5 Things Your Wedding Cinematographer Knows About Your Wedding That You Don’t Know Yet
The bride leans in. The groom races to catch her. Lips meet, and applause is heard from every corner, radiating to remote distances. In a moment that seemingly goes in slow motion for the now married couple, a lens lies strapped to its partner in crime – the video camera – capturing every ray of light in its angle of view; every piece of proof of this moment’s existence. Right behind this duo lies the human mind, one that coordinates every photographic and cinematic element; the alchemist to the formula. And on this day, the formula is a familiar one: engraving the elements of a couple’s wedding day into photographic memory through a balance – enough of a cinematic touch to embellish pleasantly, but not neglect the need to realistically profile a couple’s story; a vast palette of tones, but none a tone too dark, light or saturated. This delicate balance is executed to its full potential by feeding from a fountain of knowledge. Years of make or break scenarios. Years of trial and error. A knowledge held by a Wedding Cinematographer who’s seen it all, and mastered the art of making moments into permanent, cinematic records with only a camera and a kit.
This process of engraving life into a permanent record is one that’s repeated dozens, hundreds, and even thousands of times a day, depending on how you choose to measure it. And from this process, and the knowledge gained from it, the person involved gets access to what others don’t know, but most importantly, what others can’t even see. It’s a Wedding Videographer’s bible – and simultaneously their box of secrets – giving them a window into you as a bride and how your wedding day will be and be remembered, that helps them do their job best. It’s the things your Wedding Cinematographer knows about your wedding, that you don’t know yet, and chief among them, are these five key points:
The most valuable images on your wedding day will come from your most candid expressions, not from your most stylish poses.
Every bride approaches their wedding day from a different state of mind, but just because that state of mind is there, doesn’t necessarily mean it’ll be reflected in the official “record” of the day (the professional video production and photography taken at the event). An over emphasis on fabricated poses in your video or pictures leaves your memories of the day with little insight on who you were on the day of, which weakens the emotional intensity – and therefore value – of your wedding day memories, by robbing them of an emotionally accurate “reinforcement” that they would have if they instead had a candid record of the day to reference. Additionally, your wedding day and its memories leave you with a fantastic opportunity to grow and mature as a person, but if your record of the day is fabricated or inaccurate, it makes it tougher to accurately reference what type of growth you should have, or what you should learn from your wedding day experience. So go ahead, seek the candid. It’s tantamount to seeking who you are, and you’re going to want to know that.
The most impactful moments you’ll have will be the ones you expected the least.
Surprises tend to ingrain themselves deeper into one’s memory for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is because surprises are surprises in the first place because they’re unconventional – they startle you with the unknown, and sometimes break down barriers in your worldview or mindset that you didn’t want broken down, or didn’t dare to break down before. Going into your wedding day, it’s much the same thing. You have expectations for the day, and probably aren’t looking for the unexpected, since it runs counter to a perceived “balance” and “organization” to the day that you’re probably seeking. But that view of the unexpected is based on an assumption that the unexpected is automatically a negative thing. But when the unexpected, on the other hand, leads you to a better place, gives you a perspective that makes you a more elevated person, or awards you with an experience that was preferable and more rewarding than the mundane nature of what’s “safe,” the unexpected changes a piece of you, where the mundane and conventional did not, and as a result, that change will likely be more deeply ingrained and valuable in your mind and psyche than a vast array of moments that didn’t distinguish themselves in any particular way. Who wants a wedding where every guest is exactly who they are on a day to day basis? If a groomsmen trips on a few vases at the ceremony, is that broken property, or a memorable chuckle? When a bridesmaid who’s never cried in front of you breaks down in tears at her reception speech, isn’t that preferable to a speech that went according to plan? Redefine the unexpected, and use that to your advantage. Give it the value it deserves.
“You” will be the part of your wedding day that you remember less than you thought you would. Many of the truly timeless memories will come in how other people at your wedding showed their love and appreciation for you.
In many ways, a wedding is a celebration of you and your significant other’s lives, which are a combination of your individual personalities with the influence of the people around you who made you who you are. The welcome table at the reception, for example, will often contain pictures of your story as a couple and your individual stories, but will also usually contain visual references of the people around you who were the most important and influential in every stage of your development. It’s safe to say then, that there isn’t really a “You” without “other people.” And these other people are who you’ll be celebrating with on your big day, and you’ll probably learn a lot about them from how they react to the circumstances surrounding your big day, or how they handle their role in it. How they perform in their role is of a fundamental importance to you, and as a result, to how the memories of your wedding day are shaped.
With so much on the line, how guests perform in their role will weigh heavily, and therefore, when their outpouring of love and appreciation for you is demonstrated, it will probably cast a bigger impression and have a bigger impact on your wedding day memories than you expected. Your dad telling you how much he loves you in a way you’ve never seen before, your bridesmaids going out of their way for you in a way they’ve never done, your extended group of friends being happier for you than you’ve ever seen them happy for anything else – all that will not just redefine how you see those close to you. It will surprise you in a way you’ve never been surprised, and will, as a result, leave a lasting impression on you that will eclipse many of the memories you have from that day of just yourself.
Your wedding day will tempt you to reconsider how you view those around you. Don’t take the bait.
As mentioned previously, your wedding day may redefine certain elements of much of your life – a part of your relationship with family, a part of how you view your extended network of friends, a part of how they view you, a part of how you see your significant other – but it doesn’t, nor it shouldn’t, be this way. Often, people are judged by how they perform in ONE valuable or crucial moment, as opposed to how they performed in a wide variety of “less valuable or crucial” occasions. Such line of judgment is misguided, to say the least, because it overlooks the frequency in which a person performed adequately to the situation or environment, and replaces it with an inferior value: the performance under an arbitrary moment of duress or responsibility. Your bridesmaids are your bridesmaids largely because of the frequency of their good deeds, frequency of their sacrifice and friendship to you, and how you value that consistency. The same thing goes for your significant other, your parents, and anyone else you hold in high esteem. Don’t betray or contradict that line of thinking by being overly critical of those same people if their consistency didn’t hold for your wedding day. Yes, it’s an invaluable occasion, but it represents a microcosm of the entirety of your relationship with those around you that matter, so give it its appropriate weight, instead of jumping to permanent, inflexible conclusions about those around you grounded on what happened on a single day.
The wedding of your dreams is built in hindsight; not on your wedding day.
As is the case with most experiences of significant personal value, a different narrative will emerge of your wedding day in hindsight to what emerged or was present the moment you walked through two rows of sparklers with your significant other. An extended process of emotional filtering and reflection will emerge in the days, weeks, months and years following the day of your marriage, and where this filtering and reflection will lead you will often be influenced by the factors and experiences that are relevant to married life. Simply put, the value of your wedding memories will change and evolve, and with them, the lessons learned on that day. So, if everything at first felt like it didn’t go quite as planned, or didn’t go well at all, relax. That impression is likely to change. A “great” wedding is a matter of perspective. And perspective, like the world around it, evolves. The biggest mishaps, or most embarrassing moments of that fateful day when you said “I do,” may bring the biggest smiles to your face in a few year’s time, when the person who got married that day, is the greater version of themselves that they’ve always wanted to be.
Until next time, everyone!