Planning

Q&A with a Wedding Videographer
by Christina Child

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Are you on the fence about hiring a videographer for your wedding?  You're not alone!  Squeezing another big item into your budget can feel like unnecessary expense, especially when you've already hired a wedding photographer...

BUT, when we've asked real brides what they would have done differently on their wedding day an overwhelming number of them regretted not opting for a wedding video!  We sat down for a Q&A with wedding videographer Kathryn Ray, the face behind the camera at Evergreen Era Films, to get an industry insider's take on wedding day film.  

What would you say to someone who is not sure about hiring a videographer? Film is very different from photos. A lot of people seem to think it is redundant to have both, when in reality it is a totally different experience than flipping  through still pictures. The beauty and purpose of film is that it is an all-encompassing sensory experience, where a mix of movement, music, and voice pull you back into each emotional moment. A lot of the most important parts of a wedding day aren't just visual, and things like personal vows or kind speeches are things that can quickly be forgotten. Therefore I always encourage people... if you can make it happen, hire a videographer!   

Why is wedding cinematography so "expensive"? I explain this in more detail on my blog, but in general there is a lot of time and expensive equipment invested in filming weddings.  The amount of hours spent with you before and during the wedding day pales in comparison to the amount of time spent in the editing room turning hours of raw footage into something beautiful... not to mention music licenses, USBs, shipping, packaging, travel, and many other costs associated with each wedding film.

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What is your specific approach to capturing a wedding? Being present when I need to be and being hidden when I need to be. My goal is that the only time anyone will notice me is when the couple needs me to make them laugh, help make a decision, or bring them back to the present moment amidst all the chaos. I don't like to be the boss and controlling the day; I like to let it flow naturally and capture the honest moments that occur between people and their celebration.  I don’t follow a guidebook... but that makes things real, and I think that is more important than following a strict formula. 

How do you make couples feel comfortable in front of the camera? One of the most important things I do is make couples feel comfortable with me first. I make sure that we meet, either in person or on video chat before we move forward in booking, where I ask them questions about themselves and what their relationship is like, along with sharing more about myself. I am naturally a positive, joyful, and gentle-hearted person and I think that creates a space of immediate comfort in most people.

I also use smaller and simpler gear rather than huge rigs, so instead of making people feel like they are on reality TV, they are less aware of my presence and interact more honestly.

What can couples do to help YOU ensure they'll receive a video that they love? I think the first thing is to make sure they love my previous work. I make each wedding unique but my style stays the same.

Secondly, HIRE A SECOND VIDEOGRAPHER, always! This is super important to have a more dynamic film, to capture more footage, and to keep a solo videographer less stressed and more focused/present throughout the day.

I also have all of my couples tell me what is most important to them throughout the day. Communicating this is critical!  That way I am able to create a film that has a strong focus on those unique specifics that depict a more intimate and personal reflection of the couple.

Any other tips for the wedding couple? Your photographers and videographers are going to be with you a lot throughout the day and you will be communicating with them quite a bit beforehand. Make sure you really enjoy them personally, along with their work, and want them to be a part of that day. I think it's important that they bring positivity and purpose to it and that they aren’t just there to capture it.

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About Evergreen Era Films Kathryn is a gentle heart with a contagious laugh. She finds respite when immersed in the wilderness, sipping on Earl Grey Tea, and surrounded by people she loves most. As an adventurer with a travelers spirit she will always call the Blue Ridge Mountains home, where she was born and has worked as a filmmaker for the past year after graduating with a photography degree from Appalachian State University. She prefers hugs over handshakes, honesty over perfection, and individuality over tradition. She strives to serve others the best that she can in all things her heart pursues. She gets motivation from learning more about the world and it’s incredible people, exploring new ideas, and growing in her person-hood.

DIY Wedding Centerpiece – Water Balloon Luminaries
by Alexis

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Every once in a while we come across a wedding DIY project that we just have to try ourselves.  These water balloon luminaries as centerpieces happen to be one of those projects.  Developing wedding apps is our speciality but even this project was simple enough for us!  Full credit goes to CandleTech.com…a great resource for those looking for fun, unique DIY projects!

You will need: 

  • High-Melt Paraffin Wax (IGI 1260)
  • Party Balloons
  • Double Boiler
  • Cookie Sheet

Instructions:

1. Fill a balloon with tepid water.

2. Melt your wax. Optimum working temperature for this project is 180 degrees Fahrenheit. Try to maintain this temperature for your wax while working by keeping it on a double boiler.

3. Slowly dip your balloon into the wax  to just below the water level in the balloon. Warning: Do not dip the balloon into the wax past the water level. This could cause the balloon to pop.

4. Hold the balloon in the wax for a few seconds, and then slowly lift it out of the wax. Dip the balloon a few more times, allowing some time between dips to let the wax cool.

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5. While it is still quite warm, carefully set the balloon down onto a piece of paper or a cookie sheet, making sure it is level. This will create a flat bottom for the luminary.

6. Dip your balloon a few more times until it is the desired thickness. A good target thickness is 1/4 to 1/2 of an inch.

7. Set the balloon on the paper or cookie sheet again and let it cool.

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8. When the wax is completely cooled, hold the balloon over a sink or bucket, facing away from you. Carefully pop the balloon with a skewer or knife and let the water drain out. Throw away the balloon shards.

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9. To level the top of the luminary, heat a cookie sheet on the stove and place the luminary top-down onto the hot sheet and carefully melt the edges until it is level.

10. Place a tea light or votive inside the luminary and burn on a candle holder in a dark area.

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Voilà! To add some color to your centerpiece, just add a little color dye to the melted wax!

18 Pieces of Advice From Real Brides
by Alexis

We’ve all heard the advice, “Don’t stress, just enjoy the day!”, “All that matters in the end is you and your husband!”. However, we all know it’s hard to keep that perspective in the moment!

We asked realbrides what one piece of advice they wish they had known on their special day, and, what they wish they hadn’t stressed about!

Check out below for the priceless advice!

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1.

 “Don’t buy things that you think you might need. Wait until you know exactly what you want. I’m now the proud owner of 2 dresses and loads and loads of table decorations I do not need!”  (Submitted by Helen Lambert-Little)

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2.

“One of my bridesmaids actually ended up buying the wrong dress without me knowing and you know what? She looked beautiful and I’m just happy she’s a part of my wedding.” (Submitted by Carolina Hylton)

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3.

“Get a coordinator or a very very organized friend! I had no issues at my wedding, at least in my head I didn’t because my friend handled everything!” (Submitted by Nadine Zap)

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4.

“I had chosen a dress that was completely different from the one I envisioned . I was worried that it wouldn’t be the best dress for me. But afterwards I realized, I could have trusted my first reaction to the dress and all the lovely reactions of the people that I was with.”(Submitted by Sharon Van Der Meulen)

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5.

“My advice is to keep good communication with your groom, this may seem like an obvious thing to do, but just simply talking out loud to him on your planning and thoughts can make him feel involved. I was surprised how much my husband wanted to be a part of the wedding planning and what good ideas he had!” (Submitted by Brandi Bonar)

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6.

“My advice is not to drink too much wine before the ceremony starts! I was so stressed and nervous that I thought in order to relax I had to drink wine, but I drank too much! I ended up laughing through the whole ceremony. Thankfully everyone was laughing with me…but I still do not recommend it!” (Submitted by Ana Lopez Soria)

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7.

“Do not wear uncomfortable shoes, especially if you have stairs to go down, I almost landed at bottom!”(Submitted by Vicky Brown)

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8.

“I wish I had considered when prom was in relation to booking hair appointments! Now all of my bridesmaids have to get ready separately. I wish I had known this before picking my date and also to not delay in booking beauty appointments!” (Submitted by Bonnie Jungbauer)

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9.

“Originally we booked a venue where all of our family could easily attend; although deep down it didn’t make us entirely happy. It was too expensive. So we decided on a destination wedding. We can invite more friends because it’s cheaper, and although not everyone will be able to come, we will appreciate those who do attend just that little bit more. It’s our day, and we couldn’t be happier.”

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10.

“Make sure someone packs you some food! We were so hungry by the end of the night and nothing was open around our hotel!” (Submitted by Allise Salinas)

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11.

“One thing I wish I wouldn’t have stress so much over was handmade programs. I made about 400 and only about 75 were even taken by guests. It was a waste of time! And money!” (Submitted by Brooke Alexandra)

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12.

“If you have to call your hair\makeup four times or ten, just do it! Make sure she is clear on what time she set you up for you!” (Miranda Bennett)

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13.

“If you have any concerns that your dress might be uncomfortable after the ceremony, buy a reception dress. I was stuck in mine from 1.30pm until 11pm and by the end of the night I hated it as I was so uncomfortable!” (Submitted Niki Wrigley)

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14.

“Don’t be nervous! I spent the whole day so stressed about walking down the aisle and getting stared at by everyone, but the second I saw my husband, everything was right. I didn’t even look at anyone else.” (Submitted Brianna Varley)

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15.

“My advice is to really talk with your photographer about what pictures you want. We did not and there were so many we missed out on! Also stop and take a moment to let it all sink in cause the day goes by fast so cherish every moment.” (Submitted by Brenda Gibbner)

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16.

“Make sure other people know what needs to get done in the last 48 hours before your wedding. All the organization & lists in your head don’t do much good if something happens to you the day before the wedding!” (Submitted by Elise Etelamaki Elegeert)

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17.

“Take 5 minutes together, sneak off somewhere with your husband to share your day by yourselves just to catch up and talk. It’s Perfect.” (Submitted by Ashley Burnell)

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18.

“Just let it go and let it be – its not about how it looks, just about two people in love.”(Submitted by Olivia A. Rodriguez)

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Thank you to everyone who submitted their wonderful advice!

Feel free to share!

Heartful.ly Registry - the Wedding Registry that Gives Back
by Christina Child

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"Celebrate your big day by making someone else’s"

We are so happy to share this awesome company with you!  Heartful.ly is a wedding registry that connects generous couples and their communities to charitable projects around the world. From building a classroom in Tanzania to providing warm meals for children in need in the U.S.,  Hearful.ly allows your wedding gifts to contribute to building a legacy to grow with your marriage.  How sweet is that?!

Real couples making a difference

Casey and Ted - Special Olympics Missouri

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Casey's grandfather, J.D. developed a close relationship with Special Olympics during his life. He truly was passionate about the organization and the athletes. His love inspired Casey to begin coaching a Special Olympics basketball team when she moved to St. Louis 5 years ago. She has developed a bond with her players, families and other coaches that continues to grow every season. Now Ted can be seen assisting Casey and cheering from the bench like it is his own team. Special Olympics not only helps athletes stay active and healthy, but it is an integral platform in providing opportunities for success and friendship among each and every participant.

The amount of money generously donated through their registry sent 15 athletes through the Athlete Leadership Program!

Rusty and Monica - Sent a student to high school in Tanzania

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These two sponsored Zulfa Dadi with everything she needs for her first year of secondary school. Zulfa is a bright thirteen-year-old being raised by a single mom. Her mother works as a farmer, earning very little, and would have no way to pay Zulfa's school expenses. Zulfa is shy, sweet and whip smart- always finishing at the top of her class. She has ambitions to become a nurse, a dream that she would never have realized without their support.

We absolutely love the idea of selflessly foregoing traditional gifts to provide to those in need.  What a great way to start a marriage!

Want to learn more about Heartful.ly?!  Browse their list of current projects here...

5 Things I Learned as a Hired Bridesmaid by Jen Glantz
by Christina Child

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We're thrilled to have Jen Glantz of Bridesmaids for Hire back as a contributor to the Wedding Party blog!  In this installment she shares five things she's learned as a hired bridesmaid... Enjoy!

When I started Bridesmaid for Hire, two years ago, I never imagined that the strangers who welcomed me as a part of their wedding day would be the people to rock my view on life, love, and the endless pursuit of happiness. I also never imagined that working weddings, as a professional bridesmaid would completely shake up the fairy tale view I held onto for years about how my own wedding would look one day when I finally locked arms with the man of my dreams. After watching over 40 couples say I Do, some stomping on glass to kick off the marriage, and others just swapping a kiss, I’m ready to share with you the top 5 things I have learned so far as a hired bridesmaid.

1. Bridesmaids Need to Chill Being a bridesmaid is no easy feat and often times it’s a role that’ll cost you too much money, time, and a bit of sanity. But the easiest way to make it through your own personal bridesmaid adventure is to realize that the wedding you’re about to walk down the aisle at isn’t your special day, so you may be asked to do things and wear things and go places that you don’t particularly fancy. If all of that bothers you from the start, skip out on being a bridesmaid and instead be the ultimate wedding guest. If you’re okay with giving up a few of your weekends here and there and wearing a polyester dress you never dreamed of wearing, even in your worst nightmares, then leave your negativity, eye rolls, and even bridesmaidzilla attitude at home.

2. Laughter Cures All The morning of the wedding, when the bride is getting her glam on, and the wedding vendors are off making everything look like her not so hidden Pinterest board, things can and will feel stressful. The best thing anyone near the bride can do is make her laugh. It’s free, easy, and truly the only way to survive the hours before it’s time to walk down the aisle.

3. Old School Traditions Need to End If you don’t know why or don’t like why you “should” wear white to your wedding, toss the bouquet, or wear a veil, it’s okay to leave it out of your celebration. Old school traditions are old. Plan the wedding of your dreams, even if those dreams are a bit wild from any wedding you’ve ever been to before.

4. Weddings are Expensive When I’d go to friend’s weddings as a bridesmaid, I never knew how much of a tab they ran up to throw such a lavish party for 8-hours. But working with brides closely and seeing how much they spend on the venue and their vendors has made me realize that weddings cost more than most people pay for a car, a down payment on a house, or to attend college for four years and that is just oddly ridiculous.

5. People Get Married for Reasons Other Than Love It’s the truth, sometimes. I’ve seen it all. Extreme cases of cold feet. Brides admitting they aren’t marrying “the one” but just anyone. And even once a bride who told me that she was marrying a guy that was gay for reasons that didn’t quite make the most sense to me (you can read that whole story here).

Jen is the author of the new book Always a Bridesmaid (For Hire) and the founder of the head-turning business, Bridesmaid for Hire. She can often be spotted wearing old bridesmaid dresses to the grocery store or on first dates. You can follow her adventure here.

A Tasty New Trend in Wedding Registries!
by Christina Child

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As you plan your wedding, you have enough to worry about. From choosing the best photo albums, finding an online wedding invitation maker and which registry to use will consume your day. Speaking of registries, the days of registries filled with crockpots and white towels are long gone.  In recent years we've seen the emergence of unconventional wedding gift registries, including: cash only, honeymoon experiences, down payments for houses, future children's college funds, and charitable donations.

But what about a registry for foodies?  I recently discovered a genius idea... restaurant registries.  Friends and family buy restaurant gift certificates picked out by the bride & groom to dining establishments in the city where the wedding couple lives... ranging from inexpensive, favorite spots to that-place-that's-a-little-pricier-than-we-normally-go-for.  Cooking classes, food tours, and food/wine delivery subscriptions are a great addition too!

This is a fantastic idea for lots of reasons.  The average age at which most people get married is rising - and more people are cohabiting before marriage - so most couples already own the majority of household items that appear on the standard wedding registry.

Even better, a restaurant registry provides a year (maybe more!) of built-in, free date nights!  Couples are bound to have dinner out once a week anyway...  With a stockpile of restaurant gift cards they have the perfect excuse to try that place they've been wanting to without breaking the bank!

What do you think about this idea?  Would you opt for a food-based registry?

Image via thepalm.com

Related Products:

rsvps, thank you wedding postcards, blank bridal shower invitations

Related Articles:

free wedding sample kits


7 Ideas for Kid-Friendly Weddings
by Christina Child

Photo by Canvas on Demand

Photo by Canvas on Demand

1. Coloring wallpaper.  What kid doesn't love coloring on the walls?  With coloring wallpaper you can keep kids entertained and even have it double as a backdrop for a photobooth!  All you need is a piece of the wallpaper and markers, crayons or colored pencils and you're good to go.  Feeling really fancy?  Have canvas prints made of each child in black and white and let them shade in their own portrait for a fun keepsake!

2. Kid friendly food.  Most children are picky eaters and they may not like the beef or fish options you and your caterer have carefully selected for your special day.  Make sure you have a couple of kid-approved options so that parents aren't having to worry about their children having cake for dinner.  Also be sure to have kid appropriate beverages like juice, milk, or flavored water for the little ones.

3. Dance songs kids will know.  There's a lot of classic wedding songs that adults know and love, we're looking at you "Electric Slide," but these don't always resonate with children.  Work with your DJ to come up with fun dance songs that kids will know too.  Recently Watch Me (Whip/Nae Nae) has been a favorite!

4. Create a designated "Kid's Zone".  Designate one area specifically for the children and stock it with activities (see below) that will entertain the kids for hours.  Make it feel extra special by roping off the location or even allocating a special tent or teepee exclusively for the children.

5. Games.  Obviously you'll need multiple activities that are fun and age appropriate for a range of ages.  A good list includes bubble wands, glow sticks, hula hoops, a lego table, puzzles, giant Jenga, sidewalk chalk, coloring wallpaper, pinatas, etc.

6. Scavenger Hunt. Up the ante with a scavenger hunt!  Think about your venue ahead of time and create a list of sights or objects for the kids to search for.  Create a checklist and print off enough copies for each child.

7. Origami station.  Never underestimate the power of a couple of origami pattern printouts/books and a pack of square paper!  Make sure to have varying levels of difficulty for kids of different ages.  The finished product doubles as a fun keepsake for the little ones to take home and remember your wedding by.

A Genius Idea for Thank You Notes that Feel Super Special!
by Christina Child

A genius idea for writing thank you notes that feel super special | via Wedpics.com
A genius idea for writing thank you notes that feel super special | via Wedpics.com

I recently attended a wedding (the 7th of this year, in fact!).  A few weeks later, as expected, I received a card in the mail.  I fully expected the standard thank-you-for-the-crockpot note, but I was surprised to find a super thoughtful addition inside the envelope.

There was a printed photo of me and my date dancing at the wedding... a photo that I had yet to even see online.   The handwritten note was written on the opposite side.  What a great idea!  With photo prints costing less than they ever have, you can create a special custom wedding thank you card and include a personalized, special touch that will really set you apart!

Plus, if you used WedPics at your wedding, you will no doubt have lots of great photos to choose from of all your guests.