As a cinematographer I not only see your wedding day once, as it happens but I see it over and over during the editing process. This is where we decide what shots make it to the final cut (which is much more difficult than it sounds). Sometimes it’s easy to cut a shot – the light is no good, the angle not great, there’s a bridesmaid adjusting her bra, the pageboy is doing something to his nose we don’t want to ever see or any plethora of things could be happening. Sometimes these things are little, something only an editor would notice and sometimes they are glaringly obvious.
Along with all the shots we cut, are the ones that remain. These ones are not always the 'best' shots but they develop the story, show the emotion of the moment or capture the essence of the day and of course there are the glory shots with the camera sweeping past the bride and groom or the glamour shots of the bridal party during the photo shoot. But you know what, the weddings I enjoy the most and the ones that create the most emotional response are the ones where there is time for the little things.
Remembering my own wedding, (12 years ago!) there are a few moments that have stuck in my mind. The only way I can describe the how my mind has captured the memory is if you picture a still photograph. Then add sound, imagine distant voices and leaves rustling and movement that blurs the edges of the image. Then things within the image begin to move around and I move through the image. I think you would call it ‘bullet time’ like the scene from the Matrix where Neo dodges the bullet and we see it in slow motion and the camera moves around, it’s really slow as you see the air moving as the bullet glides through.
One of these moments is seeing all my family and friends as I surprised myself and gracefully alighted from the Jaguar that regally delivered me to the ceremony. I had so much fun walking down the aisle, I smiled and waved and said hello to friends that had come from afar. I’m so glad I took the time to do that. Another moment is during my speech. I was the last to speak and I was a bit humorous (not usually like me). In response to a comment I had made one of my aunts was laughing so hard and there was clapping I looked around the marquee and just drank in the essence of the room. It’s a bright blurry image of enjoyment, love and happiness.
If I was asked to give only one piece of advice to a couple planning their wedding day, it would be to take the time for the little moments. Plan your day and prepare yourselves to enjoy every moment. I know the ceremony can be daunting and it can be quite nerve wracking to stand in front of everyone but take time to look at each other. Encourage your father to kiss you goodbye at the front of the aisle and shake your grooms hand. Acknowledge your Mum if she is already in her seat. Allow your readers to give you a kiss or hug after they have done their bit. Think of something to whisper to your new husband after you have kissed for the first time as ‘husband and wife’. Allow enough time for the photographs as this is when you can relax and interact with your bridal party, your closest friends on this special day. During the speeches sit close to your new hubby, enjoy his presence as this meal and time to acknowledge each other and the important people in your lives only happens once.
In essence, relax and enjoy your day.
And just for fun...