Hey guys, Dalton Young here, destination wedding videographer and photographer. And I want to talk to you really quickly about a couple of things. The number one question that I get asked when brides reach out to me is, “How much are your services,” or, “What’s included with your packages,” et cetera. So, want to talk really quickly about why that question gets asked. That question usually gets asked because typically, in many scenarios, this is the first time someone is planning a wedding or they may not have a better question to ask them because they’re not really as familiar with the services or what else is there to look for, right? I mean, we all understand money, we all understand deliverables, what’s included, but we don’t really know what other questions to ask sometimes when we’re shopping in a market that we may not be as familiar with. And that’s the number one reason that question gets asked.
But I just want to bring up a couple of reasons why those are valid questions because A, asking the price is a huge part, right? You have a budget, most likely you have a budget and you need to stay within that budget. So, that’s normal. The problem becomes when someone reaches out to me, “We want a wedding film. How much is it going to be?” I mean, there are a lot of variables there, right? They have a lot of questions. What are you looking for? What kind of wedding is it? What kind of films would you like? How many hours of coverage do you need? And then, you have different brides that are searching for different things and that is just looking for an overall different product, whether it’s a different style or they’re looking for something simple, they’re looking for something more complex, they’re looking for full collections, they’re just looking for a single video.
And they also have different expectations of quality. Now, most of the brides that reach out to us are expecting top-of-the-line quality already. So, that’s a good thing unless they haven’t reviewed our brand. Again, sometimes, brides spend all day on our website and some never even look at our website or see our films and just come straight and, “Hey, how much is it going to be?” Again, these are just things to think about when you go and ask for a price. Just understand that there are more variables there than A, we need to know, but B, you also need to know. I wrote an article and it’s on my website, it’s called 5 Tips To Hiring The Perfect Wedding Videographer, and it also applies to photography as well, a little bit different but basically the same principles. Because most brides come in, “Hey, how much is it going to be and what’s included?”
While both are very relevant, there are other things you really need to think about because let’s say you get in touch and I’m going to give you 10 different things and it’s too expensive. I’m going to give you 10 different things but they’re low quality and they don’t meet your criteria for what you’re actually looking for, right? And you’re going to get a mixed response, different vendors offer different things at different quality points and at different price points. So, you have to understand that when you ask those questions, you’re going to get mixed results, right? There are other things to consider though past the… or past the investment price, past what’s included like, have you thought about the experience? Not only the experience of that person, right, you want someone who is featured, who is award-winning, who has shot hundreds of weddings. You want that, right?
But I’ve also met people and other vendors that have done this for 10, 20 years, and their style, or their equipment, or their methodologies are also reflecting that 10 to 20 years of experience. Sometimes in a good way as in their very seasoned and sometimes not in a good way because they may have not really adjusted to the times well, they may not have updated their equipment with the times well or they’re just, their editing style together may be totally different. So, you have to really do your research. There are so many variables that play here. But it’s not just the experience of, “Hey, I’ve been shooting weddings for 30 years, 40 years.” There’s also the experience for you, right? What about your wedding day experience? What about the experience that when you go back and watch this video, the emotions that you’re going to feel?
You’re going to think back to this moment, to this day for the rest of your life. It’s just one of those moments in your life when you need to make sure that you do have the right people because it affects your experience, happiness, and the kind of people. You want to have a wedding where it’s that, kind of the people you want to be around, the ones that make you feel good. And I’m just giving you words now that my brides say in my testimonial videos, you want someone that makes you feel comfortable, whether that’s, for example, whether that’s me or whether that’s someone else. You need to find who works for you, who matches your personality type, and who matches your vibe. You want someone that you flow really well with on your wedding day because you’re going to spend all day with them, right?
You spend all year planning and then you’re going to have this one day where everything comes together and you have to spend all day with someone. You want to make sure that they’re an all-star fit for your team. And that’s the other part of it, your team. How the vendors together is an integral part of your day actually being a success. If one vendor is a bad apple, it will spoil the entire bunch. You don’t want to have one bad vendor because it can potentially wreck the rest of your wedding, your wedding experience, at least. You may still, everything’s going to go fine, but what happens when a vendor doesn’t get along, right? And that’s a big reason why a lot of couples hire us for both photo and video because we have a vendor team of people that actually get along, know each other, and work really well together.
We create that experience and really bring it to the table. Because here’s the thing, you don’t want to worry about it. The last thing you want to worry about is, “Do my vendors get together,” and, “Oh no, someone’s having an issue on the wedding day.” That’s the last time to be having an issue. There are already enough moving parts on your wedding day for you not to have any more issues. You don’t need more issues. You just want to focus on getting married, having a stress-free day, and having an experience you’ll remember for the rest of your life. So, hiring the right team to create the right experience for you and having a team that is experienced in weddings, not doing this part-time shooting wedding, shooting commercials, shooting everything else. Full-time wedding videographers, full-time wedding photographers, and people who live and breathe weddings.
That’s who you want on your wedding day, right? They’re going to create that experience. They understand it inside and out and they’re going to bring the experience to the table. And then, when you get those deliverables, it may only be one. It may not be 10 different things. But guess what? That one thing is going to be awesome. Right? It may not be cheap, but it may be a significant investment. But guess what? It’s going to be one of the best investments I promise you that you spend on your wedding. Because you’re going to wake up the next day and again, going back to what my brides tell me all the time in my testimonials and the video testimonials is that the next day’s a blur, right? It’s not that you won’t remember anything, but it’s going to go by fast. There’s a lot happening. A lot of things come together at once and it goes by really fast, right?
All this year, all this anticipation, and it all happens at once to celebrate your marriage. And having these things to look back on for the rest of your life, that’s a really big piece, right? And then, last but not least, the one thing, I kind of skipped and I want to go back to it is, want to talk about understanding you’re having someone who understands, again, this is back to the full-time professional, having someone that understands their equipment, right? There are a lot of people out there that are new to this industry and many wedding vendors actually do this part-time. They do this on the side. It’s kind of a side hustle. I’m not saying they’re not talented and not skilled. But again, a lot of times, vendors aren’t as experienced with their equipment as you might think because they simply just don’t do it day in and day out.
They may not understand the different settings, and how to roll through a wedding seamlessly. And then, there are things to look at like, are they still shooting in full auto? Are they shooting in manually? Right? How do they shoot, right? Are they using autofocus? Are they using manual focus? And if they’re using autofocus, which is totally cool, do they have a good autofocus system? Right? This goes back to having quality gear, right? Because autofocus systems on today’s cameras are a lot different than they were five years ago and 10 years ago. Again, having someone that understands composition, how to frame the subject, that understands lighting, and how to basically make you look your absolute best in any given situation. Because how you look outside in the shade versus the sun is totally different, right? How you look inside near a window versus inside not near a window makes it totally different.
So again, understanding composition, understanding lighting, understanding how to shoot with different, like with video, we have to focus on things like the shutter speeds and we have to focus on things like your aperture and things like that and basically, how shallow that depth of field is. And these are all, this may sound like, if you know photography, photography or videography, you’ll probably get what I’m talking about. But many people don’t know what that means and that’s okay, that’s why they hire experts to do this job. Especially on a wedding day, it’s kind of a situation, there are no redos, and you kind of got to get it right the first time. But what’ll happen is if you hire someone who’s newer to the market or just getting started, they may be shooting on lower-end equipment. The autofocus systems may not be good.
The lens is just as important as the camera and the lens may be cheaper and you may not get the desired looks that you’re looking for depending on the aperture as well as the focus systems in those as well. So, having all that come together and having someone that is shooting, like for example, in manual, you’ll have that person that comes in. If they’re new, they’re probably still shooting auto or they’re shooting a hybrid of auto and/or some form of auto basically where they’re using auto features. And auto features have a time and place, certain automatic features, but it’s not a same-time thing. Right? You have to understand every situation is different. So, being able to adapt and adjust on the fly is a big piece. So, again, as you go through your wedding day, you want to have an amazing experience with someone who’s talented, who’s experienced, and who cares ultimately about your wedding day experience, because you’re going to have to look back on this for the rest of your life.
So, that’s what I would focus on. Don’t come in just asking for, “Hey, how much is it and what do I get?” I mean, you can do that. It’s important to know those so you have to find an investment you’re comfortable with and a package that you love, a collection that you love. But at the end of the day, you also have to understand that you should be focusing, in my opinion, more on your experience of your wedding day. Because once it’s all said and done and over with and all the liquor’s gone, all the food’s gone, the DJ’s packed up and out of the house, what do you have? What do you have to look back on? All that year of planning, what is your keepsake, right? And that all comes together with the planning that you make now when you make that decision on the right vendors and build the right vendor team to create the ultimate experience for you while giving you the quality you deserve as well as providing at an investment that you’re comfortable with.
You don’t want to be in the planning phase and be stuck with an investment that you simply cannot grasp. You’re having trouble coming up with it. Because what you will do if you overextend in the budgeting part, is you’ll find yourself kind of irritated during your planning phase. And sometimes, that irritation, and it’s just money. Money does that sometimes to people. And you don’t want to find yourself stressed out during the planning process because then you might be overall stressed with your wedding vendor. And then, at the end of the day, again, it can affect your overall experience. So, just something else to think about. So, if you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me. Again, my name’s Dalton Young and I look forward to talking to you soon.
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Photography/Videography: Dalton Young Weddings