Posts Tagged ‘Wedding Tips’

Questions to Ask Your Wedding Videographer

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

I was reading an article on www.RealSimple.com the other day entitiled What to Ask Your Wedding Videographer and thought it would be helpful for me to share with you as this is my first blog post to myweddingbinder.com.

Here’s one movie you’re bound to watch over and over again―get it right and you’ll love every single viewing.

1. What is your video style―cinematic or documentary?

If you want the videographer to create an artistic movie of the wedding, you will want someone who can apply feature-film techniques. If you want a traditional video chronicling the day from start to finish, go with someone who is skilled in shooting in a documentary style. Don’t expect a professional who makes traditional wedding videos to put together a cinematic film.

2. What is your storytelling approach?

Make sure you and the videographer are on the same page about how you want the day documented. Ask to see samples of his or her recent work.

3. What type of coverage do you offer?

The number of hours a videographer will shoot and the film he or she will use vary by vendor. Many pros offer a nice variety of options. Pick one that works best for the wedding’s schedule, style, and budget. Once you select the package, the coverage should be detailed in the contract.

4. What type of video or film format do you use?

Most videographers today shoot on digital film and produce DVDs (as opposed to VHS tapes) that offer extremely sharp images and last for more than 30 years. Some shoot on Super 8 (eight-millimeter) film, or digital film that gives the same nostalgic, vintage effect as Super 8 but is not as expensive.

5. How will the audio (sound) be handled?

You won’t want an annoying microphone hanging over you or your guests throughout the day. Nowadays, most quality video cameras feature microphones that pick up clear sound. If a videographer wants to record the best audio during the vows, he or she will place a wireless mic on the officiant or groom― never on the bride, as it might affect the wedding dress.

6. What types of cameras/lighting will you use?

Hire a professional who owns the most advanced and modern equipment to ensure the best picture quality. The latest video cameras are more light-sensitive, so the videographer doesn’t have to bring in harsh, glaring, or obtrusive lighting.

7. How many other weddings will you be shooting on my wedding day?

You will want to know that you’ll have the videographer’s full attention and time. If the person is overbooked, he or she may rush through your event. Be sure your wedding doesn’t overlap with another.

8. Will you coordinate with my photographer?

It’s a good idea to have the videographer and photographer meet, even for just a few minutes before the ceremony, to collaborate on the video and photography coverage. You do not want them competing for shots, which can create an uneasy atmosphere.

9. What is your editing process?

Some videographers use an in-camera editing technique to cut costs. But this process, in which the person tries to shoot the raw footage as cleanly as possible to reduce editing time later, can produce a low-quality video. Wedding videos should be professionally edited postproduction, after the film negative is uploaded onto a computer. Once the film is on the computer, the videographer can edit on-screen. Pros usually take three hours to edit one hour of video footage.

10. Do you offer HD-ready video?

In the age of high-definition television, this is good to know. If you are investing in a quality wedding video, you’ll most likely want to receive the most up-to-date product, which offers the sharpest pictures and will be compatible with any high-tech entertainment system that you want to set up.

~Antisha is a wife, mother and wedding filmmaker,  Bluvision Wedding Films is based out of Kansas City and available for travel~

frazzled………….. to say the least

Friday, March 19th, 2010

So I am halfway there…… and I am feeling it.  Run down, ragged, stressed, and ready for this to be done.  I feel like I have planned just about enough details, and it is wearing on my patience.   Not just that, but my sobriety.   Right now I have about 90 days clean time…… which is awesome, but everyday is a battle.

As far as my 90 days go, I could not have accomplished it without God and the help of my awesome friends, and of course- Mr. Culberson.  (Mostly God though……. to stop using after a 14 year streak honestly requires a miracle)

Bands are slowly coming together, however I just found out that the one we were relying on for a good majority of our entertainment for the evening only has about an hour set list.  So it’s back to the drawing board to get yet another band to add to the nights festivities.  I need someone that can play for a good two-three hours.  Hopefully I can find that band soon, in my budget.

We do have three bands booked right now though, which is awesome………….  one of my favorites Mue Sephei (you can check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/muesephei ) they are going to do the ceremony music and some light reception music , Mr. Culbersons band- Dreams Scar Reality (check them out @  http://www.myspace.com/dreamsscarreality ) and our third band is a cover band made up of the guitar player & singer from Dreams Scar Reality, and a girl named Jessica on bass.  They are pretty cool too.  So it looks like one of my top priorities is finding another band.

Moving on…………….. I picked out some bad ass tuxes.  They are a Calvin Klein 2 button shadow striped with teal vests and ties and black shirts.  Shoes are black & white patent leather.  The great debate now is weather the guys want to rent the tuxes I picked out.  Or go out and  buy a pair of black dress pants & a black shirt, ditch the vests, and wear a turquoise tie.  Then wear a pair of zebra stripe slip on Vans.

Here’s the tux:

Granted they look slick, but I know the jackets & vets will be ditched right after the ceremony.  If we do rent tuxes, we will be renting them from the Men’s Wearhouse.  They are located all over the nation, your men can be fitted wherever it is convenient for them and pick up the tux in your wedding location.  They also have great deals like rent 5 get the grooms free.  Rentals include two shirts (in case guys sweat through one), suspenders, cuff links, ties & vests, and shoes.  Rentals also start as low as $49 and go up to $169.

Other stuff of randomness………………….

We started to register.  We’re going with Target & taking Mrs. N’s advice and going for Bed Bath & Beyond.  My dad & sister are also going in on a car for us as a wedding gift…… which is cool.  For the past year we have been a slave to car pools, public transports & taxis.  It will be nice to have our own set of wheels again.

I’ve made some other changes too- our guest list is ever growing.  We’re at about 110.  So the 80 invitations I had bought were just not going to cut it.  I decided to return them and go with printed post card invites from Vistaprint, and do all of my RSVP’s by phone or web to save on paper and postage.  Once I get them ordered I’ll put a sample up here to show the world.  They’re much cheaper- and postage is cheaper.  Then for out of town guests, all of our lodging, directions, maps, areas of interest, general stuff will be on our website.  (I am working on a wedding website right now…… more details on that to follow…… stay tuned)

Anyway………………. I have about ten minutes to get my stuff together before I have to run out the door.   Thanks for reading my rant……. and if you have any ideas of what you think we should write about- let us know in our comment section.  We’d love to know.  Feedback is always appreciated.

the search for the perfect centerpieces

Friday, March 5th, 2010

I keep searching on-line for the perfect centerpieces…………. something whimsical, something fun, something that captures us as a couple.  Nothing with flowers, mirrors or candles.

I’ve found some cool ideas.  Old books, you could even use books of quotes about love and place empty journals with pens around for loved ones to write in on your special day.

Then the idea of beta fish came about (gold fish usually go belly up in a plain bowl mid reception, so it is best to use something a bit heartier), with stones to match our wedding colors.  That is fun, but I wanted something a little more personal.  Note- if you do decide to go with fish and not all of your guests take them home after the night is through and you don’t have a use for ten fish with bowls; offer them new homes on CraigsList, FreeCycle, or even call local nursing homes & adult foster care homes and ask if some of the patients would be able to have a fish in their room and donate them.  There are people out there just waiting to give your fish a loving home.  Please find them homes if you are going to use them for centerpieces.  Do not buy fish just for looks then flush them.

Nothing really hit me………… so I kept looking, and thinking………….. and then it dawned on me…….. PEZ dispensers and travel board games! Yes, I’m serious………… there’s a method to my madness.   Read on.

I have been collecting PEZ dispensers for almost 15 years and I have hundreds, I could display some of my favorites as table centerpieces.  Then around candy filled dispensers we will place travel size board games.  I’m thinking the classics…….. battleship, finger twister, uno, cribbage, scrabble, yatzee, chess, checkers, hungry hippos.  Just a warning to Mr. Culberson……… I am totally going to rule the tables in a game of bride vs. groom wedding night battleship, you’re going down.

My objective ——–>To bring tables of people together.  To break the ice a bit…… and most of all to provide an alternative form of entertainment for people who don’t want to dance.  They can sit and just chill, enjoying the music, playing a game or a hot game of cards.   I think if it is done right, it will be pretty cool…… and it is something our guests will definitely remember.

So that is my new mission, the search for cheap travel games for the tables.  I have already bought the finger twister game.  Found that bad boy on E-Bay for $3.99 with $1.99 shipping.  Not too bad for a game brand new in box.  I have posted wanted ads on both CraigsList & FreeCycle.

If you haven’t heard of FreeCycle & CraigsList or checked them out, they are a must for anyone looking for deals.  CraigsList is a local on-line market place for buying/selling/trading  (great place to resell your wedding stuff when you’re done) http://www.craigslist.com you find your state and closest city and get started that way.  Both buying & selling are free.  FreeCycle is a group where everything is free, that is the one rule- everything must be free.  You can post things you are giving away, or things that you want/are looking for.  Check out http://www.freecycle.org for more information and to find a group near you.  I find this to be a great way to recycle unwanted items.

Also, if you haven’t heard of it (but really, who hasn’t?) check out E-Bay http://www.ebay.com .  I have bought so much for our wedding there.  It is the ultimate on-line marketplace with sellers from all over the world.  I love E-Bay.  It doesn’t cost anything to become a member and buy things, all you pay for is your purchases.

Thoughts?  Tacky?  Creative?  Clever?  Boring?  I’d love some feedback.  My bridesmaids think it’s a great idea…………. but something tells me their job is to think all of my ideas are great ideas.  After all, I am the bride.

Anyway- I am off…………. my lady is on her way and we’re having a fun filled weekend.  Going to be doing some baking, and we’re going to go see the new Alice & Wonderland.

Shopping with other people's money – the art of registering for gifts

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

I won’t lie, one of my favorite parts of the wedding planning process was registering for gifts that I would never have to buy for myself.  Or perhaps the idea of registering was the most fun…because I will admit, as a professional shopper (not really, but in my make-believe world), I found the process to be a little stressful.  There you are, all excited, with gun in hand.  Now what?  What do you need?  How much of it?  Where do you start?  Is it rude to register for the $600 orange standing mixer?  But what if I really want the $600 standing mixer?  I mean not enough that I would ever buy it for myself, but hey, if you’re buying…then I really want it.  I will admit, I was really ill prepared.  Plus I had my fiance’ with me, who does not enjoy shopping even a little bit, so after 45 minutes of chaos I agreed to just leave the store.

That’s when I discovered the online registry (insert angels singing here).  I mean, is there really anything better in the world than sitting in your pj’s at your computer and clicking away to your hearts content all the things that you desire??  Le Creuset casserole dish- check!  12 bottle wine cellar, check! Mellon baller (because everyone needs one!!)- check!  Totally and utterly addicting!  And totally and utterly dangerous!

I realized that I should have been better informed and prepared before jumping into these muddy waters.  Therefore, I have decided to take what I learned, all of my trade secrets, and share them with all of you newbies.

Tip # 1:  Pick 3 stores to register at.   The reason for this is that sometimes your favorite store is inconvenient for your guests.  You may love William Sonoma, but maybe your cousin out in Kansas doesn’t have one by her.  Make sure at least one of your options is a large franchise (like Bed, Bath and Beyond – but more about them later).  Also, make sure all of your stores have websites so people can buy your gift online if they so desire.

Tip # 2:  Don’t go anywhere without a plan of action.  My biggest mistake was walking into a store on a whim.  What I should have done was spent some time at home checking out my existing inventory as well as going on line to see what products are popular and what brands are good.  Decide what types of items you want to get and what you don’t want to get (China and crystal, for example).  Make a comprehensive list of what you plan on registering for.  If you are a member of My Wedding Binder (and if you are not…well I mean really, why aren’t you??) then you have access to the extremely helpful registry list that I created.  It tells you what items are important to register for from your dining room to your garage as well as how many of each items are necessary to have.

Tip # 3:  Make your registry eclectic.  Make shopping fun for your guests.  Nothing is more of a bummer than going to pick up a gift for a friends shower and realizing that all that is left is a toilet bowl cleaner and an electric nose hair trimmer.  People want to be excited about what they are getting for you so have a large variety of items that you want.  And make sure you update your registry (from home of course) so that your guests always have options (unless you just want money – than leave it alone!  They’ll get the hint eventually!) Additionally, be eclectic with your price ranges.  You know your guests better than anyone else.  Have a handful of really expensive items (for your rich great Aunt Gertrude and for your bridesmaids to chip in on), but also have a nice variety of price points so that people do not feel put off.  A big portion of your items should be in the $20-$30 range.

Tip # 4:  Consider store policy.  This is super important.  Some stores have the most amazing return policies and some totally suck.  Here is when I give my major shout out to Bed Bath and Beyond for being the most awesome and bride friendly store ever!!!  Lets discuss just how sick they are.  First, with their abundance of 20% off coupons in circulation, your guests would be hard pressed not to be able to get their hands on one to use when buying your gift.  Not only does BB&B take expired coupons (1998?  No problem), but they have ZERO restrictions!  That’s right, so that $600 standing mixer….just became $480!  This is the best place to register for your expensive items because they could be bought using a coupon, thus you are more likely to end up receiving those items.  The second thing that makes BB&B totally kick ass is that they have the absolute best return policy known to man.  Anything bought off your registry can be returned FOR CASH even if you have already used it!!  Yes, you read that correctly.  I got a set of knives that I kept throwing in the dishwasher (whoops) and they all rusted.  6 months later I brought them back, no box, no problem!  I got $80 back in cold, hard, cash!!  If you get something not from your registry, they will also take it back in any condition and give you store credit or an exchange.  You can not do better than that! (Psst – if you really want cash more than anything else, and you can’t find a good way to ask for it, just register for lots of gifts at BB&B and return them for cash afterwards!  Don’t tell anyone I told you that!!)

Tip # 5: Think outside the home goods store.  Are you currently living with your soon to be significant other?  Maybe you already have all the chafing dishes and garlic presses a person could possibly need.  Don’t get suckered into being traditional.  More and more couples these days are opting to register at stores that suit their needs better.  If you are moving into a new house, maybe you would prefer to register at Home Depot for renovation materials?  Planning on installing a pool or putting in a garden?  Check out registry options at specialty stores pertaining to your needs.  Mr. N and I actually registered for our honeymoon!  Guests had the option to contribute to the trip overall or purchase an activity for us (swimming with the dolphins, massages).  In reality, they really are just contributing to your honeymoon costs because the website just sends you a check for all of the money your guests contributed (so really, you can spend it however you want).  Check out www.honeymoonwishes.com to see how you can register for your honeymoon!

Whatever you do though, don’t be tacky.  As much as I’m sure you are craving those really cute jeans from Bloomies or that necklace you saw at Saks, make sure that your registry items are things that you can both use as a couple.