This is the ninth case study / 12th article within the writing serial Event Production & Management, which consists of the following articles:
- General Introduction
- Review: Christians 20/30 Great Gatsby Ball, held 26 July 2014
- Review: Operation Christmas Child (OCC) – Surge Packing Party held 30 July 2014
- Case Study #1: Friend’s Wedding held 9 August 2014
- Case Study #2: Bucks Party Surprise held 30 August 2014
- Case Study #3: Birthday Party Surprise held 3 September 2014
- Case Study #4: Friend’s Wedding held 13 September 2014
- Case Study #5: Christians 20/30 Music Festival held 4 October 2014
- Case Study #6: OCC – UCC Packing Party held 14 November, 2014
- Case Study #7: Friend’s Wedding held 15 November, 2014
- Case Study #8: Friend’s Proposal Surprise held 4 January 2015
- Case Study #9: Friend’s Wedding held 11 July 2015 (this article)
- Case Study #10: OCC – Young Adults Packing Party held 29 July 2015
- Case Study #11: Friend’s Wedding held 22 August 2015
- Case Study #12: Friend’s Wedding held 26 September 2015
- Case Study #13: Christians 20/30 OCC Charity Program held 9, 10 & 17 October 2015
- Friend’s Proposal Surprise held 3 January 2016
In many ways, this wedding event parallels Case Study #4- it was held “off-site” near Mt Dandenong. The venue handled majority of the logistics and I worked with the event manager liaison to ensure the events technology requirements were fulfilled.
Initial Venue Inspection
I was able to accompany the wedding couple and photographer on their first visit to the wedding venue – Linley Estate, Kilsyth. Getting a first-hand appreciation of the physical chapel area (ceremony) and the ballroom/dining area (reception) was important since we were able to request the facilities of a projector, screen and table stand. This visit was scheduled several months before the July wedding and was one of several the bride/groom attended in the lead-up to the wedding itself. Apparently, the venue coordination and planning was very professional and included a food tasting experience which I heard about from the couple.
Unlike other weddings, my role for this one was focused on filming the ceremony.
A wedding rehearsal was scheduled for the week before the actual wedding. The need for my presence at the rehearsal was quite low so I did not attend, particularly since my main role for filming did not necessitate my presence. Having visited the venue earlier in the year also negated the need to attend on that Wednesday evening rehearsal.
I arrived at Linley Estate about an hour before the scheduled ceremony start time and quickly set-up the projector and Macbook in the reception hall. I quickly came to the realisation that I needed a crucial VGA-Mini Display Port adaptor. This problem would be later resolved during the 2-hour break between ceremony and reception…
Having borrowed church video camera and tripod, I tested out various positions for the camera at the rear of the chapel. The final position that I settled on before guests arrived was next to the double entry doors against the glass window-rear walls.
As guests started arriving, the chapel slowly filled up to standing room only, which then created a new problem because people lining up against the rear wall and doorway started to obstruct the view of the camera. Further, the space taken up by the tripod reduced the amount of space available for guests to stand. After a quick review with the groom and agreeing that the constraints present were too problematic, we abandoned the fixed tripod filming method.
Instead, I had to rely solely on hand-held filming via my iPhone 6! Adopting a mobile/roaming filming style, I was reminded that one of the most important critical success factors was to not obstruct the view of the actual bride & groom (procession/walking up the chapel aisle), or the official wedding photographer. These principles were front of mind when the bridal car arrived and I joined the wedding photographer in recording the initial moments of arrival for the bridal party. Unfortunately, one of the family members who was also filming on his large-screen smart phone got carried away and did get in the way of both the photographer and myself, and during the key moments of the ring exchange, vows and kiss. During the ceremony I moved into a position next to the worship team, off to the side from the presiding minister, bride and groom.
Fortunately, another friend had brought his photography gear along as a bonus. This friend was experimenting and trialing out his new gear and filmed 100s of short 3-10 second clips as well as static frame photos.
The reception venue was not of conventional dimension or layout- the entrance foyer area had two areas for guests to mingle during the pre-dinner drinks and canapes. On entry, there was the main rectangular area which then extended to the right into the second area which had curved walls with a small raised area like a mini stage. In this area a photo booth was set-up, with the main feature being a life-size cardboard cut-out of the wedding couple riding a bike, drawn in comic/cartoon style. This second area extended towards the rear with a bar positioned in the centre.
The ballroom/dance floor was accessed via the entrance foyer via a short staircase descending 3-4 steps. On the right was the stage area with kitchen and toilets behind whilst at the opposite end was another raised seating area access by wide steps. Against this side of the room the main wedding table was positioned length-wise, with a prime centre view of the stage and dance floor. 5-6 tables were squeezed onto the sides of the lower dance floor area while the remaining 10 were distributed across the upper floor section between the wedding table and the stairs, which formed a half-way divider between the two parts of the ballroom.
Next to the stairs, I positioned the camera and tripod facing the dance floor and stage. Close to the stage, we tested the projector and screen, which were only to be raised for the specific slideshow segment of the evening.
The photo slideshow material was provided 48 hours before the wedding and I converted the PowerPoint source into a ProPresenter automated equivalent. This conversion included the background music and a variation on the final slide transition since the exact transition animation used in PowerPoint could not be 100% replicated in ProPresenter. Part of the complexity in replicating PowerPoint in ProPresenter was that the each individual slide transition had a unique duration timing. Fortunately, ProPresenter slide transitions can be customised individually so it was only a matter of spending additional time and effort to ensure the correct timings.
During the reception, one of the key events filmed on both the fixed camera as well as my iPhone was the dance which bride and groom had been rehearsing, along with the bridal party and selected Indian friends – the dance was after all, an Indian one set to Indian music.
Speeches were filmed by my friend with his SLR equipment and the entire collection of footage and photos was merged into a single set of files. After consultation with the groom, he accepted the entire set of photos and film footage as is, instead of requesting a single edited video.
In this way, the event production services provided for this wedding were mark a change from the normal AV services.