Why Do Weddings Cost SO MUCH?

Planning a wedding is super exciting!! The Pinterest boards coming to life, browsing through The Knot when your boss isn’t looking, figuring out how to train your dogs to bring the rings down the aisle. All the things. But then in mid wedding bliss it hits… whoa, that’s HOW MUCH?!

This is most people’s first time buying these things. Wedding cake, dress, catering, venues, mass amounts of flowers -- it’s not typical everyday items you’re buying and it’s easy to feel like you’re getting ripped off because you’ve got the word “wedding” stamped to your inquiries.

Now I don’t have the secret guide to wedding costs, but I can tell you where your investment goes when you book with us. So let’s cut straight to it.

You get one shot at the day, then it’s over. There are no redos, no second “I do” kisses, if audio or a camera fails, you need a plan and you need to be savvy and (literally) quick on your feet. On top of that, you need to continue on your day with a big ol’ smile as if everything is grandiose… because let’s be honest, a bride doesn’t want to hear your camera is out, they want to know you’re getting the job done to the highest of standards. And your day WILL still be covered to the highest of standards with smiles all around, if you invest wisely.

You get one shot at the day, then it’s over. There are no redos, no second “I do” kisses, if audio or a camera fails, you need a plan and you need to be savvy

Things happen, but to best avoid equipment failures, that means investing in top of the line gear and understanding which setup works best for weddings. I’ll do a quick rundown of the items you can find on me during a wedding…

  • Three camera bodies
  • Large array of lenses
  • Professional-grade drone
  • Traveling cases
  • Camera motion stabilizer
  • Monopod/Tripods
  • Rode mic
  • Multiple lavalier mics
  • Top of the line professional SD cards
  • Second shooters with all of these same expenses

That may not seem too crazy, but these items are constantly being upgraded to match the current industry standards. That is about $25,000 of gear as well as an additional $10,000 - $15,000 in second shooter costs per year. Now onto things you don’t see day-of…

  • Insurance
  • Editing software
  • Music licensing
  • Website fees
  • Client Management software
  • Photo delivery subscriptions
  • Education
  • Computers
  • Hard Drives
  • Client flash drives - custom carved
  • Shipping costs
  • Travel costs
  • Client meeting costs

These things add up. Specifically to around an additional $15,000 per year.

Then there’s your time. There is checking gear, packing, traveling, spending around 10 hours at your wedding, offloading footage, backing up footage, editing, exporting, shipping. Whew! It’s a LOT of time. That doesn’t even include the time invested in learning up-to-date techniques, going to workshops, keeping up the website, meeting with clients, emailing, and setting up contracts and invoices.

The editing in itself is huge. It differs across fronts, but think about JUST the initial run through of footage with 3 - 4 cameras rolling throughout those 10 wedding hours and finding music that perfectly compliments each individual’s personality. It truly takes weeks or even months to sort through footage and compile a really meaningful product. There is so much time and energy that goes into delivering a quality product that truly reflects you.

So there you have it! I am positive I am missing things, but weddings are tough work and expensive! It’s not necessarily because they have some kind of “wedding markup” (though, I too, thought that was the only reason at one time). It’s hard to imagine what goes into these days if you’re not seeing the whole process, but I truly hope this helps in understanding where your investment goes!