As you’re sitting down and putting your wedding planning budget together, if you’re leaning on the “maybe not” side of hiring a videographer, we DEFINITELY encourage you to rethink that! While on one hand, yes, it could keep a few extra dollars in your pocket, as you’re going to see from the three wedding videos that we’ve included (the last one is long, but it’s totally worth it!), it’s so well worth the investment. (Even if it is a bit of a sacrifice.)

That said, this post is going to have a bit of a twist. First, we’re going to share a few practical tips on how to select the best videographer for your wedding and reception. Then, we’ll close out with some of our favorite wedding videographers and couples.

Ready?

Put a realistic budget together. One mistake that a lot of couples make is looking for a videographer BEFORE thinking about what they can actually afford to pay. The challenge with this is similar to looking for a wedding dress without a budget in place. You may fall in love with something you simply can’t buy. So, how much do you need for a quality video? Honestly, think no less than $2,000. Around $2,500 can get you something that’s pretty impressive indeed.

Check out no less than 5-7 videographers. Reputable videographers are going to have websites where you can check out their work. They are also going to have reviews and references on hand if you want them. The reason why you should check out no less than 5-7 (no more than 10, though) is because the two of you need to look at different people’s personal style and approach. Once you have, you should narrow your search down to three and then personally interview them. Either in person or by phone (preferably something like video Skype if you are considering someone out of town.

Discuss with them what you’re looking for/expecting. Back in the day, someone would just hold up a camcorder, shoot the wedding (and maybe the reception) and call it a day. These days? Uh-uh. You need to choose a videographer who has a personality that you mesh well with and who is willing to be as creative as you’d like! A videographer who thinks outside of the box so that you’re wedding video truly comes out looking like it’s one of a kind.

How far in advance should you book one? Here’s where it gets a little tricky. For the best ones, you really should put a deposit down to hold them a year in advance. One way that you might be able to get around this is if you’re willing to pay a little extra (so that they’re willing to refer someone out or work on days they might have planned to be off) or if you know of a couple personally whose video you liked who may be able to get in a good word for you with their videographer. But really, as far in advance as possible is your best bet.

Do you need more than one videographer? Some videographers come with their own team, which is awesome. But if you are going with someone who does solo work, consider hiring a second videographer to capture other angles, stills, etc. Also, if your guest list exceeds more than 250-300 people, that’s another reason to get a second one; they can get reactions from your guests which makes the video even more personal.

Get EVERYTHING in writing. Like we said, hiring a great videographer is worth it, but it’s not cheap. You need to get amount, how long you’re hiring them for, the deposit, any extra fees—everything that you can possibly think of in writing. That way, there are no disappointments once your special day comes.

And now, onto three videos that we hope will convince you to start looking for a videographer as soon as you get off of this blog post!