I’ve been debating whether I should write about this topic for a while as it is quite a complex and subjective topic. Ultimately, I realised that there is no single correct answer here. What you should pay for your wedding video completely depends on your priorities, your expectations and ultimately the budget that you and your partner have set. Remember, there is absolutely nothing wrong with having a low budget wedding, just as there is nothing wrong with a large budget wedding. There’s no right or wrong answer here - everyone has a unique wedding and it’s critically important that YOU DO YOU!
Now, for those of you who are still curious, I’ve gone ahead to break down the various pricing points in the New Zealand wedding videography industry. This guide will give you a rough idea on what you can expect to pay for a videographer in New Zealand and the level of quality that you might typically receive at each pricing point (including some pros and cons). I hope this guide will be helpful to future brides and grooms who aren’t quite sure how to budget for a wedding videographer in New Zealand.
Now to keep things consistent, the following price points will be based on a popular wedding video package with the following structure:
full day cover
six MINUTE film
Obviously every wedding videographer will offer a slightly different range packages, add ons and variations of this structure, but for pricing comparison's sake, let’s just keep things simple and use this common and industry standard package.
Alright, let’s get into it!
The first price point is what I call “Students”, and here you can expect to pay between $0 and $1500. Typically videographers in this category will just be starting out, so they will have limited experience, a small portfolio (if any) and the video quality they produce may vary massively.
Back in the day, I filmed my every first wedding for $300! Looking back on it now I naturally cringe a little bit. The audio was lower quality as I didn’t have any professional audio gear, the coloring in many shots was off due to my lack of editing experience and as a beginner I spent the whole day stressing out a lot (so I probably wasn’t the most fun to be around!). It is, however, important to note that the couple were so happy with their film! This was probably largely because we all had realistic / low expectations, and given the price, it was so worth it for them.
Student videographers might be a great choice for brides or grooms that are less concerned about the overall quality of their film, and for those who just want some of the basic things captured.
Pros of Hiring A “Student” Videographer:
Affordable for those on a lower budget (can also be great value for money if you find the right person).
Generally student videographers are more likely to be available for popular wedding dates, so if you haven’t booked a videographer until late in the process then a student could be your best option.
You may be able to find a motivated videographer who is trying to establish themselves in the industry, and these people are likely to put in much more work, effort and added value into your wedding film than a mid-range videographer might typically do.
Cons of Hiring A “Student” Videographer:
The quality of your film could suffer due to the less filming/editing experience and lack of professional quality equipment. This means that your wedding footage might not look particularly professional, and their editing style may not generate an emotional response or reflect you in the best way possible.
You might find some student videographers could unintentionally interfere with other vendors (like the photographer) or simply make the day a bit more challenging due to their lack of experience.
If your budget only allows for a student videographer then try to find someone who is passionate about the craft and who is trying to make a name for themselves as a wedding filmmaker. These videographers will really put the effort into your video and are more likely to invest in the professional equipment.
Secondly, we have what I call the “Middle Ground”. Here you can expect to pay between $2,000 to $3,500 for a videographer. This is what the vast majority of wedding videographers charge in New Zealand, and also where most wedding videography budgets seem to lie. Here you will find some incredible videographers but also some mediocre ones. If your budget falls in this category then I recommend watching plenty of wedding films to compare the different styles and approaches. I would also closely check reviews and always meet with your videographer (or video chat) before booking.
Pros of Hiring A “Middle Ground” Videographer:
These videographers will have more experience than students, so you’re likely to find some very competent videographers in this category.
Cons of Hiring A “Middle Ground” Videographer:
The large number of videographers in this category means that finding the perfect one can be more challenging. I recommended that you start by watching lots of films, then checking the reviews of your short list and then finally picking 1-3 videographers with the best reviews to contact and start a video chat with.
Finally, at the higher end of things, we have what I call “Luxury” videographers, and here you can expect to pay over $4000. At this price point, you’ll be hiring highly experienced professionals. They have the very best gear and skills required to capture absolutely everything on your wedding day in the highest possible quality. They will also have advanced editing skills that will craft your love-story seamlessly into the film, which is likely to feel truly emotional and authentically reflect who you both are as a couple. They will also be confident, reliable and professional to deal with on the wedding day.
Typically a couple will want to use a videographer in the Luxury category when they want to receive a very individualized, creative and unique wedding video. It’s a great idea to hire in the range if you can afford it, as their experience means that the day will run smoothly and you won’t have to worry about a thing - that’s the ultimate dream wedding right there right?!
Pros of Hiring A “Luxury” Videographer:
You will get an emotional, moving, timeless wedding film that will perfectly reflect who you are as a couple.
The videographers will help make sure your day is set up for success and runs without a hitch.
Cons of Hiring a “Luxury” Videographer:
Only accessible for those who can afford it.
In conclusion, please remember that this is only a rough guide based on my personal research, experience, and data from public facebook polls. I know there are many pricing exceptions out there and pricing is likely to differ based on a range of factors (e.g. location). If you’re ever unsure if you’re getting great value, then I recommend meeting the videographer in person or over video chat to get a feel for their approach, experience and expectations.
It is also important to remember that price is only one factor to consider when hiring a videographer. I recommend also checking out my video titled How To Get The Best Wedding Video Ever. In there I talk about many other important factors to consider when selecting a videographer, such as their style and personality.
Wild In White is an Award-Winning Wedding Videography service based in Queenstown, New Zealand. Are you engaged? I would love to be your wedding videographer! Contact me here.
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