Friday being Halloween, we did what any recently engaged couple would do on a night filled with parties, parades, and copious amounts of candy. We stayed in.
We're not usually that dull, but it was an exhausting week for the two of us so we decided to keep it local, make dinner, relax and watch a movie. I'm a Netflix junkie and had lined up 28 Days Later to arrive in time for the holiday.
I had the DVD ready to go when L decided to make the night a double feature. "Let's just watch this one before we start yours," she said and popped a cassette into the VCR. What unfolded on our television was the most frightening movie I had ever seen.
It was a wedding video. And not just any wedding video, but a compilation of sample wedding videos shot by a videographer who is among the few we are considering to shoot our wedding. If there's anything more boring than watching the wedding video of people you know, it's watching the wedding video of people you don't know. There, in our living room, an anonymous couple fed each other wedding cake to the sounds of Celine Dion's "Because You Loved Me." Another bride and groom danced in slow motion in video that looked like it had been filtered through three inches of gauze for use on a Barbara Walters special. Titles introduced us to each "starring" member of the wedding party. Innocently enough, L wanted us to watch these videos to "get some ideas." I peeked through slightly spread fingers to spare myself from the terrifying images.
It won't surprise anyone to know that I'm not one for flashy wedding videos. I don't need fuzzy-bordered footage of me and L dancing to adult-contemporary music by Diane Warren or slo-mo shots of the two of us being raised in chairs to the sound of clarinet-infused klezmer music. All I really want is a video documentation of the day, something I can show my kids and grandkids years down the road with minimal cringing.
When it comes to wedding videos, my number one influence is the film of my father's bar mitzvah, which my mother had transferred to video back in the pre-digital 1980s. No director is credited, although the cinematography is stunning in its simplicity. It's shot in a typical home-movie-from-the-early-sixties style with vivid color and no sound. There's no music, no silly chyroned graphics ("Starring N As the Bar Mitzvah Boy!"), just images of my dad, uncle, grandmother and some long-deceased but fondly-remembered relatives as they enjoy themselves.
L and I will continue our search for a straightforward, documentary-style videographer, although the vocabulary of cheesy music and fuzzy lighting seems so ingrained in the minds of wedding videographers that we're starting to wonder if we might be better off handing a camcorder to a college student and letting him loose around the reception.Posted by The Groom at November 3, 2003 11:54 AM