4.4 out of 5.0
Quality of Service:
4.5 out of 5.0
4.0 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5.0
4.5 out of 5.0
Value for Cost:
4.5 out of 5.0
Initially, my husband and I weren't planning on hiring a videographer for our wedding. Since my husband is a photographer, we had decided early on that our wedding photography would be a top priority in terms of quality and budget. Aside from that, there is definitely a bit of a negative connotation when it comes to wedding videos - soft lighting and cheesy music is not how I wanted my wedding remembered. As for my husband, in his professional experience he felt strongly that video operators just got in the way of still photographers. So why would we spend so much money on quality photographers just to have their job potentially botched by an incompetent videographer?
But my mom was insistent on hiring one, arguing that she wanted every moment of the day captured both visually *and* auditorily so that we could watch and relive it for years to come. Video could document the day in a way that photos couldn't. She had a point. She also had the pocketbook. And while my husband still felt strongly against having one, I wondered if not hiring one would be something we'd later regret. Besides, some battles are just not worth fighting (a lesson to be learned for all soon-to-be-newlyweds).
So I scoured the web looking for suitable and reasonably priced videographers. Little did I know that there's a whole new subgenre of wedding videography known as wedding "cinematography". These wedding cinematographers were also not fans of the stereotypical wedding video - they wanted to capture your wedding day artistically and unobtrusively (wedding videojournalism, if you will). No huge honking video cameras in my face, but instead a compact DSLR? No garish lighting and unidentifiable muzak? And they can make any wedding couple look like the stars of their very own awesomely sweet music video? Bingo!
With only a couple months left to go before our wedding, and a quickly dwindling budget, I knew our choices would be limited. But luckily I found Leslie Satterfield of Kiss the Bride Films. She sent me her pricing information, which detailed a small variety of packages starting at $1900 for 6 hours and going up to $3200 for 12 hours and two cinematographers. And all packages include 3 DVDs containing your documentary reel (anywhere from 45-90 mins, depending on your package) and 3-5 minute highlight reel (aforementioned "awesomely sweet music video" with your song choice), and you can request to have all the raw footage, as long as you provide a hard drive. Better yet, we were able to negotiate a lower price and reasonable overtime fee.
The day of the wedding, she was on time and ready to go. She basically followed the lead of our two wedding photographers, which is exactly what we wanted. Most of the time, I forgot she was even there, which meant I didn't have to feel self-conscious about having my video shot. And since our wedding photographers couldn't be everywhere all at once, she got to film things that even we missed (and the day goes by so quickly that you feel like you miss a lot!). We were pleased with her wedding day performance - she was nice, professional and unobstrusive.
In two and a half months' time, she sent us our highlight reel, which we absolutely loved. It was so sweet and captured lots of great little moments in only four short minutes. I couldn't wait to share it with all my friends and family, who also raved about it. She ended up using the song we chose for our cake cutting ceremony, but when I requested an alternate version with another song, she gladly and promptly put it together. Within three months, we had our complete wedding dvds in our mailbox. We were really impressed with her speed and professionalism. Throughout our three months of doing business with her, she was always easy to communicate with and prompt in responding to emails.
Now comes my not-so-dirty little secret. After a month of having the video in my possession, I still have not watched it. (My mom has, of course - she watched it the first night and loved it!) But I still have it pretty clearly in my head how the whole day unfolded...I have my rose-colored memories, if you will. And watching the video might change how I remember the day. So for now, I'm going to hold onto the memories of that day exactly as I remember it...and when I want to watch it and relive it from an outsider's perspective, I know I'll have an awesomely sweet video waiting for me.