8 Reasons to Have a Winter Wedding

It’s no secret that spring and summer weddings are all the rage, especially here in Orange County. However, we think winter weddings have long been overlooked by brides. If you’re in the process of setting your wedding date (or dreaming about a potential one), read these 8 reasons why winter is the perfect time to say “I do”.

 

  • The decor is to-die-for

 

Who doesn’t love frosted pinecones, twinkling lights, and mistletoe? While having a winter wedding doesn’t mean you have to incorporate festive Christmas decor, nothing says romance like decor from the most romantic holiday of the year (sorry, Valentine’s Day!). Not into the reds and greens? No worries. Winter color palettes include everything from crisp whites and creams to beautiful shades of blue and rich purple. Winter is a versatile season and is perfect for any style of wedding you may want.

 

  • Escape to a tropical destination for your honeymoon

 

While Southern California may not get cold, nights can certainly dip into cooler temperatures. And if you’re anything like us, you’ll probably end up missing the warmth and sunshine that summer brings. With a winter wedding, you can escape the cool temps and head to the Caribbean for a tropical honeymoon. Just make sure you book early, before everyone else gets the same idea.

 

  • Wedding dress options are endless

 

Saying “I do” in the winter means more wedding dress options to choose from. Long-sleeves are practically impossible in the summer heat, but winter is the perfect time to have fun with lacy sleeves and intricate designs. But if you prefer a sleeveless or strapless look, the warmer California temperatures of winter allow brides to still look beautiful in any gown they choose without freezing!

 

  • Can you say romance?

 

Maybe we’ve watched too many Hallmark Christmas movies throughout the years, but there is something incredibly romantic about winter; whether it’s being warmed by the crackling fireplace, the cozy clothing, or the festive decor. While we might not get snow here in Orange County, the holiday season is still full of high spirits and romantic events, and is the perfect time to commit to a life full of love with your significant other.

 

  • More money in your pocket

 

Fortunately, at Life Event Films, our pricing stays consistent year-round, although the same can’t be said for many wedding vendors. While we adore summer weddings, the majority of brides do too. Nearly every wedding amenity and vendor prices skyrocket in the warmer spring and summer months due to high demand. Winter allows for less competition for the best venues, florists, DJs, and caterers which also translates into more affordable prices. By having a winter wedding, you can skip out on the high price tags and spend more of your wedding budget (and time!) on special details or a longer honeymoon.

  • Less competition means more availability

With fewer weddings occurring in the winter months, the photographer you’ve had your eye on and the venue you’ve dreamed about for years will more likely be available for your wedding date. And with fewer weddings to attend, your guests will have more availability, too!

 

  • Shorter days mean an earlier sunset

 

With the sun setting earlier during the winter months, you and your partner will have time to take stunning sunset photos after the ceremony. While summer weddings often mean the bride and groom have to wait hours to get those sought-after “magic hour” sunset shots, a winter wedding allows you to have a reasonably timed ceremony while still getting those ideal images. This also allows more time to party with your guests after the sun goes down!

 

  • Guests will likely already have time off

 

Depending on the date you set your big day for, its very possible for your guests to already have that time off from work. Most employers understand that holidays such as Christmas and New Year’s require more time off and vacation days, so many of the people on your guest list will likely be available to attend. Just remember to be mindful of important family traditions your guests may have on these holidays. While Christmas can be hit or miss with guests traveling out of town or state, it is widely recognized that New Year’s Eve is the perfect holiday to have a wedding!

We don’t blame you for wanting to plan a spring or summer wedding, but with these 8 helpful benefits, we think winter weddings are too great to overlook. For more help planning your future wedding, take a look at our blog post, The Ideal Wedding Planning Timeline. And for a fun and memorable option for your wedding, check out our Slow Mo Booth!  For any questions you have about our renowned wedding videography services, contact us today!

Who Pays For What? A Guide to Paying for Your Wedding

Traditionally, the parents (and family) of the bride have been expected to help plan and pay for the majority of the wedding, but these expectations are quickly shifting as couples begin to marry older and wedding price tags continue to climb. Your total wedding cost is typically based on how extensive you want your wedding to be.  So ultimately, you have full control on how much is spent.  If you are a new bride-to-be and want to better understand the traditional expectations of who pays for what for a wedding, please keep reading.  

 

  • CEREMONY

 

    • Venue = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Decor = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Officiant (including travel, accommodations, etc)  = Groom
    • Marriage License & Certificate Fees = Groom
    • Transportation to Venue (both wedding parties) = Groom’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Rentals & Professional Services = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

  • RECEPTION

 

    • Catering = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Decor = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Entertainment (band, dj, etc.) = Groom and/or His Parents/Family
    • Drinks  / Bar = Groom and/or His Parents/Family
    • Cake = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Party Favors = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Professional Services = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

  • HONEYMOON

 

    • Wedding Night Accommodations = Groom’s Parents/Family
    • Honeymoon = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

  • PARTIES

 

    • Engagement Party = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Bachelor Party = Best Man
    • Bachelorette Party = Maid of Honor
    • Bridal Shower = Bride’s Parents/Family and/or Bridesmaids
    • Rehearsal Dinner = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

  • PHOTOGRAPHY/VIDEOGRAPHY
    • Photographer = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Videographer = Groom’s Parents/Family

 

 

  • ATTIRE
    • Bride (dress, shoes, veil, etc.) = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Groom (suit/tux, shoes, tie, etc.) = Groom
    • Wedding Party = Participants pay for their own items, unless Bride and Groom are feeling generous.

 

 

  • RINGS
    • Engagement Ring(s) = Person proposing (Bride or Groom)
    • Groom’s Wedding Ring = Bride
    • Bride’s Wedding Ring = Groom

 

 

  • STATIONARY
    • Announcements = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Wedding Invitations = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Wedding Program = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Other Misc. Stationery = Bride’s Parents/Family

 

 

  • FLORAL
    • Reception = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Ceremony = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Bride’s Bouquet = Groom
    • Bridesmaids & Flower Girls Bouquets = Bride’s Parents/Family
    • Groomsmen & Ring Bearer Boutonnieres = Groom
    • Mother of the Bride Corsage = Groom
    • Grandmother of the Bride Corsage = Groom
    • Mother of the Groom Corsage = Groom
    • Grandmother of the Groom Corsage = Groom

While these costs are based on one specific model of a wedding, for more modern couples not interested in following these traditions, it is often reasonable to split the costs 50/50 between families. As millennials begin settling down and marrying later in life, they are more capable of paying for their own wedding expenses. But if you end up needing extra financial assistance, check out The Knot’s helpful budget calculator to determine how much to budget for each essential part of your wedding. And no matter how you decide to split up the costs, don’t forget to bring Life Event Films along to document every step of celebrating the journey®!

4 Reasons Why a Slow Mo Booth is Better Than a Photo Booth

Trying to decide what to offer your guests as wedding entertainment? Before you jump on the bandwagon and book a photo booth for your guests to enjoy, consider the more unique wedding entertainment options out there. Here are 5 reasons why a slow mo booth is a better choice for your wedding than a photo booth!

  1. It’s unique

Nearly every wedding has a photo booth that allows guests to leave with individual pictures in silly hats or feather boas. However, very few weddings have slow mo booths that allow guests to head home with a professionally-shot video clip of them together with the bride and groom. Wedding guests will eat up the option to post a slow-motion shot of them with the happy couple on Instagram or Facebook. Do something that few other couples are doing; add a slow mo booth to your wedding and watch your guests enjoy the fun!

  1. There are more possibilities

While costumes and fun props will only get you so far in a photo booth, slow mo booths allow you to get truly creative. From silly string, to flying confetti, to crazy jump shots, slow mo booths allow guests to have fun together in front of the camera. While we bring confetti poppers, silly strings, feather boas, and other fun props to every event, if there are any unique props you want to bring along, go crazy!

  1. Slow mo booths are more interactive.

Take it to the next level by providing specific themed props your guest can use to interact with the slow mo camera. Props can easily extend toward the camera or come with a big surprise, like confetti poppers and/or silly string, are great additions to your prop supply. If you want to get even more creative with it, treat your slow mo booth like an action-filled guest book. Ask your guests as they arrive to your reception to leave a fun video message for you and your new spouse. Include white boards and colorful expo markers or chalk boards so guests can write and share their well-wishes as they film their fun slow mo clip. These slow mo messages will make for a fun addition to the reception part of your final wedding film.

  1. It’s memorable.

Ever wanted to GIF yourself? With the final slow mo video, you can create a looping video that captures the most hilarious part of your slow mo booth session. Post it on Instagram or making it a moving cover photo on Facebook. Share endless laughs with your guests as you watch the hilarious silly string fights or your smooth slow-motion dance moves. It’s a guarantee that no one will forget the slow mo booth at your wedding!

While photo booths offer a fun way for guests to get involved at the reception, having a slow mo booth will offer something that no other wedding has and will allow your guests to leave with a fun and creative slow mo video to commemorate their time at your wedding. For prices on our exceptional slow mo booth services, visit us here. And for any questions you may have about our team of top-rated Southern California wedding videographers, visit our website or give us a call today!

11 Wedding Photos and Videos That Are Essential to Capture

When commemorating your special day, it’s important to have a picture (and video clip!) captured of each essential moment of your wedding. Preparing an extensive shot list prior to your wedding will guarantee that your photography and videography teams will try to capture the footage you want, but by specifically highlighting the most important shots for you and your fiancé, they will focus on those images before moving on to the extra footage. Below are the top 11 shots you should ask your photographer and videographer to capture throughout your special day for an in-depth photo album and wedding video.

1) Ring shot

This is the time to let the diamond truly shine. Coordinate with your wedding planner to decide the best way to help show the ring off. Whether it’s having the rings sit on an embroidered pillow or resting on your manicured finger, the ring shot is one of the most important images to have captured.

2) Details

From your ivory-colored heels to the floral arrangements on the table settings, the details of your wedding day are crucial to help you remember it in its entirety. When giving your shot list to your photographer and videographer, make a point to include the details you would like them to capture. While they will already try to capture the intricate aspects of the wedding outfits and decorations, giving them this specific shot list will guarantee beautiful images of the details you want to show off the most.

3) Groom, Bride, and Wedding Party prep

Have you purchased matching robes for you and your wedding party? This is the time to show them off! Take advantage of these adorable outfits by getting pictures of you and your wedding party getting ready, or even just hanging out before the ceremony. These special moments of spending time with your best friends before you say “I do” make for memorable and heartfelt pictures. For a more creative take on these pictures, ask your videographer to capture footage highlighting your special relationships with each of your bridal party members. Make it fun, make it sentimental, but most importantly, make it all yours!

4) Make-up prep

The moment your makeup artist puts on the finishing touches of your wedding day makeup is full of a mixture of nervous energy and complete happiness. This moment always makes for sweet and intimate photographs, and your excitement will surely come across on camera. Your videographers and photographers will likely already be interested in capturing this moment, but by putting it on your shot list, you’ll emphasize the importance of getting this moment on camera.

5) Dress

Show off your gorgeous gown by letting it glamorously hang from the window overlooking your ceremony. Or, show it off next to your bridesmaid’s color-coordinated gowns. However you choose to have your dress captured in all its beauty, let your photographer and videographer know ahead of time so that they can photograph it with plenty of time for you to get ready. If there are certain details of your dress you particularly love, like lace sleeves or a beaded train, highlight these intricate details to your two teams.

6) The first look

This special moment will undoubtedly be remembered for years to come. Whether it’s your fiancé’s tears of joy or his dropped jaw, there is little that compares to this emotionally-fueled interaction. Make a point to emphasize the importance of this photo to your photography team, as this moment can flash by in a second. Hiring an experienced and talented photographer will help ensure this quick moment is forever remembered through photographs.

7) The arch

Now is the time to show off your rustic archway with the grandiose floral embellishments. Ask your photographer and videographer to get a picture/video of the arch prior to the ceremony, while also capturing the moment you and your partner say your “I do’s.” The wedding arch symbolizes the future home you and your fiancé will start your family in, and your mother and grandmother will thank you for asking the photographer to capture these images.

8) The kiss

After exchanging vows, kissing for the first time as spouses is the pinnacle moment of every wedding. Help out your photographer and videographer by kissing your partner for longer than just one kick peck. A quick kiss can escape even the fastest shutter speeds and most prepared photographers, so to avoid missing this important moment, kiss your partner like you mean it! We’re positive they won’t object, and your photography and videography teams will thank you for it.

9) Centerpieces

The table centerpieces are arguably the most important part of wedding decor. From their beautiful floral arrangements, intricate wedding favors, and customized place settings, the centerpieces are the perfect combination of thought-out design and personalization that your guests will love. Ask your photography and videography teams to capture the entire centerpieces together, but also focus on the small details listed above.

10) First dance

If all three are important to you, specify that you want sufficient coverage of you and your partner’s first-dance, the father-daughter dance, and if applicable, the mother-son dance. These moments last long enough for the photography and videography teams to get proper photos and video footage and ensure a final image that you’ll love.

11) The cake

Possibly everyone’s favorite part of the night, the cake is an essential look to have your photographer and videographer capture. Ask for a before shot, a cake-cutting shot, and a shot of you and your fiancé feeding each other. This will be an eventful ending to your perfect day, and it’s important to have it photographed in multiple mediums!

While there are many details of your wedding that will make for beautiful pictures and video clips, these 11 moments are sure to create a stunning wedding video or wedding album that will help you remember the most important moments of the day you say “I do.” For help choosing the best videographer for your special day, read our previous blog post, “5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Wedding Videographer.” And for more information about our experienced team of wedding videographers, give us a call today!

5 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Wedding Videographer

We believe that your special day should be as perfect as you are. So when you’re planning your wedding, it’s important to take every detail into consideration. With high-quality wedding videos becoming more and more popular by the day, hiring a wedding videographer can be a great addition to your vendor list. Before you finish planning your wedding, make sure to ask yourself these 5 questions to determine if hiring a wedding videographer is the right decision for you.

 

  • What is my budget?

 

Videographer’s rates often vary based on the equipment they use and the services they provide. Lower priced packages typically offer minimal, basic equipment and event coverage, while the higher-end packages will include high-end cameras, lenses, lighting, sound engineering, and extensive editing, as well as extra features (like pre-ceremony prep, bride/ groom interviews, and wedding trailer). Some even offer Save-the-Date videos and a Slow Mo booth. Both options can create a wedding video you’ll cherish for years to come, but adding just a little more to your video budget could provide you a beautiful and compelling wedding video that blows you away!

TIP: Staying in continuous communication with a videographer is key. Happen to find one you really love, but they don’t offer a specific service? Communicate and see if you can create a custom videography package for your wedding. Many videographers will be happy to assist and customize your perfect wedding film.

 

  • How do videographers differ?

 

When it comes to videographers, each has a unique style of filmmaking that can take your wedding film in a different direction. Some like to create accurate, journalistic depictions of your wedding, while others like to create beautiful, cinematic films. While neither option is right or wrong, it depends on your preference and ultimately what you want to get out of having your wedding recorded. When choosing a wedding videographer, look through portfolio and imagine yourself in the video — is it a style of wedding film that fits your and bride/groom-to-be’s personalities? If not, it may be necessary to keep looking for that perfect wedding videographer that suits YOU.

TIP: Another BIG difference is whether the videographer works solo or with a team. Only having one cinematographer filming on the day of your wedding may mean that some event coverage is sacrificed since one person cannot be everywhere at once.  Also, a production team has in-depth knowledge of lighting and sound. While a one-man videography studio will capture one angle per shot, a team can film multiple angles throughout every moment of your wedding, while paying attention to poor lighting and background noise that could later impact the quality of your wedding film. For the highest quality of wedding, you may want to consider looking into a wedding videography team, as opposed to a solo videographer.

 

  • I already have a photographer — is a wedding videographer necessary?

 

Contrary to popular belief, the work of photographers and videographers differs greatly. Much of the time, photographers have difficulty capturing moments on video, and vice versa. While photographers are great resources for capturing still shots of your special day, wedding videographers can offer something photographers cannot – motion and sound!  When you rewatch your wedding video, you’ll be able to listen to your vows, the music played and laughter at your reception, and the hilarious speech given by the best man. While photographs are great at portraying certain moments of your event, videos capture every moment, from the quivering lips, to the rolling tears, to the crackling of laughter.

TIP: It is essential for your photographer and wedding videography team to work together to ensure your wedding is fully captured and you receive high-quality images and video.

 

  • Why do I want a recording of my wedding?

 

Thanks to more recent technological advances in creating compact cameras, videographers can now create beautiful, fluid shots from anywhere. Before deciding on a videographer, do your research!  Look up your local wedding videography team and watch their work to see the kinds of shots they’re filming, the quality of the videos they’re producing, and the special moments they capture. Wedding days are long and can be stressful at times, and it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and forget important details. Hiring a wedding videographer can help you look back and remember the special moments you may have forgotten or missed.

TIP: If you have friends that have used a wedding videographer in the past, ask for their advice! Let them share how they went about hiring the right person, what qualities to look for in a videographer, and how they felt about the finished product. Hearing real world experience from people you trust can help you decide if hiring a wedding videographer is right for you.

 

  • How do I know I’ll be happy with the finished product?

 

While there can’t be any definitive guarantees, doing your research will help you feel confident about making a decision. If you find a videography team that continuously delivers wedding filmography that you love, it’s extremely likely that you will be grateful you hired them. Always look for consistency and quality and you can’t go wrong.  Secondly, it is extremely necessary to be open and communicative with you potential videographers. They will only be able to capture the shots you want if you communicate what you’re looking for. This also builds rapport and you can get a good feel for how it will be communicating with them the day of your wedding!

TIP: Remember, if you don’t have a good experience with the videographer BEFORE your wedding, it’s unlikely things will improve the day of your wedding and you’ll be happy with your video.  Ensure you feel like the videographer understands you both as a couple so that they will capture all of those special moments of your special day to create that perfect wedding video for you.

While videographers do bring an added expense to your wedding, ultimately, they offer a finished product that is full of love, happiness, fond memories, and lasts a lifetime. Gone are the days of dinky wedding videos full of poor lighting, shaky shots, and amateur camera work. Wedding videography teams are extremely skilled in capturing the big moments, small moments, and everything in between to help you look back on your special day and smile. For more information about how we can bring your wedding day to life, even after it’s over, visit our About page here. And take a look at our gallery to see some of our previously captured wedding films!

The Ideal Wedding Planning Timeline

The average engagement lasts 16 months, allowing time for the bride and groom to plan the perfect date, venue, vendors, decor, guest list, and wedding day outfits for the entire wedding party. If you’re becoming overwhelmed at the thought of planning all of your wedding details at once, don’t worry! We have compiled a wedding-planning timeline that will keep you organized and help you stay on top of planning the important details of your special day.

12-16 months prior:

 

  • Decide your budget

 

Take your family’s contributions and your own into account when deciding on the big number.

 

  • Choose your wedding party

 

The minute you say “Yes”, your best friends from high school and college roommates will wonder if they made the cut. Save everyone the worry and choose your bridal party far ahead of time.

 

  • Begin planning the guest list

 

Make a spreadsheet to stay even more prepared. Include columns for guests’ contact information, RSVPS, gifts, dietary restrictions, and any other important information that will help your planning run more smoothly down the line.

 

  • Reserve venues

 

More popular venues often book over a year in advance. Have your eye on a particular spot for your wedding? Once your wedding date has been decided, call the venue and avoid being disappointed with a fully booked schedule.

 

  • Research vendors

 

Similarly to venues, the best vendors can easily become overbooked. Start looking for ideal wedding videographers, photographers, florists, and caterers, and factor their prices into your overall wedding budget!

8-10 months prior

 

  • Time for the best part – wedding dress shopping!

 

8 months seem like a long time to be buying a dress? It’s important to factor in any alterations and adjustments that will need to be made. Many brides need at least 3 fittings to make sure their dress fits like a glove for their special day. Do your tailor a favor and leave time for any necessary adjustments!

 

  • Hire, hire, hire

 

You’ve done your research. It’s time to seal the deal with your photographer, videographer, caterer, and wedding entertainment. Specific wedding-day information is not necessary to give them yet, but you’ll want to make sure you have them reserved for your important day.

 

  • Register

 

It is recommended to sign up at least 3 different retailers to allow guests options for their wedding gifts. You should also begin creating your wedding website. Include the wedding date, travel information, and accommodations on your site for guests to reference.

5-7 months prior

 

  • Honeymoon time

 

Start talking honeymoon logistics with your fiance. Make sure your shots are up-to-date and your passports, if applicable, won’t expire before or soon after your travel dates.

 

  • Invitations

 

Purchase your invitations and begin addressing them. Or, save yourself time by hiring a calligrapher to create elegant, professional wedding invitations.

 

  • Order bridesmaids dresses

 

While bridemaids dresses won’t need as much attention as your wedding dress, it is important to leave time for any adjustments that may need to be made. Don’t forget to begin your dress fittings during this time, as well.

4-5 months prior

 

  • Order the cake

 

After taste-tasting several options, place the order for your wedding cake(s).

 

  • Hair and makeup

 

Attend appointments with several makeup artists and hairstylists to find the perfect look for your special day. Don’t forget to take a picture after each session to compare your results!

 

  • Finalize food and flowers

 

Seal the deal on the food and flowers you want at the event. These items are often affected by season, so wait until the season of your wedding to make your picks.

 

  • Print menu cards and programs

 

After the food and ceremony order has been finalized, print these documents. This will save you time and stress when the wedding date comes closer, and allows for any edits and changes to be made.

Two months prior

 

  • Choose the playlist

 

What music do you want playing during the reception dinner? The dancing? Whatever it is, make sure to keep a running playlist for your DJ to reference!

 

  • Send out invitations

 

Send them out 6-8 weeks before the wedding, and specify a 3-week RSVP cutoff after the postmark date.

 

  • Meet with the photographer and videographer

 

Specify shots that you want of the event and the shots that are most important to you. Walk through the location with them for an added explanation.

One month prior

 

  • Get the marriage license

 

This process can sometimes take up to a week, so leave time for any potential mistakes or corrections to be made. If you are changing your name, don’t forget to order several copies!

 

  • Visit the dressmaker for the (hopefully) last fitting

 

If you are still unsure, you can try to schedule an appointment for the week of your wedding to make sure it fits perfectly.

 

  • Assign seating

 

Draw out a map of the table arrangements and write your guests’ names on sticky notes so they can be easily moved around, if needed.

The week of

 

  • Delegate tasks for the day of the wedding

 

Decide who will carry your dress, who will be the point person for each vendor, and who will be in charge of gifts.

 

  • Check in with vendors and write checks

 

Give each vendor the important details for their role, and include tips with their paychecks.

 

  • Pack for your honeymoon

 

Soon, all the stress will be over!

And finally, get married! It’s a long process, but we know with lots of preparation, help from friends and family, and (of course) wine, you can accomplish it. Most importantly, have fun with planning your big day. And for hiring an experienced wedding videographer, contact Life Event Films® to capture all the magical moments of your special day and let us help you Celebrate the Journey®!