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Old April 14th, 2010, 10:08 PM   #1
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Fees for Destination Weddings

I was recently asked to film a wedding in another state that is too far to drive. I was just curious how you guys bill for your time, going to airport/hotel/car rental/food ect. and then flying back home the following day. I don't want to overcharge but I also want to make it worth my time not to mention I am having to bring an assistant for the 2 camera shoot.



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Old April 15th, 2010, 01:24 AM   #2
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The best advice I can give you here is to charge a bit more than it actually costs to travel. The fact of the matter is that destination weddings are just more of a hassle overall and require you to be away from work and family. So you definitely need to get paid for ALL of your travel expenses, but also make sure you get a bit extra for the trouble.

You'll may also feel this obligation to film constantly while you're there, but don't give in to that and don't let the client pressure you into it. You have to be prepared to treat it like a wedding at home. You're not on a vacation and it won't feel like one, so don't be guilted into working more for free.

Travel costs to consider would be lodging, airfare, baggage fees (definitely check on this one - it varies from airline to airline by quite a bit), rental car, parking fees, and meals. We always make sure we fly in at least one day before the actual event, so an extra night is required. So if the wedding is on Saturday we fly in on Thursday. This ensures that you are there for the wedding and well-rested. If you're scheduled to fly in on Friday night, and then flights get delayed, you could miss the wedding. Or you might end up on a red-eye and show up with no sleep.

The first time you discount your travel fees you'll regret doing so. So don't. Think of it this way, a destination wedding pays the same but it's more of a hassle and ties you up for a few days. So why make a smaller profit on them versus a local wedding? I'm speaking from experience here. Our first two destination weddings we discounted the travel and made other exceptions (like staying with the bride's parents one time - which was not a good idea). We learned right away that we didn't want to do those anymore unless we were making the same or more as a local wedding .. and preferably more.

Anyways, that's my advice. Good luck!
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Old April 15th, 2010, 02:39 PM   #3
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I concur with Travis.

additionally you can use the us government per diem rates to get an idea of rates for meals etc. Just google it.
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Old April 15th, 2010, 09:11 PM   #4
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We usually get in there the day before by late afternoon if possible. If its a Sat wedding we arrive on Friday night, leave on Sunday morning.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 08:34 AM   #5
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we also put on our term and condition that client to cover all travel and accomodation (minimum 3 stars hotel) just in case they thought that putting us on a cheap backpacker motel is an "ok" idea...
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Old April 16th, 2010, 12:41 PM   #6
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Susanto, this is why we now just charge the fee and book the hotel ourselves. Then it's our call where we stay. We also have a clause in our contract that covers us in case there are additional or higher-rate travel fees than originally expected.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 12:51 PM   #7
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I couldn't have put it any better Travis. Amen.
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Old April 16th, 2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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At what point do you enforce a travel fee? What about weddings that are only 75 miles away from the studio that you can drive to? What is the fee associated with that type of out of town wedding?
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Old April 16th, 2010, 03:31 PM   #9
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We start charging mileage for anything that is more than 25 miles from our studio (one way). Anything over 100 miles requires lodging/meals for at least one night.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 01:06 AM   #10
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Ditch it

I could see if you were going to Hawaii or the Bahamas, but just to go to another state isn't worth it. You will find yourself paying for gas, food, snacks, little entertainment and it's not worth it. Charge them a price that well above your asking price. I did a wedding in Los Angeles and I live in San Francisco and the total in gas, eating out 3 times a day, parking, sunflower seeds etc. added up to too much! It was fun, no doubt. It was my first wedding away from home, but after I was putting $200 in my gas tank I was like what the hell did I do. If it was a "real" destination wedding, I would jump on it and break even or take a small loss, but to go to Iowa!!, no thanks.
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Old April 17th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis Cossel View Post
Susanto, this is why we now just charge the fee and book the hotel ourselves. Then it's our call where we stay. We also have a clause in our contract that covers us in case there are additional or higher-rate travel fees than originally expected.
We tend to book travel and accomodation stuff ourselves. But some clients prefer to book it for us which we don't mind as long as it is within our terms and condition which are "certain airflight are not acceptable and minimum 3 star hotel etc etc". Haven't got any big trouble yet and 90% of the time, we book them ourselves anyway...

But I do recall a client that booked us a plane at 7am in the morning because its a lot cheaper. We have put an additional clause ever since then... flights no early than 10am if its not on the wedding day....

some people just try too hard to save... she's a nice client though...
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Old April 17th, 2010, 12:36 PM   #12
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Don't get me wrong, we do make some exceptions here and there. We just found it's best to start from the point where WE are handling the travel arrangements. Sounds like you guys do something similar. d;-)

We just got back from filming a wedding in the Bahamas and we let the bride handle the accommodations since she was booking out a condo complex on the island. We also let her handle the airfare and ferry arrangements. It's pretty rare that we allow it, but as long as we've talked it out with the couple and we okay with what they are doing then we will work with them.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 05:23 PM   #13
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I'd charge her my rate for 3 weddings because if her wedding was on a Saturday, I'd be missing weddings that I could be shooting on Friday and Sunday. If it's a wedding that is 100 miles away, charge enough to make it worth your while. Personally, I'd rather videotape 3 weddings that are within 10 miles from my home than 1 wedding for 1/3 the amount in Aruba. I'd take that extra money and bring my wife to Aruba and have a real vacation.
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Old April 25th, 2010, 09:24 PM   #14
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Thanks for all of the input. I gave her my price, so we shall see what happens. I agree with you about making it worth my while. It is a lot of trouble to pack up and wait around in airports etc, not to mention the time away from the family or worrying about your gear.
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