Friends Can't Attend: Videos OK?

imaginusApril 14, 2005

IÂm looking for suggestions about my brotherÂs reception.

It's his first marriage, and he's over 30. The wedding will be far from home near her family, so his friends can't make it. He'd like me to participate, and I had the following idea:

IÂd like to get a 5-minute presentation from each of his old friends (we're scattered internationally, so I can't hunt them down and film them myself). They have great senses of humor and are smart and articulate, and I hope they have video recorders! I thought maybe they could each find a photo (however old) including the groom and relate something about the occasion, with a congratulations at the end. Sort of a "meet his friends" presentation since few in her family have met him, and itÂd make him feel surrounded by friends.

What do you think? Too much for the reception? Have you heard of presentations like this and do you have tips & themes & ideas?

By the way, yes - he'd LOVE this!

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I think it is a great idea.

I am taking a video editing class right now that is teaching me how to edit with music and titles and add pics along with movie clips. It is really fun, and not too hard once you get the hang of it. The software is called "Vegas Video" and with it you could put all the clips together with the pictures onto 1 DVD.

Good luck! I'd like to hear how it turns out!

    Bookmark   April 14, 2005 at 3:40PM
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I think this could be a great idea if you avoid a few pitfalls.

1) I would definitely have your brother check with his fiancee and anyone else who is hosting this wedding (like her parents). They are planning the reception and will not appreciate a "surprise" presentation. Also, you will need someone local to set up the AV stuff. If your side of the family will be giving a rehearsal dinner or hosting a hospitality room or something, that might be a better venue than the reception.

2) If it will be shown at the reception, keep the entire thing SHORT SHORT SHORT -- 8-10 minutes maximum. 5 minutes per buddy is way too long for the reception (not for a hospitality room, though, or maybe running on a loop on a TV that guests can walk up to if they choose during a cocktail hour). If you had 5 buddies at 5 minutes each, plus getting everyone's attention, that's a half hour out of a what, 3-hour? reception. Even the best slide show or video is just too long at more 8-10 minutes, especially for the guests who don't know the people in it. Trust me on this one -- I've been to dozens of parties where they had films/slide shows, and people complain like mad even when they DO know the people in them if it goes much more than 5 minutes. You don't want to kill the mood of the party. BUT -- you can have a longer version that your brother can look at on his own and share with the people who know these guys and would enjoy it.

3) Crucially important: remind these buddies that it won't just be your brother, but all these other people, including his new in-laws and perhaps grandparents and clergy, listening. So it is NOT the time to be crude, to tell embarrassing or personal stories, or to drone on about memories that are hilarious for the people who were there but that will not interest anyone else. [This isn't just advice for videos; I always get really comfortable when any of the groom's old friends get up to make a toast, as they so often fail to plan, let alone write, anything in advance, so they ramble on FOREVER with stuff that only a handful of guests at most care about: "Let's see ... what else ... oh, yeah, and then there was that time when we all ...." It gets really tedious!]

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 7:55PM
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It is a great idea. You might consider showing it at the rehearsal dinner where there will be a smaller group of people. This will give your brother the opportunity to see the entire video without interuption. Then, you can decide whether or not you want to show it at the reception as well.

I agree with Gellchom's comments about keeping the clips short and clean, though you can edit if necessary.

    Bookmark   April 30, 2005 at 8:27PM
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if you really want it to be longer, it might be more palatable to show it in snippets--six 3-minute clips instead of one 18-minute clip.

I'd vote for contacting the bride or her family WITHOUT contacting your brother. Forge your own relationship with them, and surprise him!

    Bookmark   May 9, 2005 at 7:51PM
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GREAT ideas, tips & hints! I will definitely keep it short & sweet, screen it at the rehearsal dinner, and remind the guys of their audience - never thought of any of those issues. Thanks SO MUCH for your input, all of you.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2005 at 10:36AM
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