Adrianne & Elliott – 12/29/06

After returning from a wonderful week Wisconsin, our kids were bursting at the seams to open the gifts that “Santa” had left under the Christmas tree while we were gone. I could certainly relate, as I was quite anxious to get back to business. Among the many things to do over the next few days are my month-end website update, year-end accounting wrap-up, and preparations for next weekend’s Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.

But the first priority upon my return was to get back in a wedding videography state of mind to cover Adrianne & Elliott’s wedding at the Indiana State House. We all squeezed onto a shuttle bus for some pre-ceremony photos on Monument Circle with photographer Erin Hession and her crew. Erin, who referred the couple to me, and whose own wedding we had covered a few years ago, was a total sweetheart to work with throughout the day, and her fun visual style was a joy to watch. The ceremony was most memorable for the couple’s exit through a sword arch provided by Elliott’s military friends, punctuated by “Welcome to the Navy, Mrs. Hultgren” and a friendly sword tap to the bride’s, uh, “stern.” The reception was my first in over ten years at the Garrison in Ft. Benjamin Harrison. (Interesting note: My wife lived at Ft. Ben briefly as a toddler before her family settled down in Wisconsin.) I enjoyed a delightful chat with my assistant and buddy Rich Johnson over dinner and then did my best to keep up with the evening’s lively pace as DJ Kent Clem of WSL Mobile DJs kept the festivities rolling along. It just happened to be my birthday (which Kent couldn’t resist announcing to the crowd), and so it was truly a gift to be able to share a special day in common with and work for such a nice couple and their families.

Update (1/2/07): Here’s a fun image that Erin Hession passed along to me from Adrianne & Elliott’s wedding. Thanks, Erin!

Updates
I’ve been in Milwaukee for the holidays, which has made internet access a little trickier than usual. But sometimes that’s a good thing, as we are enjoying plenty of quality time with each other as well as Chris’ family. I’ll be back in Indy later this week just in time to videotape a wedding on the 29th. Until then, I thought I’d sneak in some long overdue updates.

This is the highlight segment from Lynn & Josh’s wedding at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, followed by a reception at the Riverwalk Banquet Center and Lodge:

Lynn & Josh’s Wedding Highlights – 10/21/06

Sandy and John’s huge wedding ceremony at Second Presbyterian Church was followed by a beautiful reception held at the Broadmoor Country Club:

Sandy & John’s Wedding Highlights – 11/4/06

Here’s a nice note I got from Emily McGrew regarding her wedding video from 9/30/06:
“Hi Bob, Just wanted to write and say that John and I LOVE LOVE our video! You do such an amazing job, so thank you so very much! Our video is beautiful! :) Hope you had a nice Thanksgiving!

Emily”

And finally, this wonderful letter came from Maureen DeBone after viewing her wedding video from 10/14/06:

“Bob – I just don’t know where to start. I’m certain that every bride and groom love their wedding video because it brings back so many memories, and captures moments that they couldn’t, because they were the bride and groom, experience first hand. I am no different, but I am being very objective when I say the videos you created for us were better than we could have imagined. Thank you for capturing the ceremony as you did. It was understandably the most special part of our celebration. You edited the footage and captured everything we would have wanted; it was like you knew where our focus was during the entire mass. Your work is truly magical to us, and we are most grateful. Besides your talent behind the camera and editing software I must express how easy and pleasant it was to work with you. As a bride, I had to work with many vendors and many personalities. From start to finish you were responsive and professional; two qualities that make wedding planning bearable! In addition, you seemed kind and gentle our entire wedding day. You were non-intrusive – I think we only spoke once or twice – but I felt confident you had our day in mind and you worked hard the entire time. It showed. God bless you and your family. Have a Merry, Merry Christmas. Thank you again for a DVD that will be watched for many years to come.”

Last-minute bookings are always nice to get, and thanks to Valerie Crider at the Scottish Rite Cathedral, I had the opportunity to cover Cassie & Chris’ wedding and reception there last night. The ceremony was by far the shortest I have ever witnessed, as the couple was already exchanging vows as I was placing my camera on its tripod immediately after the bride’s entrance. After the candle-lighting and presentation of the newlywed couple, it was over in less than five minutes! The setting for both the ceremony and reception was very elegant, as you can feel the sense history and tradition around every corner at the Scottish Rite. After a couple of hours of dancing in the beautiful ballroom, the couple had a relatively early getaway in a horse carriage ride in beautiful fall-like weather.

Catching up for the holidays
Wow, has it really been three weeks since my last post? Once the Thanksgiving holiday passed, I saw an opportunity to finish editing the remainder of this year’s weddings ahead of schedule and got a little carried away. I normally try to finish one wedding per week, which would have had me completing our last wedding during the first week of January. Instead, I will be wrapping up the last of our edits today! I can’t remember the last time I was all done before Christmas, let alone with this much time to spare. It’s always nice to surprise clients on the positive side by getting their videos done weeks earlier than projected, and it’ll be even nicer to enjoy the holidays instead of scrambling to complete projects. I might have to do something crazy like sending out cards and shopping this year!

I haven’t really talked much about it, but after all these years, this is the first year where I feel like I’ve really “figured it out” in terms of managing my time as well as the studio’s workflow. So in spite of a record year, I’ve actually been able to get home by dinner every night and even take Mondays off. Unlike many of my peers who are working literally day and night, as was I only a year ago, I have my work schedule down to a manageable 45 hours a week. What I never expected was that this additional time off has actually made me much more productive and focused during my time “on.” I can’t mention all this without acknowledging assistant editor Cathy Gerlach, who has been such a huge blessing this year. I still painfully remember the days when I might have had to wait for days or even weeks for my editor to show up! (I wasn’t a very assertive boss.) But Cathy preps these weddings for me faster than I can edit them, which is critical. I also have to thank my long-suffering wife Chris for bearing with me all these years and lighting a fire under me earlier this year to prioritize my life and balance my schedule better.

Now, let’s catch up with some highlight segments from the weddings I’ve completed over the past couple of weeks. I’m going to post these as links to the .wmv clips on our server just as I did prior to posting the last few clips as Flash video clips from Google Video. The downside of the Google clips is that they have to be posted as their own blog entries, so I can’t combine them with each other or add them to existing posts yet. It is pretty cool to watch a streaming video clip embedded within the blog though, so I’ll keep working on the ideal formatting and hopefully have it all figured out for 2007.

First up is a wedding that Laurie shot for Angela & Marty at the State House, which included a surprise gospel choir performance of a Beatles song. The reception was held at the Westin, complete with burgers and fries for dinner, followed by cookies and milk for dessert. Nice touch!

Angela & Marty’s Wedding Highlights – 10/14/06

On that same day, I covered Maureen & Don’s wedding at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church and reception at the Ritz Charles. The couple and I ended up staying in neighboring resorts in Kauai two weeks later. I should have shown up at their hotel with my camcorder and said, “You did book our honeymoon coverage, right?”

Maureen & Don’s Wedding Highlights – 10/14/06

The following weekend, Laurie videotaped Jody & Jason’s wedding and reception at the Bridgewater Club. Jason’s reaction to the officiant’s request during the ceremony for a “token” of their marriage was priceless. Laurie was a trouper that weekend, as we generally try to limit her to one wedding per month due to her busy schedule at WISH-TV. Not only did she work two straight weekends for me, but she also coordinated a wedding on 10/7/06!

Jody & Jason’s Wedding Highlights – 10/21/06

I have two additional highlight segments completed, but I’ll give the couples a little more time to enjoy their videos before posting those. In the mean time, I’m preparing to be in the first annual Holiday Bridal Show at Allisonville Nursery right up the street, which will be a good warmup for the Perfect Wedding Guide Bridal Show at the Scottish Rite Cathedral in January. I generally don’t do bridal shows, but it’s nice for the business once in a while to get out there and be seen by brides and other vendors. I hope to see you all at the Holiday Bridal Show this weekend!