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Monday
May222017

Day 2

Allison&Greg

Venue: The Riverview

Photographer: Erica Britto

DJ: Lights/Camera/DJs

Location: Simsbury, CT

 

Sunday was officially the shortest notice I’ve had that my services would be needed! Allison&Greg contacted me four days before the wedding (due to circumstances beyond their control, I must point out) and I happened to have the date open. I am absolutely glad that I did. From the moment I stepped into Allison’s room at the Simsbury Residence Inn, I felt at ease and truly enjoyed getting to know her bridesmaids during the preparation. I was privileged to work with the easygoing and fun Erica Britto as the photographer. 2 year old Mason was a big help to me as my assistant cameraman. Allison was pretty sure she wouldn’t cry when she read Greg’s card, but there were definitely some water works ;) From there, we departed for the riverview in simsbury. It’s been at least 9 years since I have worked there, but I’ll be back next month for another wedding. The ballroom was immaculately decorated, but there was no time to admire the details because the ceremony time was coming up fast! Allison got into her gorgeous dress and I shot her expert maid of honor finishing up the bustling. As soon as the guys arrived in their limo, I whisked Greg into a suite and we recorded him reading his card and opening his gift. The ceremony was short and sweet, and featured a wine ceremony. I’m all for any ceremony including wine! Cocktail hour went by fast, but the river view’s setup and Allison’s hard work in decorating made it easy to capture some beautiful interior shots. The first dance was flawless, the toasts endearing, and the meal scrumptious! I caught a lot of great dancing, and the guests didn’t leave the floor thanks to brandon of lights camera dj. The day went by too fast, but as my second wedding day in a row on my first week back to work, I was exhausted as I drove home. I had enough energy to import the footage and go for a my daily 5k before getting to sleep before a good long day of editing!

Saturday
May202017

First Wedding of the year!

Sam&Dan

Venue: Ocean's Edge

Ceremony: Our Lady of the Cape

Photographer: Ali Rosa

DJ: Danny Walsh

Location: Brewster, MA

Episode 1. Season 11. Spoiler alert: nobody dies.

This was the season opener of my 11th year filming weddings. First couple: Sam&Dan. Sam contacted me a long time ago and even referred one of her friends to me last summer. We’d both been so busy that, although we’d spoken many times, we only met on the day of her wedding. She is such a sweetheart and so much fun to be around. She joked that I was catching shots of her eating chicken tenders and other inopportune moments. Well I do catch pretty much everything! Dan is a pretty cool guy too, and I knew he is an ex-marine when he just about broke my hand with his handshake. Once I regained feeling below my elbow, I was able to successfully operate a camera again. Their wedding took place at one of my all-time favorite venues-the ocean’s edge in brewster. I had last been there for a wedding in August last year, in fact, the hottest day of last year. It was 106 on the beach and I brought two suits to avoid looking like I’d just gone swimming after the ceremony. Well anyways, today was a much more mild day at just about 65 degrees and perfectly sunny. The ceremony was held at our lady of the cape, a church I’ve been to many times and have always appreciated for its excellent lighting and open architectural plan, which allows for great shots without being distracting.

One thing photographers and videographers always appreciate is when the officiants don’t restrict us too much. Priests especially tend to be regimented. Of course it’s a sacred occasion and the majority of wedding professionals bear this in mind foremost, however we do need to accomplish what you’ve contracted us to do in the way we know how to do it. One priest I worked with years ago prohibited the photographer from using flash at any time or moving at all from one spot. Since the bride and groom had paid him and signed a contract agreeing to his conditions, they were powerless to stop that. Can’t imagine what their pictures looked like. So my tangential advice is: ALWAYS check with your clergy/officiant to verify what their regulations are regarding photo/video. Anyways, all of that brings me to this point: the clergy at our lady of the cape have consistently been respectful, kind and accommodating to me so I really enjoy working there.

After the ceremony, ocean’s edge had a lobster and shrimp filled cocktail hour on their castle-like rooftop overlooking the ocean. A brilliant reception followed, and I was thrilled to work with a DJ I’ve never met before-. He worked alone, which I see only maybe about 1/3 of the time. He did an outstanding job. He kept things flowing nicely, and his vibrant, witty and enthusiastic personality really came through. The dance floor was so packed that I was hit in the face by flailing arms several times-always a good sign!

Wednesday
Jun252014

The Wal-Mart-Ization of Weddings

If Walmart were a country, it's economy would be larger than Czech Republic. And Ireland. And New Zealand. And Hungary. Combined. So what has Wal-Mart contributed to our cultural proponsities beyond omnipresent smiley-face stickers and peopleofwalmart.com? Well, for one thing, the coined term of "walmart-ization". This means the standardizing and homogenizing of an industry to lower prices for the consumer and increase profits for a multinational corporation. What's wrong with this? Well, it's not all bad. We live in a capitalist country and that is the nature of consumer demand. Where we as the consumers need to be cautious is when it affects areas of life beyond cheap sandals and 4-packs of Ocean Spray.


Cheap Vendors means.....cheap vendors

I'll be the first to admit that I am not the most "fiscally minimal" videographer around. Nor are the photographers that I often work with, the DJs, or the venues I film in. There's a reason for this, and the fact that you're reading this tells me you already know what it is. A vendor who is worth his price will charge higher so that he can ensure a better quality service for his clients. This vendor will have an extensive history of happy clients and the price he charges will ensure direct communication, explicit explanations of editing decisions and style of filming, and the probability of only dealing directly with one person. So how do these companies get away with charging $250 for a wedding video?


Sign the contract. You'll be making someone in Cambodia very happy.

That's right, if you sign up with one of these international videography firms, your footage may be on the same flight to Hawaii that you are...and then on to Asia for quick, sloppy editing and shipped back here to be sent to you two months after the wedding. Here's how it works: You sign up online based on the price and the moderate reviews they've got on weddingwire. The website manager in New York gets the information and e-mails this to the vendor management in Chicago. They get the work order and e-mail it to a videographer they've never met who lives within 100 miles of you. This videographer was hired based on a series of clips he sent in to the company. He may lease the equipment from the company, which arrives a few days before your wedding. There's no one ensuring that he's got any modicum of experience with this equipment. So he's got this work order with your names, the locations and the times. That's all. No mention of your great aunt Sally who can't make it and wants to see the dance with your dad and the expression on your mom's face during it. No mention of how you and your fiance love the Red Sox and having "Sweet Caroline" playing during at least a portion of your video would be apprecaited. No information about how you hate the idea of someone talking to your guests with a camera and microphone during cocktail hour. The work order might as well list items that appear in aisle 14 of every Wal-Mart in North America.

You are not every Wal-Mart. This is your wedding and that should mean something to your vendor.
They should be interested in you as a person and care genuinely about how the video will reflect the most meaningful relationship of your life. How can someone who hasn't spoken to you and gets a sheet of paper passed down by four different faceless names in different states possibly have your best interest at heart? And the Monday after the wedding, when he overnights your footage through UPS for shipping to southeast Asia, that will be the last time he thinks about your day.

Lest I be misinterpreted as being acrimonious towards companies that do this, I want to state unequivocally that I am not. I've met some of the people who work for these companies and they are usually very responsible people. This is a viable option for some people. These companies are generally honest, forthright with what they offer and will attentively respond to customer concerns. They have thousands of videographers all across the country who makes thousands of couples very happy. They're happy because they saved money and because they've got 6 hours of unedited footage to watch on a rainy day. Perhaps this is the same type of person who adores Wal-Mart. (I'll grant Wal-Mart this: they do have excellent salads and their brand of seltzers are delicious. And who doesn't love being greeted at the doors with a smile-face sticker?) The person who loves Wal-Mart is thrilled with their $12 sneakers. But after 8 months, when their plastic shoes have worn out and the polyester soles have been whittled away, they will toss those sneakers out and buy another pair and their life will go on just as content as it was before. But unlike the person who buys their Wal-Mart sneakers, the person who invests in a Wal-Mart-ized wedding video can't just get another one.


The bottom line.

Be judicious about how you spend your wedding video budget. Have you allocated $2000? Make sure it's the best $2000 you could possibly spend. Is it $500? Why not try talking to a few local videographers who have your date avaialble and see what you can negotiate. Talking directly with the person who will be hearing about you and your fiance, filming the wedding and editing it themselves far outweighs the frustration of dealing with a monolith company where it can take a long time to figure out why something went wrong and how to fix it. Talk to us, your local vendors. And remember that there's no such thing as a free lunch-a higher price for a video by a well-established professional is an investment that will pay off year after year.

Sunday
Jan052014

Did you forget the knife for your wedding cake?

The myriad details that surround the planning of a wedding are astounding. You don't necessarily need to invest in a wedding planner to ensure that matrimonial minutiae aren't overlooked, but you should be aware of exactly what you'll need on the wedding day and when you'll need it. The five most common forgotten details? Check Below:

5. Comfortable shoes for dancing

4. How to deal with the leftover food

3. Signs on the gift table and for the card box

2. Honeymoon details

1. Storing the dress after the wedding

Remember, wedding videos allow you to relive all of the details so that the day's events don't slip our faulty memories. Book your wedding video for Massachusetts today!

Tuesday
Dec242013

The happiest New Year: You’re engaged!


Massachusetts and the greater New England area is well-acquainted with the appeal of winter wedding planning. Videographers, photographers, DJs and other wedding vendors in Boston take advantage of Black Friday specials to purchase new equipment; meanwhile couples throughout the region are solidifying their relationships with the aid of brilliant alletropes of carbon. According to one survey, 33% of wedding engagements occur in the weeks leading up to New Years’ Day. It’s the perfect time, really, as friends and family gather together and the allure of freshly fallen snowflakes hasn’t yet grown old.

So you’re engaged, now what? This truly is the best time of year to do your wedding planning and I’ll outline 3 reasons why:

  1.     Wedding venues are starving
  2.     Professionals aren’t working
  3.     There’s more reason to stay indoors online

Your wedding venue

            Most venues in and around Boston have had Christmas and New Years’ booked for a couple years, but following the holidays is a period of temporarily staff cutbacks, vacation time, and recuperation from the end of New England wedding season. Summer is obviously prime time, autumn offers the quaint Puritan-esque matrimonial ambiance, and the northeastern winter provides a romantic backdrop to a budding lifelong companionship.

            Now is the perfect time to book your venue. Profits are falling, the fiscal year has just ended and management is under pressure to fill in remaining dates. Use this to your advantage. When you visit a venue, be prepared to drop a deposit and let them know this. But do it on your terms; two can play the sales game. If they see that you are ready to secure a deposit and allow them the chance to cross off one of their otherwise-profitless calendar days, they will be more inclined to either give you a small price break or throw in extras for free. We all want numeral discounts, but the free extras extend to major savings as well. If your venue agrees to be flexible with the number of meals prepared or the seating capacity, this will take major anxiety away from the agreed-upon most stressful aspect of the planning-the invitations and subsequent waiting period. So remember these key points when exploring your venues:

  •    Tour them together (Yes, I know this means taking a day or two off work-but it’ll be worth it when you sway during your final dance at the end of a flawless evening)
  •    Make the venue management want you (“I have 3 friends getting married next year too!”) 
  •    Be prepared to book them soon (Show them you’re serious, not like weekend yard-salers)

 We’re not working!

            Yeah, I’ll admit it. I love the winter months. This is the time when I get to relax and research new equipment, plan ahead for next year and unwind a little. The vast majority of my wedding vendor colleagues take vacations, revamp their websites, and focus on advertising during the months following the holiday season. We’re filling in our remaining dates for this year and next and it’s our prime time to be answering questions about our services and offering the new trends for the upcoming season. This is the best time to book with us, as our summer/fall calendars are typically full by the end of March. Unlike venues, whose contracts are notoriously rigid, we (especially those of us who are sole-proprietors) videographers are quite flexible with what we offer and make the most amendments to our contracts (i.e. additional filming hours for free, extras at no charge) during these next few months before tax day rolls around.

You don’t want to leave the house

            But you will come April in Boston. Weddings are coming up! So take advantage of your forced sequestration and do your research. Make sure you at least consider the wedding planning timeline, and send your questions to all your vendors. Those with the most professional and friendliest replies are your best bet. Once you’ve vetted them and examined their work, analyze their communication with you. Are they terse or dodgy? It’s not likely going to get better once the season arrives and they’re at two weddings every weekend. Your time at home can be well worth it months from now. You’ll thank your past self in June when you’re able to relax at Old Orchard without last-minute vendor negotiations.

            Massachusetts wedding videographers love the engagement season because it gives them something to look forward to-a whole bunch of radiant, excited, fun couples to help out this year. So congratulations on your engagement and I hope your time with family and friends has refreshed you for the next few months of wedding planning!

            ***Those who have read this article and shared it on their facebook wall are eligible for a 5% discount on any package if you contact me by February 1.***