Why Are Wedding Videos So F*cking Expensive?

Ever wonder why wedding videos are SO expensive? According to The Knott, the average wedding film cost about $1,900 in 2022, and most people don’t just have that kind of cash sitting around.

But at the same time, more and more people these days are realizing that they really want the experience of having their wedding filmed, and more importantly, being able to relive their wedding day. But for a lot of those people, there’s one big barrier in the way: Dollar dollar bills baby.

So why are wedding films so expensive?

There are multiple answers to this, as there are multiple variables to consider with wedding videography. Replogle Studios is an affirming wedding videography studio in the Chicago area, and we’re going to walk you through what we believe are the 5 main reasons why wedding videos are so expensive.

Videography is expensive

This sounds like a bullshit answer, but let me explain. Videography in GENERAL is very expensive. Most day to day people don’t have many situations where they would hire a professional videographer to make a professional video for them, it’s usually a business hiring a production company to make an ad or a training video. If you were a business hiring someone to make an a branded video, you’d expect to pay from $1,500 to $3,000 per minute of final video (and that’s from a semi-pro) Larger production companies would likely be in the 5,000 to $20,000 per minute range.

Source: How Much Do Brand Videos Cost to Make? – business.com

For a normal person, this is REALLY EXPENSIVE, but for a business this is pretty typical. Most wedding videographers are significantly downscaled and specialized compared to a corporate production company, which is why your 5 minute wedding highlight is more likely to be in the $2,000 range, but most people don’t have that context, so $2,000 for 5 minutes seems like a LOT, but in the video world, that’s actually on the cheap side.

Opportunity Cost

The second reason is something called opportunity cost. All wedding vendors only have a limited number of weekends that we can work to make the money that we need for the whole year. Cindy Savage who is an accomplished wedding planner does a great job breaking down all the numbers, go check out her work

Until then here’s a short version.

There are only 52 weekends in a year, but not all of those are really usable, wedding season is only about 7 months long, so that gives us 28 weekends to choose from, most wedding vendors don’t work 28 weekends in a row because that leads to burnout, but let’s say for the sake of it that we take all 28 weekends. Most of us don’t want to work double days in a row because again burnout, these are oftentimes 10-14 hour days.

Let’s say 28 days charging $2,000 per wedding, so that’s about $56k which would be a moderate salary in most of the U.S. but it’s not a salary, it’s revenue.

So out of that, you still have overhead costs, which leads us into the next point:

Image of a jewish lesbian couple kisses in the center of the frame, surrounded by their cheering friends. The groups is on the deck of a winery wearing wedding attire with red accents.

Overhead Costs

The most popular video cameras being used to film weddings range from $1,200 to $5,000+. Most wedding videographers are using DSLR cameras, which you have to buy the lenses separate for, so that is often another $200-$2,000+ investment per lens. While some videographers film weddings purely hand-held (holding the camera without any stabilizer), many invest in a gimbal or tripod to make sure their shots are steady, which is usually in the $400-800 range. They also has to consider lighting in a venue, and many will bring their own lights, which cost can range widely. This all and the little purchases such as batteries, chargers, filters, cords, audio equipment, etc. And that’s just gear.

It can cost around $300 a MONTH just to be listed on Wedding Wire and The Knot for wedding vendors, copyright law requires that we license the music we use in the background of our videos, so that is also usually a monthly subscription, Adobe Creative Cloud, Website domain, Microsoft Office, Zoom, Google Drive, etc. As well as the machine you work on, because video files tend to run large and we deal with a lot of it, the computer we work on needs to be beefy enough to handle those files. Large RAM and Storage, as well as back ups for the footage because lord knows what a disaster it would be to lose any of the precious footage.

Then there is the simple costs of running a business, such as accounting services, licensure, taxes, and legal fees.

These expenses add up, making the cost of being a videographer very expensive. While the industry is slowly generating more accessible gear and prices, it still costs a great deal to run a business of any kind.

Image of a masculine AFAB Non-binary person and their femme wife walk through a bubble exit, surrounded by their cheering friends, with arms raised in celebration of their new marriage. The couple is white and plus size, and their friends are a wide mixture of races and sizes.


Your location will affect the price of your wedding film. In areas with low costs of living, you might be able to find professionals for cheaper, but in areas with a high cost of living, that could prove to be difficult. It’s always possible to find someone you like in a different area, and ask if they travel. You can sort of import your videographer if you like their style and if you can afford the travel cost. This is a tactic that is underutilized but can bevery rewarding.

Labor, Skill, and Experience

The last reason wedding films are so expensive is because of the great amount of expertise that is needed to film a wedding well. Camera’s are complex and videography has a lot of variables to consider, such as sound, stabilization, movement, lighting, and composition. Aside from the tech-know-how, it’s important that a videographer is flexible, personable, fast thinking, and innovative. A LOT can suddenly change during a wedding, and it is rare that everything goes according to plan, so we’ve got to be able to adapt, while still capturing the most beautiful and true footage possible.

Filming weddings are also long days, often 10-14 hours, and then editing them can take even longer. The highlight videos are often the videos that take the longest, because the editor is condensing around 8 or 9 hours of footage down to the best 5 minutes, all while telling a story, showcasing the personalities of the couple, and making the film look amazing. Every shot needs a reason to follow the shot before it, there’s a LOT to consider, and the best videographers are conscientious of all of this, and deserve to be paid for it.

A hetero Arab couple looks at each other, the bride stands behind the groom and looks up at him with a smile. She wears a lace dress with a long veil, and she has long curly hair. The groom stands taller in a dusty blue suit, smiling at his wife

So yes, wedding videos are really expensive. Throwing a party with all your friends is really expensive. It’s a good idea to budget at minimum around $2,000 for a wedding film, if you expect to hire someone professional like Replogle Studios. If it’s not a priority for you, yes you can have your grandpa or the cousin who just got their first camera do it, but just remember that you’re usually going to get what you pay for.

At the end of the day, it comes down to priorities. A wedding film is a perfect little time capsule of your wedding day in the most sharable medium in the world, so how much is that worth to you?

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Shaan and Abi | 2021

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