This is the big question. Is price the most important thing? I hope it isn't. While budget seems like the most important thing, you should think about a few other things as well!
1. What style do you like? Do the photographer and videographer have a style that resonates with you? Is their style consistent? Do they have up-to-date content of real weddings? It is important to to make sure they have these things before moving forward. Sometimes if the price is too good to be true, it is just that - too good to be true.
2. Who will be shooting your wedding? Do they have a team? Or is it one person? If it is a one person show, do they have a backup in case they get sick or there is an emergency? If it is a company with a team, does everyone look presentable and have professional vibe? Make sure you know, so you're not surprised on your wedding day. Communication is key here. We have a team that has been shooting for us for several years, so we can ensure their professionalism and their reliability. As business owners, we continue to shoot as well, as it is the reason we started our business in the first place! It also keeps our company relevant to be out on the front lines.
3. Do they have clear expectations for what you will expect on your day? For what you will receive? Ask these questions and make sure you both are on the same page. I always tell my couples they'll receive their video within 12 weeks of the wedding, but typically sooner. The week after the wedding, I send an email reminding them of this, so they know! You never want to be that person who got ghosted by their photog/videog.
4. Do you like them? Do you vibe? If you're going to give someone your business... I don't know maybe it's just me - but I want to feel excited about giving them my business. It's a big investment, so make sure you are confident in the business!
I hope this helps and enjoy our newest wedding video we filmed in San Clemente at Wedgewood.
how to choose a wedding venue
You're newly engaged. The excitement is high, the stress is low, but in the back of your mind you know you need to start planning, picking, and choosing. You already know that you want Classic Filmworks to film your wedding, you might already had a florist in mind. But the thing you really need to choose is your venue! Where will this thing take place!!?
A few things to think about.
1. Do you want everything done for you, all-inclusive style? Or do you like to do everything yourself?
We have worked at many all-inclusive style venues, including Wedgewood locations (Fallbrook, San Clemente, Aliso Viejo and Galway Downs). These venues are great because they have much of what you need already included in the package, with the options for add-ons. As videographers, we are not included in their packages, however we come recommended by the venue and they had out our literature to prospective couples. This helps the couples not become too overwhelmed with all the planning aspects, and it helps us! See our Wedgewood Wedding Venue playlist on your YouTube channel! https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCjys7zWOzw5BElq_iIlQqco5oqdDSX2
We have also filmed events that were completely 100% custom. Planners and events designers create elaborate plans to turn sometimes empty warehouse style venues into something amazing! We did videography for a Bar Mitzvah recently where the event planner / designer created such a beautiful environment at JULEP Venue. We have also seen Luce Loft become mind bogglingly transformed!
2. What style is your wedding? Is outdoor or indoor more appropriate? Beach or mountains?
If you live in San Diego, except in 2023, you probably wouldn't think twice about an outdoor venue. This weather has definitely given us pause to think about rain contingencies! Aside from San Diego turning into Seattle, think about what you like. When I got married I wanted something outdoor for the ceremony and indoor for the reception. I liked the tropical vibe aspect, so I chose Bali Hai Restaurant on Harbor Island in San Diego. It was my perfect wedding! Someone looking for a wedding venue that is super elegant and sophisticated would probably vibe better with the Grand Del Mar. There are many beach venues for the beach lovers, and many outdoorsy beautiful wedding venues for those types of people - think Botannica (a trademark venue). Something unique maybe? Mount Woodson Castle is a fun wedding venue if you're looking for something just a little different. There are also winery weddings (see our winery wedding video playlist on YouTube). https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLFCjys7zWOzz4is4jV06zyEHleuysdht3
3. How many guests do you expect?
Size matters! If you have a micro-wedding, an elopement or small destination style wedding you may not need as much space as the person inviting all the relatives and people from all over the globe. We have filmed small intimate weddings up to 500 people weddings. Determine what matters to you, and then you can narrow down the venues that might work and will not work.
Everyone hates the dreaded "B" word, but it is something that must be addressed eventually. Or initially! Starting out, you may not know that some venues cost $7000 and some cost $70,000. The pricing is all over the board, ranging from budget to lavish. If your dream venue just won't work with your budget, think about the things that draw you to that wedding venue. Why do you like it? Are some of the things you like about it things you might find at a different venue? What is the style? Can you create a vibe similar through decor?
5. Is your date more important or is the venue choice more important?
You might have a set date in mind. 2-3-23 might be the one! Or 1-2-34 (a REALLY long engagement). You might not care, but know the season that appeals most. Fall is a gorgeous time for a wedding, so is winter, and spring, and summer! What speaks to you? I got married in the spring, but would probably choose fall if I were getting married again. I love the colors, the leaves, and the lighting.
Think about these things, drop a comment, and enjoy my wedding film in honor of my anniversary month! Happy 11 years to me!
Alex & maddy at kona kai
Photo Booth: (Contact Person) – Dancing Djs – Kimberly Baer Website/Instagram: dancingdjproductions.com/ Arch Rental: www.enticingtables.com/enticingtableswelds
Alex & Maddy had a beautiful wedding to follow their amazing love story.
Alex and Maddy met in Thailand. Maddy was traveling for part volunteer and part leisure. Alex was traveling with friends and they met at a pool party on Koh Phi Phi off the coast of Krabi. Together they spent the rest of the night talking and just hit it off. The next night they spent together in Bangkok and then met again in LA while Alex was on a work trip. They began a long distance relationship between Texas and California.
Alex proposed at our baby gender reveal which was a complete surprise. He arranged a picnic in the park with a view of the Austin skyline. He hid a picture frame in the gender reveal box, and after the balloons were released from the box, Maddy looked inside to see the frame that said "I love you more than all the stars in the sky" and got down on one knee and proposed. So romantic!
Enjoy their amazing wedding day recap!
Shelbi & zach at pine hill Lodge
Videography: Classic Filmworks Venue: Pine Hill Lodge (Trademark) Photography: Jordan Rose Photo Makeup: Aly Rose Makeup DJ: Sound Prodigy Photo booth: Union Booth Floral: Liz
Shelbi and Zach had such a beautiful fall wedding at a mountain venue in Julian.
They met as juniors in college through Zach's best man Jonathan. Shelbi was trying to set up her best friend with Jonathan, which didn't happen, but she continued to hang out with Zach. The summertime was perfect for them to hang out often and really get to know each other. Before long, Zach asked Shelbi to be his girlfriend. Fast forward 3 years, and Zach proposed on the beach in Maui on the Fourth of July. The rest is history!
Enjoy their beautiful and super fun wedding film. :)
Freddy & Maria at wedgewood fallbrook
We had a great time filming Maria & Freddy's wedding. What a party! The day started at a beautiful airbnb in Fallbrook for the getting ready portion. This place had just the most beautiful views and it was so spacious! Perfect for getting ready with a large wedding party. The couple shared super special vows with their close family and friends before the actual ceremony at the church. They had a beautiful church ceremony and then proceeded to the party at the venue, Wedgewood Fallbrook. The wedding was SO MUCH FUN. With live music and a DJ, the party was blast. George (DJ) brought his LED dance floor and that was something super fun and special. Enjoy watching their video!
We worked alongside Everlove Photography. :)
If I had a time machine and went back in time to tell my super cool 7th grade self, "Hey, you know that song you are listening to on cassette tape, the one you love and think you're super cool singing along to? Well, most of your adult life you will be listening to it every single weekend!" I'd look up confused, thinking, "Well yeah, 'This is How We Do It' is amazing, but really?"
It feels that way, this year especially. And it IS still a great song. It gets the grannies on the dance floor, as well as the my age-ish millennial (geriatric millennials I think we're called), as well as the couple and all their friends. How could anyone go wrong with that song choice?
Every weekend has been packed with weddings, but also week days too. In the past we averaged about 25 weddings per year, busy April-October, and had a nice break during the off months. This year has been different. We are more than double our average bookings and we work all sorts of days of the week, and many winter weddings. Couples I've talked to tell me how it doesn't matter if it is on a Monday or a Wednesday. Their friends will take the time off of work to be there! That is amazing! It goes to show you how priorities have changed in the last few years. People have made more time for what is important to them
For our company, 2023 so far is projecting to be as strong as 2022. My advice to couples is to get your date officially booked if videography is important to you. Because all the time, I hear from people that they wish they would've had video for their wedding. Since I can't go back in that time machine and really sell you on it afterwards, trust me on this one and GET THE VIDEO. :) Because "This is How We Do It!
And here is a video for your inspiration. ENJOY!!!!
Weddings have been in our lives for the better part of 20 years. Classic Filmworks opened its doors for business in the early 2000's, and we have seen good times, bad times, equipment changes, trends, the list goes on... But never did we imagine the hit the wedding industry took when Covid-19 entered our world. We never imagined actually not being allowed to do our job. We never imagined countless date changes and reschedules.
But we managed. We finished 2020 with 7 weddings completed. 5 of these weddings were in the times of Covid. These 5 weddings varied greatly. We had a couple very small, micro wedding style elopements. We had a couple completely normal backyard weddings. And we had a few that had the "new normal" of no cocktail hour, sitting at tables immediately, masks and very little to no dancing. But it didn't actually affect the beauty of the wedding films. No matter the type of wedding, we were able to connect with our lovely couples and capture what mattered most to them.
We enjoyed the couples we did get the privilege of filming. We enjoyed seeing our wedding industry friends. What we are enjoying now, is a light load of editing to kick off the new, and hopefully more fruitful wedding season!
As we move forward, we wish all of our couples and wedding industry friends the best. You made it through the worst and good things will come! We love you!
To Our Brides & Grooms
We miss you. Plain and simple. Our last wedding that we were able to shoot was in early March, just days before the whole world would start shutting down. It was bittersweet getting to shoot it, amid freeway signs reading "Stay home, wash hands, avoid Covid-19". We enjoyed filming that wedding, maybe it was intensified by the fact that we knew deep down it might be a very long time before we were able to film a wedding again.
Nearly 3 months since we filmed that last wedding in March, we are currently working with our spring couples to reschedule their dates. Some have moved their weddings to summer, some to the fall, and some to winter. Our 2021, already fairly booked out, is going to be a challenge as more couples may decide to postpone their weddings.
When we see an email come in about postponing, we feel for our couples. We can't imagine the stress of dealing with moving everything around, and in essence re-planning everything. Not to mention the stress of the entire world right now. We answer with understanding. Of course we will be flexible where we can, and roll over their payments to a new date. I treat our couples how I would want to be treated. We are dealing with a situation we have never dealt with, so new rules must be made.
Aside from the details of rescheduling and "office-y" stuff... We miss our couples! We miss filming weddings.
Filming weddings may seem stressful to some, mundane to others... But to us - we love it. We arrive with the anticipation of the day, just like the guests! We are excited to see beauty, and capture it in a creative way. We love to get to know our couples and their friends and family. We talk with everyone, we learn our couples' story and put it into a beautiful film.
Another aspect that we miss is our relationships with other wedding industry professionals. During the course of the day we make friends with the photographer (if we aren't friends already), and we enjoy creating together. We have fun! I like to be myself as often as possible, even if it means scaring the other wedding vendors by putting the Photo Booth horse head for a moment. Wedding nights were our "office" setting every weekend.
We miss it. We miss you! We hope we can resume before the year is over, but if not, we will adapt and be wishing everyone the best!
Your Wedding & the Coronavirus
This is something I never imagined having to write. None of us really saw something like this coming, so quickly and with such a huge impact. I saw the "pandemic" show on Netflix and thought about how crazy it was before we had modern medicine. I thought about how people didn't know how to properly clean and had bad habits. I thought about how that was a different time.
Now, today, I received an email from my April 18th couple, postponing their wedding, and understandably so! While my kids school is closed for a month, there is no clear expectation of when life will go back to normal. Even when the virus disappears, there may be a sense of fear and people might be hesitant to resume to "life as we knew it".
While I have no words that seem appropriate There are a few takeaways I would like to bring up.
1. Things will go back to normal, but they might be a different normal. A new normal, as people say. I don't know about you, but disaster puts things in perspective for me, and I feel like couples will take new things into consideration when planning weddings. Maybe this looks like smaller, more intimate weddings with the people that they truly care about. On the contrary, maybe this looks like everyone you know, because you've had to be isolated and you never want that again!
2. A new appreciation for just about everything. I've personally felt this calling to examine my life and every choice I make going forward. Will this affect someone else if I go out to buy these things right now? Is it essential? How can I make sure not only my family is safe, but my community, my state, and my country. There is a new found beauty about the world that I never noticed before, because I was just too busy. Maybe it'll be different moving forward - slowing down and enjoying each moment a little bit more not just today, but every day, even on your wedding day. Enjoying it without stress and realizing what really matters, maybe not each little detail.
3. Family is everything. When your social life is down the drain due to circumstances beyond your control, you can't see your friends... your group, but you have your family unit. I'm sitting here thinking, "Wow, I live with these people and I barely see them." Now, I've gotten this gift of time with them, and it brings up some thoughts about family. These people are important. They matter. Spend time and appreciate them. Don't forget this after this is all over. When you have your wedding, ENJOY and HONOR them as best as you can!
4. Love what you do, every day. I realize now that I do honestly love my job. It bummed me out big time to not be able to film a wedding this upcoming weekend because its just such a fun job, filled with beauty and joy. It bums me out that my April couples had to postpone. I'm looking at June or July and praying that those weddings can still move forward. Not just for them, but for me too, and for the overall industry. I will never again joke about all weddings being the same. They're really not. I have said it in jest, but its not true. They're all special and beautiful.
5. Find beauty now, and take it one day at a time. Maybe your wedding won't happen next month. But you still have your fiancee. Enjoy each other and find beauty in each moment as it happens, and we will see what tomorrow has for us!
Your wedding is over. All the planning, anticipation and excitement is over. Your day went smoothly and everyone had fun! Your crazy aunt didn't get too drunk and your new husband's groomsmen all mostly behaved themselves. Your maid of honor gave an awesome speech that didn't have any embarrassing memories shared. You're happy. You start to get social media notifications of all the posts people have tagged you in. Several shaky cell-phone videos, and less than perfect photos. It is still fun to see these even though you would have preferred to share your professional photos and videos first. Oh well! So what happens next with your video? While you are adjusting to married life and going back to your hobbies that you were engaged in before wedding planning took over your life, here is what we are doing:
1. We drive home from the wedding and as soon as we get back to our home office, we bring the bags with the cameras inside. Our first priority is the security of your footage, so we make sure the cameras and the SD cards are all safely inside our home office.
4. It is time to edit your wedding! Yay! I personally don't do this, though I'm fully capable and been learning / training to edit for the past year. Nan is our experienced editor and is responsible for 100% of Classic Filmworks edits. She begins by synching the audio files with the video files for the ceremony and toasts. She works on editing these first, because they have the backbone of the story that will drive your wedding video. She also scrubs through the files to see what type of footage we have as far as a highlight film goes.
5. She is in full swing editing. The ceremony is complete, with color correction. The toasts are complete as well. She is doing a documentary style full length edit for your video, so she must complete each section of the day. She goes through it linearly, but also jumps around a bit because sometimes creating takes looking at things a few different ways.
6. Once all the footage is on the timeline and in order more or less, she begins to adjust it / tighten it. This is where it starts coming together to look like a real movie.
7. Next comes audio editing! She adds in music (original music from your day for your full-feature film), and adjusts the audio levels.
8. Once the feature film is complete, it gets uploaded to Mediazilla where Nan will create chapters for the main events during your film (toasts, dances, ceremony, etc).
9. After the feature film is edited, Nan takes the very best parts and creates the highlight film. This is usually to one complete song. We choose a song either that 1. fits the style of the music you played at your wedding or 2. that you requested. If you would like to help choose a song, we advise you to browse Soundstripe and Songfreedom to find a song to your liking! We are also happy to help make song suggestions that will work well with your wedding film! Sometimes, we may use two songs for a wedding highlight film.
10. Once your highlight film is complete, we add that to your collection on Mediazilla (everything on Mediazilla is available for download, ready to burn on Blu-Ray or USB, or streamable). We also put your highlight on YouTube for you to share on social media. The music we use in your highlight is licensed so no one will get sued for posting this online! Yay!
11. You receive an email from us that your films are ready! You watch your wedding video. You love it! You share your highlight and get tons of amazing comments about how wonderful it is.
12. You write us a great review online! :)))))
Nikki Lopez contributes articles about wedding videography that are funny, fun, and useful to couples as well as other videographers. She hopes to educate and inspire.