University of Wedding Filmmakers


What’s the Ideal Number of Videographers to have at a Wedding?


Do you know what the #1 most commonly asked about worry we hear from potential brides? It usually comes in the form of a question like the one below.
How many of you will be there?
It’s an interesting question, and one that’s worth thinking about on a deeper level.
Wedding videographers have a bad rap for “being in the way,” “blocking guests,” or “making people feel uncomfortable.”
Not to be too harsh, but A LOT of our predecessors have made it easy for people to label us as a vendor that you need to be really careful of when booking.
Now while I really think this is unfair, and a lot of us do take great pride in being unobtrusive, I think this presents us with a great opportunity.
When a bride asks, “how many of you will be there?” what she’s really asking is if you’re going to be an eyesore on her lovely day. This is where you have a chance to excel.
Our optimal crew size is two to three.
When we’re filming downtown Boston weddings, we will pretty much always hire a driver / assistant for the day, so if we need to move from the city, to a church outside the city, and then back downtown for the reception, we don’t need to worry about parking or transporting equipment.
Having a dedicated driver lets us focus on what really matters.
The other benefit of having a rock solid assistant is having them around for the reception. If you have someone who can monitor audio for you, set up lights, carry bags, that’s an immediate 15 minutes in your pocket.
Figure out the team’s strengths and weaknesses.
Having that information will let you know how to best split up your time. Generally for Brighter Lights Media, one person will stay with the couple & photographer as long as possible getting portrait shots, while the other is in charge of reception b-roll and cocktail hour.
Later on, about 10 minutes prior to introductions is when we’ll do final audio check and final lighting / blocking tests. Having an assistant can be clutch if you’ve forgotten something in the next room, in the car, need a test subject for lighting, or making sure gear is out of the way of catering staff.
How much is that extra hand worth to you? Especially considering you’re usually limited to one hour in between ceremony and introductions.
If you’re worried about the extra out-of-pocket, don’t be. It’s pennies compared to the cost of potentially missing or forgetting something important because you were distracted with petty tasks. If you really don’t want to take the financial hit, then just take that into account when you’re booking and build their rate into the package.
For us, if we decide on a third shooter, we pay from $300-400 depending on experience. A driver or assistant for a few hours, usually about $150. For three hours of work that’s a cool $50/hr. Not too shabby.
As a rule of thumb, the smaller the guest count, the smaller our crew count.
We tend to do more weddings in the 75-150 range, so 2-3 team members is perfect. For our rustic barn weddings, or backyard ceremonies, we like to keep it to two people, just to blend in a little better.
So back to our original point…
How do you prove that you ARE actually an unobtrusive shooter?
Well first things first, if you are, and you want to be known for it, it should be somewhere on your website. It’s a pain point, a focus of worry for a majority of brides. Address it head on and you’ve immediately broken down a barrier with your prospect.
To further sell this, don’t be afraid to email past clients and ask for a recommendation or a review, either over email or on your WeddingWire account page. Hopefully you make a strong habit out of this anyway.
You can do a few things with this:
1. Sprinkle a few quote snippets in various locations on your website. Don’t forget to include a photo of the couple you interviewed! Psychologically, people tend to trust facts or reviews more so if there’s a photo that accompanies it.
2. Create a small “Info Packet” as a PDF you can email to your brides. We have one that includes our company history, mission statement, accolades, and most importantly, client & vendor reviews.
3. You can also include a tiny one-sentence review in your email signature
Social proof is an incredibly powerful psychological sales technique, one that we utilize on a regular basis, and we’ll be talking about that plenty both in future blog posts, and in our upcoming course (soon to be released).
For now, the key takeaway when it comes to building trust with your potential customers: show them how like-minded and similar brides-to-be have already put their trust in you.
Would you agree?
How many people do you shoot with now and what’s your ideal number of team members?
Comment below.