Saturday, December 03, 2005


I certainly understand why brides and grooms like to have any type of recording of their wedding, so they can reminisce on either the ceremony, reception, or both.

At BigSis's wedding, someone taped the ceremony. However, CameraGuy had directives to remain as inconspicuous as possible, and only remained in the back. Although he didn’t always have the best camera angles, he got exactly what BigSis wanted; a memory of the ceremony without any complications or interruptions.

Taping the ceremony or the reception, therefore, is a great way to make sure you remember the event. Having said that, however, I strongly urge anyone to read my last posts regarding videographers asking guests to “say a little something” on tape for the bride and groom. I don’t need to go into detail on this point, but the fact that people are speaking extemporaneously (and with the alcohol flowing) makes for very dangerous possibilities.

A friend of mine told me that his sister had congratulatory messages from guests on the wedding video. One of the guests decided to affect a quasi-Chinese accent as he spoke. It apparently went on for about 3 minutes. Necessary? Absolutely not. Ridiculous? Surely. Although you may be able to have your videographer cut out this nonsense, it's a waste of your time and money.

If you don’t think the video speech-making aspect would bother you, then at least take your guests into consideration. In addition to stupid and pointless messages of congratulations ruining a perfectly good video, the fact that a videographer thrusts a microphone into guests’ faces while they are trying to enjoy dinner, or a night of dancing, makes for an intrusive and obnoxious experience. Sure, it only lasts a few seconds, but as I’ve watched the glaring light behind the camera follow each guest who takes her turn at the weddings I’ve attended, I have noticed that the wedding becomes more of a spectacle than a celebration. In addition to the intrusiveness aspect, I feel like this tradition of sorts is very self-serving. Do you really need forty-five minutes of videotape having people extol their appreciation of you? This is a wedding to celebrate your vows, not to relive your greatness.

The conclusion is that you have to be careful when it comes to wedding toasts, both for your own protection, as well as that of your guests (particularly your younger ones, who won’t know to “ear-muff” it, as Vince Vaughn’s character in Old School would say). Otherwise, you may be getting a mouthful--and much, much more than you bargained for….


Anonymous said...

*shrug* I think it's fine. My cousin's videographer did this at her wedding reception and it worked out beautifully, giving her something she feels more fondly towards than almost any other memento she has of the wedding, possibly including the pictures. Now, to be fair, it was not nearly as intrusive as the picture painted in this post: the maid of honor quietly asked people if they would like to participate, and if they did, they went out into a hallway and met with the videographer. Now, my contribution did happen to display all the hallmarks of incoherent can't-think-of-what-to-say-ism ("And I'm really happy for you! Did I say that before?") but for some reason, my cousin was really touched by it anyway :)

It was not about self-serving-ness at all; it was about some people who cared very much about the bride and groom being able to express it at a time when such actions and words are fitting and can be collected together. When else can you have such a number of people who care about you all in one place? I would love it if I had such a memento of my friends and family (although since I'm not a particularly visual person, I'd prefer an audiotape, or even better, a written set).

That being said, if the bride and groom are themselves clearly instructing the videographer to get in people's faces, well, that is sort of tacky, I agree.

Anonymous said...

I also think it is fine. We decided early on that we didn't want a guest-book for the day. We also had the luxury of having two video cameras for our wedding. Our emcee tastefully let our guests know that we would be having a video guest book for those who might be comfortable leaving a message. This was done outside the main room in a quiet corner of the foyer.

Our guests commented on how fun and enjoyably different it was, to not have to sign a guest book.

If done tastefully, it can be a hit. It depends entirely upon the location, the guests and the editing skill of the videographer.

the wedding fairy said...

I really appreciate the comments!

It sounds like both of you have seen/done it in a way that makes sense. Would you think that doing it OUTSIDE the room (i.e. in a quiet corner as the last poster suggested) is the way to go? Are there other ways of doing it subtly or elegantly that people have seen or can think of?

I can definitely say the experience I saw was pretty bad, but I don't disagree with you (now that I have heard these comments) all that if done right, it can work well--as both of you have pointed out!