Extreme weddings: Couples say 'I do' to memorable but costly movie-quality wedding videos


TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Jack Renfroe and Lauren Lundeen's big day is coming up. They're getting married in July.

"We are pumped, we are ready for it to be here," says Lauren.

Like most couples, Jack and Lauren want to make sure the wedding day is one they're never forget.

Rick and Sarah Pendergraft have a knack for making weddings memorable. They've been to at least 150 weddings all over the world in just eight years.

No, the Pendergrafts aren't wedding crashers. They're wedding videographers. Their business, Pen Weddings, "creates wedding films with personality for brides and grooms madly in love," as their Facebook page puts it.

"The way we make our videos different is we try to tell the couple's story, whether it be how they met or how they got engaged," says Rick.

Today's wedding videography is nothing like your parents' wedding movies, the kind where guests share inappropriate stories or awkward testimonials about what makes for a happy marriage. Companies like Pen Weddings are delivering incredible, professional videos that let the behind-the-scenes moments tell the couple's story.

"There could be 400 people at the wedding," says Sarah. "And we'll showcase the magnitude of the wedding. But it is really about those two people on that day, and makes them so in love with each other."

On this day, the Pendergrafts are meeting with Jack and Lauren, brainstorming their wedding day.

"We sit down and talk to them to find that nugget that we want to focus on," says Rick.

Wedding videographers like the Pendergrafts are not only competing with each other for business, they face competition from everyone who carries a phone to weddings.

"iPhones can do amazing videos now and capture beautiful imagery," says Sarah. " But the storytelling, the use of sound and audio, and the way we edit it altogether, that's what I think will hopefully keep us in business."

Rick spent years as a sports reporter for Channel 8. So he knows stress, but there are no mulligans in weddings.

"I've shot national championships, I've been to the Super Bowl and all kinds of big time sporting events, and there's not a nervous bone in my body," says Rick. "But when the bride comes down the aisles, I can't mess up."

Wedding videographers aren't cheap. Base packages for a Pen Weddings video start at more than $6,000 and go up from there. But Sarah says many of their customers believe it's worth it, and gives one example.

"The bride's dad said 'you want me to spend what on a wedding video? This is crazy, this is insane!' But after they watched it, he said 'this is the best money I've ever spent and how do I pay to make it longer?'" says Sarah.

The Pendergrafts have advice for couples before hiring a videographer. Ask a lot of questions, know exactly what you're paying for and research the videographer's style to find the one you love.

For Jack and Lauren, hiring a videographer was the first decision they made for their wedding, even before a date or venue.

"The flowers, and the cake and the invitations are things that will go away or eventually get lost," says Lauren. "But this is the one thing you can have in every little detail in remembrance and can never forget it."

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