A wedding videographer will create a lifetime memory for you from edited video footage of your wedding day, ceremony and reception. Choosing a wedding videographer starts with looking online at portfolios of their past work. There’s no need to talk to anyone unless you love what you see. Next, make sure they have good reviews and past client experience; don’t be shy about asking for references if there aren’t any posted online. When you find someone who has a style you love, ask if they are available on your wedding day. If so, it’s time to talk pricing. Be clear about your maximum budget, and ask what kind of packages they offer. Pricing will depend on the number of crew needed for filming, the hours they are required to be onsite, post-production editing, and the length of the final product. Talk with several wedding videographers to get a feel for what prices are like in your region. Nationally, the average cost for wedding videography ranges between $990 and $1,260 per event. Once you agree on a product and have a plan, get everything in a written and signed contract. Clearly state the details of what is expected for your wedding day and from the final product. Be prepared to pay a deposit to reserve their services for the day, then pay the remainder upon receiving the video.
Pulling off a large, complex wedding or an elegant, small affair requires juggling myriad details, including the officiant, food, drink, wedding cake, entertainment, transportation, rehearsal dinner, photography, equipment rentals, venue reservations and more. A wedding event coordinator can help you keep track of these details, overseeing the planning process and managing everything on the day of your wedding. Each wedding coordinator (and wedding) is different, but in general you can expect an event coordinator to:
- Help you devise a realistic wedding budget and hold your vendors to it.
- Map out a master plan that includes all of the details including ceremony music, favors, the guest book and more.
- Suggest ceremony and reception locations that fit your wedding size, budget and vision.
- Suggest florists, photographers, bands, caterers and other vendors that fit your budget.
- Negotiate vendor contracts for the best deals.
- Create a timeline for the day of the wedding that includes each vendor and member of your wedding party.
- Mail invitations and track RSVPs.
- Answer questions about wedding etiquette and current wedding trends.
- Manage the wedding day from supervising vendors and setup to handling last-minute emergencies.
A videographer professionally films weddings and other events and edits the footage to create film keepsakes or marketing materials for their clients. Wedding videographers record all the key elements of your wedding day, ceremony and reception, and then edit the hours of film during post-production to make a wedding video, social media highlight reels, and any other film features you choose. Wedding videography captures, in live action, your vows, the cake-cutting, the first dance, reception toasts, the decor, the guests and all the details of your day. Many wedding videographers also interview guests (based on an interview list provided by the couple) and incorporate the recorded responses into the wedding video. Event videography typically costs less than wedding videography, as events are shorter with less detail. The national average cost for event videography is $500-$760, while the national average cost for wedding videography is $990-$1,260. A videographer usually does not need to be licensed, but it is important to confirm they have insurance and good standing in the business community, as well as good client reviews. A great majority of the work happens during post-production. The pros watch and blend together the hours of footage they took (sometimes from multiple cameras) to capture the story of your wedding day or event.
Baby pictures are among the most popular types of portrait photography, and most newborn photographers are well versed in the best places to take baby pictures in their local areas. Some newborn photographers will come to the hospital to shoot the baby within a day or two of birth, while others have set up their studios to accommodate the needs of infants. Some parents prefer to have the newborn photographer come to their home or travel to a favorite park or other outdoor location. Like any portrait photography, the best place to take baby pictures is the place you like best and that will yield the types of photos you want of your baby, whether that’s posed and carefully lit studio portraits or spontaneous, casual photos at home. Work with a local newborn photographer to find a safe, calm location with great lighting and some privacy for your family.
Renting a luxury car for an event can be easy. Executive car rental companies provide set rates and package options based on the time of day, the type of car, and the length of time for the rental. A Bentley on a Saturday night will definitely cost more than a stretch Lincoln on a Thursday afternoon, so consider vehicle type and day if you’re concerned about budget. Typically when you rent a luxury car for an event, you are also hiring a chauffeur to drive. If not, you can rent a luxury car through standard car rental companies. For chauffeur-driven executive car rentals, make sure you have a clearly outlined contract to help avoid any potential problems.
Once you have decided on the type of car you want and the length of the rental, review your written contract carefully before paying a deposit. Confirm the price and check to see whether booking fees, tax, gas and surcharges are included. If they’re not, go back and renegotiate to make sure everything is in writing. If driver gratuity is not included in the total, be sure to set aside cash to tip driver at the end of the night; 15 percent to 20 percent is standard if they’ve done a good job. Another way to know upfront what to expect is to request photos of the vehicle you are renting. Now, sit back and enjoy the ride.
Reviews, interviews and menu tastings will help you find the right catering choice for your big day. Start by screening possible wedding caterers based on past reviews. If a caterer you are interested in has a review that concerns you, ask them about it; how they respond will be very telling. Next, ask about their availability for your wedding date.
If the wedding caterer is available on your date, it’s time to talk about menus and prices. Be clear about what your maximum budget is find out what choices this will allow you. Caterers may custom-create a menu for your event, or they may have menu templates within different price ranges that can guide your decision. A clear budget gives the caterer clear parameters within which to work and offer creative suggestions. Schedule a menu tasting to confirm you love your wedding menu. Once you have a menu and date, and have paid a deposit to reserve the caterer’s services, confirm additional details including when the food will be delivered to the site, what kind of service will be provided, how many servers will be onsite and for how long, and who is responsible for setup and cleanup. The more specific your contract, the fewer worries you’ll have on your wedding day. Get more smart hiring tips here.
A wedding planner is a professional service provider whose job it is to organize and execute all the details of a couple’s wedding. A wedding planner can be contracted at any stage in the wedding planning process to help to any degree the couple is willing to pay for. Wedding planning is similar to event planning in that a planning team handles the coordination of multiple wedding elements including catering, venue, guests, entertainment, decor, transportation and more. Anyone who has ever been involved in a wedding can confirm that wedding planning is hard work. Experience brings wisdom when it comes to avoiding or resolving day-of challenges. There is no legal regulatory body that oversees or certifies wedding planning as an industry. Anyone who chooses can call themselves a wedding planner. When looking for a wedding planner, be sure to read reviews, and make smart hiring decisions by asking about licenses and insurance.
Wedding makeup artists ensure you and your bridal party are looking your best bright and early on your wedding day. Tipping a wedding makeup artist for their hard work is standard practice, and is also greatly appreciated. A tip of 15 percent to 20 percent of the total bill is appropriate. You may consider tipping extra if the makeup artist or someone on their team went above and beyond — for example, squeezing in Aunt Martha at the last second or redoing a flower girl’s hair free of charge after she dunked it in the fountain.
A gratuity is a reflection of a job well done, so if the wedding makeup artist was late, did a shoddy job or didn’t provide all the services you negotiated, you are not required to tip. Talk with your wedding makeup artist prior to the event to ask how they prefer payment and gratuity to be handled. Can you pay by credit card the day of the event and include a tip then? Do you need to pay in cash the day of the event? Find out ahead of time how to manage payment for services so you can be prepared with cash or credit cards as needed. Even better, delegate the task of payment to someone in your bridal party so you can just enjoy your day.
Anyone who is authorized by the court or a credible online source has the power to perform a wedding ceremony. Traditionally, wedding officiants were ordained members of a religious organization or civil officiants authorized by the court to legally marry two people. With the increasing customization and personalization of weddings, many couples are asking a friend or family member to become ordained and act as their wedding officiant. Wedding officiants can represent a wide range of backgrounds including Christian, Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, nondenominational, interfaith or nonreligious. There is no legally required structure for a wedding ceremony, so couples can customize the language of the ceremony and their vows in any way they desire (though members of some religions may have specific requirements). To legally validate the marriage, the couple and the wedding officiant must sign a marriage certificate after the ceremony verifying the date and names of those involved. The wedding officiant should then submit the certificate to the court, which will in turn mail an official marriage certificate to the newly married couple.
Catering prices can range from about $10 per guest on the low end to $150 or more per person on the high end. Catering costs represent the quality of food, presentation, variety, ingredients and service. But catering prices are more than the cost to cook the food that will be at your party; they also include the cost for the company to do business. Here is a simple breakdown of catering prices:
- Menu: The food you serve your guests will directly affect the price per person. Organic ingredients, complex recipes, elaborate presentations, or high-ticket items like lobster or filet mignon all add to the cost.
- Service: Buffet, family style, plated dinners — how you serve the food affects the cost per person. For example, a true plated meal can cost about twice the price of a staff-assisted buffet because of staffing costs. Hiring waiters, bartenders and cleanup crew will all be calculated into the per-person catering price.
- Drinks: Providing beverages and alcoholic drinks for guests greatly increases your catering budget. Hosting an open bar can cost as much per person as the meal.
- Rentals: Seating, plates, glassware, etc., will all have an effect on the cost per person for catering. For example, a plastic conference table that seats 10 costs about $6 to rent on average, while a wooden farmhouse table is about $80 to rent on average.
- Business costs: Any catering cost will also include the cost for the company to do business such as insurance, employee wages, commercial kitchen space and more.