Signing a Contract With a Wedding Videographer

Tips on negotiating a great videography contract for your wedding

By MiShaun Taylor

Wedding Videographer
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When signing a contract with your wedding videographer, make sure the contract outlines all the details you and the videographer have agreed upon, including your expectations for the final product. Include everything from the essentials of the deal to your personal preferences about the video.

  • What You Need to Know
  • Look at sample wedding videographer contracts. This will give you a clearer idea of terms that are typically included in a contract, things to watch out for, and a good benchmark for contract negotiations. You can find some sample contracts at Media College and Gator Bytes Video.
  • Find out what your venues' rules are regarding setup. You need to make sure that you can accommodate your videographer's needs that are specified in the contract.
  • As with your photorapher, you should have a list of questions to ask your videographer before hiring one. Make sure they know which special wedding moments to capture.

Step 1:

Find an experienced videographer who understands the style you want. Ask questions to make sure he or she is knowledgeable. Find out what the type of equipment he uses and how long he has been working as a videographer. Ask to see his past work and also ask for references.

Step 2:

Negotiate all major terms and make sure that you both agree. Decide on the price and what that fee will include. Do not sign a contract before you have discussed the main issues the contract will involve.

Step 3:

Describe the services the videographer will provide. The contract should describe all services to be provided, including any taping of a cocktail hour or rehearsal dinner. Indicate any restrictions at the wedding venue that might result in a nontraditional taping. List the monumental parts of the wedding reception that you want on tape. Include an estimated timetable if your wedding coordinator has those specifics.

Step 4:

Designate the time, date and location. Spell out exactly where and when the videographer should arrive and how long he or she is expected to tape. Make a clear late policy, including a monetary penalty if the videographer is late. Indicate when breaks will be taken, how long breaks will last and whether the videographer expects to be provided a plate of food at the reception.

Step 5:

Explain payment terms. Specify whether the fee is just for the taping or whether it includes editing and production of copies of the video. Discuss whether a deposit is required and when, as well as the overall costs. Get clarification when the balance is due and whether the deposit is refundable. If the contract is refundable, include the cancellation policy and how much will be refunded. State how far in advance it's acceptable for the videographer to cancel and list acceptable substitute videographers in case there is an emergency. Require that the videographer has a backup camera in case of an accident or malfunction.

Step 6:

Describe the particulars of the video itself. Detail the number of copies you should receive and whether you'll receive raw footage or a professionally edited tape. Specify the style you are expecting -- whether the video should be traditional or modern -- and list any people and events you want to be caught on tape.

Step 7:

Obtain signatures. Both you and the videographer should sign the contract and initial all pages. Keep a signed copy for your records.

  • Tips & Warnings
  • You should sign a contract with a wedding videographer even if they are family or one of your friends. It's better to be safe than sorry.
  • Preparing an electronic .pdf copy of a contract is also an option and cuts down on paper work.
  • Designate a folder to keep all wedding related contracts in.

About the Author

With more than 15 years of writing experience, MiShaun Taylor specializes in wedding-related articles.

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