subscriptions. The best software is expensive so it’s charged on a monthly basis. Other software needs to be purchased on a one-off basis.
  • Music licensing subscription – this allows the use of high quality music in your wedding video without copyright infringement
  • Gear insurance and Public Liability insurance
  • Media hosting solutions such as Dropbox and others
  • Website and hosting costs.
  • Marketing costs
  • Effects and Filmmaking assets
  • Training and education

3. Time

Time, as they say, is money and it takes a lot of time to create a wedding film. Even a highlights film of 4-5 minutes can take weeks to edit. Shooting a full day is 10 hours, and the edit takes far longer, but then there’s plenty of other time investments such as consultations with the couple and planning the shooting.

Film makers also need to learn and hone their craft which requires many many hours of education.

We also need to pay for personnel that assist us such as second shooters.

To Sum Up

To run a successful business, all of these things need to be accounted for in order to make a profit. For a full time professional, this needs to be enough to support a family and pay the bills as well as the business costs as a self employed person. I hope this illustrates why making a wedding video can be so costly. But why do people do it if it’s such a massive investment of time and money? Simply because it’s incredibly rewarding to help record memories of such special moments in people’s lives. Not only are you creating a work of art that can be fulfilling in its own right, but it brings a huge amount of joy to married couples to be able to re-live their big day and have a beautiful historical record they can hand on to future generations. It’s one of the best jobs and an absolute pleasure and privilege.