It’s not official until…

You’ve heard the saying by now.

“It’s not official until it’s Facebook official.”

In the days of old, women would rush home to call every friend they still had a number for to tell them they were engaged.  They took out announcements in the local newspaper to inform everyone in their community they got engaged.  Grandmas and moms would share the good news at their book clubs, church socials, and other gatherings.  It was slow-moving, but the job got done.

And by days of “old”, that means about roughly 1990.  Technology has changed the wedding world in less than 20 years.

Now, brides-to-be call their close family and friends first from their cell phones, and then moments later change their Facebook status to inform everyone else.  How many times have you logged on to Facebook to see so-and-so is “engaged”, to which you immediately post a “congratulations!”?  For those beyond 21, probably more than once.

News that used to take months to filter down to those who were interested now takes a few mere minutes with a couple of clicks.

Those who say that “Facebook is taking over the world” may be prophets more than comedians.

So is it strange to see something like this?

Aside from the fact that mom always told you not to text in church, not really.  We’ve seen brides that have updated their relationship status at the reception.

Forget the marriage license — if it’s not on Facebook, then it’s not true.

But the real question has to be, what’s the next step from here?  If we now inform everyone through Facebook status updates, in 20 years,what will be the new way to spread the news?  Who knows…perhaps a 3D video message will pop up in our flying cars.  (You may laugh at that sentence now, but did you think 15 years ago that you’d be able to watch an entire movie on a cell phone?)

But for those that may think it’s strange to want to update your Facebook, Twitter, MySpace or other profile so quickly, just realize that it’s becoming a social norm as a way for people to inform all their other friends and family what’s happening.  It’s the same thing that’s been done for many decades now, except that it’s just being done in a different way.

So the next time you’re at a wedding, check your friend’s profile early in the reception — because if it’s not Facebook official, they really haven’t gotten married yet.

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You Want To Do What?!

That’s probably the reaction from some people, when an idea outside the “normal” wedding list is proposed.

There’s the old-fashioned sense of how a wedding must be performed.  White dress, march down the aisle, say the vows, first dance, cut the cake, honeymoon.  Sure, almost every wedding will have those components; but most couples adhere to the more traditional “standards” when coordinating those items.

Lately though, we’ve seen more and more people breaking away from those norms.  At a recent wedding, we heard ColdPlay and Maroon 5 just mere moments before the bridal party started the march down the aisle.

At another, a couple that broke into a break dance mid-way through their first dance.

And we just had a couple recently call us to mix together a CD for their first dance, to which they’re going to choreograph something similar to the “Evolution of Dance”.

By now, you’ve all seen the “JK Wedding Entrance”, where the couples dance in to a Chris Brown song.  If you haven’t, apparently you’re one of the 54 million people that hasn’t seen it.  (Literally! YouTube has it listed with 54,000,000 views.)

But apparently there was one done before that.  Check out this video below, and then continue reading.

Talk about breaking away from the “mold”.

And here’s the thing about it — it is YOUR wedding day after all.  All those people are there as guests to what essentially is your “show”.  And why not make it memorable, if that fits your personality.  In the video, look how much fun those audience members were having.  Do you think they will all still be talking about that wedding long after the couple celebrates their 10th anniversary?

The same thing applies to your first dance.  There’s nothing that says you have to circle around in a little 8 foot by 8 foot space on the dance floor.  For example, check out this video:

You paid for that whole dance floor, so use it!

Of course, not everyone will feel as comfortable trying something outside of the standards.  As stated before, your wedding should fit your personality.

But if you do have an idea that you’d like to do, and someone says “you want to do what?!”, remind them just because it’s always been done that way doesn’t necessarily mean you have to do it that way.

Plus, they just might be in the background of your YouTube video that has 54 million views.

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True Love Waits

How long would you wait for the love of your life?

For those that have been dating someone for many years without an engagement ring, you might say “as long as it takes”.

But how about 46 years?

Rewind to 1967 when Donna McCall began watching the hit television show “The Munsters”.  She had a little crush on the young character “Eddie Munster” played by Butch Patrick.  So she began writing fan letters.  And writing.  And writing.  Long after the show had made its exit, she made it a point to still write a fan letter to Patrick at least once a year.

Even when she was a slight star of her own as a Philadelphia Eagles cheerleader, she still wrote.

Well keeping up with technology, Donna emailed Butch one day on his personal website, and was surprised to get a response just a few days later.  And it even had his personal cell phone number.

The two began talking back and forth, and eventually met face-to-face.  Shortly after, the 57-year-old Butch proposed to Donna, who naturally said yes.

And that’s not the first time it’s happened.  Robert and Mary Roser met in 1956 at a Fort Benning Red Cross office.  They dated shortly but when he was shipped off California, they broke it off.  Fast forward to 2002, and Mary made it her mission to find Robert again after she lost her husband.  When she did find him, come to find out he had lost his wife too.  And so in 2004, at the age of 84 and 72, Robert and Mary were once again reunited through marriage.

So if you really think you were made to be with another person, just give it time; they might just eventually propose to you.

Even if it takes 46 years or more years.

(Don’t know what “The Munsters” or Eddie Munster looks like?  Watch the video…but good luck getting the song out of your head afterwards)

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Never Go To Bed Angry

Ever heard that phrase before?

Never go to bed angry…

We’ve done a few “love story” interviews where we’ve heard that phrase uttered more than once, and it’s often times worked into a sentence or two from the last standing couple during the “anniversary dance” (you know, the one where the couple who has been married the longest gets to give you advice).

And you know what?  It’s probably true.

If you go to bed upset with someone, it’s likely you’ll awaken upset at them.  It’s kind of like a thorn in your finger — unless you pull it out, it’s still going to make your finger hurt.

A lot of what we hear too on these wedding excursions is that “marriage isn’t easy”.  And as un-magical as it sounds, they are actually right.  It takes work from both sides.  Just like you have the occasional bad day at work, you’re going to have the bad day at home.

So it seems as if those two pieces of advice are working against each other; how is one supposed to go to bed happy when marriage isn’t easy?

Simply put, patience.  Yeah, that’s another one we hear a lot…

But it’s true.  If you have patience with the person you’ve fallen in love with and have promised to stand next to, through thick and thin, good and bad, you’ll find that it’s not so hard to look past those little things that make you angry.  And the more patience you have, the better you’ll weather those little bumps that can make marriage difficult sometimes.

And going to bed in a chipper mood has its other benefits.  For instance, your blood pressure will be lower.  And have you tried to sleep when something’s on your mind?  Usually next to impossible.

So remember the next time your spouse gets you all riled up, work out your problems before hitting the hay; that couple at the Smith wedding who have been married for 45 years highly recommends it.

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The happiest place on Earth

You all know what I’m talking about.

Disneyland.

It doesn’t matter if you’re 5 or 95, everyone pretty much loves Disneyland.

So I stumbled across this video, on “DisneyParks” YouTube account.

The question you have to ask is, is it an act or is it real?

All the females can probably look at this girl’s face and say it looks pretty real.  But then again actresses in movies can cry on cue and win Oscars for faking emotions like that.

All the males are probably saying, really?  REALLY?  Most of us have a hard enough time getting the ring out of the pocket or remembering the nice love filled lines we’ve written, let alone an entire choreographed dance.

I’m not a groundbreaker on asking that question — there’s actually a ton of discussion already on this subject.  As a videographer, I have to look at this with a critical eye; if this is real, this guy had a ton of hookup at Disney.  First, the lighting on the scene is incredible.  Even with the best professional cameras at nighttime, video shot with just basic street lighting or theme park lighting wouldn’t illuminate the dancers like they were in the video.  Also, there were multiple camera angles and multiple microphones here — so we’re not just talking the dancers on the street, but also the four (at minimum) videographers they used to make this thing happen.  But looking on the positive side, maybe this guy was “Mr. Cool” at the park and could call in a favor to all his buddies.  If not, I’m pretty sure he forked over a good amount of money to pull something off like this.

Pouring over some of the other discussions out there, there’s a person that claims to be friends with “Erika’s” real boyfriend, and another that claims they called Disney to try to set up something similar only to get the cold shoulder.  Another claiming to be familiar with Disney operations said it was a part of their “What will you celebrate” promotion campaign.

But just like Disney’s good at doing, they make all of us somewhere inside believe that it was real.  And that’s probably why they call it the happiest place on Earth.

Because even if it was fake, I have to admit that it made me smile and think, “now that’s pretty neat”.

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Finding the Right One

Well, not necessarily the right person to marry — hopefully you can figure that without the help of a blog — but finding the right videographer, that is.

Just as with anything else in planning out a wedding, choosing a right videographer is as an important decision as say choosing your photographer or dress.

Below is an article we penned for the Brazos Valley Bridal magazine, which gives lots of good tips on choosing the right videographer.   Yes, it’s similar to our last post, but also different in many ways.  Hopefully you’ll get good information out of one of them!

“From the Spring 2010 edition of Brazos Valley bridal Magazine”

Well, not necessarily the right person to marry — hopefully you can figure that without the help of a blog — but finding the right videographer, that is.

Just as with anything else in planning out a wedding, choosing a right videographer is as an important decision as say choosing your photographer or dress.

Below is an article we penned for the Brazos Valley Bridal magazine, which gives lots of good tips on choosing the right videographer.   Yes, it’s similar to our last post, but also different in many ways.  Hopefully you’ll get good information out of one of them!

“From the Spring 2010 edition of Brazos Valley bridal Magazine”

Ask any person that was married more than 10 years ago to recall what the best man’s toast said, or what the train on the dress looked like as it flowed down the aisle, and most people could only give you bits or pieces.

However, what they will probably tell you is that all those days, weeks, and months of planning or fretting about the smallest details fly by in what feels like only a few moments.

While photographers are still near the top of most brides’ checklists – and will be for many years – videographers are becoming just as commonplace at weddings as their picture-taking counterparts.

While a photograph may capture a magnificent moment during the ceremony, a picture will never be able to play back your vows exactly as they were spoken.

The view from behind the camera at one of Rock Cottage Media's weddings.

But how do you choose the right videographer?

Just as with any other aspect of planning for your wedding, doing homework is the most important step.  Research, look at lots of samples, and conduct in-person meetings.

The first thing to do is to watch samples.  Most videographers have short demo videos on their websites, and if not, you should be able to request that they send you a copy on DVD or through an email.  Cook some popcorn, and give yourself time to watch at least 10 different videos.  You should be able to find a few that you like, even if you can’t explain why.  It’s similar to the same reasons you like certain movies; a Steven Spielberg directed movie is going to look much different than a Quentin Tarrantino movie.  You could ask two different videographers to film a wedding, and you’d probably get two different wedding videos.  So if you find a videographer that is really expensive, but you aren’t impressed with the samples you see, you’re most likely not going to be impressed with your final product.

Also, when watching the samples look to see how often they use video effects.  A videographer may have some really neat tricks they added while editing, but ask yourself if that’s what you want to watch in 10 years.  A good example might be a special effects movie from the mid-1980’s – it probably blew audiences away back then, but watching it now looks really cheesy.

Once you’ve narrowed down a few choices, compare their packages and pricing.  Most videographers offer pre-packaged deals, but almost all should be willing to work with you to create a package that fits your needs.  In other words, don’t consider the packages you see to be the final price or the only options you can purchase.

And don’t be scared away by pricing shock – most videographers will cost you between $500 and $4,000.  Many factors will affect this price, from how many videographers they use, to the type of equipment they use, to how much post-editing work will be required.  Again, determine what you want out of your wedding video as well as what you like from the samples you watch.  If you just want the audio of the vows, the $500 option may be your choice; if you want it to look like a movie, you may have to spend a little more.

Next, you should request an in-person meeting.  Just the same with any other vendor or service you’re buying, you should feel comfortable with your videographer.  In fact, the relationship you have with them may be more important than others – a videographer will be around you for close to an entire day.  An important question to ask is how many cameras they use and how many videographers they use.  While a company may say they use four cameras, they may only have one operator; a static camera setup on a tripod will look much different from a camera manned by a videographer.  Also ask to see an actual example of their work.  The samples you watched before arriving are going to be the best of the best of the videographer’s work, and often times are only a few minutes long.  A videographer should have no problem pulling a DVD or file out to show you clips from a ceremony they shot recently.  Other important topics to discuss include attire, how much shooting time each package provides, travel fees, payment options, and timeline for delivery of the final product.  Don’t be surprised if a videographer quotes delivery three months after the wedding; in fact, some videographers may require more than eight months to return the final product.

Once you’ve selected your videographer and the big day arrives, don’t forget why you’ve hired them.  The day will feel stressful at times, and having both a photographer and videographer in the same room might not help the situation.  Don’t be shy to ask them to give you a little breathing room, but don’t send them away; the less the videographer is around to capture those small details that makes your big day so special, the less impressed you will be with your final product.  And don’t feel the need to smile, do something phenomenal, or stop acting silly with your bridesmaids every time the camera is rolling – sometimes those small, candid moments will end up being your favorite part of the entire video.

Adding a videographer to your wedding checklist may not seem like a top priority, but don’t underestimate the value of that video once the big day has come and gone.  Many years into your marriage, you’ll always enjoy the opportunity to see grandpa doing the “macarena” one more time, or to show your children how you looked as you marched down the aisle.  Because as any married couple can attest, remembering all the details from your wedding becomes much tougher as time passes.

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Why video?

Why not!?

As many brides budget out their wedding, video is often toward the bottom of those numbers.  Which is understandable — a dress is pretty necessary, everyone loves a good piece of cake, and the people won’t show up without those invitations.  However, brides shouldn’t discount the importance of video.

In years past, video was considered more of a luxury for a wedding.  However with advancements in equipment as well as the reduced cost to own that equipment, it has become much more commonplace to see a videographer standing next to the photographer.

Rock Cottage Media captures all the angles of this first dance. (Photo by JP Beato III)

So why video?  First and foremost, a wedding day goes by much faster than most brides or grooms realize.  Ask any bride at least one year removed from her wedding to remember details aside from walking down the aisle or the first dance; odds are, they’ll be hard pressed to recall much beyond that.

Secondly, even for those with good memory, there’s still nothing like hearing the actual audio from your wedding events.  Imagine being able to let your children hear your actual vows 20 years after they happen, or their grandfather’s speech that always brings tears to your eyes.

And lastly, while pictures may be worth a thousand words, then perhaps a video could be worth a million.  While a skilled photographer can effective capture a moment in a single shot, it still doesn’t show how the bride’s dress flowed as she walked down the aisle or the turns and steps of the first dance.

Finding a budget that allows you to host the day you’ve been dreaming of for years is tough.  But before you put video at the bottom of the list or cut it out of your big day without a second thought, think of the investment you’re making.  It may cost you an extra $500, or $1,000 — or in some cases $4,000 — but 20 years down the road you’ll be glad you did it.  Because after the cake is gone, the dress is packed away and the flowers have wilted, you’ll only have three things to remember the big day:  your husband, the pictures, and the video.

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