We are both in agreement that if we could have just one hour of our lives again, it would be the hour of our wedding ceremony. The elation we shared as we stood within the sacred space of All Saints Church and made solemn vows to one another was an experience never to be equalled. The soaring voices of the choir, the rays of sunlight illuminating the stained glass of the windows, the smiling faces of our nearest and dearest. If only it were possible to rewind time and savour each and every precious moment over and over again. Of course, 21st century life doesn’t come equipped with a replay button, but the DVD player does, so it’s just as well that we decided to engage the services of a professional wedding videographer.
Initially, I wasn’t in favour of having our wedding videoed. I thought that being shadowed throughout the day by a videographer would be a distraction and that knowing we were being filmed would make us both feel acutely self-conscious. Not to mention the fact that we both tend to be somewhat camera-shy and cringed at the prospect of seeing ourselves on the screen. So all in all, it seemed like a waste of money and one item to be crossed off the growing list of wedding expenses.
I did start to question our decision, however, when friends who had chosen not to have their Big Day recorded expressed regret, whilst those who had, told me how much they enjoyed watching their wedding video. So we mulled it over further and I found myself wondering whether, paradoxically, the cost of having the wedding videoed might almost justify the overall expense of the wedding. The argument in my mind went along these lines: being able to repeatedly relive the day after the event would effectively extend the whole experience beyond a mere fleeting eight hours, so we would derive more value from the money we’d spent. From this perspective, I could almost persuade myself that hiring a videographer would in fact give us a long-term return from our wedding budget investment.
Even so, when I watched sample wedding videos on the Internet I still didn’t feel very keen. What I saw seemed too up-close, too sharp, too probing and I could only conclude that contemporary wedding videos were just too modern for an old-fashioned girl like me. That was until we discovered Reel Sixty, a London-based company that shoots using 8mm film, known as Super 8, to create the cine-film footage that was so popular in the 1960s and 1970s. Like so much that was usurped by the advent of late 20th century technologies, Super 8 is now re-establishing itself within a niche market and seems to be particularly attractive to videographers who are interested in the art, as much as the science, of creating footage. We were so enthused by what we saw that we decided to set aside all our former reservations and hire Reel Sixty to film A Warwickshire Wedding.
It was a decision we didn’t regret. The footage Reel Sixty shot in Super 8 was just perfect for our wedding because the softly focused, slightly hazy, colour-saturated images created a nostalgic feel that conveyed something of the dreamlike quality of the day. We particularly loved the footage shot in black and white which appears slightly jerky, making us look almost as if we are starring in a 1920s silent movie. If you are reading this post within the body of an email, hop over to A Warwickshire Wedding where you will be able to watch a snippet of our wedding video. Please note that the original does include music, but copyright restrictions prevent us from publishing the audio.
Now at this point I do have a confession to make. Notwithstanding everything I’ve said above, when we arranged for The Wedding Music Company to provide the wedding ceremony music, we decided that we couldn’t miss out on the chance to record their beautiful voices, so in addition to asking Reel Sixty to film the day using Super 8, we also asked them to shoot the service in full high-definition. And far from cringing at myself from behind a cushion when I first watched it, I was absolutely glued to the screen. Details which I’d forgotten, or perhaps never noticed in the first place, came clearly into focus, triggering other fragmented memories: the sound of multiple cameras as guests photographed me as I walked down the aisle; the flames of the lit wax candles at the altar; the moment I paused during The Recessional to stroke the head of a young guest who had fallen over as she climbed up to see us leave the church; not to mention, of course, the glorious music. In the absence of these details being recorded, they would have faded into the midst of time and been lost forever, but as it is, they are revived each and every time I press the play button.
Our huge enthusiasm for our wedding video does not, however, detract from the equally enormous pleasure we have derived from our wedding photographs, so next time I’ll tell you all about photographer extraordinaire, the wonderfully skilled, and thoroughly nice, Tony Rabin of Tony Rabin Photography.