April 27, 2007

How far in advance should you hire your videographer?

Many brides wonder when they should start looking for a videographer. There really is no right or wrong time, but typically the longer you wait, the less chance a videographer you like will still have your date available.

I have been booked as far as two years in advance and as last minute as the day before the wedding, so there definitely is no exact science to the process. I have had dates in which 10 people call me (August 18 this year!) while the weekend before (August 11 this year!) no one calls. I find that most brides start looking for video 3-6 months out from their wedding day unless they get a direct referral, which means bookings 1 to 2 years in advance.

I was motivated to write this post because of two clients who booked with Tim Alan Studios last week. Katy and Paul are getting married June 21, 2008 at Wave Hill in Riverdale while Lucia and Massimo are having their wedding June 22, 2007 at Old St. Patrick's Cathedral in SoHo and The W Union Square. Not only are they getting married almost one year a part to the day, but they have also both hired the same photographer, Belathee, based in Manhattan and recently written up in Daily Candy.

Katy and Paul came to me through a referral from a wedding I shot in July of 2005 (Katie and Brad), making them the sixth wedding I have booked through referrals from Katie and Brad. They currently live in London and are booking most of their vendors from phone interviews and referrals. By booking 14 months in advance, Katy & Paul are getting a lot of the stressful planning done, but they are also saving money. Many wedding vendors raise their prices every 3-6 months, so booking so far in advance can really increase your savings. If you are using the vendor-hiring time table in your favorite wedding magazine, you may not only lose out on some savings, but the vendor you fall in love with may also be booked when you start looking.

Booking at the last minute is not always bad, though. Some vendors will give you a price-break if they are still available and others might throw in some extras to sweeten the deal. Lucia and Massimo, who found me through a recommendation in the New York Magazine Weddings issue, were very excited about the possibility of having vintage super 8mm footage on their video. Since their wedding was less then two months away and I wanted to have a wide screen Super 8 demo to show other brides later this wedding season, I incorporated it in their package at a price below its normal cost!

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