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Why is videography so expensive?

ALL TOPICS | Video Questions

Q: Why is videography so expensive?


I think the term expensive is based on the relative perceived value of a wedding video for you as a couple. I’m Jason Monroe, owner and operator of highway 61 films in Chicago. We’ve been making wedding films since 2009. One of the biggest things in terms of expense on our end is equipment costs. We bring a lot more equipment on a wedding day than, say, a photographer would. There are three to four cameras that we use. There’s audio equipment, there’s lighting gear, there’s drones and gimbals tripods light stands. So that’s a big part of the expense from us. Another expense is just the knowledge base that I’ve accrued over the 20 years of being a filmmaker. So we put a lot of skill and things that we’ve learned into putting an artistic edit together. And then there is time and effort beyond even the wedding day. There’s pre production meetings with the couples, and then there’s four to five weeks of editing after the wedding day is even ever with. And we do customize meetings with the couple that helps inform us on how to put a better edit together for them. Because we have no business making a wedding video for a couple that we don’t know. So we do spend time with them beforehand, asking them questions, seeing what their vision is, what they want out of their wedding film, and then limited availability. We only do so many weddings per year, so we can put detailed time and attention into each one and make each of them special.

Who pays for the wedding?

Q: Who pays for the wedding?


I as a wedding planner, I would say about 75% of the time it is the couples that are paying for us directly because families are maybe paying for the wedding and they are seeking our help to make sure when they’re spending and budgeting for the wedding correctly, because they’ve been given this much for the wedding. But that other 25% who are just tired of hearing from their bride or their daughter complain and moms are like, hey, we need help. I will pay for you specifically to help us out. So that is just like a two fold answer. But majority of the time, it is the couples paying for us as planners.


My wedding is one month away- what have I forgotten?

Q: My wedding is one month away- what have I forgotten?


One month before the wedding and that is the time that you need to make sure that your family and friends are in the know. A lot of time people forget to do things during this month that can help make the day go smoother and keep you less stressed. So some things I want to make sure that you have not forgotten. Have you told which family members are actually sitting on that first and second row? Have you talk to your efficient about what to say at the very end of the ceremony to get your guest to go to cocktail hour? Do you have a cake cutter? What about a cake stand? Did you pack extra batteries? Will there actually be a guest book? If so, are there pins? There are certain things that you need to do in this one month. Literally break down your wedding and break down the elements. If you have a cake, like, what do I need for this cake? I need a cake stand. I need a cake cutter. Okay, next for the ceremony. What do I need for the ceremony? I have a flower girl. Does the flower girl have a basket? Does the flower girl actually have flowers? Who is holding the ring? Oh, have I got my rings clean? Everything should kind of be a spider web. You start with one category of your wedding and spider web it out. But most importantly, did you bring the marriage license? Do you have it? Did you apply for it? Don’t forget that.


What is the most difficult part of the wedding day?

Q: What is the most difficult part of the wedding day?


Hot Take. It’s you. hi friends. I’m Vanessa Rose from the papery, here to tell you that the most difficult part about your wedding is you and the timeline you think you’re going to follow. Everything on your wedding day takes twice as long. I’m going to say that again. Twice as long as you think it does. Twice as long as it takes you on a regular day like today. When you are looking at your wedding day timeline, please be realistic when you’re planning it out. And please speak to the professionals on your wedding team. Or better yet, get a day of coordinator to walk you through this hair and makeup. You need to plan buffers in between each person. Getting beauty services to account for bathroom breaks, getting a phone call, not being ready at the very moment they need to sit in a chair. Give yourself ample time through that bridal morning to make sure that beauty flows effortlessly when you stack it up, unrealistically and cram it all together because you don’t want to sit in a chair at seven in the morning. You are your own worst enemy. Moving, getting in and out of vehicles, moving from location to location, traveling around your venue property. It all takes longer than you think it does. You’re also moving more people in outfits they don’t wear every day, in shoes they may have never worn before. Just stop the insanity. Take a step back, think about the day and add more time. If that means you need to push cocktail, if that means you need to start beauty earlier, do whatever you need to do to give yourself breathing room in your timeline. And then you won’t become your worst enemy and the most difficult part of your day. Keep in mind this also applies to photography. Please don’t plan 17 family shots in a 20 minutes window. Good luck.


What if I’m unhappy with my makeup trial?

Q: What if I’m unhappy with my makeup trial?


So sometimes other makeup artists want to light me on fire when I say things like this. But I’ve been in the industry for twelve years, and what I can tell you for sure is that if you have a good makeup artist, there is no moment at the end where they’re like, TADA, here’s this beautiful look that I created for you. Do you like it? Instead, what they’re doing is having conversations with you ahead of time, ahead of that appointment, so they can get a feel for what you’re looking for. You probably have found already some looks from their portfolio that have helped guide them to the look that is your vision for the day. And then lastly, at the appointment, they’re asking for your feedback throughout the service and getting a feel for what you like or don’t like so that they can make tweaks, ultimately makeup. Yes, we are artists and we have egos, but the makeup is about you, the bride, right? And it’s not really about the artist. So you should feel comfortable sharing your feedback and asking for the help if you need it.

If you get to the end of that appointment and you still don’t like it, and you’ve done all of the previous steps that I mentioned, it is okay to just find a new artist. But if you suspect that you’re a person that might go into this feeling that way, I would recommend doing your trial way sooner than the recommended four to six weeks. Because if you don’t like that artist, you are going to need time to book another one. And often the most in demand folks, the best folks, if you will, will already be booked out for your date. So think it through.

Are wedding photos retouched? Do you charge extra?

Q: Are wedding photos retouched? Do you charge extra?


This is something you need to be asking a photographer before you hire them. My name is Megan Hansen and I am a social worker turned photographer and the owner of Onyx and Opal Creative Co. Listen, I don’t know that you can say that retouching is easy, right? Yes, it’s much easier than back when it was only film and things were not digital. We can do everything on our computers. However, simply editing a wedding gallery takes days. Okay? A good rule of thumb is for every hour of coverage is 2 hours at minimum of editing time. And that doesn’t include retouching. So it takes a lot of time. Second, we don’t have control of every little thing at a wedding day. Trust me, we are going to try our hardest. We are going to find the lighting that we prefer the most. We are going to do the posing, the direction, all of that and the best to our ability. But there are some circumstances that we have no control over. For example, if you have an outdoor ceremony and you already have your location selected, right? I’m not about to stop in the middle of the ceremony and say, hold up, wait, stop. We have to move a little bit to the left because this sun is just not doing it for me. Not going to happen. Right? So that’s going to look way different than your bridal portraits that I have control over every little thing for. Second, do some research on your photographer beforehand because we all have different beliefs when it comes to retouching in general. Personally, my brand value is that we don’t change body sizes, we don’t get rid of wrinkles, none of that stuff. My rule of thumb is if it would go away in two weeks on its own, then we’ll take it out. But outside of that, we believe in showing you and your beauty just as you are. So we are not doing retouching to the extent of other photographers. That’s not the only way to do it. If you prefer something different, that’s okay. But like I said, it’s important to talk with your photographer ahead of time to figure out where they stand on all of this.

When is the best time to do the family group photos? What if there is a long list?

Q: When is the best time to do the family group photos? What if there is a long list?


It’s unequivocally the best, and by that I mean easiest for everybody involved. Time to take family photos during your wedding day is an hour to an hour and a half before the ceremony. Make a list. Make sure you know exactly what photos you’re taking. If you have only one or two photos that involve a huge number of people, and those people are only needed for one or two shots, tops. You can take those ones after the ceremony. But all the little ones with your parents and your spouse’s parents and siblings, and all the ones where there’s going to be a lot of little groups. The best time to do it is before the ceremony. You can have those people come early, have them come to the ceremony location, and however long your photos are going to take, ask your photographer. And their photographer can tell you how long it’s going to take based on how big your list is and how reliable those people showing up on time you believe them to be. But aim to be finished with your photos a half hour before your ceremony. And that’s the easiest, easiest time. I recognize that in order to do this, you’re going to have to do a first look where the bride and groom see each other before the ceremony so that they can stand next to each other and all these family pictures. If you’re willing to do that, put your family photos before the ceremony. You will be so glad you did. Because after the ceremony, all you have to do is photos of the two of you. And depending on what the rest of your schedule is, you can be kind of opportunistic about that and get creative. Interesting stuff in the evening when the light’s prettier. The big family photos are just about organizing people. They’re barely about photography at all, except the photographer just needs to make sure the lights even and they’re framed right and everyone’s looking at the camera. So it is way more important that the people in the photos are in a good mental state before the ceremony. They’ve just put their makeup on and they’re looking fresh and they know it and they don’t need a lot of touch ups and they also haven’t had a drink yet. They’re very easy to organize. Stress free. Do it before the ceremony. It’s what I’m going to do for my.

What is one wedding trend you wish would just go away forever?

Q: What is one wedding trend you wish would just go away forever?



Oh, my gosh, this one is going to get me in trouble….

But I’m just so over the burlap the Mason jars the whole, like, rustic eucalyptus vibes from a wedding planner’s perspective.

Can we please get rid of all of the wedding dresses that no one can walk in?

There is one wedding tradition I would love to see. Get the ax it’s the old school wedding corsage.

The one that needs to get eliminated is QR codes on your wedding stationery.

Can I get a big C ya never On the bride being handed over to the groom by her dad.

This little trend is annoying.

The wedding tradition that I wish would go away forever is sparkler exits.

Now give it up for your maid of honor and best man… can we not?

The new ish trend for weddings that I want to go away forever is bridesmaid first looks.

Hey, hey, hey a goodbye. That’s what I wish would happened to the Garter toss.

Why don’t vendors put pricing on their websites?

Q: Why don’t vendors put pricing on their websites?


Gosh, this is such a great question. Why don’t advanced professionals put pricing on their websites? And should they? Or, you know, I know some do. I can speak from my experience as a wedding planner. The services that I offer are not often understood. And so if they see a price, .1, thousand, 10,000, $100,000, and they don’t really know what comes with it, oftentimes it’s an automatic turn off and it’s an automatic, like, stop. I don’t want to work with them. But the truth is, when I can have a conversation with a client and explain, or a potential client and explain, this is our pricing, this is how it works, this is the services that we offer. It goes pretty well once the understanding or education, if you will, is put out there. So some vendor categories are very cut and dry. Maybe it’s a DJ, you get 4 hours of service, microphone, et cetera. And this is the price. But for me, as a planner, I know that there’s not a lot of understanding of what we do necessarily or the broad range that we can do. So when we put our price point out there, it can sometimes be shocking if you’re not expecting it. But when you hear why it’s a no brainer.


What is the biggest mistake couples make?

Q: What wedding moment made you cry your eyes out?


So hands down, the biggest mistake that I see couples making with wedding photography is hiring a friend to do it. I know everyone has a friend that’s a photographer or says they’re a photographer, but I think even if you’re hiring a friend who might be an incredible photographer, I would highly, highly recommend not doing this. You know, I had a couple friends, they hired their friend, you. She said she give them a good deal, but when they got the photos, they were actually displeased with them. And it added a lot of tension in the friendship. Like you trusted your friend to photograph your wedding day and then your friend kind of screwed it up or didn’t deliver what you were hoping for. Honestly, it’s just better to hire a professional and it’s going to leave you a lot happier at the end of the experience and they don’t do a good job. You can leave them a nasty review on Yelp or whatever. Can’t do that with a friend.

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