Creative Wedding Reception Video – By Lane O’Neill, aka VJinfiniti

March 18, 2013 by Dan Walsh

We live in a multimedia world and I believe that if you are not embracing video then you are falling behind the game, distancing yourself further from the leaders who are utilizing new forms of technology.

Any Edward Jones rep will tell you to diversify your financial portfolio. Within the past five years, I have added video, uplighting, and photo booths to my entertainment portfolio. I utilize video at 9 out of 10 receptions, so I thought I’d share some ways you can incorporate video into your wedding day routine.

MOVING THE CROWD

“Moving pictures” can provide a “welcome sign” and say “congratulations to the bride and groom” in lieu of a gobo projector.
You can utilize the newlywed’s favorite photographs as well as some simple design, and you can have a world class looping video infomercial with instructions about smoking locations, drinking, the Photobooth & gift table locations, etc. Paid members of WeddingWire have access to free tools to easily produce their own professional looking video infomercial.

During cocktails and dinner, the customized video infomercial can also be rotated with a brief slideshow of the newlyweds’ engagement pictures. I also like to produce and display a “memory montage” including memories from “baby-in-the-bath-tub” days to within mere weeks of the wedding day, telling the story of the newlyweds’ lives. I like to display the memory montage, set to music, after the newlyweds cut their wedding cake. Then I invite the newlyweds to the dance floor for their first dance.

I use a USB video camera to stream the formal dances, bouquet toss, and fun dances on the video screens. I have also streamed live video via Ustream on the internet, so a bride’s grandparents could view the entire reception live from their living room thousands of miles away. But don’t stream live video on the screens too often, or you will intimidate people to varying degrees. Knowing when, what, and how long to show is a skill-set in itself. Some pan/zoom/tilt cameras offer additional creativity in making your visual effects.

GETTING TECHNICAL

In order to display video at a reception, most people utilize short throw projectors with fastfold rear projection screens with black velour theater skirting or LED flat screens mounted on totems or lighting tripods. I use two 5’ x 7’ screens and two 42” LEDs on 7’ totems or combinations thereof, depending on the circumstances of the setup.

Without going into tremendous detail, when selecting a projector, I recommend a minimum of 2,500 lumens with a projection distance of 7’ or less. When shopping for LED screens, check for both horizontal and vertical viewing angles; the larger the viewable angle, the better. I recommend LED screens over plasma because they are about 1/3 the weight.

As far as software is concerned, there are many different programs to choose from. I personally use and highly recommend Virtual DJ Pro version 7. I was actually involved with beta testing and development before VDJ version 6’s release, and can assure you that the program’s video engine is rock solid. I have been using a Denon MC6000 as a four-channel music video MIDI controller both in my club and in my mobile rig. I can always have an appropriate gobo-style slideshow or infomercial ready to play, if I’m not using live streaming.

There are several good sources for music video subscriptions, including ERG, PrimeCuts, and Promo Only to name just a few.

You can entertain the guests by mixing videos from their favorite artists from today and yesteryear, bringing visual energy and excitement to your mix. Videos of Michael Buble, Harry Connick, Jr. and Sade and the like can be played during cocktails and dinner. Hopefully, videos of the Beatles or Elvis Presley shouldn’t offend anyone in this day and age. However, a VJ should “know” his or her video content and what may or may not be appropriate to display at a wedding reception. Professional subscription services offer guidelines about censored and/or explicit content, but ultimately, it is the responsibility of the professional digital video jockey to screen what is not appropriate to display.

I think, if presented professionally, video provides an exciting additional dimension of reception entertainment, increasing the enjoyability of the event for everyone. More and more clients are coming to expect it, so you would do well to arm yourself with the best technology and figure out how video fits into your company’s big picture.

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Dan Walsh Dan Walsh (88 Posts)


Filed Under: Exclusive Online News and Content, Issue #148, Video