Top Wedding Vendors 2020! - Virginia Living Magazine

Top Wedding Vendors 2020!

Congratulations! Virginia Living’s editors have selected your business, Wedding Films by Gabrielson, as a
Top Wedding Vendor for 2020

Top Wedding Vendors 2020 is a comprehensive list of the highest quality wedding professionals throughout the Commonwealth. The list is published online at alongside the release of our February bonus edition, Virginia Living Weddings.

From cakes to jewelry, gowns to lighting, and music to stationery, Virginia Living’s Top Wedding Vendors 2020 is the resource for anyone planning a wedding in Virginia, and we are so pleased to include Wedding Films by Gabrielson..

Virginia Living’s editorial staff reviewed thousands of vendors in more than 30 categories and selected only those who consistently deliver the highest quality products and customer service.

Should I Hire a Wedding Videographer for my Wedding

Should I Hire a Wedding Videographer for my Wedding

This is an age-old question that most couples face when they’re planning the wedding.

On one hand, it comes down to being able to afford hiring one, on the other if you skip it, you’ll regret not spending the money on one.

Of course, as a wedding videographer myself, I’d tell you to get one, but today, I want to share with you the pros and yes, the cons if you skip hiring someone like myself.

First, let’s start with why you should skip getting a wedding video.

Skipping the Wedding Videographer

Only about 39% of couples in the United States get a wedding video from a professional, that according to The Wedding Report, a national database of couples and what they purchased for their wedding.

So, why do they many times skip this important and needed line item?

Well, mostly it boils down to the budget.

Couples will book the wedding photographer far sooner than a wedding video and most times, couples that do hire a videographer, it’s usually a last-minute thing.

I know that in my business years ago, roughly 64% of couples would book me 3-6 months from the wedding (today it’s 12-24+ months).

As couples quickly realize that weddings are expensive, they start to cut out line items that they feel are not important, like a video.

That’s usually because they’ve already hired a wedding photographer and don’t feel the need to purchase a video. I can completely understand that from a couple’s point of view.

One of the other reasons couples skip the video altogether is because they don’t feel its important to them to capture the day and relive it.

I will tell you however that over the last 21 years of filming off and on that millennial’s seek out video far more in advance and it’s more important to them than couples from say the early 2000’s.

I myself have seen a huge increase in the number of inquiries made and bookings when I was operating full-time.

Talking to influencer’s and search engine optimization professionals, they tell me this is because the current generation tends to be video driven, with fast internet speeds and just about every device having a camera it seems, couples of today have better access to technology and that’s changed their mindset.

So Why HIRE a Wedding Videographer

Well I’ll give you just a couple of main points here, first, it’s so you can listen to what was said, relive the moments that you created and capture the day spent.

Second, it’s to remember. See, we tend to quickly forget what happened in years past and can barely remember what we did say three months ago on the third Saturday of the month, do you remember what you had to eat that day, whom you talked with and who was with you that day?

Most likely no, you don’t.

I’ll go even further and let you know that video is also a great way to see loved ones that might pass away in the future. I know personally speaking, having video of my grandfather (Gabe) is so worth watching, it brings me joy being able to see or just hear his voice.

Many times, couples that get a wedding video will be able to see grandparents and loved ones that are no longer with us.

And to answer that cost question that many couples have, I’d like for you to chew on this for a moment.

Say that you’re having a small wedding that’s going to cost you about $15,000. A good wedding video professional will cost you on average about $1,500 give or take.

Your Entire Wedding Budget

You should plan on spending about 11% of your overall budget on a good, professional video

Is investing 10% of your money worth being able to document it and relive it a year from your wedding?

5 years from it?

What about 10 years of 25 years after the wedding day?

Or to show your kids as they get older so they can see what your wedding day was like?

While pictures show just a literal snapshot in time, a video provides people a way to relive the memories, rehear the vows you spoke and what was said, feel the emotions again and to share with others that couldn’t be there in the first place.

Here’s my final thought on the subject.

You’re going to spend a LOT of money on the wedding day, in some cases stupid amounts of money that don’t make sense, for example, spending $1,000 on a new wedding dress just to wear it for 8-10 hours on average? (That’s $125-$100 per hour by the way)  

Why not buy a used dress for less than half the cost and invest the rest towards a wedding video?

Why not invest in being able to capture the day and relive it when you want?

Well, a good wedding videographer is in investment in encapsulating your memories and it’s well worth spending some money to capture the day, at least the ceremony if you’re truly wanting to skip out on a wedding video, feature film or the like.

Images definitely have a place and they can capture some of the wedding day, but a video goes a step further and allows you to see and hear what took place and feel the elements of the day too.

Honestly, this isn’t a sales pitch to get you to hire me either, if you get someone else to film the wedding, hey, thats awesome! I’d rather you have someone professional to capture the day than no one at all be it that you didn’t think it was important at the time or that you couldn’t find money in the budget.

I hope that this has been helpful in you understanding the pros and cons about getting a wedding video.

What are your thoughts, let me know in an email or in the comments below.



Stop Looking at Price, Look at this Instead for a Wedding Vendor

Stop Looking at Price, Look at this Instead for a Wedding Vendor

Sure, we all love a great deal when it comes to buying something, it’s what makes us open our wallets and fork out the debit or credit card. Searching for wedding vendors is much the same, we’re all looking for a great deal no matter what the budget is and we want to be happy with the wedding vendors that we select in the process.

Well, I can tell you that you should NOT be looking at price as the sole factor in hiring a wedding vendor, in fact, price should be just one of three factors. Today, I’d like to share with you those factors and provide you some valuable information on how best to get the wedding vendors that you need.

Price is just 1/3rd the Key

Sure, price is an important factor when it comes to everything from wedding venues to photographers, flowers, dresses, cakes and of course wedding video too, but you need to first figure out the budget.

Your overall amount you’re willing to spend on the wedding, that includes everything, from every flowers, every chair at the ceremony to the amount of food you’ll have and what music will be played at the reception.

Listen, if you want the average price of a select vendor, you need to do some homework. First, get the average ball price couples in your region spend and that can vary region to region. For example, here in Roanoke, weddings cost one thing, in Orlando, Florida, they cost something completely different.

I recommend that you search for 3-4 vendors and get their pricing. You might find some high and some low or you might find they’re all similar in price. Averaging that out will be your price point, start from there.

Let me give you an example.

Average Cost of Wedding Vendor Example

Let’s say you’re looking for someone like myself, wedding video and you find 4 companies within the region of the US that you’re getting married at. They all offer something similar and you get four prices:

Company A is $1,800

Company B is $2,250

Company C is $1,375

Company D is $1,600

When you average those prices, it comes out to about $1,756.25. So that’s the range that you should look at. Yes, you’ll always find those that are cheaper as well as those that cost far more, but my point is this generate an average try best to stick to that range if possible.


With that price, you need to ask yourself what are you getting? That’s important here. For that $1,750, you should be getting someone that offers a quality service and product, has a great reputation and someone that has a lot of experience too.

Think about it this way: would you hire a plumber with 6 months experience to fix a leaky pipe for $100 or would you pay $350 for someone with 15 years’ experience fixing the pipe and you know they’ll do a quality job?

Sure, the $100 guy seems like a great deal, but with little experience behind him and his quality might be questionable, is it worth the risk of your pipe busting again in the near future?

Well, wedding vendors are not exception, we come in all price ranges, levels of quality and experience and services too.

When it comes to the second thing to look for in a wedding vendor, it’s the quality of their services or products and it’s their level of experience.

I remember chatting with a bride-to-be back in 2015 when they were considering me for a wedding video priced about $1,900. They thought my services were too high and even after I met them in my studio, they went with a cheaper route, they hired a guy they found on Facebook for $600.

Well, about a year later I ran into her and the now husband at Kroger and she told me she regretted not hiring me, they were trying to save some money. She explained how the guy they hired did a horrible job at their wedding day video, only one camera was used, the camera tripod wasn’t level, there was no microphone and you could hardly hear anything on the ceremony video. She said she now saw why I cost what I did, with the quality of the professional (and expensive gear), the editing, my experience and knowing how to do things all counted for that expense.

These factors make a big impact on what you get at the end of the day so you need to make sure that the vendor has great quality and a good level of experience too.  

Value Added Service

Finally, look for a wedding vendor that offers a valued-added service.

What I mean by this is what do they offer that the others don’t in the same price range and quality/experience traits?

That’s important and should be the game changer when it comes to narrowing who to hire and who to stay away from.

Again, I’ll give you an example using Wedding Films here.

If you book with me, no matter the service, you’ll get peace-of-mind that I’ll do the job, right the first time. And if that’s not good enough for you, I offer a 30-day satisfaction guarantee on my work or I’ll reedit the video one time for free. Okay, still not enough, I offer a 10-year replacement warranty on the media that you from me too.

That means if you lose, break or damage your USB drive, I’ll replace it free one time. House fire, yup, it’s covered. Dog ate the USB drive, again, covered. Damage from use, again I’ll cover it. You also have peace-of-mind that I have a master copy of your wedding in my fire-resistant safe, so you’re always covered if something happens.

Oh, and to help give you some breathing room, I offer my own in-house financing, you pay 20% down instead of 50% like everyone else, and make monthly payments that you decide (2-10 months before the wedding) and that’s what you pay.

I’ll go even further in saying that my services like the ceremony have not one camera, but three with a wireless microphone, a backup audio mic on the cameras and an audio recorder on the DJ table if you have one.

See, it’s little things like that are value-added. They’re included in the overall cost of things and they help provide you added safety, reassurance and comfort knowing that you’ll be taken care of in the process.

That doesn’t mean someone should just throw in a bunch of things for free, value-added means you get extra value from a wedding vendor that others don’t have or are not willing to offer.

Final Thoughts

So, there you have it the three things to consider when hiring a wedding vendor:

·         Good price that’s in alignment with competitors

·         Companies that offer good quality and great experience

·         And those that have value-added services

Keys to Finding the Right Wedding Vendor

Once you have those three pieces of information together, you should be able to either pull the trigger on locking in the wedding vendor or just telling them they’re not a good fit for you and your wedding.

What do you think, let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!




Wedding Film Award for 2019

Hi friends, well, I’m sitting here with my coffee in hand and I’m happy to announce that we won an award and it’s a pretty BIG deal, well to me at least.

I’m so excited today to announce that Wedding Films by Gabrielson is a winner of the 2019 Wedding Filmmaker Awards for best overall couples experience within the wedding video industry!

With more than 200 wedding video companies being nominated for the various awards and more than 3,200 votes all across the United States, we made it to number 18 of the top 20 listed!

We won the award for best overall couples experience and we can’t be more excited!! Thank you so much to those that voted for us and for those that tossed our name in the hat too!

7 Essential Tips for the Groom and the Wedding Day

7 Essential Tips for the Groom and the Wedding Day

So, you’re getting married to the woman of your dreams soon and there is so much going through your head about the wedding day, thinking about making everything perfect for the love of your life. While it might feel like your bride will be getting all the attention at the wedding day, just remember that the wedding day is just as much about you as it is her.

Chill Time

Before you get up and spend the day with all your friends, family, your school buddies and everyone else, take a few hours to yourself the morning of your wedding. You’re going to be mentally overloaded with everyone pulling you around all day, the wedding planner, the photographer and the filmmaker will all be telling you to smile, how to pose in an image, plus all the wedding parts you have, it’s going to be a LONG stressful day.

I recommend waking up, maybe go for a run or walk, eat some breakfast by yourself and just chill before you go to the venue to get dresses and start the day.

Eat Something BEFORE the Wedding

While you think you’re going to be able to sit and eat a big meal at your own wedding the truth is far from it. In fact, only about 18% of couples get to sit and enjoy a full meal without be interrupted by wedding guests and vendors a like.  You’re going to be burning a lot of calories during the wedding day so I highly recommend that you eat a little something beforehand if possible.

Something yummy but also light, grab a brew and have some sliders with the guys or enjoy a cheese and meat tray where you guys will be hanging out at.

Get Plenty of Rest

Starting the week before your wedding, go to bed at an earlier timeframe if possible. Rest. Chillout, relax and just enjoy the week beforehand. Allow yourself downtime is an important piece of getting your mind right and your body ready for the wedding to come.

TRUST me when I tell you that once the day gets going for you, it’ll be non-stop until you have an exit.

Listen to the Wedding Planner

While it might be fun to hang out with the boys and have some fun, the most important thing I can tell you as a wedding filmmaker is to listen to the wedding planner. You’ve spent a lot of money, time planning everything as well as a lot of money on your BIG day, sure have a bit of fun with the boys but also remember its YOUR wedding just as much as it is hers.

Always listen to the wedding planner and follow what he or she asks you do to. Don’t just wonder off with the guys to have a little drink, smoke a cigar or to step into the room to watch the big game on TV.

The last thing you want is to have an unhappy wife AND an unhappy wedding planner for the day.

Don’t Forget Gifts!

If you want to make a personal experience for the groomsmen in your wedding, don’t forget to bring the gifts that you need to give out to the guys. While it’s your day, the guys, like the girls, have spent time, effort and money to make your wedding day.

You need to make sure that you provide them each a cool, manly gift that will be sure to please. There is a wealth of gifts that you can get them, and a simple Google search will help you get some of those great ideas.

Get Dresses about an Hour Early

If you can, I suggest that you get dresses about an hour before you are supposed to. That way, you’ll be ready early if the wedding photographer and wedding videographer want to grab some media of you and the dapper guys.

Be sure to take your time dressing as those tuxes you rented don’t always seem to workout, many guys don’t know how to put on the bowtie or handkerchief in the coat pocket. Also, those cuff links might seem easy to put on, but most likely you’ll have to someone for help.   

Hey Stupid, Write a Letter


Yeah, I get it, you’re not the warm and squishy type when it comes to your emotions. Well listen, this is YOUR wedding, so do something out of the box that’s romantic to your soon-to-be spouse, write them a heartfelt, handwritten letter.

Let them know how much YOU truly care about them and provide examples of why they meet your love language. Talk about the fun times you’ve had with them, talk about how excited you are to get married and talk about your future too!

Honestly, I’d start thinking about writing something when you have that down time about a week before the wedding, but in either case, write something form the heart and have of the groomsmen hand deliver it to the bride. I recommend doing it when you know the photographer and videographer are going to be there capturing the day with the girls, that way you’ll be able to see her reaction when she gets it.


Okay guys, there you have it, some important things that you need to try and do the week before the wedding and your wedding day. Yes, you can have a fun time and a great day, but I will tell you that it will go by extremely fast for you, so prep as much as you can beforehand.

What do you think, have I missed something? If so, drop it in the comments below and let me know.

When Wedding Vendors Don’t Respond

When Wedding Vendors Don’t Respond

A good wedding vendor is going to make you feel calm, welcome and as if a stress cloud of your wedding planning has been lifted off your shoulders.

Hey, I get it, trust me I do. As you’re communicating with the various vendors that you are trying to connect with and book, the emails, messages and phone calls are going unanswered.

Sometimes that happens as us wedding professionals are many times working even when there isn’t a wedding, in my case, I’m often sitting at the computer trying to edit a wedding I just filmed, networking with other vendors or I’m communicating with someone else.

But, how do you know if a vendor is simply busy and they just haven’t responded or if they are dodging you altogether?

Today, I’d like to share some great insights into just being patient with them or perhaps it’s time to move onward to another vendor that can service your wedding.

Giving Grace is Important

One thing that I will tell you is that all wedding vendors ranging form coordinators to photographers, to videographers such as myself and everything in between, we all wear many hats in the business.

We’re the owners, the janitors, the accountants, the marketing person, the networking person, the sales guy, the staff, we do bridal shows, events and the list goes onward. Running a small business is a lot of hard work and sometimes a vendor might not be able to just email you back on a whim.

My advice, if you’re emailing, especially on a weekend when we typically work, give us a couple of days to get back to you. For example, if were working on a Saturday, give us until Monday eve to respond back to you. A wedding hangover is something that is real and effects many of us in the business so having a complete down day on Sunday or Monday if were filming on a Sunday is important. It’s not that we don’t want to connect, its just we need a day to recover.

The Wedding Hangover

When it comes to weddings many of us vendors have the wedding hangover, no, I don’t mean that were drinking and partying, I mean we need a recovery day among other things.

Wedding photographer’s, videographers, catering companies, DJ’s and the like will often times focus on the task at hand, not to mention the physical stress of being a ninja during the day too. I myself will usually have a “hangover” day and need to use unwind, sleep in and rest after a wedding, being in my 40’s doesn’t help either lol.

In any case, if it’s a Sunday or a Monday morning, don’t expect a quick reply back, give vendors a couple of days to recoup and get back to you if you contact them.  My general rule of thumb, give a vendor at least a day to reply back if it’s the weekend. If it’s during the week, usually a 1-12 hour window is normal to respond back.

Sometimes, Life Just Happens

Like all people, wedding vendors sometimes go through hard times that prevent them from being as responsive as they normally would. Illness, loss, and suffering of any kind can upend their lives and routines. In the most ideal situation, vendors will be transparent about what’s going on and a) tell you when you can expect to resume planning, or b) graciously offer your deposit back.

Unfortunately, though, they might just go off the grid.

This is where compassion and empathy comes into play. Before you react, understand that you just don’t know what someone is going through. Respond in a way that you will be proud of regardless of the situation. You’ll never regret sending a classy, professional, straightforward letter.

You have every right to protect your investment, voice your concerns, and express your needs— just try to do so in a way that begins with empathy.

My Final Thoughts

Listen, we completely understand that you’re trying to connect and get information, perhaps pricing, a meeting setup or even a contract filled. Just be patient with the wedding vendor that you’re trying to connect with. If you’ve sent out communication’s and haven’t heard anything within a few days, 3 is my personal max, then perhaps its time to move onward to the next vendor.

What do you think about it, let me know in the comment section below, I’d love to hear what you have to say on the subject!





Brides to Be, Stop Using This One Term Please

Brides to Be, Stop Using This One Term Please

Hi brides to be, I trust that you are well with the wedding planning that you have underway! Today, I wanted to talk about one mistake that your using when your reaching out to vendors through places such as social media to find a vendor that works for you.  

That word is “affordable” (sometimes “reasonable”) and today on the blog, I’m going to explain why you shouldn’t use it and what you SHOULD do instead.

It can literally help you narrow down your search in record time as well as put you in touch with vendors that match your search, so with that, let’s begin.

Affordable is a Generic Term

Hey, I completely get it you’re trying to find the best deal on someone within the wedding industry and many people on various Facebook pages can help you out with referring someone to you, I see this all the time.

The problem however is that using the word affordable doesn’t always mean the same thing to the people you’re asking.

Saying something like this, “ISO an affordable wedding [vendor of your choice] in the XXXXXXX area…” could mean many different things. It could be a cheap vendor for $350 or it could be a cheap vendor for $1,250 or $3,000.

And that’s the problem.

See, what’s affordable to you might not be affordable to the next person.

There is no definition of what your budget is other than you don’t have a lot of money to spend on that type of vendor.

So the results that you get are going to vary, the only thing you’re doing is casting a wide net to people out there looking at your request and then you have to go through each post to figure out if they meet or match your criteria.

Do This Instead

If you are going to look for a select wedding vendor, be specific. But just don’t say that you have a $1,000 budget for X type of vendor, put a range out there, like this.

“ISO a wedding [vendor type] for my wedding on November 23rd, 2023. My budget is from $750-$1,250.”

Wedding Vendor Range

Putting a range inside your request does a couple of things.

First, it hides how much you’re really looking to spend, maybe its $800, maybe $1,000, maybe its $1,250.

But by narrowing down your budget with a range shows people what sort of vendor your seeking.

It also allows you to take the top 3 or 4 vendors from that range and see if they can meet you on your price, perhaps you might want to spend that little bit extra because they offer some value that you didn’t know about and spending an extra couple hundred bucks it worth the cost.

Either way, as a wedding filmmaker, I love it when people posting requests out there ask for a range rather than saying they’re looking for someone like myself that’s affordable.

It just sounds cheap and it doesn’t really define what you are looking for out in the wedding industry.

Bonus: Weeding Out Professionals vs Amateurs in the Wedding Business

No one wants to hire a wedding vendor that isn’t a professional, after all, YOU are spending a lot of money on your wedding day, isn’t it worth the peace-of-mind that the job will be done right in the first place?

Just yesterday, I was reading about a bride how wanted to buy the peacock style cake from a wedding vendor and they paid the person $300 to make the cake.

Well, the person made it alright and it looks more like a 6-year-old drawing that fell over than a wedding cake. Just look at the side by side photo, ouch!

So, how can you wedding out those people that want to take your money but not return what was contracted?

Well, it’s a couple of things but first let me tell you that we all started in the wedding business somewhere and not everyone in the wedding industry is bad.

If you want to find the right professionals to take care of your wedding, you need to do three things.

First, research the crap out of them. Find reviews, see samples, ask others online, visit their website, talk to other couples that have used them before if possible.

Second, connect with the person. Use email, phone calls, in person meetings if possible, Skype, whatever the case may be, connect with the vendor and ask LOT’s of questions, even if you know the answer to them.

If they’re more interested in locking you in for a cheap rate than talk to you about their passion, working in the wedding industry, that’s a tell-tell sign they’re in it for the money and not for the love of the job.

Third, if you do hire them, make sure you have a signed contract that offers provisions for both parties. I’m talking about clauses and things that protect you as a client and us as a vendor.

Things like rescheduling should your wedding date move, cancelling offering a warranty or providing details of everything that will happen and the expectations should be written into the contract.

Finally, go with your gut. If you’re talking to someone that offer three different things for a third of the average cost of others, I’d most likely skip them.

But if they offered the one thing that you’re looking for and they have some valued added services and they have a very reasonable rate, then yes, I’d consider them. Experience also goes a long way too, the longer someone’s been in the business, the more likely you’ll get someone that ill not make a mistake.

Well, there you go friends, I hope this helps the next time you’re looking for someone that’s “affordable” for your wedding day. Please share this with others and for more great tips, tricks and money saving ideas about the wedding industry, just check out other articles on the blog or comment below!


A Wedding Video or Feature Film, Which to Choose?


A feature Film or more Traditional Wedding Video, Which to Choose?

Hi friends, thanks for coming back to the website and if you’re new, welcome!

So, you’ve decided to get a video of your wedding, that’s honestly one of the BEST decisions that you can make for your wedding, being able to capture and relive the day. Hearing what was said, seeing and reliving the emotions that took place that day, seeing loved ones that may no longer be around, a wedding video can be a great long-term investment.

That aside for a minute, many couples are faced with a bunch of technical verbiage as well as names like wedding video, feature film, wedding cinema and the like. Honestly, it could be very confusing not to mention all those packages and the various things that they come with.

Well, listen, today I will give you some great advice on what to choose and what you should stay away from too!

What’s Video vs Film vs Cinema Anyway?

Well, within the wedding business you have what’s called a wedding videographer. Ever since I got into the business in 1999, that’s what we were called, videographers. Fast forward to almost 2020, we have filmmakers, cinematographers, videographers and the like.

The truth, they’re all the same. It’s just a loose term with the same meaning. There are some slight differences in the terminology, and they are as follows:

Wedding Video, a video of the ceremony, usually with multiple cameras and/or a video of the reception highlights, introductions, cake cutting, the exit and the like. Think very basic, yet professional.

These videos would be 15 minutes long or 45 minutes long depending on what’s taking place.  This could also sometimes be called traditional video or documentary wedding video. Wedding Video is normally more budget friendly than films or cinema.

Wedding film is a newer term and it basically means this, it’s a short story driven by various shots of the day, many times narrated by the couple, the officiant, sometimes speeches or any combination of all three. Unlike, wedding video, wedding films, sometimes called features or feature films, are shorter, 3-10 minutes typically.

They could have those fancy shots of the venues using drones, gimbals or sliders and they typically tell a wedding story within those few minutes.

Truth be told, the term is misleading as there is not actual film involved, everything it digital video. The term is usually meant for an elevated wedding video service.

Wedding cinema is even more misleading as again there is no cinema, no film or no high-level production in most companies. It’s a fancy way of saying they make features or feature films and they cater to more high-end productions.

There are few real wedding-cinema productions houses, those that do will be very expensive, running $5-15,000 or more and they have producer, a dedicated audio guy and a couple of people recording video if not more.

Most wedding video companies are going to have one, maybe two filmmakers throughout the day and many of these companies are going to be independent mom-n-pop services.

In the end, no matter the terminology, they all record wedding video and produce either short or long videos depending on what you want and how much you’re willing to pay.

Typical Costs

Wedding video comes in all price ranges because there are all sorts of styles, various regions of the United States, the local economics, the experience, the equipment and other things all have to do with pricing.

What’s interesting is that not all wedding markets are alike. Take Orlando for example, they have weddings year-round. With a large population, you’re going to find a lot of wedding video companies and they are extremely competitive with pricing, driving down the market cost.

Take another location in the US, Austin, TX. The market there is large in nature but many companies there charge more for a wedding video because of the market demands. Here in the Roanoke market for example, wedding video is cheap compared to an hour and a half up the road in Charlottesville.

In Charlottesville, a $4,000 wedding video is a great deal, but someone such as me that’s 1.5 hours to Roanoke, can get that same level of service for about $1,800, a BIG difference.

I will say that wedding video is cheaper than a feature of any kind, followed by a wedding films and then cinema.  I highly recommend that you figure out what you want first, a more traditional style wedding video or some kind of shorter wedding film, then get 3-4 quotes form various wedding vendors and take the average cost, that should be a middle ground of what you’d expect to pay for when shopping around.

Do I need 4K or 10 Bit Recording?

Listen, as a couple getting married you really shouldn’t care about things like micro four thirds, vs. Full Frame, 8-bit vs 10-bit, 4K vs 6K video.

Sure, there are some key elements that you want to look for but honestly, once you get past 1080p, 4K might give you a slight advantage, but most wedding videographers in 2019 are still producing in 1080p or just normal HD. In fact, most television stations in the United States don’t even broadcast in normal HD.

I myself have had 4K since 2014 and only had one couple get their wedding video in 4K, everyone else just HD.

Here’s what I recommend that you get in 2019 or 2020 for a wedding video:

·         1080p HD video

·         Clear audio from the officiant

·         USB delivery (NO DVD)

·         Edited and “flows” well

·         Multiple cameras at ceremony

If you’re in the market for the shorter feature, then I recommend this for a wedding film:

·         1080p, MAYBE 4K

·         4-8 minutes long

·         Clear audio

·         Licensed music (That’s Important)

·         USB or Online Delivery

This is an example of the DVD format vs HD format. You can see the clarity difference between the 480p format (DVD) and the Format (1080p).

Why would I get my wedding video in 4K? Or Should I?

The easy answer is if you are a techy like me, getting your wedding filmed and produced in 4K may be a great option to have, especially if you like everything in that format. But truth be told, 4K is overkill in 2019, most content you watch on your TV, even if it’s a 4K screen, is in normal HD.

Honestly, until the FCC changes the ATSC standard in 2022 to ATSC2, I wouldn’t bother with 4K unless you’re a die-hard fan.

For 98% of couples out there, 1080p is a great choice.

What about other stuff like drones, should I hire someone that uses drones for my wedding video?

Well, while drones are nice in a feature film, they do have limitations. Things like time of day, where your venue is in relation to an airport, being licensed to fly and weather can all play a role in a feature film.

For a wedding video, you won’t need a drone and it’s overkill.

For a feature, then sure you should consider someone that can provide you that option. Truth be told, you don’t have to have a drone to make a wedding films that’s great to watch!

Experience, What’s Your Take?

Well, normally, the more experience that someone has, the better they are at not making mistakes, missing out on various parts of the evening and the better they’re going to be at what they produce. Someone with 15 years’ experience is going to be worth the added cost than someone with just a couple years’ experience.  I myself have 21 years’ experience and I very rarely miss anything important.

Now experience doesn’t always mean they will be expensive either, that’s a common business misconception.

Experience simply means they are less likely to make mistakes at the wedding day.

Missing an important thing like the garter toss could be an important thing and is a newer person filming doesn’t know much about the camera they have, they could easily miss getting that shot.

My advice, hire someone with at least 2 years’ experience in the wedding industry.

DVD, Should I get one in 2019?

The short answer, no. Just about every wedding video person out there is going to film in at least normal HD, DVD is actually a standard definition format, putting wedding video on that format means it’s dumbed down in quality so I would advise against a DVD.

The Digital Video Disk as it’s called is a 420p format, the same as the old tube TV’s you had growing up, I wouldn’t recommend getting one for your wedding day.

Video Formats Keep Changing, What Should I Do?

Well, while video had had a handful of format changes in the last 20 years or so, from VHS to Digital tape, DVD to BluRay, the standards have only changed twice in the US.

From Standard definition (Think VHS, DVD and Tube TV) to HD which covers BluRay, HD and 4K. In either case, for 2019 I’d only recommend two different formats.

First, Streaming. With companies offering new streaming technology, like Netflix, Hulu and Amazon, broadcasting in an HD format has never been easier, so having your wedding on YouTube can be a great thing, especially if you want to share it with friend, family and loved ones.

Second, USB. If you truly want a copy to keep in the home, then I’d recommend getting it on a USB memory stick of some type.

Today, there are three USB types ranging from version 1-3.x, ask for something like a USB 2 or 3 as those standards will work in just about all PC’s, Macs and most smart TV’s too.  While there are still companies offering media like BluRay and DVD, they are a dying format.

When you think about wedding images, they too have been through many changes in the last twenty years as well. From physical print to completely digital and the format have been aplenty too, from .bmp and .jpg to .jpeg to now raw images converted to .png or the like depending on the photographer.

My Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of wedding video isn’t hard once you understand that most of us out there offer very similar types of services once you get past all the styles, storyboarding and the small things the separate us in what we do.

When you’re looking for a wedding video or film, don’t let price be the determining factor in choosing someone, yes it needs to be a factor, just not THE factor.  Have a question or comment for me about the wedding industry or any of my articles? Just comment below and let me know, I’m always happy to help answer anything I can for you, cheers~!


For Couples Not Getting a Wedding Video


For Couples Not Getting a Wedding Video

Hello friends!

Listen, I get it wedding video is just NOT in your budget.

You’re spending a ton of money on everything else to make your wedding day come together, your getting all dolled up in order to impress friends, family and loved ones and the last thing on your mind is to fork out more money for some guy standing there with a camera making a video.

Well today, I want to share with you some cold hard truths about skipping on a wedding video or film and why you should get one, even if you don’t hire me, you SHOULD have a professional cover it for you.

You’re Going to Forget

Let’s be honest for a moment, after you read this blog article, you’ll go on about your day and you’ll completely forget what I wrote.

In fact, I doubt you’ll remember what you had for dinner four nights ago. What about last month, do you remember how many times you went out and ate somewhere or how many times you stopped to buy gas for your car? No, I doubt it.

The same is going to happen at your wedding.

It will fly-by SO FAST that you will literally forget half the things that happened, you’ll miss out on what people told you, you’ll forget what was said at the ceremony and you’re not going to remember the speeches said or the dancing on the reception floor either.

Sure, you’ll remember small tidbits, but you’ll forget after a weeks’ time and more so as time goes onward. While a wedding photograph might be nice to have to try and relive that moment in time, you’re going to forget those smaller details as time moves on.

You’ll Regret it After the Fact

And that brings me to my next point, you’re going to regret it.

Sure, you’re not regretting it now, because you’re having fun planning, daydreaming and prepping the wedding day. And honestly, you won’t regret it afterwards, not until just AFTER your first anniversary.

Regret Skipping Wedding Video

In my many years of collecting data on the wedding industry, I’ve found that couples start to regret skipping out on a wedding video about 6-9 months after the fact, but only about 46% of those couples.

The really regret kicks in just after the first wedding anniversary as that number jumps upwards to the mid 90’s percent.

By the second anniversary, nearly 98% of those couples that wanted to save a bit on their entire budget, completely regret not having a wedding video from their wedding day.

Yup, 98%. Is $1,000 to $1,600 worth the regret?

You’re Spending Thousands on the Day and All You Have are Images

I want you to think about this for just a moment so bear with me…

Your dress, you’re most likely going to purchase it new and the average cost of a wedding dress nationwide is $1,400.  Can you believe that?!

$1,400 on a dress that you’ll wear for less than half a days’ time, 10 hours at most, then NEVER again. That’s a $140 per hour that dress is costing you just to look pretty and impress everyone there at the wedding.

But you’re not spending anything to capture people and their reactions when they see you or the smiles on their faces… oh right, wedding images.

Well, again images can’t relive what happened during the day and what was said to you and your spouse.  

I’m not saying you shouldn’t get wedding photos, but what I’m saying is that you should INVEST in your wedding day where it honestly means the most, making memories.

And that’s what video does, it encapsulates your memories to relive. You can hear what was said, feel those same emotions as you watch the day, remember those no longer with you and what they told you, what they did and how they were.

Video adds elements that an image simply can’t do.

You Have Options with Paying

Many times, couples will use the excuse of wedding films or video as being a budgeting issue. Well, first let me tell you that I’ve eliminated that with my in-house financing.

It’s very simple.

You’re spending the same amount of money, just spreading it out over time.

Think about it this way, how many of you buy a car and pay in full for it when you buy it? Not very many, in fact about 90% of you are going to make monthly payments.

Well, I offer a smaller down payment and then monthly payments up until the wedding much like financing a car or expensive line item.

Second, I want you to ask yourself a question.

How important is it for you to RELIVE your wedding day?

Honestly, is it more important to have a fancy dress, an expensive wedding venue or spend all your money on a wedding photographer?

Or, is it more important to capture the entire day and be able to watch, hear, and feel those emotions again and to include them with those expensive photos that your paying for?

If being able to relive your wedding day IS important to you, then you will hire a wedding video or wedding film professional.

If not, then just know that at some point down the road you will WISH that you had listened to my advice and spent some of that wedding money on getting a wedding video, it’s just a matter of time.


Keeping Wedding Guests Warm at a Fall or Winter Wedding

Keeping Wedding Guests Warm at a Fall or Winter Wedding

Hello everyone, thanks for stopping by my wedding film blog. As fall weather is fast approaching in Virginia and other parts of the United States, I wanted to talk a little bit today about keeping warm during your off-season wedding. I know many people will have weddings from October through March and some will have outdoor ceremonies or receptions, I know myself, I still have three couples left to film and all are this month.

Anywho, today, I’m going to share with you a few ideas that I’ve seen as I’ve filmed weddings form the last couple of decades, hopefully you can get some inspiration and put a couple of these ideas to your wedding.

Warming Station

I’ve filmed a few weddings over the years that offer what’s called a “warming station”, it’s basically an area with a table or bar setup filled with warm apple cider, a couple of those tower heaters and operate off propane, some blankets in a warming box and someone to help manage the station.

If you’re having an outdoor wedding, then this is a wonderful idea to have in a situation where you might have a ceremony outside or a reception both indoor and out.

Heating Units

I’m sure that you’ve seen them before at a big box store, perhaps a Lowe’s or Home Depot, those propane heating towers. For about $150, you can get some of these installed and setup at various stations at the wedding venue.

I know many wedding venues in our area that offer several of them and they’ll even rent them out during cold evenings too, much cheaper than if you bought them. From my understanding, when put on the high setting they’ll last about 1.5 hours, on a medium setting about 4 to 4.5 hours.

Systems like these are great for keeping your wedding guests nice a cozy and it’s well worth the investment either way you look at it.

Happy Hour Ideas

About 5 years ago, I was filming a wedding where the couple offered mini grilled cheese sandwiches and cups of a tomato cheddar soup for their happy hour.

It was a much different than your traditional crackers, cheeses and nibbles like you see at many weddings, but the warm cups of soup and sandwiches not only hit the spot, but it was very much the talk of the wedding during happy hour too.

It appears that these types of treats are making a coming-back in 2019 as I’ve seen a couple other articles already about them this year as well as people taking about them on various wedding forums too.

Fire Pits

Sure, fire-pits are great, but not every wedding venue has them or offers them. If they do have these at your wedding venue, I would have the venue set them up for people all throughout the evening if possible, to help keep people nice and warm.  Either gas propane or wood, fire-pits allow people to stay warm, mingle and relax by the fire too! Warm guests mean happy guests and those happy guests will stay longer at your reception.

Blankets Are a Must

Another great idea is to have a blanket station. These are stations at the ceremony or reception where people can grab a 4X8 throw blanket and cuddle up if needed to enjoy the ceremony or elements of the reception.

I’ve seen where couples will many times have a simple table filled with these and even ask guests to take them as parting gifts too. While you could order them custom with your names and wedding dates, purchasing generic ones for $5 a piece is a great money saver and makes a nice, warm gift too!

Hot Coco Bar at the End

One of the coolest wedding endings I filmed in years past was the couple doing a sparkler exit and as the guests left the venue, the couple had a hot coco-to-go bar setup. Managed by a couple of catering staff, the bar offered hot coco with yummy toppings and treats to nibble on as well as warm spiced apple cider.

These yummy drinks were served up in custom coffee tumblers with the couples name and date on them and they were a huge hit as people were leaving. Just another fun and affordable idea to help keep everyone toasty throughout the evening.

Well, there you have it friends, a few ideas that I’ve come across over the years as a wedding filmmaker. So, what would you like to know about regarding weddings? I’m happy to provide you my tips, tricks and money saving advice. Just email me at or comment below.