Most soon-to-be married couples choose to hire a photographer to document the entire wedding day, and that's true whether they're eloping or throwing a black-tie party for 300 guests. Not all, however, decide to hire a videographer. It's truly an individual decision, but one that most wedding experts (and married folks who hired one for their big day) recommend no matter what type of wedding you're planning. Although part of the appeal of an elopement is that you're able to cut back on many of the big-ticket wedding-related details, it may actually make the most sense for couples tying the knot on their own to shell out for a videographer. Farah Saint-Jean of Spectacular Affairs, LLC says, "Documented memory of the elopement is something a couple can cherish forever and also share with others—not only friends and family who weren't present, but also children and grandchildren who will cherish the video for decades to come."
Before you decide one way or another, Larissa Banting of Weddings Costa Rica in Santa Ana, Costa Rica, suggests asking yourselves whether or not you even want to share the moment with others, like family and friends, afterward. Would you regret not having it captured to view for yourself? "While you're in the moment, time flies faster than light it seems and the memory can seem like one big blur," she says. "Interestingly, various polls over the years have shown that 98 percent of brides regret not hiring a videographer while 35 percent of couples who did hire one say they wish they'd spent more money on it." Bottom line: The consensus is to hire a videographer and to make sure they're good.
In addition to ensuring that they're skilled and reputable, your videographer should have a portfolio and clients that can give reviews. Saint-Jean suggests asking any vendors you're working with for a videographer recommendation. "A wedding planner can also review the contract to ensure your wishes are granted," she adds. "While you're at it, ensure that the videographer you desire is actually the one who will be filming your event and not someone else in their business."
While you might not be able to meet your videographer in person before your big day, have a phone call or a video chat session to discuss their style, how they work, and any other people they might hire to help them on the big day. "Discuss the timeline because the photographer will usually do a photo session first, then the videographer will work with you to capture what they need," says Banting. "Be sure to allow enough time for both sessions before the light changes."
Unlike a photography session, which might last only an hour or so, you can't assume that you will pay less for a video package just because it's an elopement. "The videographer must block off the entire day to film your wedding, so regardless of whether they film four hours or eight, you will likely have to pay a full-day rate," explains Russell Pinto Jr., founder of Little Red Bean Productions. "Also, be ready to pay or reimburse the vendor for travel expenses, if applicable, which vary per vendor, so be sure that it's made clear on what else you will be responsible for paying for so that there are no surprises."