Interesting viewpoint, Ear


Interesting viewpoint, Earl. In the years before we stopped doing wedding videography one of the most common reasons given us by brides who said they didn’t want their wedding videoed was cost. They just couldn’t see the value, no matter how it was explained to them using the selling points you describe. Brides live in the hear and now, it seems, not thinking much about what the future will hold. Ten years later I still hear cost vs. value as the primary negative reason.

Over a pint or two one evening a fellow videographer jokingly proposed a model for wedding video that I’ve never seen anyone attempt but which, from a business point of view made perfect sense to me and still does. It taps directly into the “it costs too much” potential market.

Instead of charging $1500 to $3000 for a beautifully produced wedding video of the pre-ceremony, ceremony, reception and countless interviews, why not charge a couple of hundred dollars for a well shot but unedited DVD of just the ceremony? The way my friend imagined it, the company owner would pay a videographer a good wage — say $35-40 per hour — for four hours of setup, tear down and shooting. The videographer would shoot the ceremony, using wireless mics on the groom and officiant, and record the ceremony directly to DVD. At the end of the ceremony he’d hand the DVD to the bride and go home. (This, by the way, is exactly what we do with deposition videos, so there’s excellent precedent; heck, if it’s good enough for high-priced lawyers it must be good enough for mere brides and grooms!)

Total charge: $300. The net: $150-160 for the shooter, $140-150 for the company owner, whose only involvement in the proceedings would have been to book the wedding, schedule his shooters and pre-print a nice cover on the DVD disc.

My friend estimated that in our market area a business such as this could easily net the company owner $1500 per weekend and employ 10 videographers who otherwise would have been home watching NFL highlights. At the end of the 15 to 20 week wedding season this amounts to some serious money and leaves the business owner largely free of stress.

The immediate reaction to my friend’s proposal was cries round the table of “Bottom feeder! You’ll bring down the industry, etc.” But if, as you point out, only a small percentage of brides are willing to pay top dollar, why not go after the others on their own terms? “Your perception is that video is of limited value? o.k., I’ll provide it at a limited price: 1% of your $20,000 budget instead of 10%.”

Both my friend and I left wedding videography behind us not long after that, turning to more lucrative and far less stressful video pursuits. But we both still believe it’s a potentially lucrative wedding video model, one someone really should take a shot at.


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