The Value of Video

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I just received the DVDs of our April wedding this week, and they are fantastic. The irony is that, initially, my husband and I were both adamant about not having a videographer present on our big day. We both hated the idea of a cameraman trailing us and sticking a microphone in the faces of our guests. In our past experience, people act awkward and self-conscious on camera, and the resulting footage tends to be cheesy and dull. Plus, we figured, it was a great place to cut back on our ever-bulging budget.

But as we crept closer to the date and all the disparate elements fell into place, I had a change of faith. I started to realize how hard it would be to take it all in, and began to understand that I couldn't be everywhere at once. Wouldn't I miss seeing my bridesmaids' emotional reactions after we exchanged vows, or our friends' silly antics on the dance floor? Sheepishly, since not wanting a videographer was one of the few opinions he'd voiced, I broached the subject to my then-fiance one night about two months out. I was utterly relieved to hear he'd been thinking the same thing.

We ended up hiring a local videographer to document the day (with explicit instructions to be as discreet as possible), and 2009 MB Trendsetter Jon Gangwer of Wellspun Wedding Films to edit the footage. While we probably won't watch the DVDs from start to finish that often, I'm so glad to have the remembrance. And the 10-minute highlights clip Wellspun created, set to three of our favorite songs, is the perfect overview of the event to share with family and friends.

So my advice to you brides-to-be: Have someone record your ceremony and snippets of the reception — even if it's just a video camera-wielding uncle. If you don't have the funds to have the tapes edited right away, save them until you do. Trust me, you won't regret it. —Elaine Stuart, senior associate features/travel editor, Modern Bride

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