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Old April 26th, 2017, 05:13 PM   #1
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Are Weddings getting out of control....

Interesting item on the BBC news website.

Four dresses and a drone - are weddings getting out of control? - BBC News

And the article it relates to:

The secret to a good wedding? More sincerity, less triviality - Country Life

Basically advising couples to reign in the excesses of the Wedding Day. Are they going to far and spending too much?

Of course, where does that leave us? Are Videographers one of the excesses? The article seems to have sparked some interest and I'm sure I saw another related piece online recently that put Videographers into the excesses camp. We're Weddings really so much smaller and simpler 20-30 years ago.
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Old April 26th, 2017, 05:47 PM   #2
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Hi Steve

Absolutely! It all seems to be about technology...to be the videographer the bride will choose it seems your chances increase with the number of enhancements you can offer... It's certainly like that here so to be competitive gimbals and drones are a necessary evil.

Was it simpler in the old days? Hell yeah! I used to shoot full weddings with a Panasonic MS4 SVHS shoulder mount camera and pre-shoot an optical title then go out, shoot the wedding and at the end of the night eject the 3 hour tape (pre labeled of course) and handed it to the couple. Done and Dusted!!

I'm sure my friend Arthur Gannis will chip in here too! He still does one camera wedding shoots and is booked solid so it cannot be all brides who are going over the top!
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Old April 27th, 2017, 01:47 AM   #3
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

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I'm sure my friend Arthur Gannis will chip in here too! He still does one camera wedding shoots and is booked solid so it cannot be all brides who are going over the top!
Simple one camera shoots are often related to budget, there is nothing wrong with that because that's how I shot the first years but don't confuse it with what most brides want, they just don't have the money to pay the videographers that work with 2 or 3 and bring all their toys with them to spend a lot of time in the editroom crafting a film that is more pleasing to watch. Same as what you do with live streaming, those brides want just a registration of the event as a memory and they choose it mainly because it's cheaper. These brides are ofcourse happy with what they get because it's all they either can afford or are willing to pay for.

It depends if we are considered one of the excesses, culture is one of these differences that has an impact on how video is perceived, in my country (Belgium) video has always been considered a afterthought, people tend to spend a lot more on photography and try to save on video which is why there are so many one camera docu type videographers active where I live who work for lower prices (around 1k). I currently charge 1850euro for a full day and for video that is considered higher end, higher end photographers charge between 2200 and 2700euro for a full day without album. A average weddingbudget is around 20.000euro. In my neighboring country the Netherlands however higher end videographers can charge 3000+euro and many photographers start from 3K as well.

I'm a member of large facebook group with over 3000 weddingvideographers worldwide and there they laugh at prices I charge, often I see videographers mention they charge in the 3000 to 5000dollar area but I"m also sure they take on weddings where the average weddingbudget is a lot higher then 20K.
I also see that those guys often need to follow trends like using a drone because most of their work start to look alike and they need to use these toys to keep competing with others. A new trend I see coming up is a different editingstyle with special transitionshots and a lot of time spend in adding soundeffects so extra editing time is also a contributor of higher rates.

I have seen a big change in the past 12 years how couples have their weddings, from very simple and straightforward to somewhat over the top with more then a year spend on planning, when I started out I had not heard of weddingplanners while these days they have become more popular, in the past most weddings where church weddings while now you have highly personalized ceremonies. While in the past a wedding was more a simple celebration with simple but good food and lot's of dancing and especially drinking it now has become a display of wealth with food served that comes close to what you get in a one star restaurant. Especially parents seem to be a influence as well as they also want to show of and they often also invest in the wedding, something I especially see when the parents are doctors or when they have a business.

I personally feel the couples spend way too much money on a wedding but video doesn't necessarily need be a part of that as this together with the photos are the only valuable investment once the weddingday has past, all other vendors have delivered their services but we are the only ones that provide a lifetime of memories and those can be priceless. Only some videographers go too far in the same way as some couples tend to go too far, guys like Ray Roman charge in the 10K+ region, is his work worth that much? I don't think so as I have seen videographers charging less that half his price deliver better work, he is only better in marketing himself and that has got him get into that very small circle of the extremely rich. This also might be the reason why many videographers go all the way with all their gear to impress the ones that have a big budget, you need to stand out and some need a drone for that, other don't.
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Old April 27th, 2017, 02:09 AM   #4
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Hey Noa

All countries are different and even different parts of the same country ..On our East Coast an average wedding video is $5000 which is rare on this side and maybe half that

I don't think that budget has anything to do with out of control weddings ..it's more to the fact that videographers have created over the top video packages, photogs have done the same and a host of other vendors too ...It's purely so they can stand out from the other guys by offering more exciting stuff and the brides are sucked in! If you can offer something new and exciting even budget brides will find the money somewhere and that simply has made wedding bigger and fancier and seemingly out of control

However I still think a lot of brides are level headed and don't go overboard with anything. We have a photog here that does nothing under $7,000 His shots are pretty ordinary, and he supplies a USB only ...I asked him how he can ask such a huge amount for a USB with a bunch of images and his answer was "I'm consistent" ... As long as people blow prices out of being reasonable brides will think that paying top dollar means good quality and that will make weddings out of control ...No bride will hire a $10K video guy and settle for a $200 wedding cake!!
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Old April 27th, 2017, 05:26 AM   #5
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Most weddings that I film follow changing trends and fashions and are heavily influenced by what their friends had and what they have seen online or on the tv.

To answer Steve's question, I started filming weddings over 30 years ago and they have changed beyond recognition since then. A typical wedding was a church service followed by some family groups outside the church, then off to a reception in a local village hall/community centre/ pub/restaurant. Food and decorations were usually prepared by the families, or in the more expensive ones by the hotel, followed by speeches from Brides Father, Groom and Best man. After the speeches, there might be a few dances to a record player, while the Groom's or a family member's car would have various things attached out of view of the couple, such as old cans, streamers and messages in lipstick on the windows. Early evening and everybody would line up outside to wave the couple off on their honeymoon in their newly decorated vehicle. That was it!

Today, it is less about the Couple and more about lavishly entertaining the guests with various sideshows and novelties, usually bought on from specialist companies. These can be anything from magicians, to photo booths, chocolate fountains, tribute singers and bands, sweet stalls, bouncy castles, etc. I've even had a wedding with a merrygoround, ferris wheel and coconut shy. The photographer typically takes endless group and romantic shots, peppered with all day casual shots and of course the morning preps, speeches, dances etc.

The bride has moved on from a traditional wedding dress and simple self applied makeup, to a fashionable current style of dress, designer shoes, wedding trainers for later, spray tan, flexible heavy waterproof makeup, nail art and sets of matching T shirts, pyjamas and dressing gowns for the bridesmaids during hair and makeup. Stag and Hen nights have also moved from the local pub to trips abroad for several days. The Traditional best man, 2 bridesmaids and a couple of ushers has also changed, with often two or three best men, all the Groom's friends as ushers and at least 4-5 bridesmaids. I recently had 4 best men, 12 ushers and 17 bridesmaids all at the same wedding!!!!

The honeymoon has moved on from a couple of nights in a Scarborough hotel to 2 weeks in the Maldives, or other distant exotic places.

The video was always one camera capturing whatever happens with very basic top and tailing. That of course was at a time where video was very new and anything at all with sound was far better than a few minutes of silent cine film. These days, the video is still seen as unimportant by many, but since offering both video and photography, I have found it far easier to change people's opinion. I have also found that wedding shows give me the chance to talk to couples and let them see the value of video. There is a much higher level of equipment neccessary for modern video though, with multi cameras and sound recorders being the norm. There is also a tendency in some areas for technology to take over from thoughtful and incisive camerawork. In my opinion, attention to content detail is the most important aspect, with technically interesting shots adding extra depth. The current fashion with gadget based shots and 'cinematic' influenced style can lead to technology overkill that distracts from the content when used too heavily, but in moderation can be excellent.

Roger

Last edited by Roger Gunkel; April 27th, 2017 at 05:26 AM. Reason: spelling
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Old April 27th, 2017, 07:56 AM   #6
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Spot on Roger and Chris, Both of you sum it up perfectly
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Old April 27th, 2017, 06:37 PM   #7
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

One of my brides is currently in the Maldives for 3 weeks .. I offered to do a honeymoon shoot if they paid my airfare but they declined so the over the top weddings have no real advantage for us. Hmmm 3 weeks in the Maldives would have been nice!

Funnily enough the majority of weddings here are STILL ceremony only in the registry office or with a celebrant in a park ..no guests (or very few) and no reception or fuss either. These, of course, are the ones we don't hear about as they seldom, if ever, ask for video ..Our local registry office is actually nicely set out for weddings and they are booked out on a daily basis but these are simple 15 minute legal ceremonies. These are the only weddings that have still stayed simple and without all the bling that seems to go with over the top weddings.
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Old April 28th, 2017, 12:41 AM   #8
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Quote:
[One of my brides is currently in the Maldives for 3 weeks .. I offered to do a honeymoon shoot if they paid my airfare but they declined so the over the top weddings have no real advantage for us.
There are enough videographers doing really well with destination weddings but a honeymoon shoot I find a weird request though, with a destination wedding you have the actual wedding and then the videographers usually arrive one day early to shoot the surroundings, follow the couple and family if they do any activities or do a photo/videoshoot with the couple so they have plenty of material to make a interesting weddingfilm.

But a Honeymoon? That's the only moment the couple doesn't want to have a videographer around them, their wedding is over and they go on a honeymoon to get away from it all and enjoy eachother and then they shoot video or take pictures with their own camera.

What did you offer to shoot on their honeymoon?
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Old April 28th, 2017, 01:53 AM   #9
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

It was a joke Noa!

It's my favourite dive destination so imagine 3 weeks of crystal clear water! The best we manage is the Cocos Keeling Islands in the middle of the Indian Ocean .. we were there 18 months ago.

No I never would even suggest a honeymoon shoot but a 3 week holiday on the pretense of a shoot would be fine!!
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Old April 28th, 2017, 01:59 AM   #10
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

ah ok, Australian humor :)
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Old April 28th, 2017, 01:41 PM   #11
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

More and more brides are having later ceremonies at say 5 pm. This saves on reception venue costs so rather than have two sets of meals and buffet food they get married later to just have the buffet food at say 7 pm.
The usual is 2 pm ceremony then mingle, then food at 4/5 pm then buffet food at say 9 pm.
They are expecting the videography and photography is going to be cheaper because of this later time to get married.
Same amount of work goes into their day irrelevant but they are finding lots of ways to get the wedding cheaper these days from the dress to the cake to everything.
My wedding yesterday, the bride did everything, made the cake, did the decoration for the reception room, got her dress from my wife's shop but went online for the bridesmaids dresses, mens suits and most things from Amazon would you believe?
Its the way it is as the moment and in general i feel so in my humble opinion its becoming more simpler a bit like the old days.
There are lots of my brides that are lavish but in general they are trying to save money rather than be lavish. Videographers have always been in the excess camp that will never change in UK so for me nothings really changing, a bit like life in general..
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Old April 28th, 2017, 06:22 PM   #12
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

The lavish weddings are still going over the top with every gimmick that the bride can think of (maybe to impress her friends?) We have had magicians, oyster shuckers and other weird and wonderful add ons and I think they will continue but here are becoming the minority as our mining boom has vanished and the average bride is broke. We are actually targeting the simpler "self funded" wedding where daddy isn't an oil sheik Our once today is quite the opposite of Steve's and ceremony is at mid-day at the celebrant's home pool area then a simple 60 minute photo session and they are having a basic home reception. So far this season (Sept to May for us down here) I have never seen so many week day weddings .. we did a Monday wedding 5 days ago and have another Monday wedding on the 8th May ..maybe that's the trend when the economy is down??

In answer to the topic I think the basic weddings are getting simpler but you will still have the over the top bride that can afford anything she wants and yes, she will be out of control
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Old April 30th, 2017, 11:49 PM   #13
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Keeping myself busy doing the simple low budget ones as those are becoming more common around these parts lately. The more elaborate high end jobs are, in my opinion, are getting relatively less in demand and the
mid priced two cam shoots are picking up the slack so it seems. As usual I was talking to many video guys around my area, and it is a large area considering it spans 3 states including NY city smack in the middle, and all were asking the same questions regarding the complexities involved in covering elaborate and pricey affairs. A few were also downgrading their packages to include just a solo shooter as well. There will always be a bride demanding a high end coverage, true, but there will be many more wanting and affording a lower end deal as well. The sweet spot here it seems is a 2 shooter coverage in the midrange 2.5 to 3K package. I myself work solo and I fill the need of those who just can't afford or want a pricier deal. That and the fact that I am lazy by nature and loathe being at the editing desk. My bookings are up already this year to 36 jobs as compared to 25 last year same time. This shows that more are wanting lower end stuff. At least around my area.
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Old May 1st, 2017, 02:42 AM   #14
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Hi Arthur

Based on your success with simple no frills weddings I could never imagine you getting involved with an over the top wedding although it's pretty obvious that NYC must host some lavish weddings which one could easy drop into the out of control basket. Like you I'm lazy too which is why we live broadcast all our weddings now so the edit computer lies dormant (or does other stuff) Then again I don't look as it as only being lazy but rather being clever. We don't like sitting for 3 days putting together multiple clips from multiple cameras so we simply have taken the smarter option!!
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Old May 9th, 2017, 11:12 PM   #15
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Re: Are Weddings getting out of control....

Chris, I don't and will never get involved with an over-the-top wedding. I like them cheap, simple, fast, and above all, I like when that last payment is in the piggy.
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