5 Great Questions Couples Have Asked When Meeting Us For The First Time

5 Great Questions Couples Have Asked When Meeting Us For The First Time

Being a wedding documenter for over a decade (I started The Wedding Paparazzi in 2003), I’ve heard the gamut of questions, from basic queries about package details and rates, to some really thought-provoking ones that have actually made me reflect on how we approach the creation of our videos. I’ve also had a couple of strange ones! Here are just five of them, with a bonus of the strangest question we’ve heard. (I promise that they’re all actual questions that have been asked!)

“The people you film seem very comfortable in front of the camera. How do you get them to be natural during well-wishes?”

Over the years, we have learnt not just to listen to what people say, but to also carefully observe their body language. For example, if we noticed that your older brother had a laid-back, joking nature when he was talking to you, but suddenly became very formal when giving his well-wishes on video, we know that we need to put him at ease.

This is something that actually happened during a wedding last year. Jackson & Christine’s siblings were insanely fun during the day, keeping the energy up with their irreverent quips and making everyone laugh. But when it came to getting them to speak to camera, they suddenly became very proper and serious. After that first take, I asked them if that’s how they usually talk to the their siblings. They said, “No it’s not, but then we only talk nonsense to them!” So my response was, “Then your well-wishes will have to be nonsense now, or else they’ll feel it’s weird!” After they re-calibrated, they delivered something that was characteristically tongue-in-cheek, and yet charmingly sweet. You can watch Jackson & Christine’s video to see this.

Other times, the people we are interview have already had exposure to us, so they feel comfortable being themselves with us. In the case of Tze Hui & Yue Yang’s wedding, we had met their friends on two occasions – once about a year back when we shot the wedding of their good friends Raphael & Cheryl, and a second time when they asked us to interview their friends and family members for their pre-wedding video. So by the time Tze Hui & Yue Yang’s wedding came around, their groomsmen felt comfortable enough to have us film a hilarious little skit to offer their well-wishes. It was weird and zany, and completely in line with the kind of people they are! You can find their well-wishes right at the end of Tze Hui and Yue Yang’s video.

Luckily we have a few tricks from all the experience over the years. So it’s OK if you have friends or parents who are shy! We won’t force them, but we will definitely try to charm them into letting their guard down : )

“Will you be ‘directing’ us on our wedding day?”

The mood of your day is something we try not to mess with – every wedding has its own vibe. Some are thoughtful and quietly joyful, while others are gregariously loud and noisy. We try as much as possible not to interfere with that unique mood. We know it’s impossible to be completely invisible, but we do work very hard to make people comfortable with our presence such that they slowly ignore us.

There have been occasions that we’ve been able to capture a lovely moment or some funny words, and when the shot was screened later on, people asked us, “Wow, that’s awesome. How did you capture that? I didn’t even see you in the room.” And in response, we give a creepy, secret smile…

For sure, you definitely won’t hear us telling people to: “Stand here, and put your hand on the window. OK, hold your bouquet and look out the window as if you’re waiting for him. Now give me a gentle smile… no, no look away, give me a faraway dreamy look…”

Gah, even typing that out gives me the goosebumps.

(By the way, if the creepy, secret smile unsettled you, don’t worry. We’re very good at knowing what’s appropriate for the screen. And if we’re ever in doubt, we leave it out!)

“Will you get along with the photographer we’ve engaged?”

In all the time we have been in operation, we have never met anyone we have had a violent disagreement with. In fact, we have a history of getting along swimmingly well with the photographers we meet at weddings. Many of the photographers we have worked with over the years have become good friends, and every time we bump into them at a wedding, it feels like a little reunion.

We’re really nice people, you see!

“Do you ever get bored of shooting weddings? Aren’t they more or less the same after a while?”

Pretty much every wedding will have a happy couple, a cherished dress and a beautiful march-in. However, beyond shooting the typical, we go beyond that and seek out the things that are completely unique. Like the presence of your 92-year-old grandfather who is completely caught up with the excitement of the day and can’t help beaming beatifically around the room at his family. Or your dog who is putting up with the little doggie-tuxedo your sister made him wear for the occasion. Or the dad who can’t help being weepy because he is so proud of his daughter. These details jump out at us, and we feature them in places of pride in the videos we create, because these human moments are what makes the completely yours.

We’ve had enough people tell us how much they cherish the videos we create for them, to recognize that we are not just creating a one-time screening. We really do see it as something that will stand the test of time. Being in the role of capturing the moods and stories that will become part of a personal family history is so rewarding for us that we really can’t imagine getting bored!

“Tell me what you can do for us.”

This wasn’t actually a question, but it did make me think outside the box of what a wedding video is typically “supposed” to do. Some of these things are what we’ve been very intentional about building towards, and others were a complete surprise when communicated to us by couples.

  • Bring a sense of fun and personality to your wedding: Couples and their friends often approach us after a screening to commend us on the video, and say how it actually impacted the mood of the wedding dinner. Often it also becomes a talking point when the couple or the parents of the couple go by the tables to mingle with their guests.
  • Remind you about the little details: One bride called me a few days after the wedding to share that she was really looking forward to the video for all the usual reasons. But she also mentioned her husband had a strange amnesia surrounding certain events of the day. Because a wedding day can be emotionally and physically hectic (you experience so much in a relatively small timeframe), some memories need to be kickstarted. And what better way to do so with a video, which not just capture the visuals, but also the sounds and mood of the day?
  •  Entertain your children: A couple told us how their toddler daughter would insist on watch their wedding video Every. Single. Day. She could even recite quotes from the video. If you ask me, that’s the ultimate compliment.
  • Create a time capsule: A question we use to put this into perspective is: if you could watch your mother’s wedding video, would you want to? Imagine the fashions, the traditions, and the dynamics of your aunts and uncles and parents before they were formally a family. Imagine the sense of personal history you would get from watching all of that!

BONUS: Here’s the strangest question we’ve heard: “What is the Chinese horoscope of the people on your team?”

This one really bemused us! It turns out the groom’s family was superstitious about having certain horoscope animals present at the wedding morning because it would represent an inauspicious start of the day for the groom.

Most couples don’t ascribe to such strict superstitious practices, so this was definitely a rare question! But to answer their question, our three videographers represent the horse, the dog and the monkey : )

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Curious couples make us happy, because it means they are engaged with our process. Perhaps in reading these examples, it will inspire you to ask us something interesting when we meet!

~ Ami



Joel & Effy’s – Save The Date video

Click here to view HD video in full-screen glory!

We had SO MUCH fun directing Joel & Effy’s pre-wedding concept video last week! For one, their story was an unusual one… they met at a dating service on their FIRST date. And during their shoot, they displayed an amazing chemistry – they were expressive, funny and a lot of fun, making us laugh out loud even from behind the camera. Just how we like our couples!

Their footage is chock-full of great moments, such that creating their Save-The-Date teaser was a breeze. Can you tell that we’re REALLY looking forward to getting started on their concept video proper?

On top of getting us to tell the story of how they got together with a concept video, they are also getting us to shoot their wedding day in a couple of weeks. We can’t wait to see what they’ve planned for their wedding. I’m sure it’ll be a lot of fun!

Stay tuned, their wedding is on 4 August 2012…. their concept video and AD video will go live then!

(Psst! If you want to get a concept video and AD full day express video combo just like Joel and Effy, you’ll enjoy a 10% discount, just like they did!)




Wille & Meryl’s Wedding Day Highlights

Click here to view HD video in full-screen glory!

Couple: Wille & Meryl / 24 March 2012 / Solemnization and No Gatecrash
Wedding Venue: The Arts House / Chamber
Wedding Planner:
Wedding Matters
Wedding Photographer: Yu Hsin from Tiny Dot Photography

Both Wille & Meryl are sports buffs, but for their wedding day, they put aside their running shoes to embark on the greatest undertaking of their lives.

Wille is a running consultant, and he says he’s never had use for a tie or formal socks until now – the day he was going to “win the girl of his dreams” (awww!).

As wedding video editors, we often come across touching moments as we edit, but none made us tear as much as the heartfelt words from Meryl’s dad and her show of emotion as she walked down the aisle. And then Wille provided a humorous counterpoint to the wedding ceremony by accidentally putting the wrong ring on Meryl’s finger : )

This was one of the few times we’ve had a second videographer covering the groom’s preparation. The extra footage gave the video a different feel: the story was fuller and more complete. Thankfully, the extra content didn’t add too much to the editing time as we had feared.

Let us know what you think of it in the comments!



Bridezilla no more: 5 ways to prevent wedding stress and bridezilla moments

Here’s a little essay I wrote some time ago. Thought I’d mirror it here! ~ Ami (This article has also been mirrored on Heaven’s Gift’s blog)

Image by cheriejoyfulJust before my wedding (way back in 2005), I resolved that no matter what, short of death or destruction, I was not going to freak out over anything that might go wrong on my big day. Luckily enough for me, despite my lack of attention to a whole lot of details (because I was in the middle of an insane work week when I got married), nothing went badly wrong enough for me to freak out. Of course, there were things that I would have liked to have run smoother or looked better. I could list them out, but the extensive list would make you ladies gasp in horror at the lack of attention I paid to my own wedding. : )

Still, because I had determined to concentrate on nothing else except have fun, I went through it all in a aura of zen calm. And it did me so much good! I thought I should share some of the simple ideas and coping mechanisms I advice my soon-to-be-wed friends to take. Some I put into action at my own wedding, and some I kinda thought up after the event. They’re not groundbreaking ideas and some are pretty common sense, but I figure we need a post that addressed how to prevent and handle wedding boo-boos!


1. PRIORITISE. First off, decide what you want to prioritise on at your wedding. Do you want it to be first and foremost highly meaningful, awesomely pretty, an occasion to honour family and friends, or simply have fun? Having a priority in mind will help you decide what to keep and what to drop when it comes down to the time crunch on your big day. Eg: Do you spend your time personally overseeing the flower arrangements to get the atmosphere just right or spend the time writing an awesome, tear-jerking speech to thank your parents at the dinner?

(For me and my husband, the main purpose of the wedding was to create a memorable occasion where people had fun. So instead of stressing over frills and pretty details, we went for the experience. We got an awesome R&B live band (Walking on Water), laid out rugs and sofas on the lawn outside Burkill Hall, got professional masseuses to give foot rubs and generally encouraged people to flop around the garden, chat and have wine. We had people who stayed till the absolute end of the wedding because they had so much fun!)

2. STRESS *BEFORE* THE WEDDING. Do all your running around, decision making, contingency planning and assigning of responsibilities before your big day. Any details that cannot be attended to before your wedding, either forget about it, or delegate to other people who can handle it for you. Which brings us to the next point –

3. DELEGATE. On the day, you are untouchable. Put all your energy into being the happiest, nicest bride ever. Foist everything off on a good friend. Most importantly, empower her with decision-making, some money, and your word that you trust her decisions intrinsically. Of course, if you have a wedding planner, all the better!
I had a great group of friends from church who volunteered to help me at my wedding. One of them was put in charge as an overseer and she basically delegated, took stock and checked up on details on my wedding day. I am so grateful I had her around – I think the wedding would not have looked or felt as put-together without her and that group of friends!

4. WHEN THINGS GO WRONG and they will, remember that there’s no such thing as a perfect wedding. Accept that things WILL screw up somewhere and instead of freaking out or taking your attention from enjoying yourself, find a way to make the best of it and make it into an interesting story. It’s often the wedding hiccups that make the best post-wedding stories. But only if you deal with the issues with humour, grace and restraint. And if nothing can be done to fix a problem, shrug your shoulders, close one eye and trust that everyone will be happy for you despite the tear in the dress, the fact that the flowers are not as fresh as they should be or that the makeup artist was a bit overenthusiastic with the blue eye shadow. I know one groom who forgot to bring the bridal bouquet when he went to fetch the bride. In the end he took the entire floral arrangement off the back of his bridal car and presented it to his bride! : ) It was big and bulky, was probably full of highway exhaust, but it did the job and I bet they’re still laughing about it to this day.

5. DO NOT BECOME BRIDEZILLA. Keep topmost in your mind the fact that your wedding is a celebration of love, family and friendship. Don’t get so caught up on the small details that you forget about the overarching reasons for the celebration. The wedding is a big deal, but you’re shortchanging yourself if you lose friends after the event because you threw a hissy fit, you turn out looking stressed and unhappy in the photos, and half the time you are muttering angrily under your breath in the wedding video!

And if something DOES snap and you are inadvertantly curt with someone, find a way to apologise to the person, be he/she friend, family or wedding vendor. They might be in the wrong, but practice grace and apologise for losing your temper. It will do a great deal of good in dispelling tension, keeping the peace on your wedding day and making sure there’s a relationship after the wedding. This applies even for wedding vendors who you will probably not be seeing again – remember they are a part of your wedding too. Nastier ones might actually do things to spite you – think caterers or servers spitting in your food and such! Even for those who don’t strike back in any percievable way, its still in your best interest to keep things cordial because happy vendors are much more likely to go the extra mile for you. Think photographers who will help you photoshop out that huge nasty pimple!

So ok, those are the preventive measures. So what happens when things do go wrong? No one can think of contingencies for every single thing, but I thought we could list out a few scenarios (whether true or hypothetical) and accompanying fixers in the comments, just to give an idea on how to approach wedding problems. So please share your wedding boo boos for the good of brides-to-be!

Image by cheriejoyful