Tipping for Your Vendors

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As a wedding vendor for over a decade, there is one question, I get over and over.

Is a tip included? If not how much should I tip? Should I tip at all?
Some tip big, some tip little and some don’t tip at all.

My answer is YES. 

You should give your vendor(s) a gratuity however, the HOW MUCH, is completely up to you. I believe a gratuity, should be based on your experience and the service delivered throughout your day.

Gratuity has no cardinal rule. I have heard couples tell me they were advised to give a percentage of the total amount spent. That is ridiculousness, since you can spend from $1000 to $10,000+ on your wedding photography. You already paid for the service. The tip is based on your experience and the work you received from your staff.

As an owner of a photography and video production studio, I would love to assure my staff of something extra for their efforts and hard work however, my belief is that a tip is something earned over the course of the day and not assumed.

Abacus Studios, www.abacuswedding.com, info@abacuswedding.com, call toll free 888-822-1225

I believe in tipping generously, but only when it is warranted. You did pay for the service already, and the vendors usually get compensated fairly well for the work.

Now the next questions is, how much?
Well that will vary from region to region, state to state and even city to city. It will also vary from vendor to vendor.

You must also keep in mind the post production work, such as graphic design and video editing to name a few.

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The range for a photographer in the north east will be anywhere from $50.00 to a few hundred dollars.

Your vendor should should be the reason why you selected them, and your experience on your wedding day should reflect that.

As yourself the following 3 questions when considering a gratuity.

  1. Was my wedding experience better by having this vendor?

  2. Did this vendor do what I hired them to do?

  3. Could you clearly see the work the vendor put in on your wedding day?

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Please e-mail me you option and thoughts on tipping and I will do a follow up Post. info@abacuswedding.com 

Hiring The Right Videographer?

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OK, you have talked to your friends, read the articles and have made the decision to have one of your most important days captured on video. Great Choice!!! You will now have a living memory forever!
Choosing a videographer can be an easy task if you know what to look for.
Current trends use words like, “cinematic”, “dramatic” or “documentary” to describe the style of video a particular company offers.
The reality is that, all wedding videos are documentaries, which by definition is a “motion picture consisting of factual sequences.” What that means is nothing in a wedding is staged or rehearsed (in the formal scenes), creating moments spontaneously, which are captured and edited.
Cinematic video is yet another way to describe a style or format however, the true meaning of cinematic is “motion photography or motion picture”, and therefore by description all videos are both cinematic documentaries.
What really differentiates one video production studio from another is the video equipment they use, the editing systems, the people who both shoot your wedding and edit it and the formats they offer.
Here are a few simple suggestions on identifying the right videographer for you.

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1. EQUIPMENT: When differentiating videographers and video companies to capture your wedding, you must make sure that the company offers the following.
• 3 chip digital video cameras, (watch out for companies who capture video using a DSLR, still camera. It may take great photos but video is not the real intention for that piece of equipment.)
• Wireless microphones, low light, and the ability to capture, edit and delivery video in High Definition, Bluray DVD.
• What you will get for the final product. Some studio offer a highlight montage and, although it may be creative, it will not allow you to relive your wedding with just a 5 minute video. Be sure you are getting both an edited video which will showcase your wedding as well as all of the RAW Unedited footage, which will allow you to see everything you missed.

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2. EXPERIENCE: Experience is also easy to qualify by identifying how long a studio or videographer has been in business. You can also find reviews on various web sites about the videographer or studio you are considering, which can help you learn a great deal about what you can expect to get.

3. VALUE $$$: What are the costs for the service or product, what do you get for your investment. Get at least 2-4 quotes, to have an idea of what is being offered. If the price you are given is way below, what the average cost you found, that you must know why. If the cost is much higher, than you must again, find out why. Factors which will effect cost include but are not limited to;
• Keep in mind cost is always higher in higher rent areas or locations which may require higher overhead and increase the price you would receive.
• Do you have one Videographer or Multiple? The more shooters, the higher the cost.
• The more shooters, the more video footage, which means a higher cost for post production.
• Additional Equipment, such as lighting, glide cams, etc. (most unnecessary for a wedding, but requested.
• Length of coverage. ( A simple rule to follow is the more footage captured, the more footage edited, the more your video package may cost.

4. POST PRODUCTION: Who is editing your video and how is it being edited? Is your videographer also your video editor (which is always a nice advantage). What kind of equipment do they use (if you have some knowledge of video production)? Remember, a full time editor depend on the quality of their work and have an incentive to make every couple happy for future referrals. The edit is a critical part of your video. A seasoned professional has the insight and experience to know what footage is good and what footage is bad. You will also have the added benefits of post production magic, with video filters such as Soft Focus, Old Movie and more. Each enhancing the final product.

In the end there a little education will help you ensure your wedding is captured the way you envisioned it.

Here are a few Video Sample to check out.

SAMPLE 1

SAMPLE 2

SAMPLE 3

Call us at 908-822-1220 or e-mail us at info@abacuswedding.com for availability, and booking information.

“We had the pleasure of working with Damian and Michelle the day of our wedding. Both were very professional, friendly, and prompt. They made us feel comfortable on what could have been a stressful day. They are both very easy to work with and listened to what we wanted to do for our photos and video. We were nervous to have a videographer because we have been to weddings in the past and have had the video camera shoved in our faces! We knew that would make people feel uncomfortable, so we were not sure about video at first. However, I didn’t even know Damian was there. He was able to capture all the highlights of our wedding day without being intrusive. Michelle was quick and had our family and bridal party pictures done in no time! She was great with the children we had in our wedding, also. Everyone commented on how convenient it was to be able to get pictures out of the way so they could enjoy the rest of the evening.
I would highly recommend Abacus Photography to anyone planning a wedding. I planned my wedding from out of state and had many questions that were immediately answered by Alex. Nobody ever made me feel as though I was bothering them or asking a stupid question. I can’t wait to see my photographs and video.” Review from WedingWire.com and TheKnot.com