According to Conde Nast Bridal Infobank, the average cost for a wedding photographer is $2,600. For having your wedding videotaped, you could expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 up to $7,000 or more. While realizing that these wedding photos and wedding video will serve as a lasting memory of your wedding day, you may not want this to be a lasting expense. Following are some important things to consider when selecting yours and wedding videographer and methods for reducing costs.
The Wedding Photographer
- Shop around! Photographers' fees vary widely depending on experience. Spend time researching to select the best available wedding photographer within your price range.
- Hire a wedding photographer that gives you your negatives. This way you can make as many copies as you wish without having to order them directly from the photographer. If you choose one that will not provide you with the negatives immediately, find out how long they keep them on file so you can obtain them when they are ready to dispose of them.
- Be sure to look at the photo packages available to make sure yours won't cost $50 for a 5x7.
- Hire the photographer to stay for the most important aspects of the reception - the first dance, cutting the cake, the bouquet toss, etc. - then send them home when all that is left is dancing so you're not paying for their time.
- Leather albums are expensive. Consider putting together your own album. Just be sure to use acid-free paper.
- Ask your wedding photographer to work entirely with color film. Black and white photos increases costs substantially since they are often printed by hand.
- Hire an advanced student from a reputable photography or film program to photograph or tape your wedding. Many students will charge a flat-fee.
- Consider placing a disposable camera on every table at the reception for your guests to capture some fun moments as well.
- Inquire about any assistants they may have as you are generally billed for their time involved as well as the photographer's time.
- Ask if the wedding photographer processes and develops their film and prints. Costs are generally higher if this aspect of the job is outsourced.
- Check references. Beware of any photographer who insists that you pay in full before your film has been developed.
The Wedding Videographer
- As with your wedding photographer, be sure to shop around when it comes to selecting a wedding videographer. Fees vary widely depending on experience and demand.
- The length and nature of coverage plays an important role in price: how many cameras and camera operators will be at your wedding and reception, how long they will stay and how much editing does the wedding videographer estimate will have to be done. The least expensive coverage typically provides one camera and operator recording the wedding and handing you your wedding video at the end of the ceremony.
- A good rule of thumb is to be prepared to pay at least as much for your wedding videographer as you pay for it.
- Ask about the payment structure and whether there are any hidden costs. How much is the retainer? Under what circumstances is it refundable? Is it part of the total cost of the wedding video? Does it guarantee the date? When is the balance due? Decide what you're comfortable with. These conditions may be negotiable. If you're not comfortable with the financial arrangements, find another videographer. The contract is how you and your videographer communicate. It's where you come to an agreement and record what will happen with regard to your wedding video. Make sure that everything you want from the wedding videographer and everything he expects from you is written into the contract.
- If you opt to capture your wedding on video, find a videographer that offers packages with one camera coverage and limited editing.
- Consider asking a friend that owns a video camera to shoot the day for you and create your wedding video.
While realizing that wedding photos and a wedding video will serve as a lasting memory of your wedding day, it does not have to be a lasting expense. Use these tips to select one that works with your wedding budget.
Hilary Basile is a writer for MyGuidesUSA.com. At MyGuidesUSA.com (http://www.myguidesusa.com), you will find valuable tips and resources for handling life's major events. Whether you're planning a wedding, buying your first home, anxiously awaiting the birth of a child, contending with a divorce, searching for a new job, or planning for your retirement, you'll find answers to your questions at MyGuidesUSA.com.
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