If you're not familiar with my "When You'd Rather Not…" series, I encourage you to read the backstory and see which other wedding resources I've covered.
I've learned a lot of things about weddings as a day-of coordinator. One of the things that has most surprised me is how happy people are when they get it on video.
"The video [of our wedding] is amazing; I've watched it many times already," one woman told me. "I was able to share [the video] with family members that couldn't make the event and that was really special, too."
Her sentiment echoes many that I've heard when it comes to recording weddings. All have surprised me but they have a point: A good video can help you, and others, remember your wedding. But videographers are pricey ($2,000 or more, in my experience) so what to do?
Hire a student
I did a wedding where the couple really wanted a videographer. To make it happen, the matron of honor reached out to a film student. The kid — and I can say "kid" because the dude was like 19 — was stoked to do a wedding (he'd only done photos before). I'm not sure what the matron of honor ended up paying him but I can guarantee it wasn't $2,000.
How'd it go? At times, a little rough. He had a momentary freakout when he realized he'd run out of time to mic the groom. (Plan B: We stuck the mic in a vase of flowers at the altar.)
But what he lacked in professionalism, he made up for in spirit. He was so worried about "missing something" that I had to tell him several times to stand down and grab dinner. This kind of eagerness is encouraging when, like me, you've been to a lot of weddings. It reminds you that this day is magic. That's not a bad viewpoint to have from the person charged with capturing it all on camera.
Not to mention, he had a sweet camera, a couple lapel mics, and experience with film editing — important information to get when you're vetting the film student of your choice.
That bride I mentioned in the intro who loves her wedding video? She didn't have one videographer — she had five.
She used a video company called Life's Flix. How it works: They send you HD video cameras (they're about the size of a phone with a handy cord to wrap around your wrist). You then distribute these cameras to the wedding guests of your choice. They shoot video throughout the day before returning the cameras at the end of the event. You pop those in the mail, Life's Flix edits them, and voilà — you've got a video.
Life's Flix caught my eye for two reasons: 1) the bride’s glowing review and 2) during the reception, I saw the wedding-guests-turned-videographers do something cool: They took their friends aside and asked them for sweet messages to film for the couple.
I'm sure a professional videographer would do the same but there was something laid-back and casual about the interaction that made it feel less staged. You also get the cameras for a week.
Life's Flix costs between $500 (for a "virtual guest book") and $2,000 (for a "full documentary video capturing your wedding week") so it's not exactly a cheaper option. That said, it is a customizable option, which you may not get with a "traditional" videographer.
Cool. I love me a phones-free wedding. But if you're looking for a keepsake that you can rewind, video sounds like the way to go.
Have something to share? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org