Destination Wedding Video - Vårgårda, Sweden
A Destination wedding for any Wedding Videographer provides a chance to capture a Wedding Video in a way that is most likely, quite different than most other wedding weekends. Our Wedding Video was to be set in Sweden one week before Mid Summer.
Our destination was Vårgårda, about 1 hours drive from Gothenburg. The occasion, our Sons Wedding. He had left our home in Harrogate back in April of this year to live with his Fiancé in Gothenburg. Vårgårda is as idyllic as you can imagine; beautiful countryside with small roads, barely one car wide, each lined with an abundance of colourful wild flowers. Birds singing in the trees from morning until nightfall (which did not really happen until around Midnight) and wide open field filled with grass, flowers and lots of Hares and summertime flying insects.
Being our Son's Wedding, the request to film it was accepted in an instance; even though we were to play the part of teary eyes Parents of the Groom, the chance to forge a permanent reminder of this special day, was one we would not entrust to anyone else - no matter how much of a challenge it may prove.
We have been asked before to attend a Wedding as 'Guests' whist also performing the duties of Wedding Videographer. It's quite a challenge to try to enjoy the day fully, when you have to be capturing so many parts on video. For instance, you can be sat enjoying the Wedding Breakfast, when you have to leave your friends at the table to set cameras and audio recorders for the Speeches, then concentrate on following the speakers, not listening much to the actual content. It certainly proves a point that Bride and Grooms should NOT look to 'Uncle bob', 'Cousin Gary', or whomever they know as a family member to film their day. Not withstanding spending your day always following the action from Bridal prep to first dance, you have to be on the ball and cannot really throw yourselves into 'just enjoying it like the other guests' - at least not on the same level... a Wedding is ALWAYS a fantastic day!
Back to Sweden. I planned in advance that given that we wanted to enjoy the day as much as possible as guests; meeting all the new member of our growing family and their friends, it would have been rude to hide behind a camera for less than was required. I had a plan. The Wedding was quite a small occasion, by the standard of most we film; a mere 35 guests, many of whom had been involved in some part to make the day happen. The venue has specific family connections too and of course needed to be decorated for the day. Preparation of the venue happened the day before the wedding, and since all hands were need to do this, it would provide footage which I would use to build the story. The day also enabled me to scope out the locations nearby to take the Bride and Groom for photographs and video.
I knew that they would appreciate it more if I told THEIR story in a different way, one that captures their soul, their weekend, then it would be uniquely theirs
Because of the seer amount of work assembling marques, floral, table and bunting, food, sound, lighting etc, even filming the preparations was an interruption to what turned out to be over 12 hours hard work, but shortly before Midnight, it was all ready and we headed back to our beds.
Bridal preparation is something what normally produces a fantastic opportunity to get some great storytelling footage but alas, location of all family members, plus we needed to drive our Son (the Groom) thirty minutes to the Wedding Venue, it was not going to happen for this wedding.
Whilst many might worry about not capturing what are seen as 'standard' parts of a typical wedding, for me it was not a concern. I know my son, his style and taste and Evelina's (his Fiancée) too. I knew that they would appreciate it more if I told THEIR story in a different way, one that captures their soul, their weekend, then it would be uniquely theirs (quite a lot of 'their' in that sentence!)
About 2 months before the wedding, with much of the wedding preparation and ideas rolling around in my head, I laid down a plan. I researched poems, and sought the right type of voice actor to record it. My son loves poetry, has written many, and I felt that if I were to create a different style of video, then it had to start differently too. With the poem recorded, I found an atmospheric track that worked well and that's where it sat until I had all the footage filmed!
Once back home, I reviewed what we had filmed and two pieces of music stood out. There were in fact several people who sang on the day, Each with acoustic guitars, but Eve's Granddad sang a charming little song for the couple during the Wedding Breakfast, that I included, with the second song being one that was sung during the Ceremony. The fact they were in sung in Swedish only helped to ground the location of the video and bring some charm too. I added two sections of the sky and cloud movement to indicate the passage of time, where we go back to the venue preparation and then forward to the Wedding.
The Bride and Groom LOVED IT! I would normally expect the Bride to confess to having cried whilst watching the first time, but was not prepared to hear my Son had, had tears - after spending many years helping me film Weddings, I thought he had seen it all, but you never can tell :)
You can watch the video here: https://vimeo.com/223495101