The case for videographers

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During planning meetings, I ask my couples for the names of their wedding suppliers. This includes the photographer and videographer and it surprises me how few couples opt to have their wedding recorded. Recently, a bride asked me during one of these meetings if a videographer was really a worthwhile investment. After all, she said, they’d already booked a photographer – surely a videographer wouldn’t be necessary too?

My answer? They are not only worthwhile, they are a must-have.

_PX_7232When planning our recent wedding, I told my husband that hiring C2 Video was a non-negotiable.  I had worked with them on several weddings and I always ended up crying whenever I watched one of their reels, even when it was of people I didn’t know.

Dave accepted my decision, but he did say at the time that he never considered a wedding video as something we’d need.  When we told my parents that we had hired a videographer, they were initially sceptical – wasn’t it an unnecessary expense? I told them they’d soon see it wasn’t, but I know they took my advice with a pinch of salt.

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In the lead up to your wedding, everyone tells you the day will fly. That’s because it does. One minute you’re having your hair done and sipping on champagne, the next you’re climbing into bed, exhausted, beside your new husband.

This day that you have spent so long planning and saving for and dreaming about is no different to any other day – it is over in a matter of hours.

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In those few hours, so much happens.

You get ready, bubbling with excitement and anticipation.

You share memorable moments with parents and siblings as you prepare to step into the next stage of your relationship.

You walk down that aisle and go through the most significant ceremony of your life.

You are congratulated, heartily, by the people who love you.

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You hear thoughtful, emotional (and often hilarious) speeches that your friends and family have sweated over for weeks.

You enjoy the most expensive meal you’ll ever pay for.

You tear up the dance floor.

And it is in those moments, and all the moments in between, that the magic happens.

Wedding coffee

The day after our wedding, C2 Video uploaded a highlight reel of the day (scroll to the bottom of this post to see it). It was but a small snapshot of everything that happened, yet still enough to bring back the raft of emotions we felt that day (not to mention a few tears).  In just a few short minutes, Marcus  captured not just how it looked, but the way our day felt.

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We spent several days on our honeymoon talking about the wedding, nominating our favourite moments as we recounted everything we’d seen, done and heard. We realised that while we clearly remembered how the speeches made us feel,  we couldn’t remember the words used in them. We each wanted to know how the other had spent the morning before the wedding, and what had happened on either side of the chapel doors in those moments before they opened and I walked down the aisle.

When we got home all the uncut footage was waiting for us. We spent two evenings glued to our tv as we relived our wedding day through Marcus’ artistry. Not only did we get to see all those things we’d talked about while we were sinking poolside cocktails, Marcus had also captured so many little moments that had either gone unnoticed or been forgotten.

_PX_9585_PX_9934My parents, in particular, couldn’t wait to see the footage. Mum told me that the day was as much of a blur to her as it was to us, and through that video, they were able to take it all in once more.

Dad took a copy with him when he went to visit my 96-year-old Nan in Brisbane a few weeks after the wedding. She too had been there on the day, but wanted to see it all again. Friends and family around the world have been able to take part in our wedding through the work of Marcus and his team, and I love that we will one day be able to share our wedding ceremony with our children.

As a result, my parents have gone from being wedding film sceptics to complete advocates. Funnily enough, my Mum now asks me every weekend if the couple I’m marrying has hired a videographer. She’s a walking advertisement for C2 Video!

Are these not the best dressed crew you've ever seen? Dave and I with Marcus from C2 Video and John from Warren Photography

Are these not the best dressed crew you’ve ever seen? Dave and I with Marcus from C2 Video and John from Warren Photography

If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I implore you to GET ONE*.

To put it simply, I have never met a couple who have regretted hiring a videographer, but I’ve met plenty who have regretted not hiring one – and then, it’s too late.

*It goes without saying that not all videographers are made equal. Do your research and find someone you connect with, who will listen to you and who understands what you want. Make sure they can work with your photographer, and won’t disrupt proceedings for your guests. You’ll spend a lot of time with them on the day and you need to get along with them!  As you may have gathered, I can’t speak highly enough of C2 Video. They are talented, sensitive and professional, and always manage to get the memories without getting in the way.

All images in this post by Warren Photography, video by C2 Video.
Gown by Suzanne Harward.

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You talkin’ to me?

I get to meet some incredible people as a celebrant. I find after I meet a new couple I usually end up hopping around our living room, exuberantly telling Dave that I just met an AMAZING couple who are SO cool and I want them to be our FRIENDS! I’m a very lucky girl to be able to interact with so many wonderful people on a regular basis.

What I’ve realised lately is that as well as being generally awesome, the couples I marry have been raised well. It seems that many of them were taught by their parents that you look at people when they’re talking to you. Rightly so. It’s a way of demonstrating that you’re listening to and interested in what someone has to say. And it’s (almost) always appropriate.

I may be going against years of etiquette and have Emily Post rolling over in her grave, but I’m going to stick my neck out right now and give you permission to break this rule.

The one time when you can get away with not looking at someone who’s talking to you? Your wedding ceremony.

Red Butterfly Photography

Lately I’ve noticed that many brides and grooms look at me throughout their ceremony instead of each other. It isn’t because they don’t want to look at one another, rather a result of conditioning. As the celebrant, I do most of the talking in a ceremony and as per polite convention, the bride and groom will often fix their gaze on me. (I told you they were well-raised).

But relax. You don’t have to look at me. I won’t be offended, I promise. Although I read the ceremony, I am not the centre of it. I’m simply the teller of a story that is ultimately about you and your partner. Just as with a good book, the focus should never be on the narrator but on what’s at the heart of the story.

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You only have one wedding ceremony. (Well, unless you’re this couple but most people aren’t). Absorb what’s happening around you and most of all, share it with your partner. Do this through eye contact, holding hands or wiping away a stray tear on your partner’s face – whatever works for you as a couple.

After all, when the ceremony is over and you’re married, which memory is going to move you more? I bet a recollection of the beaming grin that spread across your partner’s face as you said ‘I do’ beats the memory of the way the celebrant’s mouth moved. Hands down.

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Which is just as it should be.

xx Koren

Photos displayed in this post are by Red Butterfly Photography.

Make it yours

Will you indulge me in one more post on the delightful Sam and Phil?

One of the many things that I loved about their wedding was that it was a rule-breaker. They didn’t get wrapped up in convention, rather they made both their ceremony and reception true reflections of who they are.

Broken rule #1: You must have even numbers in the bridal party

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Sam had four bridesmaids, Phil had seven groomsmen. Who said everyone in your bridal party has to be partnered up? I love that the make-up of their bridal party was determined by who they wanted with them rather than the aesthetics of matching numbers.

Broken rule #2: The bride must be given away by her father

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It sounds a bit twee to say that Sam and her twin sister, Rachel, are inseparable but they are. Sister and best friends, they have shared almost all their major life experiences. Marriage is one experience that Sam could only have with Phil, however, and so it was particularly moving when Sam was given away by her twin sister.

Broken rule #3: The bridal party must sit together

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Given the romantic nature of the evening, Sam and Phil didn’t want their bridal party to spend it separated from their partners. They let each of them sit with their partners and the bride and groom had a sweetheart table all to themselves.

Broken rule #4: The formalities must come before dancing

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Not for these two. Sam and Phil wanted their reception to feel like a party, so they threw away the rule book and cut the cake as soon as they entered the reception. Speeches were spread throughout the evening and the newlyweds took to the dancefloor as soon as the entrees had been cleared, allowing several hours of dancing.

Broken rule #5: Guests must leave with wedding favours

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Rather than having bomboniere on the table for wedding guests, Sam and Phil chose to make a donation in their guests’ names to the charity that they were volunteering for when they became engaged.
 
There are no rules when you get married. Well, aside from the obvious legal ones, of course. Your wedding is exactly that – your wedding – so follow Sam and Phil’s lead and make it your own!
 
Samantha and Phillip, 21 May 2011
Venue: 333 Collins Street, Melbourne
Photos: the uber-talented Tatiana of Red Butterfly Photography. More photos here.
Bridal gown: Collette Dinnigan
 

Vintage Weddings

I turned twenty-something a few weeks ago and couldn’t resist a belated birthday present to myself when I stumbled across this beauty in Dymocks last week.

Vintage Weddings – one hundred years of bridal fashion and style had me at hello. Given my childhood love of all things bridal, it isn’t surprising really. What is is how well-written and researched this book is.

Leafing through the pages, I find myself getting caught up in trivia before devouring sketches and photos of bygone eras. Did you know, for example, that the Roman Catholic Church only approved the exchanging of rings between men and women in 1956? Up until this point, the Church took the view that only women should receive rings. Vintage Weddings closes with a summary of modern day designers and a ‘wedding planner’ to assist in achieving the wedding style you’re after. 

The dresses featured in this book are, quite simply, divine. A girlfriend of mine who has long professed no desire to ever marry her partner of many years picked it up and was enthralled by an Elsa Schiaparelli-inspired number from the 1930s. I’ve picked out my dream dress. Or two. Or seven.

Two girlfriends and I are going on a road trip to Bendigo next month to see The White Wedding Dress exhibition and this book has only served to heighten my excitement. There are just so many beautiful images and traditions captured within its pages.

Judging by the amount of people who’ve picked it up off our coffee table since I acquired it, I’ve a feeling Vintage Weddings will become a family heirloom.

If you’re married, about to be married, a history buff or simply a style devotee, this book is worth turning into a heirloom of your own.

Sunshine all year round

Dave and I celebrated our third anniversary in June this year. It honestly feels like this boy has been in my life forever and yet like we’ve only just begun, so that we’ve clocked up 3 years almost took me by surprise.  We celebrated with dinner at one of our favourite restaurants and small gifts for each other.

Three years and counting...

In the early days we celebrated each ‘month-iversary’ with small tokens of our affection and special dinners out. Fast-forward to year 3 and occasionally one of us will bring home some chocolate, wine or a book for the other on the 6th of the month, but generally we save our gift-giving for the annual anniversary.

Which is why I was equally thrilled and dismayed when I saw this gorgeous print on Etsy from artist handz in January this year.

By Etsy vendor Handz

The bright colours and bold typeface instantly appealed to me and as Dave and I regularly sing (off-key, naturally) ‘You are my sunshine’ to one another, it seemed a perfect gift. And yet our anniversary was still 6 months away! How could I give it to Dave before then? What to do?

Well, I counted.

And worked out that we were coming up to 1,000 days of dating. Care to guess what Dave received when we hit that milestone?

Sunshine now graces our living room wall.

I also couldn’t help but think that this print would make beautiful engagement party/wedding decor, especially when paired with some of handz’s other retro -styled work. Then there’s the added bonus of being able to display them in your home afterwards!

Perfect as decor or a gift!

Now I just need to find more dates to celebrate – and some extra wall space!