Monday, June 6, 2011
Step 78 - Decide on Showing a Slideshow for your Wedding Reception
Slideshows have become very popular at weddings. They are really an awesome tool for holding wedding guests interest at the pre-wedding reception cocktail hour. They are generally a fun way to entertain the wedding guests as they await the arrival of the wedding couple and bridal party while at their photo shoot.
The slideshow also serves to personalize the day and allows the wedding guests to learn of their different stories to get to know the couple better. Wedding slideshows should be run no more than 10 to 15 minutes. This usually works out to 3 to 4 songs if you decide to add music and about 75-100 pictures in total. The enthusiasm and attention span has proven to lose it's muster if the slideshow lasts more than 15 minutes.
Slideshows should be organized chronologically and feature photos that don't embarrass anyone and are appropriate for guests young and old. The slideshow should be tested beforehand on display to avoid any glitches with the presentation. Choose quality photographic pictures that look great (correct lighting, proper framing, developed properly). Each photo should be set up to show for 3 to 4 seconds. If you add video to the presentation show 10-15 second video snippets.
Know your audience for your wedding slideshow. Maybe include some of your favorite wedding guests in the slideshow too and get a rise in your wedding audience as they see others when they were very young. Choose a variety of photos with different expressions and different phases in the wedding couples life. Show them as when they were babies, as toddlers, as children, as young adults, and as teenagers. You also want to show them with different expressions and different scenarios, such as taking their first steps, dance recitals, sporting events, house parties, high school graduation, any photos that may eke a response from your wedding guests.
You want most of the photos to show in landscape mode, so there won't appear often blank spots on the screen, most projection screens are geared to landscape. Only allow a couple of portrait photos, which would most likely be a school portrait. As you put together your slideshow, consider using the "Ken Burns" effect in your photos. Photos than pan and zoom in, that incorporates a transition fade in and fade out, dissolve, image peel, photos flip, and spin, and blind shade. These techniques are attention grabbers and keep your audience attentive to the slideshow. Mix the transition effects so they are varied.
Choose photographs or short video clips that bring an emotional response. The preference is to have action shots of the bride and groom growing up. Avoid using much text for slideshows, let the picture paint a thousand words. Statistics show, people will enjoy the slideshow even more if they are not obliged to read the text.
Studies show the wedding couple's slideshow is best shown during the cocktail hour right before the formal wedding reception begins. It keeps the wedding guests content and occupied before the bridal party arrives. Other times it may be shown is in the background during the wedding reception dinner, also at rehearsal dinners, bridal showers, and at post wedding events such as at a gathering to open wedding gifts or during the day after wedding brunch. The wedding slideshow should complement the wedding reception and should not be shown during dancing, speeches, toasts or during the cutting of the wedding cake.
You will need to find a device to project a slideshow onto, some wedding venues can provide a projector or offer a large screen television or have a blank wall. Smaller television screens don't work so well for slideshows. Too many of the guests want to watch the slideshow. There are a number of options available to set up your wedding slideshow. You can rent a device or hook up a slide show with a package on your computer or you can burn a slideshow onto a DVD and then hook it onto a projection screen or a large screen television.
If not all your photos are digital, it's OK these days to first scan your photos and then upload them onto your computer. You can put all your photos into a photo album picture package in your computer using services such as Flickr, Kodak, Photobucket, or Picasa. You then can pull the pictures using a software that creates and pulls together your slideshow, recommended packages include Photo DVD Maker or DVD Photographs. Photo DVD Maker also supports adding videoclips, to your photo slideshow. You can add old time movies, convert VHS movies, CD Movies, movies using a cell phone or using Youtube. You also can export the slideshow to AVI and MPEG video or burn it to a CD or DVD. You can make some copies of the slideshow, maybe as a gift to grandparents and special aunts and uncles.
When you create the slideshow presentation you might think of creating three or four parts. You might create the bride's story in chronological order, then the groom's story in chronological order, then a story at the time both met, and finally the time after which the couple got engaged and with them growing and changing each other. You might include four musical selections too, a musical selection about her, then a selection about him, and then wedding music selections for when the couple came together.
The wedding couple should select music that they enjoy for the slide show. It's not even absolutely necessary to include any music. If they add music, they might consider their song, classical wedding music, modern wedding music, violin wedding music, piano wedding music, religious wedding music, Catholic wedding music, Christian wedding music, Jewish wedding music, or whatever religious music affiliation is prevalent at the wedding.
You might consider creating a slideshow from the wedding itself or even from the honeymoon. Most of the wedding features photographs or videography of the wedding couple. You might create a slideshow with a focus toward the wedding guests and them enjoying the wedding, the focus is like a family reunion. You want to try to get a photo of everyone at the wedding, at the reception table, the pictures of the wedding cake, the meal, the ice sculpture or the chocolate fountain. Include pictures of your wedding guests interacting and dancing. You can create a slide show later from basic photos and videos, but create it soon after the honeymoon so it's still a fresh memory.
Many couples share and watch together their videography and look through their photographs and may include the slideshow at each anniversary to remind them of their special day and to re-invigorate their marriage. Afterward, they have themselves a toast and prepare a special dinner and dessert. The wedding images are also reserved for special occasions such as reunions and special family get togethers.
There are a number of companies you might want to investigate to prepare a wedding slideshow. Some slideshows can be created very inexpensively, a few pharmacy's such as Walgreens have Print Shops and Photo Developers that can convert old photos and put them on a disk for a small fee. You also might try some Office Supply shops and Photography stores or find a company online. Some of the better online companies that you can check out and research putting together your slideshow are listed below.
Web sites that offer Slideshow Equipment or Software
If you do the research yourself and create your own slideshow it is not very expensive, pretty much the cost of a software package and having your own computer loaded with a picture album package. You just have to pull the pictures together, usually the software packages are easily to follow. You just have to follow instructions and find pictures timed to the music. It's basically pulling everything together doing some testing and making some adjustments. Don't forget to add the Ken Burns transition effects too!
See you on the other side!