The facts about drones. What you should know.
Updated: Jan 14
I get asked allot of questions about drone footage for weddings . How much does it cost ? Do you do it yourself ? How much drone footage do I need ? In this post I’ll answer allot of these questions , and let you decide if drone is for you and your wedding.
The current general rate for drone operators is roughly $450 for 2 hours. Or however much the price is worked in for your photography/video package. If you purchase a large package from your vendor , (perhaps a $3000-$4000 package) it might just come standard.
2.) Questions to ask:
This brings me to things you should be asking that vendor , whether or not drone comes with the package . Things like “Do I need a permit for my location?” “What happens if the weather is bad ? Does my venue allow it?” These are certainly important questions and we’ll go over it in the following points.
If you’re having your photo session or whole wedding at a state park get ready for your vendor to be back and forth in the permit process to have drone at your wedding. Some photographers don’t bother getting a permit , which puts them at risk for getting a hefty fines. Usually The process goes as follows . Apply for the permit , pay the $100-150, and have the permit forwarded to the hall or grounds keeper . This price may or may not be included in your package.
This is the biggest factor in having drone at your wedding.
It could make or break your drone shots. Bottom line is, if it’s too windy the drone can’t fly. A commercial drone can be flown at a max 30 mph winds. These numbers for none commercial drones which allot of vendors use is much lower. Heavy rain also prevents the drone from flying . So if the drone can’t fly then it can’t fly . There is also options for a camera wires indoors to capture similar style shots inside your venue , but that is few and far in between. So be prepared to possibly skip out on your drone coverage under certain circumstances, and always ask about the companies policy if the drone cannot fly.
Do you do it yourself?
Chances are your photographer or videographer is going to hire a specialized licensed drone operator. So the answer usually is no. Whoever your main vendor is, most likely will not be doing the actual piloting. Which is a good thing, because no good filmmaker has time to do both on your wedding day.
Does my venue allow it ?
This is self explanatory. Always ask your venue what their drone policy is. State parks are not the only places that require permits or might not let you fly. Other places like private beaches , golf courses and arboretums also have strict policies with drone.
Does it make noise ?
The blunt answer . Yes! It’s very noisy and I always discourage couples from having it flown during their ceremony. Keep it for your photo session. I’ve had so many weddings where they have a low flying drone during important moments and it’s so distracting .
How to save money:
If you have a friend or family who owns a drone and knows how to fly it, by all means go for it. They probably won’t get hit with a fine but instead a slap on the wrist if they’re considered none commercial or professional. If you want it done legally, and correctly, with a professional eye and touch, so long that you have a budget, then stick to the guidelines I pointed out.