Our videographer + budget realities

8 February 2012

Hello friends! Today I would like to talk with you about our videographer. Yes, we are having a videographer at our wedding!! (Two of them, actually!) I am so very excited about this, and I think I am especially excited because videography was something we always knew we wanted, but didn’t always know if it was something we could fit in our budget. I think that the budget realities of weddings are not something that gets discussed often enough, so today I would like to honestly walk you through our path to videography, in the hopes that it could be of help to one of you. Let’s go!

As I said, we knew from the very beginning that we wanted a videographer. We hired an insanely talented wedding photographer almost immediately (yay Tanja!) and know without a doubt that she will capture beautiful and priceless moments from our wedding day. However, because we went over our budget to hire Tanja (which I don’t regret!), we only were able to allocate $1,000 for videography in our initial budget. I knew full well that that was wayyyyy too low, but I chose to cross my fingers and hope that something would work out instead of doing something more productive.

Brad & Deena : wedding highlights from Inkspot Crow Films on Vimeo.

To complicate matters still further, John and I are unfortunately not a fan of any of the videographers we’ve found in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts. They’re just not our style, and most are so well established as to be prohibitively expensive, in my opinion.

No, our number one choice for videography was a little duo called Inkspot Crow. MacKenzie and Philip are based near us, in North Carolina, and I was initially introduced to them by my friend Meredith, who just so happens to be MacKenzie’s sister. We were immediately taken with their modern but classic filming style, and their story-driven editing. After working with them on a few projects through work, I also found them to be two of the nicest people around, and a great fit with my and John’s personalities. They are exactly the sort of people you want around on your wedding day.

Tim & Cate : wedding highlights from Inkspot Crow Films on Vimeo.

So I inquired! And as nice as MacKenzie is, even her niceness couldn’t help the fact that their basic package (for filming as well as a highlight and feature-length film) was three times our budgeted amount (you can do the math there). So we sadly parted ways, though MacKenzie did offer to waive their travel fee if we could make everything else work, since they could combine the trip up North with a visit to her Mom. A supremely kind offer to be sure, but still, not much to go on.

Fast forward to last month. I received a completely unexpected and very generous gift, and immediately decided to put it towards video. With that gift plus our initial budgeted amount, we were suddenly 2/3 of the way towards our goal. At that point, we knew we could make it work, so we sat down and took an even harder look at our budget. Extra hors d’oevres? Gone. Custom cocktail napkins? Gone. Less expensive (but still awesome!) band in favor of more expensive band? Yes. Mini cutting cake? Now being made by yours truly instead of our caterer (more about this to come!). With these cuts and more, we were able to shift enough of our resources towards video to make it a reality for us. Thankfully, Inkspot was still available for our date!

Alex & Katherine: wedding highlights from Inkspot Crow Films on Vimeo.

I know that videography isn’t a priority for everyone, and if it’s not for you, then that’s totally fine! But if it is a priority, and you haven’t hired someone because you don’t think you can afford it, I would encourage you to look again. I would make those cuts and more three times over to have a moving record of our day. We have a lifetime to throw parties with awesome details, but only one chance to capture the ones we love the most in action on one of the most special days of our lives. I have never heard a bride say she regrets spending money on videography, but I have heard more couples than I can count say not hiring a videographer is their number one regret. I didn’t want that to be us, and thankfully, it won’t be.

I will leave you with a completely adorable story, and though I might not be getting all of the details right, the sentiment is still true. A family with two little girls lives in the same apartment complex as John’s sister and her fiance. They went over to babysit one night, and the girls begged to watch “their favorite movie,” which they watch at least once a week with rapt attention. Yes, you guessed it: their favorite movie is their parents’ wedding video. I have a hard time thinking of a better reason to hire a videographer than that :)

P.S. Make sure you watch the highlight films from Inkspot interspersed throughout the posts! They’re some of my very favorites.

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February 8, 2012 11:18 am

Em – I’ve been following your blog with interest since you were featured on Wheaton’s website. This is a great post! I have always wanted a videographer when that special day comes. Side note, my parent’s wedding I’m told was the first wedding in the US that was taped on VHS since my mom worked for Panasonic. It was a wedding gift from the company and there are floating ghosts in the video! After all it was 1979. But I agree with you that most of the videographers I’ve seen in New England haven’t had the style that I felt meshed with what I imagined that video to be. These video samples you included are wonderful! Inkspot Crow Films is EXACTLY what I imagined the best video to be, and I can only hope that when that day comes, they’re available! Congrats :)

February 8, 2012 1:51 pm

So excited this worked out for you! We had similar sentiments when it came to videography for our wedding – we reallyyy wanted it, but it just wasn’t in the budget. We had planned to get a super 8 camera on ebay and to have family members film using that and our parents’ HD camera when we were approached by our wedding photographer just a month before the wedding…he was just starting a videography business and wanted to know if we would be interested in discounted videography so that he would have film for his portfolio. We couldn’t say, “Yes, please!” fast enough and I’m so thankful that it all worked out because we’re left with a stunning video that captured the day just perfectly. If you’re interested…Meet + Cute Films: http://vimeo.com/31255587

February 8, 2012 4:14 pm


February 8, 2012 7:50 pm

I’m so, so happy that this worked out for ALL of you! I swear MacKenzie tells me weekly how excited she is for your wedding!

February 9, 2012 11:08 pm

I’m sitting here crying my eyes out at the beautiful films of these weddings and I don’t even know any of these people! Inkspot Crow has done such a marvelous(!) job. I’m so excited to have Mackenzie and Philip working with you and J. Is there another sister left for when there is a third wedding in our family?! Would love it if they needed an extra assistant to be able to have Meredith involved again!!

February 10, 2012 9:00 am

Emily, this is such a great post about the realities of fitting wedding video into your budget. I bet many couples share these sentiments. Thank you for your kind words about our work, and know that we’re TOTALLY excited to document your marriage to John!

February 10, 2012 9:52 am

Great post. I love Philip and Mackenzie’s work and as good friends of them, I am glad that you were able to hire them because they do such great work, and care co much. This is great to help even some of my potential brides for photography see the importance of having your day recorded. My wife and I were lucky enough to have friends just starting into the industry to film our wedding and have a best man who was willing to edit the wedding and I am so glad that I made the last minute effort to have videographers because now I couldn’t imagine not having them there.

February 10, 2012 10:21 am

What a fantastic decision you’ve made!!! I love Inkspot Crow Films with all my heart and I have (no lie) watched every single video they have on their blog! I had the absolute pleasure of meeting MacKenzie because she snagged a couple of tickets to the wedding showcase at the Carolina Inn for me and a few friends. Your wedding will be masterfully and beautifully and lovingly documented, I can’t wait to see it!

February 16, 2012 3:24 am

Those features make me want to stand up and do a happy dance! They were beautiful!!! Congratulations for making this work in y’alls budget! It’s going to be a wonderful way to ALWAYS remember your special day.

February 21, 2012 1:56 pm

Emily – i love your blog!!! I found it from looking at the Southern Weddings blog one day back when it was peach and pearl and have loved following along with your wedding plans as I plan my own. Okay about inkspot crow…I saw them on a style me pretty blogpost back in March or April, and KNEW i had to have them. Having a videographer was briefly discussed then quickly dismissed during initial wedding planning due to budget concerns for me and my fiance. But I swear, when i found their website and looked at their videos, i emailed MacKenzie that day!! I just know its going to be SO worth it. My wedding is 4-28-12 and i can honestly say one of the things I’m most excited about afterwards is seeing that video! I totally understand where you’re coming from on this one. Good choice girlfriend ;)

July 5, 2015 9:51 pm

Hi Em! I just found your blog and had to comment on these absolutely lovely people. Couldn’t agree more. I stumbled upon Phillip and MacKenzie by accident and it was the best decision we ever made. I only had the chance to speak to MacKenzie once on the phone prior to our wedding and that’s all it took.:)