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Photo: Pablo Sartor Photography

Hiring a wedding videographer is a good idea for a variety of reasons. A videographer captures motion, sound, and creates a cinematic memory of your special day. But yes, a professional videographer does cost money. On average, a couple spends $1,658 on their wedding videographer, according to the 2015 WeddingWire Newlywed Report. But you’re not just paying for that final video—it turns out there’s a lot more to it. We talked to Jason Silzle of Dove Weddings—A Photo & Cinema Company in Mission Viejo, California, to find out.

Keep reading to see the how the cost of a videographer adds up.



Videography Service
Your videographer will likely spend a large portion of your wedding day capturing the sights, sounds, and movement of the event—the raw footage he or she will need to create an edited video. You’ll want to make sure that you fully understand your videographer’s contract and package so that you’ll know exactly how much time he or she will spend filming your wedding. If you want extras, like having your wedding filmed by drone, you’ll likely pay for that. Your videographer will also have to pay for travel expenses, which can include gas, parking, and more, so that he or she can be present at your wedding.

Post-Production
Your videographer will film the raw footage of your wedding, and then use the footage to create a beautiful, cinematic final product, often set to music. It takes a lot of time to cut the raw footage into a short video—sometimes this is done by the same person who filmed your wedding, other times a wedding videography company will have editors on staff who handle the editing process. Either way, it is extremely time-consuming, and may require several rounds of edits.

Equipment
You probably want your videographer to have top-of-the-line, state-of-the-art equipment to capture the most amazing footage of your big day. High-quality, well-maintained equipment is also important to ensure that a camera doesn’t break during your first dance (and if it does, your videographer has a working backup handy). And since the technology is always changing, your videographer is likely purchasing new gear and fixing old gear quite frequently. Your videographer may also provide lighting (so that you’ll look amazing) and sound equipment (so that your voices will be audible in the video), and that factors into this expense, as does all of that (pricey!) editing software and equipment.

Marketing
An essential part of a videographer’s business is marketing—that is, promoting one’s business to couples who might hire them. This can be done a variety of ways, from web or print advertising to attending wedding shows and industry events. Maintaining a website that user-friendly and easy to access is also essential to reaching couples.

Business Needs
Administrative costs like phone, postage, and Internet may sound trivial, but they’re super-important in ensuring that your communication with your videographer is reliable and seamless. Your videographer will also have to pay rent on studio space, pay for utilities, and lab fees, as well. Plus, many videographers participate in continuing education classes and conferences so that they can stay up-to-date on the latest in the industry and continue to learn and improve.

Employees
Some videography businesses are solo operations; others employ a large number of staffers, from shooters to editors, office staff and more. Your videographer and other staffers must be appropriately paid for their work to ensure that you’ll be working with the same people throughout the process.

Insurance
Why does a videographer need to be insured? Insurance protects both you and your videographer in case of unforeseen circumstances. Examples include equipment being damaged or broken, or a guest or other vendor at your wedding becoming injured because of your videographer’s equipment (for example, tripping over a camera bag).