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What to Look for in Wedding Videography Contracts

Wondering what you should look out for in a wedding videography contract? Read on to learn the essentials

By Ruksana Hussain

What to Look for in Wedding Videography Contracts
Photo by Zola

There will be several contracts you will be signing as part of your wedding plans, and one you especially want to pay attention to is your wedding videography contract. Remember that these memories are the ones you will have forever of your wedding day – you want to trust the right person for the job and ensure everything goes smoothly the day of.

Here’s what to know and look for in your wedding videography contract so you can move ahead with preparations with peace of mind. As you shop for the right people to work with, you will learn not all contracts are worded or presented the same, so this is an overall list of a few things to keep in mind.

The Essentials

As with any legally binding contract, you want to make sure every single detail is clearly stated. This includes not only the names of both parties involved, but also the names and addresses of all locations where the videographer will be shooting and the number of cameras or other equipment, and names of assistants that are part of the day’s events.

Your contract should also include the start and end times of their engagement with you as the client, or a total package of hours included in your purchase of their services, along with specifics on the raw footage, edited video footage, special effects, and any other nature of services rendered under the umbrella of videography.

The Expectations

Every videographer works differently, and while they might have an overall set of ideas for what they will cover, your wedding videography services agreement should include a list of all the moments you want captured. If you have specific requests, make sure those are outlined. If your wedding has traditional or cultural ceremonies where certain rules must be adhered to, then your videographer needs to know that.

  • Can male crew enter a female-only religious ceremony?
  • Are female videographers allowed inside a celebration that’s intended only for male guests?
  • Is there a priest or other community member who does not wish to be shown on the wedding film?

The Extras

Important to note in your wedding videographer contract is the number of copies you will receive of your video and in what formats, the music to be used (and providing a playlist if you have a selection of songs you like), as well as any interviews you’d like from the couple, bridal parties, close friends and family, colleagues, and acquaintances or otherwise.

If you have any nice-to-have requests for certain parts of the day’s agenda or want to focus more on some guests than others, then this is a good place to list that for your videographer. If there are restrictions at your wedding venue because of religious or historical significance, your videographer should have that information too.

The Expenses

While there is a total final cost associated with the videography service, remember these costs might have to be paid at different times. Ensure your contract sets out an easily referenced timetable for what amounts are due when and toward which parts of the services provided.

  • Is there a consultation fee ahead or an advance that needs to be deposited to confirm the vendor for your event?
  • What about any overtime charges, cost for additional copies, and any delays on the videographer’s part in delivering the final edited video?
  • When is the full and final payment due, and via what method of payment?
  • And which circumstances warrant refunds?

The Emergencies

  • What happens if the wedding venue cancels at the last hour or you have a family emergency?
  • And in case of the videographer being unable to work the day of, will they provide a substitute?
  • Is there a clear and concise cancellation and refund policy provided that you fully understand how it applies and what that entails for you?

Given the uncertainties of weather, health, travel plans, availability of supplies, or any other ifs and maybes thrown into the ring courtesy of the global pandemic, you must consider all scenarios and what the plan of action would be. Your wedding videography contract must cover these crucial details.

The Legalese

Yes, the whole wedding videography contract is a legal document. Still, some parts of it need more attention as it includes language relating to copyrights which you might not necessarily deal with daily.

Your contract should specify in clear terms who owns the final video - ideally, that is you, the couple – and where you can post and distribute it, whether that’s social media, a special edition memory book for guests, or an announcement in your community weekly. For the videographer, the wedding video contract should state where you are comfortable with the video or wedding film being shared – on their website, marketing, and promotional material, and other confidential information.

Other Arrangements

If you have multiple videographers for your wedding or other vendors who might be sharing the same space as your videographer, your wedding videography contract should note that clearly.

Also, state if you are providing for your videographer to travel to your location, if you will provide lodging and dining, and when these arrangements will be finalized, or if you choose to do more of a reimbursement transaction after the wedding is over. While drone videography service has found more takers in recent times, state, city, or county laws might have to be adhered to as well, so include those parameters in your wedding video contract too.

As always, seeking legal assistance to review and finalize your wedding videography contract is recommended should you feel uncomfortable moving forward without expert advice. Suffice to say that videography is one of the more important elements of your wedding planning, and the more time you take ahead to address any concerns and clauses, the better you will feel about the edited product you receive that you will cherish as a fond memory for a lifetime.

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