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Content creators bring thousands of wedding shoots for TikTok and Instagram

When Alejandra Hernandez got married in April 2022, she had her 14 bridesmaids sit down the day before the wedding with one request: “Please capture as much of my wedding as possible. I want to be able to watch in back and have that behind-the content of the scenes.”

She knows it was a tall order, Hernandez told CNBC Make It: “It’s hard to ask someone who’s supposed to be enjoying your day with you to say, ‘Hey, can you work for that too? Me? You might as well hire them then.”

Then a business idea struck. In April 2023, a year after her own wedding, Hernandez, 37, of Redwood City, Calif., started a wedding content creation business, Always A Bride Events, where couples can hire her to get all the video content they want from their big day to post on TikTok and Instagram.

For anywhere between $800 and $1,800, Hernandez spends six to 12 hours with couples to capture every moment of their wedding. Standard packages include a set number of edited videos, with a focus on clips that use the platform’s trending sounds and transitions, behind-the-scenes moments outside of the ceremony, or total recaps of the day.

There is plenty of room for customization. In May, Hernandez spent a week in Las Vegas capturing moments like the bride’s spa day, the rehearsal dinner, the wedding itself and a post-ceremony trip on the Fremont Street zipline. For about 21 hours of work, she charged $2,200 (which includes a discount for early customers).

Hernandez is one of many social media experts banking on an emerging wedding trend. As a new wedding season begins, you’re bound to see plenty of event photos and videos on your feed — and there’s a chance the newlyweds paid someone thousands of dollars to get that TikTok clip. or perfect Instagram.

Couples want to unplug and relive their marriages immediately

There was no way Kelsey Wilkins, the Las Vegas bride, would rush to get a wedding content creator in addition to hiring a wedding photographer and videographer.

Wilkins, 29, of Fayetteville, Ark., says social media plays an important role in his life as a small business owner. She decided to add “content creator” to her $50,000 wedding budget thinking it would be a good idea.

What she didn’t expect was that by hiring Hernandez, the couple was buying peace of mind. They didn’t have to worry about guests capturing behind-the-scenes footage when they should be celebrating. “I couldn’t stop my best friend from enjoying the moment with me, or make my mom do it,” Wilkins said.

The newlyweds had an unplugged ceremony, so Hernandez’s phone footage is all they have to relive the wedding immediately until edited photos and video arrive.

It can be difficult for newlyweds to remember everything that happened on their wedding day. Without their professionally captured social content, Wilkins says, “I wouldn’t have been able to see myself in my dress and my flowers,” or the process of getting her husband ready, or the whole ceremony from a guest’s perspective. .

Being able to relive those moments with her hubby on their honeymoon was well worth the money: “It’s so beautiful to look back at the footage from the wedding itself,” she says.

“You have to charge people for it”

Lanise Harris was already good at making social media clips when she attended weddings for friends and family. Then, during the pandemic, Harris said, “My sister texted me and said, ‘You have to charge people for this.'”

Harris, 33, of Houston, launched her business, Babe Events, in the summer of 2022, just as the wedding industry rebounded from pandemic-related delays. She was a bridesmaid for a friend’s wedding in September and was also hired to pull together social content throughout the day, from when the wedding was getting ready to when the couple kissed as they left reception.

Harris now offers three packages for her services, ranging from $350 to $1,200, along with popular pay-per-view items like creating a wedding hashtag and crafting an Instagram takeover strategy, which can cost an extra $300.

She thinks it makes sense to hire wedding content creators in addition to hiring traditional wedding photographers and videographers. For one thing, she says, “No matter what medium you use to take the photos, they’ll end up on social media.” Might as well hire an expert on what looks good on social platforms.

Plus, “There’s something special about being able to provide beautiful, candid opportunities to see your guests in their element, without the pressure of a big DSLR camera in their face.”

Lanise Harris has always been good at capturing social media content at weddings. His sister recommended that he make it a business opportunity

Di’Liesha Kyra

Harris, who works in nonprofit project management for her day job, already has two weddings booked for July and expects to pocket $5,000 from her side hustle within the month. The buzz is mounting as the wedding season picks up and also stretches into the fall: “Coming into September, things are going to pick up.”

A full-time business in the making

Working as a wedding content creator isn’t just about throwing a great party. Hernandez says she draws on a 15-year career in event planning, as well as how to film lifestyle content for TikTok. Last year, she built a following on #WeddingTok, a section of TikTok that has 7.2 billion views, through videos giving advice to other brides.

A Twitter user recently reposted one of Hernandez’s videos, writing, “I literally just did this job until the wedding accident, the party and the movie tiktoks. Gotta stay!”

“I thought I was going to get showered with the comments,” Hernandez said when she learned the tweet had gone viral, “so I was surprised at how supportive everyone was.”

There seems to be a growing understanding that couples have the right to tailor their marriages as they see fit, she says: “If a couple wants to spend $100,000 or $10,000 on their wedding, that’s their prerogative. . The same goes for sellers. If they want a wedding content creator, that’s their choice. So people have to start accepting that the industry is changing.”

In total, Hernandez works on her business for about 25 hours a week when she has a wedding, which includes a detailed questionnaire about the shots and styles the couple want to capture, collecting footage, editing clips together, then sending the set. within 24 hours of the wedding and posting on his own social media to promote his business.

She also likes to have a good relationship with photographers and videographers at the wedding, often capturing them at work so they can promote themselves online.

If a couple wants to spend $100,000 or $10,000 on their wedding, that’s their prerogative. The same goes for sellers.

Alejandra Hernandez

wedding content creator, Always a Bride Events

So far, Hernandez has worked on weddings on a week’s notice, and on the other end she has bookings through 2025. She recently hired an associate to help film weddings in Texas, and it plans to expand into different parts of the United States. Her goal is to turn her content creation into a full-time job.

As more people talk on social media about what’s really going on in wedding day content gathering, Hernandez points out, brides are realizing they can’t just give their friends their phones. and expect the best. With wedding content creation services, she says, “it’s just nice to have a way to relive the day.”

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