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|Best Man's Game!|
|- Wed 13 Feb 2008||9019 views - 1 comment|
When I was 13 years old and probably listening to Total Eclipse of the Heart
(’94 version – Nikki French) I wrote in my blue-sequinned diary that when I got married it would be in an outdoors ceremony at dusk, in a peach orchard. I’d wear a wedding dress with a halter neck – satin and clingy. I’d be carried barefoot into the sunset by my new husband and I’d be twenty-two years old.
Eleven years later and I’m impressed by the definite nature of those plans. It seems that as life plays out, it’s simpler not to make anything too fixed, or too hard to get out of. The world is big and it’s waiting. Chock-a-block full of choices and distractions and work-to-get-done and good times.
We’re all making the years count, not counting the years, and I’ve missed my sunset wedding date by two years, but don’t stop to think why I haven’t noticed. It’s funny and startling what is thrown into people’s paths as they live their everyday lives. It’s heartrending and astonishing what is taken away from them. And it’s a huge, unexpected world.
The idea of pinning everything onto a set of vows – choosing one person, one path in life, for an entire life, out of all the possible ones out there… No wonder I don’t think about that too much. Another coat of varnish on my nails, a week-to-view diary in my bag and no need to flick too many pages ahead.
I haven’t lived a quarter of a century yet and it’s no surprise I’m reluctant to map out my future. But I see and hear people wondering about the same things as me, and I’m realising that age doesn’t give you the right to all the answers either. We’re told we can have it all. It’s a brave thing to narrow down so much possibility – rest everything on one fragile relationship and decide now for forty years ahead. Can there really be one person for us, and is that a question that’s new, or as old as marriage itself?
When I worked in hospitals, I saw the graceful bowing-out of marriages that had lasted half a century. I used to watch the wives and husbands by the beds of their spouse, and I was watching with respect and wonderment. It is no small thing to have your lifetime partner with you at the end, and those couples had made it through it all. You can’t sum up a life in a word, but I wonder what they’d say if someone had asked them to try?
In a hospital ward that was grey and stale, in the eyes of the sick and scared where you see emotions laid out bare, what I saw was gratitude as they watched and held onto each other. I don’t know anything about their marriages but I imagine that it was sacrifice and resolve and humour that carried them through tough years, and not much to do with trying-to-have-it-all.
It’s easy to be nostalgic about a past I don’t know much about. And nowadays there is cynicism at every turn and news stories that make you shrug or shudder, and gloomy statistics, and any number of reasons to think that a happy marriage is a dying privilege that doesn’t fit into our world any more.
I don’t think that’s correct but I’d struggle to argue my case in a debate, because the only thing I know is right, is that scepticism gets beaten hands down next to truer feelings. People get married and people get divorced and I think that the most important of those facts is the first… It says that we don’t change that much through the generations. The divorce statistics may reveal that something is wrong, but there is a starting point that is real. The genuine faith people have in another person, the boldness and strength they get from that person, the happiness, the future planned together and no other way – it’s nothing to do with impracticable romance and everything to do with a human spirit that can’t be altered. So maybe marriage is a proper celebration of such sincerity in a world that’s gone a little off kilter.
“Humans are meant to be in twos” is what I said to someone last summer as we split up. It wasn’t a great statement and it wasn’t a finest moment – said in the sticky early hours of one of the summer’s hottest days, in a dress from the night before and just a slick of lipstick to gloss over any trace of vulnerability. But it was the best way I could express why I didn’t want to be with someone who wouldn’t stay faithful to just me.
I don’t think this left much of an impression on the man, and it didn’t make me run into the arms of someone with strong arms and a loyal heart. But it was a little jolt – a realisation, probably long after everyone else, that in a fickle world, I’m kind of old-fashioned and in the end it’s too damn complex trying to be too much of a modern girl. The way it has always been done works just fine – you stand by your man and you hope and pray that you’ve picked the one who’ll stand by you.
What I said that summer dawn pretty much sums up all I’ve got to say about the whole subject for now. That’s my starting point and I haven’t got much further. I’ll carry on; race through my life until something or someone wakes me up one day to stop me in my tracks. And I guess, then, I’ll be no different to anyone else… pinning my hopes and my heart on a gut feeling that, even if so many others can’t, we can make this thing work.
Because I like the idea of a white dress that is satin and clings. An imperfect fairytale in a world that keeps changing, and a ruby wedding anniversary.
Posted in category: Wedding Talk
News & Features
|- Mon 04 Feb 2008||5770 views - add your comment|
More couples are choosing to complement photography with moving images. But there’s more to videography than simply waving a camcorder around, as Tim Earl, executive producer of Ichikoo Films, explains.
The average bride spends months – if not years – dreaming about their wedding day, creating a magical movie in their mind's eye of how their fairytale day will go. Yet when those brides look for a wedding videographer – the person who is going to capture a living record of that remarkable day – most follow a predictable pattern. They search for a videographer along with shopping for other services, such as caterers, florists, and limousine companies. The photographer comes first, and then they might think about finding a videographer. Not much thought is given to how they want their wedding film to actually be like - it just needs to be done with the final deciding factor being the price.
To get the best footage of your big day, hiring a videographer should be a bit more than ticking off a check box somewhere on the prenuptial To Do list. Surveys show that brides who treat videography as a commodity often regret it later. The Wedding and Event Videographers Association (WEVA), commissioned a 2005 study in the US to look at brides’ attitudes about videography both before and after their weddings. The brides were asked to rank videography on a personal “top ten” list of wedding priorities. Prior to their weddings, barely 50 per cent of the brides listed videography as a top ten item. However, after the wedding the emphasis changed dramatically, with a whopping 80 per cent putting it up there. A follow-up survey, checking with brides a year or more after their weddings, showed the percentages climbing even higher.
The wedding film, and the photographs, are the ‘to have and to hold’ parts of the wedding celebration.
They endure long after the bouquets have withered, the cake’s been eaten, and the wedding couple has forgotten whether the crystal decanter was a gift from Auntie Gwen or Cousin Geoff. When looking for a caterer or a florist, you are shopping for an occasion. When choosing a videographer, you are buying something that will last as long as your wedding rings. So don’t leave the filming to Uncle Albert.
Tim’s tips for choosing the right videographer:
1. Look at their website. Does it inspire you? In all probability, an uninspiring website equals an uninspiring video.
2. Ask to see a DVD of their films. If it leaves you cold, chances are so will your own film.
3. Shop around. It’s not essential they are based on your doorstep – a good videographer is worth any additional travel cost.
4. Beware of choosing merely on price. Videographers will usually quote packages in various price brackets so be careful when you are comparing prices, as packages will not be like-for-like.
5. Ask around for referrals. The more research you do, the more confident you will be that you’ve made the right choice.
6. Choose the professionals. Opting for a film production company rather than a standard videographer will guarantee you a much better film.
7. Be Realistic. If your budget is tight and you still want Star Wars, then you may be disappointed.
8. Don’t ask your friend to film it – unless he happens to be Martin Scorcese.
Go to Wedding Professional for more articles on the wedding industry.
Posted in category: Wedding Talk
|- Thu 13 Apr 2006||1956 views - comments are closed.|
Wedding photographers Nev and Shirley Bell of Glenhirst Photography reveal how to get the most out of your photos – and your big day.
We love our work as wedding photographers. It’s hectic, but always fun – and, over time, we have learnt a lot about what helps to smooth the way to a great day. We often say a wedding is like a play without a dress rehearsal – it’s a familiar production, but there are moments of sheer panic when those in the lead roles aren’t sure what happens next!
As the photographers, we are at but not in the wedding, so the bride and groom will often treat us as confidantes, and hiss at us “What do we do now?” or even something along the lines of “Look at his ex – she’s lost two stone; I could punch her!” So what advice can we offer from our side of the fence? Here are some tips that should help you get the most out of your photos – and your day.
Hint number one: Your wedding outfit is your costume, so flaunt it! In our experience, your dress will look the worse for wear as the day goes on – even on the driest day, it’ll acquire mysterious grass stains and general grubbiness from footpaths and floors. If you’re really unlucky, a spot of oil from the wedding car might stain it before you even get to the church. However, no-one else is likely to notice any of this and it won’t show on the pictures, so it’s a pity to be overly self-conscious, or to spoil your photographs by walking into church with your dress hitched up around your knees.
Hint number two: Small children look great in wedding photos but are quite capable of creating havoc! If your two-year-old pageboy refuses to carry his decorated rolling pin, you can’t make him do it, so be flexible and have it photographed by the wedding cake instead, to save both his tears and your own.
Don’t forget, children are often frightened when they are on display. Like most photographers these days, we take informal shots throughout the day in addition to the formal ones, so your reluctant little star can be captured talking to the bride and groom, spinning around with the other attendants, or collecting up confetti to sprinkle on the train of your wedding dress instead!
Hint three is to keep your temper – and your sense of humour – when it comes to the photos. Even formal pictures usually have a less rigid feel nowadays than in years gone by. After we formally photograph a group, people naturally relax, talk and laugh, so we always try to get another shot then – and it’s often the best one.
There’s no need to get all Bridezilla with your wedding party if they fool around – some of our most appealing pictures are of baby bridesmaids poking bigger ones, little pageboys whispering, or the bride and groom beaming at one another. In fact, we always back off when you first leave the ceremony and again when you get to the reception, because those spontaneous moments of greeting and congratulation make lovely informal shots.
Hint number four is to think about the time it’ll take for formal groups to be arranged, because this can really eat into your day. Most couples still want the core formal shots of the bride, groom, attendants and immediate family, but additional groups can be added on the day if needs be, or some can be cancelled if the couple decide they can’t bear to go through with them all!
Please let your photographer know if there are any family wars, so he or she doesn’t try to push sworn enemies together! Also, remember that a loud-voiced insider such as the best man, an usher or one of the mothers is an invaluable aid in assembling groups for the photos.
If you don’t want too many formal shots, a good compromise is to ask your photographer to take a high-level picture of all your guests. Nev specialises in hanging out of hotel windows, stretching over balconies and clambering up stepladders to secure this type of shot!
The bigger picture
Helpful hint number five is to remember it’s your day. If, for example, the caterers are trying to hurry you to the table to eat but you still have pictures you want, negotiate with them. The reception staff are just taking their duties into account, but you must keep an eye on the bigger picture – after all, this day is a one-off. On the other hand, it is a good idea to get your guests settled with a drink before the photographer gets into action. This means they can be chatting while the various people are collected together for pictures.
Above all, enjoy the day. Everyone wants it to be a wonderful occasion, so don’t miss the overall picture by stressing about the details. Remember, no-one but you knows what didn’t happen, just as no-one sees the photographs we didn’t take! Relish the company and the occasion so you can look back on all those pictures with pleasure, not regret.
Photos by kind permission of Jonathan Day.
Posted in category: Wedding Talk
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