Sound Matters

When we think about a wedding video, we sometimes omit the sound that accompanies the action.  However, sound is 50 percent of your memories.  Hearing the vows. Hearing your parents talk about their wedding day. Hearing the voices of your closest friends and relatives. Photographs can not replace the voice. I learned just how important sound is several years ago. One of our brides called a year after her wedding to make a special request. She wanted me to email the voice clips I had of one of her bridesmaids, who was also her cousin. A few weeks after the wedding, her cousin, who was expecting, had a heart problem and passed away.  Her little girl was approaching her first birthday and the bride wanted to place her cousin’s voice inside a Teddy Bear. They say a picture is worth  a thousand words. I say sound has no price tag.

10 top reasons to do it on film

The following list is subject to grow longer, but here it goes:

10. Because this is the age of YouTube. Movement and sound. It’s fashionable, trendy and fun.

9.  Because your parents (or you) are spending gobs of cash and it would be crazy not to document every detail.

8.  This is one of those landmark moments in your life worth remembering and passing along to your children and grandchildren.

Would you not have loved to see your grandmother’s wedding day? How awesome is that? Think ahead.

7.  You have planned a destination wedding and not all of your relatives, including your grandparents can travel. It’s nice of you to think

of them by having the ceremony videotaped to share with them later.

6. What is the one thing you will have to remind you of your entire day. Your wedding film. The cake is gone. The music is gone. The dress is in storage.

5. A wedding video gives you emotion, sounds and action. A film captures 30 clips per second. There’s no better way to relive the best moments of your life.

4. This may be a repeat, but if you spend a hear planning, wouldn’t you want to document the results of all your efforts?

3. You will look the best you’ve ever looked. Get it on film.

2. You wedding video shows your personality and allows your guests to shower you with well-wishes, tips and funny-stories.

1. Who is the only person at the wedding who does not get to see the bride and her bridal party walk the aisle?

You guessed it. The bride. Doesn’t the bride deserve to see her own wedding?

The right view

Buck and Carrie Thomas wanted the film to include all sides.

As you decide on where you will have your wedding, it never hurts to think about how well the venue can be filmed and photographed. We have found the best films are the ones that include a front view of the bride and groom. The videographer really needs a place for a front camera, preferably up and even hidden from view. A good example is a wedding we filmed in Greenville at the history Downtown Baptist, now Grace Church. A small area behind the couple allowed the videographer to film the bride and her party from the front, without interfering with the ceremony. If you want memorable video, you must allow your videographers good access. Camera placement is just as important as the flower arrangement, etc. The same goes for allowing your videographer to be with you throughout the day. Let the camera be your friend, and in the end, you will have wonderful memories to treasure and share.
Pretend your film is your movie. Make a list of scenes that you want to see:

  • My mother helping me with my dress.
  • My bridesmaids recalling me telling them about my engagement.
  • The groomsmen giving me tips on how to live with my groom.
  • A recount of how we met.
  • Our parents’ discussing their wedding day.
  • The final words of advice from my father.
  • Something old, something new items.
  • The room where I waited.
  • The guests arriving.
  • The chatter all around me.
  • My grandmother’s wishes.

The list goes on.

Two for one wedding venues

We just captured a beautiful wedding held at Indigo Hall in downtown Spartanburg. This old converted warehouse has shiny original wooden floors, exposed beams and brick walls. Everything you need is supplied, the chairs and tables. The atmosphere. After the ceremony from atop a staircase that leads into the next room, the guests simply walk next door to find a seat and await the bridal party’s official announcement. There’s no driving, no re-parking,
no lost out-of-town guests. There’s no wasted time. Having your wedding and reception in the same building or within walking distance can simplify your hectic day. This old warehouse even had meaning to the couple because as teens they used to go there when it was used as a dance club. Indigo Hall is the brainchild of QS1, a business that recently required the property. Instead of tearing down and building a parking, the block has been given new purpose, and in this case, gave my couple a new beginning. Another idea, is having your hotel, your wedding venue and reception hall within walking distance. For a wedding in Charleston, one of our brides walked from her hotel to the church with her bridesmaids. And her guests followed a bagpiper from the church to the reception venue in a converted movie theater. Of course the attraction on the blinking marque was this couple’s wedding. I covered one wedding in which the couple got left behind a the church and had to catch a ride with the janitor in a pick-up truck in order to get to their reception several miles away at a private country club. So consider the two-for-one idea. Be creative, innovative and consider cutting out the miles and minutes between your I dos and the first dance. Unless “trucking it” is more your style.

Connect with your guests

These days, couples can let their friends and families know about their wedding plans at the touch of a “send” button. A fun way to share the news and the date is with a short video. You can disclose your engagement, remind guests of the date or send out a message after the big day, as a thank you for sharing this intimate moment.

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Special touches make reception memorable

I actually attended a wedding as a guest instead of a videographer. I had almost forgotten what it feels like to take it all in, without worrying about missing something. My childhood friend’s daughter got married in Birmingham recently. My friend, Regina, is a great organizer and planner. In high school, she was the editor of our yearbook and she always made sure everything got done and everyone stayed on task. I gave her a run for her money. But, she managed to make me meet my deadlines. I could get sidetracked with a lot of creative thinking, I like to call it. Anyway, the reception was something out of a magazine or maybe a romance movie. We walked into the reception hall to find it lighted with dozens and dozens and dozens of candles running along the middles of long tables. The candles were snuggled between bowls and vases of roses and greenery., leaving just enough room for the place settings. The place settings included beautiful old china pieces that Regina and her recruits had located in antique and thrift stores. These plates gave the tables such a personal touch. I had never seen anything like it. In the center of the room was about a four to five foot round spray of roses in shades of pink.

I will back up here. As guests entered the foyer or hall, one of the tables held a spray of wedding photographs from both families. They were displayed in antique gold frames, and again surrounded in flowers and candles. On another table, guests were asked to write notes on slips of paper and tuck them inside a book filled with small envelopes.

Later in the evening, the table became a “sweets” table. On the way out, guests could take small brown paper bags, stamped with the words so sweet and the couple’s name, and fill them with an assortment of chocolates.

Before I forget, the couple encouraged guests to have their photographs made in the corner of the room. Guests posed behind a gold frame, and could wear any of old hats and use props to have a little fun. You could use chalk and small chalkboards to write silly, or I guess sentimental, messages to then hold in the picture frame.

Oh, and if the groom doesn’t eat cake, try pie. While the cake was being cut, slices of cherry, apple and pecan pie were being served.

Many of the guests at the wedding were from out of town. The couple gave us all their travel guide, listing their favorite places to eat and visit. We also got goody bags filled with local treats, like peanuts from a local peanut roaster.

One last thing, and I will go. This couple had a wedding website. On this site, they told how they met and updated everyone about their lives. In addition, they listed their wedding party and told  us who they were and their connection to the couple. I thinks this is a great way to connect or reconnect to the family and friends who will becoming to the most important party in your life.

I did break the rules and got a little video. I’m posting here.

Making your wedding yours

Adding small photos of special people underneath your bouquet is a nice way to remember.

I find it interesting how brides find ways of making their weddings unique. Here are just a few ways I’ve filmed.

To remember her grandparents, one bride added small charms underneath her bouquet.

Instead of the traditional blue garter, one bride wore blue heels.

At each table at her reception, one bride added framed photographs of herself with her groom.

Instead of candles, one couple chose to add sand to a pretty vase. I’ve seen some use colors so you can see the sand as it mixes together.

One couple who had dated through high school, displayed memories from their high school, including football jerseys. They also left the hotel in a school bus. They took the scenic route and returned to party with friends at the hotel, where they were staying.

One bride, a first-grade teacher, surprised her groom at the rehearsal dinner with a dvd message from herself and her students. She taught first-grade and he had surprised her at school with a ring. So, she thought she would surprise him back.

Another bride and groom took some dance lessons and did a special dance for their guests. The bride went a step further, and danced with her grandfather.

Rose petals are often used as a partying gesture, but the “crackers” or poppers are fun. Or, you can just make noise. One bride chose to hand out tiny white plastic tambourines.

It is always nice to see a young bride perhaps wearing a necklace her grandmother wore , and then her mother wore, on her wedding day. If your family doesn’t have a tradition, why not start one. Just think, it may be something that is carried on with your grandchildren or beyond. And that will give them a precious memory of you.

It’s all about the moment: what makes your wedding film different

So often, a bride and groom know who they want in their still photographs. But most of us aren’t used to being in the movies. The best wedding films I’ve produced have been the ones in which the bride and groom expressed themselves. They exposed all the details and share family stories. Let me show you what I mean.

Consider sharing your love story. There’s no better time to recall everything special, funny, romantic, ironic. Get it on the record now because your children and grandchildren will appreciate it later. The love story can be shown at the rehearsal dinner, and again at your reception.

The ceremony is wonderful and special. But so is the before or after. The best films include the videographer coming early and staying until the very end. This is the time to get relatives on film, because we never know what tomorrow brings. A wedding is a great time because everyone is usually dressed up, dolled-up and feeling happy.

Just as you do with still photographers, list people you want to make sure are in your movie.

Point out specific decorations you want carefully filmed and explain why. Explain it on film.

Add light to any points of interest, including the cake that you’ve perhaps have your budget on. If you cut the cake or toast in the dark, your guests can’t see you and the film isn’t going to be as good as it could be. Turn up the lights during special moments, and turn the down for the not-so-special.

Give the videographer a few moments to get some breath-taking shots of you and the groom. With film, it is nice to have opening shots and ending shots.

If you want to offer guests a time to make comments, consider allowing a videographer to set up in a quiet area and direct your guests there.

If you like to talk, let the videographer know it. If you are shy, direct the videographer to talk to someone who can tell your story in your place. Videographers can work without interviews, but it is important that they know what is important to you. I once did an extremely shy bride who didn’t really give me ideas about what she wanted. At the reception, I try to get the scene and details. Hanging from the entrance was an elaborate arch or roses. Of course, I filmed it. Before I delivered her DVDs, I got a call from the bride’s mother. She was in a panic because the still photographer failed to get a photograph with the arch. Apparently, this was the only thing her daughter specifically wanted photographed. I printed a copy and used it on the cover. If there is something important, don’t wait until the honeymoon is over to let your videographer know. Make your wishes known.