A very late wedding video booking at Ripley Castle
As I wrote the message in the Guest Book for Clothild and Kristian, I could not help but chuckle. Not only was I; at the request of the Groom, writing in the book, which is normally reserved for Guests, but my comment was as follows:
“ I think I should change my company name to ‘Lastinuteweddingvideography.com” quite a mouthful, but it had become a bit of a standing joke in the previous 24 hours.
Let us rewind to Thursday night; the one preceding their Wedding, Kristian sent me an email. Apologising for completely overlooking my swift reply to his enquiry the previous month. Doubting our availability, or desire to respond with such short notice, it was a short in the dark, so to speak.
By sheer luck, I had my phone in my hand as the email arrived; I was actually heading to bed. I read the email and asked my Wife and second shooter, if she was up for a last minute change of weekend plans and the wedding opportunity we were now presented with. I love a challenge, and having spent most of my working life producing work at the 11th hour – it’s part of the life of a Graphic Designer.
Being now 11:30pm, and given the apparent lost email previous, I opted for a rather bold move and telephoned Kristian. It’s fair to say he was shocked that I had replied, that we were up for the last-minute booking and that I had taken the step of calling. With a promise of immediate payment and emailing of Booking Form and its necessary information before morning, I went to bed.
I met Kristian and his wife the following day along with several of their family. Rather than talk much about their imminent Wedding, Kristian and I spend about 20 minutes just chatting about things, much like friends who were catching up on life. I followed them all over to the Church to watch the Rehearsal Wedding and that gave me a chance to chat to the Vicar about Horse Racing and such – a sure fire way to garner his approval of my proposed camera positions for the following day.
The plan for the Big Day was simple; head to see Kristian at home with one of his Groomsmen, then to the small village of Ripley just outside Harrogate to the Bride. The Church was just over the square from their location and the Reception being held at Ripley Castle, opposite.
Clothilde is French, so amongst the sounds of the day were distinct French conversations. It also meant that Clothilds Father delivered his Father of the Bride Speech in French.
When meeting a couple ahead of the big day, a chance to finalise timings over coffee is what we plan for. Familiarise ourselves so that on the day each party knows facially the other. Through nervousness and our light-hearted chatter, on the day we hope to find a way to relax our couples, so that our filming eases them.
Clothilde and Kristian were comfortable with us in front of our camera. The chatter flowed with Kristian as it had the day before, whilst Clothilde was quieter with a slight nervousness. As with many of our Bookings, we had been asked to film the Ceremony in its entirety, so with cameras positioned, audio equipment set up, the Ceremony started only a couple of minutes after its schedule; because the Bride is allowed to be, ever so slightly late!
We use small audio recorders during the Ceremony, and Speeches to enable us to capture crystal clear audio. These coupled with high quality on camera microphones, we capture all the audio we might need. This audio is a big part of our finished Wedding Reel video for us.
Our working philosophy to a great wedding video is this: If an unrelated person were to watch one of our Wedding Films, they would, by the end, know a little something about the couple. In essence the video should be able to standalone as a piece of film about the couples day.
I personally get quite upset with Wedding Videos that are all set to music. Whilst it can be a specific requirement made by the Couple (I have had such a request), but the result to my mind is somewhat akin to watching a silent movie of the 1920’s, when syncing audio and film was not yet possible. It often looks like a moving slideshow, with little to no emotion, pace or story.
The other bug bear I have is slow motion. Movies on TV or in Film are never in slow motion all the way through! It should be used with REASON and at selected parts of the film only.
But enough about my personal gripes :)
Clothilde is French, so amongst the sounds of the day were distinct French conversations. It also meant that Clothilds Father delivered his Father of the Bride Speech in French – thankfully with translation for the rest of us on a screen. As you will see if you watch the finished wedding video, We were not afraid of using some of his speech as an opportunity to tell the story of how they met in his own words. Music for the evening was supplied by quite possible the best band we have encountered at a Wedding. A thirteen, yes 13-piece band, Brass, vocalists, guitar, drums, two keyboard players, it was a wall of sound delivered with skilled audience interaction and showmanship.
We film until after the first Dance at a typical wedding booking. Staying enough time to get plenty of dancing and merriment for a handful of follow up songs before we bid our farewells.
It was at this time of saying our goodbyes, that Kristian first suggested we stay and enjoy the night and then steered us towards the Photo booth for a crazy dress-up photoshoot which led to my comment in their photo-guestbook.
I don’t know if it was that Kristian and I ‘just clicked’ or that it was because it was a last minute booking, the day went really smoothly and was hugely enjoyable.
We normally deliver our Wedding Reel Video quite quickly by most standards, with their first viewing 10 days after their Wedding.
Another of our unique approaches is to select the music ourselves. By using Licensed Music (not commercial pop songs), we are able to drive the mood and emotion of our Wedding Videos; something we feel pop songs cannot – plus often pop songs mean your video will not play on mobile and Tablets due to Copyright issues.
Clothild had been the one to make suggestion about the style of music she liked, and thankfully we chose well – they LOVED the video, with a phone call from Kristian to confirm their feelings after they had binge watched it many times since they were sent the link.
You can watch the video here: Ripley Castle Wedding Video