"Save the Date" cards are a great way to help family and friends plan ahead for an upcoming wedding. Time off requests and travel arrangements need to be done before the customary 6 - 8 weeks before the wedding when invitations are usually sent out. Take your "Save the Date" a step further by turning your engagement photos into a Save the Date video and you not only get your wedding date on your guests' calendars, you can pull them into your story and get them excited about the big day, too!
If you are having professional engagement photos taken, ask your photographer if she offers video slideshows. If she doesn't, you just might want to make one yourself. There are many choices for slideshow software. Your computer and tablet come preloaded with some basic tools for putting photos together into a video. My favorite software is ProShow by Photodex. They have a web version that is very affordable and provides access to royalty free music. When you make your video, keep these guidelines in mind:
Provide structure in your show with a beginning, middle and end. This will pull your audience through the show. Sometimes you can have the same slide at the beginning and the end.
Keep it short. The sample video below uses 11 photos. It's enough to make a video that is less than 2 minutes. You can go a bit longer, especially if you have some video clips. Any longer than about three minutes and you'll be pushing the attention span and interest of your audience.
Choose music to convey emotion. The music should match the mood of the pictures while expressing the emotions in the images. Try instrumental music as well as music with lyrics. Putting "your song" to the pictures isn't necessarily going to complement your show. You might need to save that for your first dance at the reception. Additionally, if you use copyrighted music, your video is going to get flagged on YouTube and someone else will put their advertising with it.
Plan for distribution. You want your video to be seen and shared so you will need to publish it in different ways. Creating a YouTube channel is free and allows you to share a link or embed your video into your wedding website. If you don't want to appear in search results, you can unlist your video and the only people who can see it will be those who have a link. Vimeo is also a good choice. You can upload to Facebook so that your video is always available on your page but remember that not everyone is on Facebook. You might need to make a DVD to send to Grandma.
The first chapter of your wedding reception video slideshow could be your "Save the Date" video. Use this video as chapter one, then go backwards and tell the story of the two of you, whether it is with family photos of the two of you growing up or a montage of images illustrating your shared hobbies, interests and travels.
Enjoy! A video slideshow is a lasting keepsake for you and your fiance. Some day you could be showing it to your kids and they will have a hard time believe that Mom and Dad ever were that young!
Need someone to make your "Save the Date" video slideshow? Contact me and we can talk about how I can help you tell your engagement story.