In this installment of "Tips For A Wedding Film That Rocks", we will focus on your Creative Session and Reception...
1. CREATIVE SESSION... first off, what exactly is that? We call it a Creative Session because "photo session" implies all you'll be doing is taking photos. To produce a film that's both cinematic and creative, we need to gather footage during this time just as much as your photographer does. For the most part, we are unobtrusive and film around what is already taking place to capture much of this footage. However, we also may need a few moments to get shots specific for video. IOW, shots with movement and/or interaction with the two of you. So, at times during your creative session we may prompt you to do quick and simple things, such as look at each other, kiss, hold hands, etc. Don't worry, we'll never ask you to do something cheesy or that would make you feel uncomfortable. Many times, we get these shots without you even being aware. We are constantly looking for those spontaneous and real moments between the 2 of you. Moments that will make your film uniquely yours.
2. FIRST DANCE... your First Dance should be all about YOU, so give yourself time to enjoy it. If you'd like your bridal party to join you on the dance floor, it works much better to have a 2nd dance where they can join in. Let your first dance be just that, your first dance. Not only do your guests want to see you take a spin around the dance floor, but we want to capture that moment as well. Our advice: tune the world out and enjoy this wonderful moment. Some couples like to learn a special dance for their first time out on the dance floor. If that's you, great! If not, swaying back and forth and being into each other is just perfect.
3. TOASTS... while what your best man or maid of honor say during their toast may be out of your control, you do have influence over what they say. Let them know if they must bring up college experiences or funny but "questionable" material, that the rehearsal dinner with it's more intimate gathering of family and friends might be a more appropriate venue to do that. This closer-knit group might appreciate those topics more than a larger gathering consisting of more casual acquaintances, family friends, co-workers (and possible bosses), and, since it is being filmed, future children! Toasts are not meant to be roasts of the couple but rather a celebration of the day's event: their marriage. IOW, say nice things about them as a couple, be happy for them, you can talk about them as individuals but always bring it back to them as a couple. Having your "toasters" say something sweet and sentimental will not only warm your guest's hearts, it will make your wedding film even more amazing!
Two more things regarding toasts... reading off notes is totally acceptable: nothing is more potentially awkward or embarrassing than someone trying to "wing it" off the top of their head (believe me, we've seen it!). And, last but certainly not least... KEEP IT SHORT 'N' SWEET! The rehearsal dinner is better suited for those longer toasts.
4. DANCETIME... lead the way and show by example! If your guests see you two out on the dance floor having fun, they will follow. For most weddings, we will only be at your reception for a limited amount of dance time. So, our best advice... get out on the dance floor early! This will not only get your guests involved but will also allow us to gather all the dance footage we need. Then, if you just want to chill and visit with guests, you can. Another suggestion: have your dj/band start the evening off with at least 15 minutes of high energy, uptempo music. Doing this accomplishes 2 things: it gets the party started and, again, allows us to capture footage of your family and friends having a great time! Consider talking this over with your dj/band before the wedding.
We'll wrap up our Tips with some final thoughts... next time!