Read the full transcript below -
Shannon: This is From Ring to Veil, a wedding planning podcast, the PNW's complete wedding resource, with your hosts Kim Mills and Shannon Palmer.
Kim: Episode Number 29. All you need to know about wedding videography.
So, videography is becoming more and more important as part of your wedding.
Shannon: Right, and it's important also to find a good videographer.
Kim: That's right, much like your photographer.
Kim: In recent years, it's evolved, it's more creative. It's a movie, You put it on and you're like, "Wow! This is awesome."
Shannon: With background music.
Kim: I know.
Shannon: Like I always say, I would love to have background music for my life, then I'll know when something's bad is gonna happen.
Kim: Yeah, when you should run, when you're about to fall in love. That would be really nice. It's no longer your uncle, your friend in the back holding this big boxy video camera.
Shannon: Or even the little video camera where they're panning back and forth.
Kim: Oh yeah, that's true. You can't hear anything.
Shannon: It's a big production.
Kim: It is. Listen in as we give you some info on what to look for in a videographer.
Shannon: Today our guest is Reid Johnson, Best Made Videos. Reid is an Emmy nominated photojournalist and has over 10 years of videography experience. Thanks for joining us today.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely, thanks for having me.
Kim: We're happy that you're here. We haven't had a videographer on yet and we're eager to learn.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely. I think there's a lot of ... even in the last few years, I think videography is becoming more in the mainstream, but I still do think that there's a lot of questions, concerns, you know, "Do I need it? Do I not," and I'm always happy to educate and let people know what's out there and what they can check out.
Kim: Exactly. Why don't you start off by telling us your journey?
Reid Johnson: Yeah, I went to Gonzaga for broadcast journalism. I got a degree, went and worked in TV news for a long time. I worked in California at the NBC Station there and then moved back up to Seattle and worked at a couple local stations here. I got really kind of unhappy. TV news can be really challenging and kind of soul crushing if ... Just to be in it for a long time, it's a lot of negativity surrounding it. Car accidents and fires and everything else.
Finally about two and a half years ago, my fiance and I went out for Valentine's Day and talked with a local wine maker. He had his own business and I said, "Well, God I'm gonna do that." I said. "Dorthy, what would you think if I got my camera and figured this whole thing out?" She said, "Well, if that's what you want to do, I support you." So, I bought a camera and didn't really think I was gonna do wedding videography, just thought ... Well, I'll get some corporate stuff, and ended up getting a call 48 hours before ... Some bride, her friend was gonna do the video and he dropped out.
She was just frantic, I think she found me on Craigslist just, "I need somebody ..." I think it was Friday, "I need somebody Sunday," and I said, "Sure." I had no idea what a first look was. I had no idea about any of that stuff worked but I said ... I've covered news for a long time and I'm pretty good on my feet, and it was a really cool experience. Everybody was happy and that's what ... I came home that night and Dorthy said, "How was it?" I said, "God it was great." Everybody in news, nobody wants you to be there, right, and in weddings, for the most part, everybody's really happy. The guests are happy to see you and they want to be in the video. The bride and groom obviously want you to be there, they're paying for you to be there.
So, I kind of steered in that direction and nine months later, I had enough clientele that I quit working for TV. That was a year ago in December, so now I just work for myself. I'm very happy and it's a good situation.
Kim: That's great. We find weddings are a happy time to.So we enjoy being part of that.
Reid Johnson: For the most part, yeah.
Kim: You get them when they have everything settled. I get them when they're coking to be frantic like, "Ahh, help
Shannon: Yeah, help me figure this out.
Reid Johnson: Yeah, I mean there's challenges that go into it but I mean just the wanting you to be there is really important and being able to be in that day with them, and kind of celebrate that with them is 180 from how it is in news.
Kim: It's hard to be depressed or upset at a wedding.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely.
Shannon: Well, that's good that you found something that is completely opposite from what you were wanting to get away from, right?
Reid Johnson: Yeah. Absolutely.
Kim: So, let's get into the questions for our couples so they can know what a videographer does and what is videography. Do videographers have a particular style or do they work with the style the couple is wanting?
Reid Johnson: Wedding videography has evolved a lot in the last 20, 30 years. I think a lot of people think of like grandpa with the camcorder in the audience. I think people just don't necessarily [inaudible 00:05:21] it's evolved in terms of the equipment, and the video, and the high caliber video that even like my camera shoots, and that other people's cameras can shoot and the money that we put into all of it is something I just don't know that people are aware of.
But in terms of styles it's really I'm limited in terms of what people want to do. Certain videographers will take the vows, weave that throughout the video, or they'll take the toast and weave that throughout, or people can do interviews. You can interview either the bride and groom which I've done, or you can interview well wishes from the guests.
I tend to go for just a really cool stylized more of a music video kind of sense. And it's really just whatever the people want, right? So, if you're looking for the vows type of video and you don't see that in somebody's stuff, chances are that's not their style or not. Or if you want the cool stylized whatever and you find somebody that's maybe slower paced, people have their style that they're going to do and certainly when it comes to certain couples, and the music that they want to use, if they do have a preference of that, which some couples do and they don't.
That can really kind of drive what they want in terms of, if they're working with me, for example if they want to pick the song and we kind of work together on that. But you really are hiring somebody for their creative eye, right?
And I think that video is really subjective. Not everybody's going to like the same thing. People have the kind of video they're going to like or they're not going to like. You really need to find somebody that's going to do it in the style that you want. Certainly if couple have preference of music or things like that I will work with them. It's their video and it's their day and I really want them to be happy.
But if you don't like the 40 different videos you see on the site, chances are you're not going to like your wedding video. I try to be really open and up-front and honest with people that you've got to find somebody that you like. You can only customize so much that my style is the same way.
It's the same way if you found a photographer. You're not going to tell a photographer, "I really don't like how you frame your shots", or "Your contrast is kind of weird". Yet with video people will come in and say, "Well how can we really construct this together". You can't sit down with every couple, or at least I can't, and work it start to finish. You can give me some direction and you can help pick the music if you want, but ultimately whoever you're hiring, whether it's a florist, or video, or photo, for their own professional style and expertise.
Shannon: Right. I mean that's one thing we try to stress through all of these conversations with vendors, is that our couples need to feel comfortable and match well with their vendors because it'll make the process better.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely. Yeah. I want there to be no surprise when you get your wedding video and I want you to be super excited with it. So, for the most part the brides and grooms that get my style and my direction are really pumped with the videos that they see and they may not be the standard type of wedding video. Everybody's different. The feedback I get from the couples that choose me, I'm very honored and excited about that.
It's hard when you're an artist that people may or may not get what you're trying to do. You want people that are excited to work with you. I want couples that buy with me and get what we're trying to do. You're not going to get everybody. That's kind of hard as an artist to understand that. But you also want people to be really excited.
Shannon: I think it's a good point that you make that you are artists. So you have your own style. Each and every one of you are going to be different. A couple might have to look through tons of videos to find something that really speaks to them. And then seek out that videographer instead of trying to make a videographer do what somebody else has done.
Reid Johnson: Exactly. When you click on my site my tag line is "Tired of boring wedding videos?". When you start watching my videos, it's a very definite style. People may like that or they may not and you move on. But I want you to know right away who I am and what I represent. Other people have different styles and it's your day and you just want to make sure that you find somebody's style that you're really comfortable with because you don't want to have any surprises.
Kim: In a typical wedding video, what all's included in the video?
Reid Johnson: When you hire me all my video packages offer two options. You get your short version and then you get your long version. I find that for the most part most videographers in some way do both of those things.
In my long version, I say it on the website, that's literally everything in your day. Depending on when you pay us to show up, we can do the getting ready, getting ready in the room, trying the dress on, getting you in your shoes and the rings and all that stuff. All the way through the ceremony, all the way through the reception and the toast. Basically I tell people that it's your day start to finish.
I then offer a shorted version that is really pared down. We take out the ceremony. We take out the toast. Generally mine are like five to eight minutes. Some people do teaser videos as an additional thing. I don't necessarily offer that because I get you your wedding video so quick. Where I think a lot of videographers offer a teaser or a trailer to kind of prolong how long they have to edit the video. I always tell couples, I'm going to get you your video, and we can talk about turn around and things like that, but I'm going to get you your in a week.
So I will just give you your whole version, right? And not necessarily giving you a teaser or a trailer. Because I do have couples ask that, "How do you do teasers" or "How do you do trailers". And I say it's going to be a week and you'll have your video, so ...
Kim: Wow, trailers for a wedding video. Wow, blow my mind here. Used to be only movies, now you've got trailers for books, and now weddings. That's really ... It's a good point to make. Those trailers and teasers take time which is taking away from your actual video, full video. So that's a good tip to keep in mind, I think.
Reid Johnson: You can only have as many things in your video as you guys actually do. If you don't do a first look, that's part of the video out. Or if you, for whatever reason, don't do that many pictures or you don't necessarily want to pay your videographer to come early, you lose elements of that. So I price to come for your entire day.
That's not for all couples. I completely understand that. Some couples don't want that. They only want the ceremony and they want the reception. Some couples want you there all day. I try to offer flexible pricing in that way, so that you can get me for 12 hours or 6 hours.
Shannon: You talking about pricing, you said 12 hours, or 6 hours. What is the average price of say that 12 hour video, or a 6 hour video per se?
Reid Johnson: I would say obviously you can get the Craigslist videographer, I see a lot of starting at 500 dollars, which you have to start somewhere and you have to go to portfolio, right? I would be hesitant against that. If you're going to go that route, I would really want to sit down and talk with them and figure it out and if it is somebody that's building a portfolio ... I had to build a portfolio, a lot of people do ... You have to start somewhere and that's no deterrent against any of that.
I would just really do your due diligence to see what kind of experience they have. Have they done weddings before? What kind of equipment do they have? Do they have their own equipment? Are they insured? Is the equipment insured? Do they have back-ups in case they're sick, or the camera breaks, or the memory card gets erased?
A lot of stuff that you learn through the years. I've been shooting video for 10 years now and I'm still learning things. Everyday you're learning things, whether it's learning through video or media management or whatever. But, in terms of pricing, I think for the most part it's anywhere in like the, I would say 1500 to 4000 dollar range. I tend to price more inexpensive. I say I price competitively. Most of my packages are around 2000.
I really like to do weddings and I really like to work. I would rather price at a rate that couples feel like they can add on to their wedding. Because I think videography is still a ... not even a secondary, but a third, or fourth, or fifth option for people. Where you book your venue a year out or a year and a half, and your photographer a year out, I'm booking right now for August, but I'm also booking for this May. People really book ... they go, "Oh I have an extra two grand in the budget, I'm going to add a videographer".
So in my experience I can't price the way that photographers do. However you want to look at that or not, I price so that I can be an addition to the photographer and so that you can get a complete video and photo package.
Kim: How do videographers and photographers work? Do they coordinate at all? Or work together at all?
Reid Johnson: It really is a dance throughout the day, making sure that both people get along. I've heard horror stories of photographers getting in the way of videographers, and visa versa. As a videographer I really have to be conscious of the photographer first and foremost, because generally speaking they are the primary vendor that the couple books.
The photographers also just need to understand that I have a job to do as well. I will do my best, and I do do my best to stay out their way. But at the end of the day I need to do my work too. We're both being paid to be there and we both have a job to do. For the most part photographers get it now. They don't necessarily have a videographer that they work with at every wedding, but they've worked with them enough so that they're aware of that.
I do find that a lot of the photographers I work with have had negative experiences with videographers in the past, and I really do my best to counteract that and be really flexible and work with them. A lot of my referrals are from photographers that I've worked with in the past.
Shannon: I was going to ask, yeah. Do you have photographers who refer you specifically to work with them?
Reid Johnson: Absolutely. Because like I said, there are the you know 500 dollar Craigslist, you know ... We're getting married this summer and the woman that's helping coordinate our wedding at our venue knows I'm a videographer and she always tells me these stories like ... We were sitting there during the ceremony and they start wheeling this tripod down the aisle ...
Reid Johnson: People don't get it, right? You get too wrapped up with getting your own shot and you forget that you are there taking part in something else. It is not your ...
Kim: ... your movie ...
Reid Johnson: Yeah. You are not the primary focus of the day. It is the couple. I know that one of you guys' questions is ...
Shannon: So how do you stay unobtrusive, how do you blend in?
Reid Johnson: It's a great question, because you are there with the tripod and the camera, and the best way you can to it is just be aware of the situation. Don't roll the tripod down the aisle or don't walk right behind the bride and groom as they're getting ready to do the kiss, or the rings. You really need to be aware of your surroundings.
Most cameras, most video cameras have zoom lenses. We can be in the back. I tend to be in the back of the room shooting down the aisle, getting the clean shot, staying out of the way. But when it comes to getting ready in the hotel room, you're going to be around and you're going to be there when the bride's getting her dress on, or when the groomsmen are getting the ties on.
And it's also about getting the good rapport with the bride and groom so that they feel comfortable with you. Just like the photographer you are a guest. I always find it interesting that couples will spend a lot time getting to know their photographer, right? They book them and they do the engagement session and they do maybe a couple of sit-down meetings. Not all my couples want to meet before the wedding day, which it's up to you and it's how you want to do wedding planning.
I always make myself available because your videographer is going to be there the whole day with you, just like your photographer. And that's not something that I really do think couples don't understand, right, that your photographer is there with you in the room while you're getting ready, and so am I. And so the same rapport you have with them, you want to make sure that you have with your videographer.
I try to schedule Skype meetings at the minimum just at least we can get a face to face and talk. But some couples do it over the phone, some do it in person. Everybody's different. But however you want to do it, you do want to make sure that you have a rapport with your videographer because they are there for the long haul as well.
Kim: Great recommendation, I think. So for our couples listening, make sure that you meet with your videographer at least once, maybe twice.
Shannon: You want to feel comfortable with them. [inaudible 00:18:49] They're getting ready in the room, things like that.
Reid Johnson: In that same regard, I have a lot of couples where at the end of the day when I get ready to leave it's like we've been through something together. With the photographer it's like you've been through war together. So I think a lot of couples in retrospect are like, "Oh we're really glad that he was a cool guy". But you want to make sure that you set yourself up for success in that way. Because you really are going to be hand and hand through the whole process.
Shannon: In photography we know that's it highly recommended that they have a second shooter. Is it the same way in videography?
Reid Johnson: That's a great question. I do most all my wedding videography solo shooting simply because I want to be able to offer my prices at a reasonable cost. That's the best way to do it for me. I get a lot of questions from couples about that. They go "Well is there one or two of you?"
I try to price so that I can do the wedding video solo. I have an assistant that helps me out. I have a secondary shooter that I book and he has an assistant as well. Because I do think that you need to have two sets of hands.
Kim: Is that an add-on?
Reid Johnson: I would say that if you're looking and trying to figure out if you need one or two videographers for your wedding day, I would look at your videographers work. Everything on my site has been shot by one videographer whether it's me or my secondary shooter. So when you are looking at pricing and looking at options and you go "I really like these videos and he only needs one person", well then there you go.
So I don't need two people. Another videographer might feel comfortable with two videographers. And if you look at their portfolio and you go "Oh I really like this and they have two". I think you really just need to go with whatever the company is comfortable with.
Kim: But they should realize that it's going to be more expensive than just a single shooter.
Reid Johnson: Yeah. So I'll book a secondary if the couple wants it and that's just an additional hourly cost. But I would say that whatever way you go about it, if you like the business and you like their portfolio and that's the way they do it, I wouldn't question that. If you like everything that I've done with one videographer, it's not worth paying that. More is not always better. If you're going to have your photographer and a secondary, and then me and my assistant and a secondary, that's a lot of people.
Kim: And that's a lot of experience.
Reid Johnson: I feel comfortable with myself and the people that I hire covering the wedding by themselves. Because I have that experience. I worked in news forever. I'm used to capturing everything non-stop during the day, right? You don't have a chance to miss anything when you work in news or the weddings. You want to make sure that you can't miss the first look or the first kiss.
But if the company you like has two people, then that's great. If they have three people, that's awesome. It's whatever works for you with your budget and the company that you want to work with.
Kim: So trust your videographer's experience.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely.
Shannon: You said it takes you about a week to get the finished video. What would you say the normal length of time it is to get a finished video to the couple?
Reid Johnson: It's my goal to get you your wedding video by your honeymoon. I think it's a really cool thing for couples to be able to watch their video on their honeymoon and for the most part I do get to my couples ... I think four to six weeks is, four to eight weeks is pretty standard I think for a video. I know some people take 40 hours for a wedding video, 50 hours.
I don't know. I worked in news for a long time where you ...
Shannon: You had to do it quick.
Reid Johnson: ... have a ten minute turn around. I would say like one to two months out. I know some videographers have a year or less policy, which I think that's challenging. I think you're really excited when you get married, and I think you want to ...
Shannon: And I think it would lose ... it would kind of lose its excitement for the videographer to edit that as well, plus the bride and groom to see it afterwards. I think that's extremely too long of a time. That's my opinion.
Kim: Normally four to six weeks.
Reid Johnson: I would say four to eight weeks.
Kim: Two months.
Shannon: But if you can find somebody that says I'll give it to you in a week ... That's awesome, right? And you love their stuff.
Reid Johnson: I think four to eight weeks is pretty standard. I think that depending on what time of year you're getting married as well. I think photographers obviously have that too. If it's the middle of August and it's peak season, or if you're getting married at the tail end. But I would say four to eight weeks is pretty standard to get your video back.
Kim: And plus if you're doing three weddings a weekend, that's also going to make your time a little bit longer too.
Shannon: You mentioned, I hate to keep going back to the Craigslist people, but you mentioned something about equipment. So when a couple, a bride and groom, are talking to a videographer and they're asking them about their equipment, what's the kind of things they need to hear?
Reid Johnson: The nice thing about doing video is when people look at your portfolio they get a good sense of the quality of the work that you do in terms of on the editing and everything. But to the actual quality, right? I look at videographers websites all the time and I see things that look like they were shot in 1980.
So I don't get asked too much about what brand of camera you shoot with, or what type of anything do you have. You know, I mean couples see the work and they see the quality of it. I try to be a perfectionist when it comes to the video that we put in. But I would say just make sure that your videographer is comfortable with their equipment.
I get, like I say, the Craigslist videographer that maybe has only done it once or twice before and they don't know all the ins and outs of everything. I've shot on my camera for three years. I upgraded a lot of things in this off-season so that I can be comfortable and ready to go by May, June, July.
You don't want somebody that's learning on the fly, right? I think couples will ask, "Do you have back-up equipment?" The big question I get asked is about audio for the ceremony. A lot of couples want to know about that. If anything in terms of equipment to talk about, couples want to know how you're going to get clean audio from them for their ceremony, which is only a videographer concern. The photographer, that's no concern to them at all.
The videographer, that's something extra that we have to worry about and handle. That is a major concern, that if you have your vows and you cannot hear your vows, or the microphone cuts out, or there is no microphone ... That is a big deal, right? I would ask videographers how they plan on doing that. I've had discussions with clients where they say "Oh well I was talking to another videographer and they said that wasn't possible." Well, it is possible and I do think you need to educate yourself about that.
I use small wireless mics. I put one on the groom. I put one on the officiant because you want to make sure that you have a redundancy. You want to make sure that you have a couple of different options up there if things go wrong. Because if it's the middle of the ceremony and you have one mic and it cuts out, you can't interrupt the ceremony.
I would ask your videographer about that. I also work with a DJ so if the DJ is providing audio I would also take a feed in from them. At that point you would have three feeds going on, but I would not solely rely on the DJ nor would I solely rely on one microphone up there. I think if you're a client and you're talking to your videographer, I would say that's kind of a major concern that you need to look at is how they're going to capture the audio.
In terms of everything else ... Do they own the equipment, I think that would be nice. If they're borrowing, maybe it's not available on your day or maybe something happens. I would just make sure that they have equipment that they own or at least feel comfortable with and that they have some plan for audio.
In terms of lighting, I don't use a ton of lighting. I know that's an option for videographers. Going back to the being unobtrusive, I don't like to use a lot of lights. I think thatdoes get distracting and get in the way. If your ceremony is really dark, I might use a small top light which just attaches to the top of the camera just for maybe the toast so we can see the person, or maybe a little bit on the first dance. But, again, my role is to be as unobtrusive as possible and setting up LED lights all over the room is not the best way to do that.
It's one thing for a photographer to put an off-camera flash somewhere in the corner for a couple of seconds, but you don't want a videographer blaring away at you for your whole reception.
Kim: So that's where you would make sure that your camera is good enough to get the video that you need in lower light.
Reid Johnson: Absolutely. And that's something that is a challenge constantly for videographers, is getting a good quality in low light. I spend hours in post-production making sure that everything is crisp and clear. A lot of that has to do with de-noising and cleaning up the footage.
Yeah. You need to make sure that you have a camera that can handle that. I spend a lot of money to make sure that my equipment can handle that.
Shannon: Well, I think that's important for a videographer. And, again, going back to what you have on your website, your samples, your work, you can see that a videographer is going to try really hard, especially when you look at the quality of what they put out.
Reid Johnson: Just like a photographer, right? A photographer has different bodies and different lenses. A videographer will have that. I would just make sure that your videographer has a portfolio that shows that. That if you're getting inside somewhere that you see that they can handle that, or if you're getting married ... It's good to see a wide variety of examples from somebody to make sure that they can handle all different situations.
And, obviously, ask them if they've shot in your venue. I've shot in a lot of venues now and that's good as well. It's not a necessity, but I certainly think it's really cool to say ... You know, I've booked weddings just on that where I see that they're getting married and I send them the example. And they go, "Wow, it's so cool. Like that's going to be my day." And it's really exciting for people to see that. Is it necessary? No, but it's certainly an added benefit that you can say "Oh, wow, they have done it there, and this looks great." I'm excited to do that.
Kim: I think a lot of people ask us if we've worked in certain venues, too. It's just an added bonus.
Reid Johnson: It's an added bonus. It's not a necessity but it is a really cool extra.
Shannon: So, after the edit, what is the ordering process for the couple?
Reid Johnson: I do primarily all of my video delivery electronically. I give them private on-line links to view, post, share with family and friends. Most videographers offer other DVD or Blu-ray options for their video packages, which is really nice. I think you can get a really nice customized art work of your day on the DVD cover, a nice presentation on the DVD. I think that's really cool.
I think the way the industry is trending in terms of 4K video now becoming a standard, which is basically a step up from the HD video that most people comfortable and aware of. I do think that DVDs and Blu-rays are kind of going to get phased out in years to come. I think making sure you have a good electronic file of that is really important.
I think for the most part your videographer will give you a set number of DVDs with each package. I see a lot of like, "Three DVDs and/or Blu-rays included". You can purchase additional ones for 10 dollars apiece, 15 dollars apiece. And everyone's going to be different in that way, but for the most part you're going to get a couple and then you're welcome to buy more.
Shannon: I know I can't remember the last time I looked at a DVD, or watched a DVD or Blu-ray.
Kim: We do [inaudible 00:30:58] sometimes (laughs).
Shannon: So, I mean.
Reid Johnson: I think it's a really good question to ask because a lot of my clients ask about DVDs, have either parents, grandparents, relatives that can't get online and watch that, right? My grandpa lives on Oregon, doesn't have internet, so I'm going to have to give him a DVD of our wedding so he can watch that.
That's a concern now days. I think we live in an area where we're blessed with nice technology and internet and whatever, but I do think DVDs and Blu-rays are a great way for people that maybe don't have the access to high-speed internet to kind of enjoy all that.
But I do think the way the industry is trending, I think ...
Kim: More towards streaming ...
Reid Johnson: I do.
Kim: Is there anything else that you want to tell our couples?
Reid Johnson: So the biggest thing we haven't talked about yet is music and music licensing for the videos. The way that myself and most videographers handle it is we independently license out music per couple per video with an artist through a music licensing site.
I see a lot of videographers that have examples up that maybe have Bruno Mars or Jason Mraz. They don't own the rights to that music and they are not allowed to do that. If you're a couple that is sharing that online, eventually that might come back and get somebody in trouble. And it's big trouble.
So it is hard with couples where they see things like that to educate them on kind of the right way to do it, and the way that most people do it. Every time I meet with a couple I try to walk them through that process. Some couples are very concerned with the music that plays during their wedding video and some couples want me to handle that. Either way is fine.
I know some videographers welcome couples to choose all that and I know that some videographers do not. The music is probably the most important aspect of the video in my opinion because it dictates the entire pace, feeling, tone, everything on the video. I welcome couples to sit with me and look through the site ... they can look through the sites on their own ... and find music that we can license legally, and use in your video. That's a cost to me, that's not a cost ...
Kim: Do you transfer it over to your cost for the couple?
Reid Johnson: Yeah. It's just included, right. So that's just part of the cost of doing business. But it is ... you know, each song is licensed for each couple, for each video. And that is the legal way to do it.
Kim: There you go, legal. That's important, I think.
Reid Johnson: I've lost clients that don't want that. I've had couples that go, "I want Shania Twain in my wedding video". And I can't do that. I will try to explain to them that you might find somebody that will do that. But I think that somebody that might do that will speak negatively about maybe other aspects. If they're willing to compromise on that then you maybe have to question their experience or how long they've been doing it or what they know.
Kim: Maybe even their ethics even, you know.
Shannon: Yeah. That's one thing I didn't even think about was the licensing of the music of the videos. Because every life needs background music.
Kim: Exactly. Especially weddings.
Shannon: I would love to have background music so I know what's happening to myself during the day. But, anyway.
Kim: That's very important, though, I think. Again like she said, we didn't even think about that. So how would a couple know that you have to get rights to the ... I know that even in books they have to get rights to list lyrics. So it's a very sticky situation. Can get really expensive if you get in trouble.
Reid Johnson: It's a huge issue and the more people that don't go the legal route the harder it is for the people that do. Right? It is. It's a huge issue and a lot of couples that is their first question to me is "How do we do the music for the video?" A lot of people want to know that and so I think it's one of the best questions to ask and I do think that couples need to know that they're going to go with somebody that's going to go about it the right way.
Kim: Anything else that you think they might need to know?
Reid Johnson: I think that a lot of couples that are on the fence about videography ... I always encourage them, whether they go with me or anybody else, I do think that wedding videos is one of the most important things that a couple can get for the day. That you spend so much time and energy on every aspect of your day and I think that having ... Obviously wedding photography is essential as well ... having those moments. But I think that having something that's five, six, eight minutes that can show all of the hard work, all of the energy, all of the love and emotion and everything in just this nice little package I think is a really cool experience for people.
The way I tell couples is wedding photography is essential, but the wedding video is kind of the moments between the photos and it's all those, the little things, the laughing in the hotel room getting ready, or the husband's nervous energy before the bride walks down the aisle. It's all these kind of intangibles that obviously photography will capture in their way as well but you spend so much time and money on everything else I think it's really cool to have a video that can show all of that.
Shannon: Like you said, you can capture the love and the emotion in a video that you probably can't get as much of in a photo.
Reid Johnson: I find that, when I go to a lot of wedding shows and talk with a lot of couples, a lot of the time the people that are pushing for the couple to get a video is either their parents that didn't get a video and they regret it, or they got a video and they realize how important it is. I get a lot of brides that blast past my booth and their parents are coming back, and they're grabbing a flyer. Because they know, right?
I've had plenty of friends that got married before I started doing wedding videos and they go "I wish ... why couldn't you have done this three years ago." We so regret that we didn't get that. There's an article that I share a lot with couples that I just saw recently that they surveyed 1100 brides, recently married brides, and they said "What is your biggest regret from your wedding?" Seventy-nine percent was "Didn't get a wedding video."
I try to express that with couples. But I do see that if budgets get tight video is the first thing that gets cut. And I've had a lot even just this season I've gone back and forth with brides. We either set up meetings or don't. It just wasn't in the budget. It hurts my heart because I understand budgets are tight and it's really hard for couples, but if there's any room in there to get that. You can't re-create that when it's gone.
Kim: Exactly. Where in pictures you can do another re-creation, sort of. And it might not be exactly the same. But a video, you can't re-create that.
Reid Johnson: It's just the moment. It's the father-daughter dance. It's the walking down the aisle. I get a lot of couple that think "Oh we're just going to have somebody record it on their phone, or we're just going to have ..." And there's companies that do that too. You can rent a bunch of little flip cameras and record that.
When you're at your wedding you want your guests to have fun. You don't want to worry if Uncle Joe's going to get me coming down the aisle. You want everybody to be experiencing the moment and know that you have a professional that's in the back that's going to capture that for you, and that's going to do a good job. You don't want to have to wonder, "I hope somebody's going to get my entrance, or I hope that somebody's going to get ...
Shannon: ... the grooms face when I walk down the aisle."
Reid Johnson: One of my good friends got married before I started video and he tells me all the time, "I would do anything to have 30 seconds of my first dance with my wife ... because we were relying with friends will cell phones and nobody got it." Or maybe you get a blurry cell phone picture. He says, "I would do anything to have that." It just ... I think a lot of couples that, you know maybe cut video, end up having that regret later on.
Shannon: Reid, can you tell us where our listeners can find you.
Reid Johnson: They can find me online at bestmadevideos.com or bestmadeweddingvideos.com. We're on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, all of those. I'm always posting stuff, always behind the scenes. I always get really excited to post new wedding videos. That's kind of the excitement of handing it off to a client and then I always get to track how many people view it. It's so cool to see that the view counts go up and up and up. And I know that their friends, and family, and parents ...
Shannon: ... or themselves watching it over and over.
Reid Johnson: I get that. I'll be waiting to get feedback from them and they're, "Oh sorry we've just been watching it for the last two days. We haven't had a chance to send it back". So ...
Shannon: Well, this is very eye-opening. Thank you.
Kim: Thank you so much for joining us today.
Reid Johnson: Thank you. That was a blast.
Kim: So now we know what a videographer can do for you, and how important it is to find the right one.
Shannon: Much like your photographer, a great videographer can give you something that you can cherish for many, many years to come.
Kim: When you're feeling nostalgic, you can open up your computer screen ... because we all know that we don't have DVRs anymore. Open up the video and just look and reminisce. It'll be a good thing to do on your anniversaries, I guess.
Shannon: We probably should do that too. Actually we should probably get it off of video and put it onto DVD at least.or something.
Kim: I don't even have one.
Shannon: And like Reid mentioned, film gives you a different level of emotion, something ... yes, you can get emotions in photos ... but video just gives you another level.
Kim: It gives you all that little in-between things, like you said.
Shannon: When you're planning your wedding, please make sure to include videography in the budget and make it a priority.
Kim: Show us the love by subscribing to From Ring to Veil on iTunes, Stitcher, or SoundCloud. And please, leave us a review.
Shannon: This is the only way couples will be able to find us. So until next time, no stress, no worries, keep calm, and listen on.
Kim: Thank you for listening to our podcast. You can find us on Facebook, From Ring to Veil, on Twitter @ From Ring to Veil, and on our website www.fromringtoveil.com
Read the full transcript below -
Shannon: A round table wedding planning discussion: episode number 100.
Kim: Are you subscribed to our show? Don't miss a show. Subscribe to From Ring to Veil anywhere you listen to podcasts, and if you don't know how, just let us know and we'll help you.
Shannon: We now have a Patreon page. This is a place where you can support us monetarily. If you want to give $1, great. Any little bit helps. This will help us pay for things like hosting, books, and magazines for research, and it also sends us to great podcasting conferences so that we can learn and make this a better podcast, and to get great things for giveaways. Go to www.fromringtoveil.com/give to see our Patreon page.
Kim: So, we were able to round up a few of our favorite wedding professionals to come help us celebrate this huge milestone. Yay. Join us for some great information and ideas from some of our top wedding vendors in the area.
Welcome to our 100th episode one-year anniversary extravaganza. Whoo! Today, we have five of our favorite past guest hosts with us, so why don't we just go around the table and say who we are and our company.
Alan: I'm Alan Chitlik, and I'm a DJ. Puget Sound DJ is my company name.
Reid: This is Reid Johnson. I'm with Best Made Videos wedding videography.
Cricket: My name is Cricket Smith, and I own the venue The Lookout Lodge.
Kate: My name is Kate Gansneder, and I run Gsquared Weddings.
Ginger: And I'm Ginger Herr, and my company is Chalk Ink Style.
Kim: Yay! We're so glad. You guys are some of our favorite guest hosts, and we were like, "Who should we invite?" Well, pfft, we gotta invite Cricket, we gotta invite Reid, we gotta invite ... So, you guys were some of our favorites, and because my table can only fit so many people, we had to keep it limited, and I only have four microphones right now, so ...
We are so thankful for you guys. Thank you so much for all of your support, for coming out and recording with us more than once, a couple times. All the support and help that you guys have given us has really helped us grow this last year. Without you guys, it just wouldn't be as good as it is.
Shannon: Right, and it's been a year of learning, this process and doing all of this. It's been a year of growth for me as well, because I am kind of shy and things like that, so talking to people and interviewing is way out of my comfort zone, so it's been awesome.
Kim: It's been ... definitely learning. I'm sure you guys have grown and learned this year, too. Let's just start out by ... If you guys wanna share something that you've experienced this year, maybe, or your favorite moment from a wedding or planning, whatever. Something that means something to you that happened this past year.
Shannon: As you know, we do own a floral design company, it's called Willow and Vine. I will say that it has been a challenging year since we were new to the industry here. We did grow. We did make the Best of Weddings of The Knot, so we were happy about that. Since I came from Texas to here, there are different mindsets of brides, so it was challenging to me to get the feel of these brides here and what I can do for them and their styles and things. So, that was my biggest challenge of the year.
Alan: Some of my favorite memories are trying to customize weddings for cultural or other elements that were personal to the couples. I had a military wedding in June, and one of the things that they do, some of the groomsmen had swords and on their way out, they slapped the bride's butt with swords.
Alan: I thought it was a really funny tradition. I had a wonderful Native American wedding in May and really enjoyed the drum circle and other things, being a part of that. So, just trying to bring out the things that are significant to a couple was always really interesting and fun.
Kim: That's cool, a drum circle. That's really neat. I've never been to a Native American wedding, so I don't know what they do, and that would be probably a good challenge, trying to figure it out. Anybody else? Reid, do you have anything? I know you got married this year.
Reid: I know. This was a busy year. We did sixty weddings this year, plus my own this summer, so that was, in retrospect, probably not the most sane idea. But, kind of the reflection that I came out with was just how much I really do love doing weddings and I'm really happy that I found my way into this profession now, with doing wedding videos specifically, as somebody that Alan will attest to ... Alan was a DJ at my wedding. You know, I broke down and just sobbed walking down the aisle to our ceremony, so I really do get it, and it's really given me a lot of insight now talking with brides and grooms after the fact. They seem to really enjoy that we just got married and went through that and I can really speak first hand about some of the challenges both planning and going through and all of that. I feel like it makes me a more well-rounded wedding professional because of that.
Cricket: I would have to say a big learning moment for us with The Lookout Lodge, and I think it's for any business ... We've always had a fairly good web presence, and this year I really made myself, or forced myself, to be involved in online, just different websites that I could host The Lookout Lodge on or join. I was actually shocked at the response just from changing a few things that we did online, a few search engines that we were apart of, that really doubled the amount of inquiries that we received. So, really, for any business, I suggest that I don't think anymore it's a ... yes, you can hit the streets, but that presence online is huge, huge to launch your business. I would just like to give a little thank you to Kate who's in the room here. Even though photography is her absolute wonderful skill, also it is helping with that web presence, and she was instrumental in that, so for this year 2016, we really saw a huge response to ... And joining the Wedding Wire, changing some stuff on our website, changing key words on different websites we're a part of. If you haven't done that already, I highly recommend that you do.
Kate: Oh, goodness. Where to start? Well, for us, it's kind of been an exciting year. We had a little bit of growth as far as the number of bookings. We went from 49 last year to 53 this year, and we are able to beat our deadline for getting photos out to our clients, which has been fantastic. But, I think the biggest change that we saw is that more and more couples are looking for more of an intimate ceremony and a bigger reception, so we're finding that coverage choices are changing a little bit. We tend to attract a lot of the elopement couples now or the really, super intimate weddings that are under 50. So, we've changed our packages and offerings so that we can really cater to those clients because we understand that your needs aren't quite as much as a bigger wedding would be. It's definitely helped us hone in to what we love to shoot, and that is definitely those adventurous, outdoorsy couples.
Ginger: So, for me, I really enjoy the aspect of personalizing boards and everything like that for the couple, and on top of that, I enjoy getting to work with some of the other people in the industry, like Kate. We did a photo shoot, so that was kind of fun, and just getting to meet other vendors in that way and see what they do. It's just been really good for me, because I'm still pretty new to the business aspect of things. I'm about a year and a half in, so it's been really good. I've enjoyed that a lot.
Kim: Yeah, either you enjoy it or you hate it. There's really no in between.
Shannon: Or it's that love-hate thing.
Kate: Yeah, I could be there, because there's a couple days where I'm like, "What am I doing?"
Shannon: Yeah, like, "What am I doing this for?"
Kim: For me, in this last year, of course it's the floral business I learned a whole lot. Before the floral business, I wasn't in the floral business and I knew nothing about the floral business, but I learned a whole lot on that. When it comes to the podcast, I have listened to I don't even know how many hours of other podcasts about podcasting, so I've learned a whole lot about podcasting and what it takes to make it in the podcasting world and to stay. If you make it to 100, they say, then you have a very good chance of making it for a long time.
Shannon: Yeah, we've seen significant growths.
Kim: Definitely. Definitely.
Shannon: We're happy about that, and we're gonna keep going.
Kim: Yes. Really, it has to do with you guys. When we have you on, I think those are some of our best shows, when we have guest hosts to help us share relevant, good information that brides and grooms want to know, need to know.
Reid: I think I emailed you guys about it, but I actually had a bride contact me directly because she heard our interview on the podcast.
Kim: Yes, that's what we love to hear.
Shannon: Yes. That's so exciting.
Reid: She was just really moved and thought it was really nice to be able to hear somebody talk about it and then be able to call, and we booked immediately that day and it ended up being a really successful wedding for us. So, obviously people are hearing it and appreciate what you guys do and the information and everything.
Shannon: We've had a few vendors call us and say, "Hey, they listened to your show and they contacted us," and so we're like, "Yay."
Kim: That's one of the number one exciting best things to hear.
Shannon: We're like little squealing fan girls over here like, "Yeah, look what we did!"
Cricket: Someone I spoke to the other day, too, said that they have someone ... was it you? ... that is in New York and heard it also.
Kate: Yes. Yeah, it's funny how big of a spread you have because every time I've ever been on the show, after the show airs, all of a sudden, I get just a slew of messages in my inbox. "Oh my gosh, we heard you on From Ring to Veil," and I'm like, "You guys are way across the country. I had no idea that ..." Yeah, it's really cool that it doesn't just touch the Seattle and Snohomish community. It's touching all over the United States, because it is relevant no matter where you are, all the information you guys share. I think that's part of what makes it so successful is that you're sharing information that isn't just helping Seattle brides. You're sharing information that helps every bride everywhere.
Shannon: That's our goal.
Alan: The other thing that I think is significant, too, is that for many couples, having a good personality match with your vendor is just so important. So, if you hear Reid on a podcast and he connects with you, it's no wonder that you might contact him immediately and find out if he's a good videographer for you. Same thing with all of your guests, and in some cases, it's maybe not a good personality match, but that's great to know for a couple, too. You really want an all-star team of people that connect with you.
Shannon: Friends on your wedding day instead of just your vendors.
Shannon: That's part of what we push, too. Every time we say, "Hey, we're gonna send you recommendations of the vendors we love, but we're gonna send you a couple, because we know that your personality might not match with everybody, but don't just look for their talent. Make sure that you like them. You're going to spend several hours with them." So, personality is a huge thing, and this definitely does help that.
Kim: On one of the most important days of your life. It's great to have a good team with you.
Shannon: So, what changes have you seen recently in 2016 in the wedding industry, in business, the style of weddings, the culture of weddings and things like that?
Kim: I think Kate said that she's been contacted by more people that had wanted smaller, intimate weddings, larger receptions. That definitely seems like to be kind of a movement, maybe.
Kate: Yeah, I think just seeing if you watch any of the bridal blogs that are huge right now and everything that's coming across your feeds, they're definitely pushing more of that stylized look, and so as brides are getting into that planning part, they're realizing to have that look, they can't necessarily have a real huge wedding. They need to do something smaller for the wedding part, and then they can party hard afterwards.
Kim: Anything else you guys have seen, noticed?
Alan: I think for many people that I deal with, the idea of trying to personalize their day is a big deal. Nobody really wants that cookie-cutter wedding, so from their selection of a venue, indoor, outdoor, is it a venue that has good hangout space? Like a place like Trinity Tree Farms that has a wonderful pit where you can have s'mores or things like that. If that's your vibe, you are trying to find a venue that fits that vibe. I get fewer and fewer calls for places that have rectangular rooms, you know, in a hotel. Places like Salty's or Ray's that have the classic Pacific Northwest views are very popular. I think places like The Lookout Lodge that have that integration with nature ... If I were to cite a trend, I would say more and more people trying to find something that's really personal to them and reflects who they are, and then that pervades throughout the whole day. So, all of their activities to the extent that they're telling their stories, I think, is a smart way to approach your wedding, too.
Shannon: And, along with that, too, it even starts ahead of time in that personalization that's like having logos made for brides and grooms and things like that. Working with your graphic designer can help you kind of solidify the whole look of the whole experience, not just at the venue itself. I mean, integrate that as well, but also from the very beginnings of your papers that you send out to your friends and family.
Cricket: I think that coincides with, still, the trend. We don't see so much ... I mean, we see a lot of DIY still, the do-it-yourself wedding, but not so much in the do-it-yourself you're gonna plan it as much as the it's doing it yourself to customize it. So, yes, along with the logos, along with customizing your music, it's that décor that they are after or that feel. We had a wedding this summer where it was adorable, and they brought in straw bales. Of course, that forced us to change our contract, but ... We didn't like the straw after, but it was absolutely fitting for their style. They had some custom archways built. It wasn't quite country-western, but it was definitely fitting the outdoors, making it their personal style. So, you do hear a lot of people talk about or trends where they're getting away from DIY. I don't think so much in the décor part or in the personalization part, so, yes, you still see that going strong, and not so much in a banquet hall anymore, or necessarily the church traditional wedding.
Kate: I can count on one finger how many church weddings we've done this year, so that seems to be the outgoing trend. You know, churches can be intimate for the intimate ceremony, but oh well.
Kim: But, churches have been done for so long, and now you have all these awesome venues. Anything you can think of, you have. I know we've talked about The Lookout. It's just gorgeous up there. It's outdoor. Here, there are just so many unique places to have your wedding.
Kate: I think people who live here love the outdoors. They love the trees. They love the mountains. They love all of that that makes the Pacific Northwest so fantastic, so that's why these venues are succeeding so much, because we all like being outside. Who wouldn't? I mean, look at our views? So, I can see why that's trending, for sure.
Kim: This area has more of a traditional sense in the wedding season. Like, in Texas, you would never have an outdoor wedding in July or August because it's 150 degrees outside. So, you know, the Austin wedding season was March, April, May, and then September, October, November. That was the main. So, here, that was one of the total challenges, having my summer taken away because we had weddings all summer long. It's a change, but I like it because it's not hot, for one thing, and I'm not melting and the flowers do not wilt.
Ginger: Yes. That's a big deal.
Kate: One other thing that I've noticed this year is I have a lot more brides that are choosing to not do the traditions, so they don't feel comfortable necessarily with the garter toss or the bouquet toss, or even cutting the cake in front of the people anymore. A lot of our brides are a lot more private, and so they're finding different ways. They're doing a presentation of gifts to friends. It's very nice to see that they don't feel like they have to do these things anymore, where a couple of years ago they did. They were still doing them because there was a lot of pressure.
Kim: I mean, really and truly, what single person wants to stand out in the middle of everyone and have something thrown at them? It's kind of an antiquated tradition, which I understand completely. That's one thing I would not want to do anymore.
Shannon: Well, it's supposed to say who's getting married next.
Kim: I know, but that doesn't always happen.
Alan: It's always interesting for me to watch the different reactions. In many cases, the women really will compete for the bouquet, but the men will stand there and take two steps back when it's garter-toss time.
Kate: Have you noticed, though, that sometimes there's always that one guy that's kind of hovering and then as soon as the garter comes, he jumps in the midair. I have so many photos like that, and it cracks me up because he was the nonchalant guy before.
Reid: I mean, for our wedding, I had long talks with Alan about ... We didn't do the garter toss and Alan, as a DJ, wanted to talk about why and maybe some other alternatives. Yeah, it was just something that we didn't feel ... I had filmed a lot of really crass, you know, interesting ones.
Shannon: The knock-down, drag-out bridesmaids.
Reid: I mean, I've seen children get knocked over.
Kim: Just acquiring it.
Reid: I've seen little girls get pummeled by people trying to jump. It gets ... We just decided not to, but that was obviously a conversation that we had and that Alan gave his expertise about other alternatives and things that we could do as well, so I thought that was good.
Shannon: We had a show about that not too long ago, and different ways to either throw the garter, like wrap it around a football and they toss the football or things like that, or different things that they can do, like adding gift cards to small flowers or something and give them to whoever. It's a change.
Kim: Times are changing, right?
Reid: Can I say one last ... One trend I've seen for me is, at least with video or whatever, I think people are booking a lot further out, where at least [inaudible 00:19:53], summer or two summers ago, it would be a lot of a month out or two months out. In the fall, I was getting a couple people and I thought, "Well, these are just really motivated whatever," and now ... I just talked to a woman the other day, and she goes, "Oh, we're so late. We're crazy," and I go, "Well, no," because I was getting inquiries in July for August weddings last year not realizing that there was anything wrong with that. Now, I have someone in January freaking out about their September wedding and whether they're gonna have anything or not. So, I just think that's interesting as well, and I do think that people are getting their vendors selected earlier across the board with photographers and everything. I just think, yeah, if you know who you want, I think you should get on it because there's a lot of competition for the dates and everything.
Shannon: Right. We've noticed a lot of late ... Even like last October, we were getting July, August, September wedding inquiries, and we were like, "Okay." Where's my spring brides? We need something in the front of the year.
Kim: And now we're finally starting to get some of those.
Shannon: Yeah, that's kind of strange.
Kim: I think it just goes through a cycle. Some people ... You'll get a whole bunch of I-need-you-next-months and then you'll get a whole bunch of I-need-you-in-two-years, so yeah.
Kate: I think that it's a good trend to see people booking farther out more now, and I think part of what's happened in the past is that couples are under the impression that they have to pay everything upfront right away. There's not a lot of information about how you're going to pay for and what kind of things should you be budgeting and are there payment plan options. There's not that information on the web about educating brides on there's payment plans. You're gonna put down a deposit. You're not gonna pay the whole thing upfront. So, I've found a lot of brides have literally thought that they had to pay me the moment they booked me for the entire services, so that's deterred them from booking me as soon as they wanted to, and they've missed dates because of it. So, I think that they are now seeing that, okay, people do offer payment plans. People do offer that there's a deposit. I'm not paying the $4,000 upfront, so it's kind of helping the trend improve a little bit.
Kim: So, you would say that's a mistake that people make during the wedding planning process?
Kate: I think that that's a mistake from the industry side, that we haven't educated our brides well.
Cricket: So, it would be a great podcast.
Kate: You heard it here first.
Cricket: It is a unique one. I think the finances are something in any business, or even in shopping as a bride or as a couple, it's almost the ... Of course, you want to do the fun part first, then the finance part is later.
Shannon: We're doing a series with all the glossary of wedding words, and we haven't got to the legal stuff yet. It's down the line.
Cricket: Oh, good.
Shannon: Like retainer fees and all that things. The difference between a retainer and a deposit and ...
Kate: Well, I think it would be good even just if more vendors were communicating that to brides, or even, hello, Bride Magazine. C'mon, write something about that instead of not feeding your photographers. Something helpful.
Kim: You're bitter about that, aren't you?
Kim: Okay, so, let's share our number one tips for wedding planning. That is a really good one, just to keep in mind that you don't have to have every penny for everything when you start out.
Alan: Head and shoulders, far and away, my best tip for any couple is to do a first look. It has so many implications for so many elements of their day. From a photography standpoint, they get a beautiful wonderful moment that they get to capture. From an intimacy standpoint, they get to share that moment together. Their portrait photos, if they take all their photos before, are all better, and none of us even gets to the stuff that I care about as a DJ. I want your evening to go great. I want your reception to go great. I want you to spend as much time as you can with your guests. If you delay that, if you delay your photography until after your ceremony and your guests are waiting around, now two hours instead of an hour, for your reception to begin, you've really wasted some precious time that you could have with these guests who've come from many different places and will never be under that same roof again. So, I strongly advise any couple to do that.
Reid: I agree with that for video as well. It's a great moment, and I'm sure the photographers appreciate that, too.
Kim: There's probably something that you sometimes have to do in between, like at sunset or whatever, but do yo prefer doing it before?
Kate: I would say, "yes," because I like to not be rushed, because what happens is that no matter what ... It doesn't matter if there is a receiving line or if the parents or gonna do something or if there's a cocktail hour or anything like that, something happens. You also have to sign your documents, and then afterwards, you now have to take every single photo and mom is over talking to Aunt Grace, and she can't walk away because Aunt Grace doesn't have her hearing aids in, and there's something ... It always happens. I also don't want to not be able to get those photos of you interacting with your guests. I would much rather have you guys go into your party because that's part of why I'm here, too, to get those candids, not just all the posed.
Kim: So, does the first look take away from when the bride's walking down the aisle?
Kate: Oh, goodness no. I'll say this from my own standpoint: we did a first look when we got married, which was just less than five years ago. Josh cried. He will tell you he didn't, so nobody believe him because he did. He cried. I have photos to prove it. So, and Josh cried. But then, when we got to the head of the aisle ... I was bawling the entire way down the aisle, and, literally, everyone disappears. As soon as you see your spouse at the end of the aisle, everyone else goes away. I couldn't even tell you what my officiant was wearing that day. It was so strong of an emotion because we'd already had that time to connect beforehand. I actually feel like it made it stronger.
Kim: That makes sense.
Reid: Yeah, we did a first look and I still sobbed, so ... But, we also got that great ... For ours, we wanted to incorporate our little dog into it, so we did the first look. I had the dog, and she came up, and so that was-
Reid: Rosie. So, that was a nice moment that we had that was separate, and then obviously then you have the ceremony kind of first look again in front of everybody, but I think it's cool. I mean, you get to do it twice, then, basically, and I do think you get some more similar but different emotions both times.
Kim: Because those are some of my favorite photos was when the groom sees his bride coming right down the aisle, and his eyes are like ... He's either tearing up or he's like, "Yeah."
Alan: I think one of the things that you don't necessarily hear about is that from a groom's standpoint, there's a lot going on in his head while he's up there. Am I standing in the right place? How is everything coming together? And all those kind of things, and then typically everybody stands up for the bride, so there's a chance that he doesn't even get to see her right away.
Shannon: Especially if you have cell phones in the way.
Kim: Don't go there.
Shannon: Okay. Sorry.
Kim: Is he thinking ... I just can't imagine what he's thinking. Is he like, "Where is she? Why is it taking so long?" I mean, there's gotta be a ton of things going through his head. But, as a girl, we're probably like, "Oh, he's probably just like, 'Uh huh, look at me,'" kind of thing, you know? But I know not all guys are like that.
Shannon: Cricket, do you have a tip for us?
Cricket: I do, actually. Since Kate and Alan both mentioned timelines, and Kate kinda mentioned being rushed and things like that, our ... At The Lookout Lodge, one of our biggest tips, which actually there's kind of two because they go hand-in-hand, is planning. So, we have an in-house planner, but we also recommend if you don't hire her, you hire some type of planning. Planners can be ... On the high end, they can be average. You know, the price range is ... You can find a good planner at any price range, and it depends on the services you want, how much planning you want. But, really our number one recommendation is, and we heavily recommend it, is that you have something, someone in particular, and it isn't usually Aunt Betty, someone not in your family because they also wanna be able to enjoy the wedding. They don't want to be involved, necessarily, in the wedding process. They wanna be there for you. They want to remember your special day. You want them to remember your special day.
So, our number one tip that coincides with that, too, is your planner will also help you stay on budget. Actually, we don't call it budget. We call it spending plan. So, your spending plan coincides with your planner. Your planner, of course, affects your spending plan. Those are kind of our two big tips.
Shannon: That's our number one tip, always, when we talk about planning or anything like that. Always hire a planner. I even tell my brides when we do consultations with the floral business, I say, "Do you have a planner?" "No, we're gonna do it ourselves." I say, "I highly recommend at least a day-of coordinator."
Cricket: Right? And day-of is absolutely. If you aren't going to have someone follow the whole process, at least have the day-of. And, not because you're preparing necessarily for any mishaps, but it's mostly to ... Like Kate said, "Do you want to get all the photos that are planned?" As a photographer or even a DJ or video or any of those things, or even doing the chalkboards, when do those arrive? When does the venue open actually for your vendors to arrive? Things like that, your planner will know, and then you don't miss anything after the whole day, the whirlwind is over.
Reid: I can't strongly advocate enough for getting a planner or at least a day-of coordinator, because otherwise your photographer ends up being your planner or you DJ ends up being your coordinator, or video ... You're not paying them for that. You're paying somebody to take photos for the eight hours. You're paying your DJ. I mean, we had one where my wife actually came and helped out, and they just had hundreds and hundreds of decorations. And, basically the people that were with the venue didn't feel like doing it that day because I'm sure that they weren't whatever. It wasn't part of the contract. My wife spent hours that day, while we're getting the dress on and doing all this stuff, putting up the decorations for them. I told her, I said, "You know, if you weren't here, I don't know what would've happened. I don't know what would've happened with that cake table or any of these decorations."
It's one of those things that you learn afterwards, and I think a lot of couples would say if they didn't have one that they wished ... I can't advocate that strongly enough.
Shannon: I can remember times where I've had to set up tables 'cause our timeline was back, because the tables weren't set up, the linens weren't put on or anything like that. So, I'm sitting there setting up tables, putting down linens and things like that to put the flowers on there because I have to go. I would strongly suggest a coordinator.
Kim: It's not like vendors don't want to help. It's just that it's not their job. So, if you have a coordinator or a planner, that's their job, and they can make it work and have it ready. I feel like, as a vendor, it's so much nicer to work on a wedding when there's somebody there to coordinate it all.
Shannon: Question. Do you have questions? That's your go-to person.
Kim: Yeah. "Where does this go? Where's the bride? Where do I drop these off?" It's just so much easier.
Ginger: I was gonna add, too, because I tend to be more on that décor side ... I've decorated for a lot of weddings and things, and it always takes so much longer than you think it should. So, when you're trying to do everything yourself, you don't take that into consideration a lot of the time. To get all those little tweaks just right, to make it look perfect, it takes a long time, so you really do need to have someone coordinating all of that to get it off your plate.
Kim: Okay, worst mistakes you guys have seen.
Shannon: Didn't hire a planner.
Kim: Right? Number one.
Kate: Buying their flowers two days beforehand then deciding they're going to make them the morning of the wedding as everyone's trying to get ready.
Kim: I'm gonna comment on that.
Kate: Well, no, because I've literally had to play florist at weddings, and I suck at flowers. I'm straight up ... I'm awful. I cannot do it to save my life, but if it's the only thing that's gonna make your wedding actually have flowers, I'm gonna do it. But, you cannot DIY flowers on the morning of your wedding. It's hard to DIY flowers anyways. If you've never touched a floral stem at all, don't try it.
Kim: Or keeping them hydrated.
Kim: "I'm gonna order them from Costco and not put them in water."
Shannon: Alright, next.
Reid: My biggest one would be educating your guests about the order of events following the ceremony, which Alan's very good at doing, or your DJ should ... We had a wedding where the ceremony got done early, the food wasn't ready, the bar wasn't open, and we went outside to do portraits and came back in, and literally half the guests have left and gone home because they just thought it was over. I don't know what that ... I won't give any insights into what they were thinking there or how weddings work in general, but it's because they didn't know what was going on and they didn't know that the food was delayed or that the drinks, or what they should be doing. And, I think that if you're planning you're wedding and you think that's really apparent, "Oh, well, they're just gonna know to figure it out and they'll just whatever," and people don't. You need to have somebody, whether it's your DJ or the coordinator, somebody with the venue telling them what is going on and what should be coming up next.
Alan: This is a very specific one, but not communicating with the people who are going to be giving toasts. Every year, I go up to at least one or two parents and I say, "Hi, I'm Alan. I'm here to talk to you about the toast that you're gonna give in a few minutes," so I can prepare them on where to stand and how to hold the mic and things. "Oh, I'm giving a toast?" The look of horror on their face is so disappointing, and I feel so bad for them. This is an opportunity for them to get to speak at their child's wedding, and the couple could have made that so nice by communicating, and by making sure that the parent wanted to give a toast, and helping figure out how it's all going to be set up, and how it's going to work, and where everybody's going to stand. I think toasts at a wedding done well are a big, big highlight, and they're a big deal. It's a very big honor to speak at somebody's wedding. So, I really think that everyone who is going to be giving a toast should be talked to in advance and have that commitment from them, and make sure they know what your expectations are.
Kim: That's a good one. And, like you said, very specific. But, sometimes you don't even think about that. You think, "Oh, my parents are gonna do it." That's not a big deal.
Shannon: "I don't have to ask them. They're gonna know they're gonna do it."
Kim: But, again, it's kind of like a production. You've gotta let everybody know who's gonna be a part of it, what they're doing and when.
Shannon: That's a good segue into hiring a planner, which we don't have one here today.
Kim: We don't.
Shannon: She couldn't come.
Alan: Reid didn't pay me to say this, but I would say another big mistake is not considering videography. I believe the stats are 1 in 7 couples around here do.
Reid: I know the 79% that regret.
Alan: Yeah. How much would you value the opportunity to see your parents' wedding video? The extent to which you can ... You've got so many talented professionals in this area, the best of whom is obviously sitting to my left, that can really add a whole nother dimension to documenting your day. I think sometimes couples don't think through that decision. If you make a conscious decision, if you interview some videographers, and you decide that's not for me, I think that's fine. But, the idea that so many people don't even interview a videographer, don't even research it, don't even think about it, is something that they would absolutely potentially regret down the road.
Shannon: Yeah. I think it's because they don't really know what they do. They don't ... They think, "Oh, it's gonna be a video of my wedding," but it's a movie. It's a cinematic art piece of what you do. You have music and all this mood lighting and all this kind of stuff in your videos, and it's great. But-
Kim: It's not like back in the day with somebody holding a big clunky VCR-sized thing, and then just, "Okay, here's your wedding video."
Shannon: Like my wedding video.
Kim: It's not like that anymore.
Cricket: I can attest first hand to not hiring a videographer because when I got married twenty years ago, it was my father. My husband actually had contracted out a helicopter to land at our wedding, and till this day ... That was when VHS tape. The box is empty, and so it's a very funny family, I guess, joke for us. The box is empty. There's no VHS tape in there of our video of the helicopter landing. We have about three photos of it, and that's about it. We do have the memory, but I would have loved to have watched the video.
Reid: We have a lot of younger couples ... I've had a lot of younger couples this year that, yeah, I don't think necessarily have that long-reaching thought process of, "Oh, this would be really nice." We had a couple earlier this summer, really young, like 20, and they were so just amazing. They were really sweet and cute and just funny, and we finally got to the reception, and they're just out there dancing, and there was maybe only 12 people on the dance floor, and they're doing their thing. I just said, "Let the camera roll." For like 20 minutes, just them messing around and playing around, and I just thought, "Man, in 40 years, how amazing." Even just that. Set aside the video and the editing and all that. Just to be able to show your kids, your grandkids, "Man, look at us out there. Weren't we goofy?"
Shannon: We were young. What was that music?
Reid: Just these children messing around. I don't think that people have the ... To not even look into it, I think is ... Alan said, it's a great point ... If you decide that that's not for you, then obviously-
Shannon: That's fine.
Reid: I have plenty of friends that get married, and we do their weddings. I have plenty of friends who get married, and I don't video their wedding. But, I do think you need to make that conscious choice.
Kate: I think a lot of times, people believe if they hire a photographer, they don't need a videographer, and that is so not true. Sadly, I know a lot of people, even that are photographers, that will tell you not to hire videographer, and I think ... There's more that we don't wanna go into on why, but if you can find an amazing videographer, hire them.
Shannon: I get the, yes, your photos portray an emotion, but they get that behind-the-scenes-
Kate: It's a totally different emotion. Yeah, my photos can evoke you to cry, but not as much as a video of you actually moving.
Shannon: And speaking.
Kate: You'll remember every single moment that you're experiencing because you're watching yourself do it again. We do, always, we always, always recommend a videographer.
Shannon: So, the average wedding in the Snohomish and King County areas, this is 2015 status, this is not a 2016 because that hasn't came out yet, was $34,000. Do you think it will stay around the same? Do you think it's gonna be more?
Kim: What do you guys think?
Shannon: For 2017?
Cricket: I think weddings are a lot of times a direct reflection of just the economic culture around you. In this particular area, we are definitely in an upswing. I find when maybe the economy has gone down, that's when you do find a lot more DIY weddings, people incorporating friends and family to help. But, we are definitely in an upswing in real estate and just business. If you look at business figures in general, that, I think, is a huge reflection on when people want to celebrate. [crosstalk 00:40:55]
Shannon: The national average, I think it was 26, 26.5, somewhere around in there.
Kate: I could see the 34 for Snohomish. I think that's a little low for King, just from what I've seen myself.
Shannon: Well, that's an average. It was 35. 35.50 for King, and then it was 33 or something for Snohomish.
Kate: I do see it increasing, but I don't know that we'll see the increase yet. I think that if we get into second quarter, then we'll probably start seeing an upswing in that spending.
Shannon: I think everybody's kind of gun shy right now.
Kate: It tends to happen in an election year. We swing down and we stay down for a little bit, and then after inauguration day, it picks back up. That's just, that's trend. That happens in every single sector. So, I think that's where we're at.
Reid: As someone who got married in August, I'd say that figure's pretty spot-on. We had a couple favors that we called in. For the most part, I would say that's pretty spot-on.
Kim: Well, that's good to hear. At least we're not getting bad information. Money-saving tips. You guys got any?
Cricket: I think a great money-saving tip, and we actually do steer our couples to this, is don't skimp on your ... One of the things we always tell them not to eliminate are things like your photography, your videographer, a DJ. You know, any of the special things that make it ... Especially with chalkboard work that customize it. We think those things are great. But also, because I have catering experience, your catering ... You can make some huge money-saving budgeting decisions in catering. You don't have to have a baron of beef. You don't have to have the prime rib. You don't have to have a sit-down. We see a lot of a change to not using real dishes. There's great plastic, heavy-duty, saves you a lot of money in the catering part of it.
So, my biggest money-saving tip, and we always talk to couples about, is in your catering. Rolls are cheap, and your caterer in general. You don't have to hire the caterer that has a bunch of the kale and the huge elaborate dishes. Presentation? The people don't remember that. Your guests don't usually remember that. They remember that they were full when they're done. They usually don't pick apart if it's salmon or chicken, or the baron of beef. Like I said, it's a great money-saving tip. When you make decisions in catering, go with pasta.
Kim: You're probably gonna get a lot more people liking pasta than you will salmon or the baron of beef or whatever.
Ginger: So, I would say, because I didn't really share very much with the tips and everything, but I think that if you can actually work with a designer to do an invitation that really is along the lines of who you are, really kind of capturing that, you may end up saving money in the long run. Some of it, it depends on how many guests you have. I've recently been working with a group on getting an invitation together for a big event, and they were looking at Etsy for some invitations that they liked. You are paying them for design, which you could also be paying a graphic designer or somebody that can work with you and make it even more specifically about you. Because the ones on Etsy, they've designed to be kind of run-of-the-mill for everybody. Often, they'll plug in your information, but you still have to get it printed. So, you still have to get nice paper. You still have to get the printing done and all of that, so a lot of the times, working with your designer can help, can be even less expensive than doing that online aspect of things.
Reid: We worked with a person for our invitations, and she did our chalkboards and everything, and that was, by far, one of the best decisions we made of really feeling like we got our money's worth out of it but then really personalizing. Everything for our wedding had that same look and feel, and that was something even our guests, which you hope that they'll appreciate ... Everybody came back and said, "We love your invites. We love the place cards. We love all that stuff." So, I would say that it's a really good-
Ginger: Yeah, because then you're person can take all those little things they've already designed and put them to be place cards or different ... Even on a napkin if you wanted to do that. There's a lot of different ways that you can incorporate all those fine details together to make it look put together.
Reid: Even your thank you cards. We did just, from start to finish, everything up.
Shannon: Make everything cohesive.
Kim: We like that.
Alan: I'd echo that. That was some great ideas from Cricket and Ginger and Reid. The other things that I would say, off the top of my head, pick a date that is not a Saturday in July, August, or September. If you are willing to get married on a Friday or a Sunday, or sometime October through June even, you put yourself in a little bit better position to get the vendors that you want. Venues, in many cases, will have a different, lower pricing structure. Your guest count, if you can limit that even by 10% or so ... Think about who are the courtesy invites? Who are the people that you really feel connected to, that you feel like you'll want to have been at your wedding 5 or 10 years from now? Or, people that you don't think you will. If you can bring that down a little bit, your costs go down pretty dramatically.
Then overall, big picture, have a discussion about what your priorities are. That's a great thing to do with your impending spouse anyway, but from a budgetary standpoint, you should have agreement on the décor is important to me, the food is important to me, the location is important to me, the first Saturday in August is important to me, the quality of the reception is important to me. Whatever it is, think about those things and be prepared to pay market price. Be prepared to spend what it takes to get that.
But, if there are things that are low on your priority list, not in your top five or whatever, those are things that you can perhaps spend less on or even eliminate.
Reid: I would say being aware of your date, and, exactly, like a Saturday in August. My wife wanted to get married August 6th, so we knew that our vendors and everything would be booked up, so we booked everything 13 months up. Yeah, if you wanna get married on a Sunday ... I've done them on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Shannon: It's like Wednesdays.
Reid: It's a great day to get married [crosstalk 00:47:54].
Kim: Like a hashtag: Wednesday Wedding Day.
Shannon: Wednesdays! During the summer, we have nothing in the week. You want a Wednesday wedding? I'll give you a discount. Ask your vendors for that. You want a weekday wedding? Would you give me a discount for it? Most likely, most of them will say, "Sure," because they want the business during that week that they have nothing else to do.
Alan: Sometimes it can be a sneaky strategy to select the Sunday of Memorial Day or Labor Day, because that Monday is still going to feel like a weekend. Look at what the 4th of July falls on in a given year, and that may also be an opportunity to find a date that isn't a pure Saturday but might feel like a Saturday to your guests.
Cricket: I agree with Alan on that, especially the guest count and the day that you pick. At The Lookout Lodge, we do have a price break or just a variation in prices for ... Saturday, of course, is your premium, and most venues do charge for that premium. But, a Monday through Friday, we have a great package that's 50 guests or less ... You can go a little over 50, but of course, it's not that premium Saturday price. Sunday, also, is a different price, so that's a huge money-saving tip.
Kate: I would also say, to go off onto something else that you can save money on is rentals. You don't have to buy everything that you want for your wedding. There's tons of rental companies, especially in the Seattle area, that have all that décor. They have plates, they have cups, they have silverware, for goodness sake. They have all the fun stuff that you're seeing in Michael's and Hobby Lobby right now that you would love to buy but it's $30 for a vase. You can probably rent it for your wedding for, like, $5, $10. So, that's another huge save is just make sure that you can rent as much as possible. You do not have to purchase it. Not only that, but where are you gonna store all this stuff that you just bought.
Cricket: A lot of times, venues, our venue, also does our own personal rentals. We have just private rentals of some table cloths, some different tables, a little bit of décor, so ask your venue as well.
Kim: And your flower vendor. Probably not your DJ.
Cricket: I think another one, real quick, I'll add too is your cake. I'm a big advocate of cake and desserts, but I have yet to see an entire made cake, full-size five-tier cake, that everybody cuts and everybody gets a piece of. What we usually see is a really cute custom cake for the couple, very intricately detailed, small, big enough for them to have five or six slices, and then Costco sheet cakes.
Kim: Yup. I was about to say that if you weren't going to. I was like, "Go, do the sheet cake in the back. No one's gonna know the difference."
Kate: Even do a mix of cake and other desserts, because I cannot tell you how many weddings I go to that they have over 100 pieces still left on the table at the end of the night. So, you're just wasting ... I mean, a lot of people don't even necessarily eat cake anymore. They want the other desserts. They want the pies.
Kate: Yes, cookies. Donut bar. There's so many options now.
Kim: Donut wall. [crosstalk 00:51:05]
Kate: Do a cake for yourself, yes, because it's gorgeous. But, use other desserts, too.
Alan: The other thing that I would say, if you like the texture and the flavor of a cake, think about a cupcake, because you can put boxes on the table and, instead of Cricket having to throw away 100 servings of cake-
Cricket: Which would never be done. I'd eat it.
Alan: ... you can give boxes to your guests, and they can take those cupcakes home and have a little dessert.
Kim: That's right. I think that's a great tip. In lieu of favors, you could do that.
Ginger: And, for your business, make sure you have that little logo on the box. Take it home and go, "Mmm, where did I get this cupcake from?"
Kim: Yes. Yes. We are anti-favor people here.
Shannon: Kim and I are. I just think they're useless, and that's a money-saving tip.
Ginger: Unless they're cupcakes, or something good like that. That's great.
Shannon: But no one really wants a candle.
Kate: Most people do leave their favors there. I mean, they're great photographically. I love them photographically because it's interesting, but, honestly, most people don't even ... I mean, if s'mores are your favor and you have a s'mores bar outside, yeah, they're use that. But, that's because it's an immediate consumption. They don't wanna take anything home.
Kate: Or they'll forget.
Cricket: We've seen the ideas where someone had a chalkboard sign ... What did it say? "Don't be blinded by our love," and they gave away sunglasses. That was cute. So, it wasn't necessarily a throw-away favor. They used them during the ceremony and the event.
Kim: Yeah, yeah. If they're useful, we're pro that. We're pro-useful. I guess that could be another tip is don't spend your money on favors.
Shannon: I mean, you're paying for their dinner. You're paying for their drinks. They're here for you. You're not here for them. That's what [crosstalk 00:52:56].
Kim: It's not a birthday party.
Kate: Well, and it's just don't spend money on things that you feel like you have to spend money on. If it's something that Mom is pushing, and she's pushing because it's something that she had at her wedding, really sit down and, like Alan said, have that discussion with your significant other because this is the day that is to tell your love story. Find something else that you can make Mom happy with. There's always a compromise. We're not gonna sit here and say, "Hey, don't do this because Mom wants it." No, we're gonna say, "Find something else that you can give to her that isn't such a big dea."
Shannon: Bring back the Jordan Almonds. Reid's like, "What are those?" [crosstalk 00:53:37]
Kim: Does anybody have any predictions for the 2017, or is it gonna be a lot of the same?
Cricket: I think one of the things we've seen, or predictions I guess, is they will continue with the move away from a formalized church, inside a reception hall, keeping it all natural. But, what we've seen, too, is a real trend to a green wedding. So, really, no styrofoam, nothing being thrown away, trying to reuse as much as you can, not wasting so much, and minimal décor. I guess I'm biased because of my venue, but there is minimal decorations sometimes, especially in a natural setting. You don't need to spruce up the entire outside. It's beautiful already, especially if it's a beautiful, sunny day. So, that's one of the trends, I think anyway, is continuing if not already started.
Kim: Yeah. When they do, for us, use floral in their ceremony, and then they use it in their reception also. So, that seems like a pretty ... I'm sure it will continue, right?
Shannon: You mean moving the floral from the ceremony to the reception?
Cricket: Yeah, reusing.
Shannon: But, I've seen ... Because a Wedding Trend report came out yesterday and they say it's going to be streamlined. They say it's going to be more industrial and clean lines this year. And, of course, with the color of the year being greenery, there's going to be lots of organic feeling things. They say it's going to be greenery plus pops of flowers. It's not gonna be like those big balls of flowers that are sitting in the middle of the table. You're going to have pops of color in there.
Kim: Which we've seen a lot of those start happening. Lots of greenery on the tables with just a little bit of flowers here and there, and that's about it, really.
Alan: One trend that I like that I expect to see continue is an increased fReidom in who's in your wedding party with regard to genders. I often see people who have ... A gentlemen, a groom has his sister as part of his wedding party, or a good friend who happens to be of different genders. Certainly with same-sex marriages, it's nice to be able to include your friends regardless of what gender they are. I think we'll see more of that.
Cricket: I think pets also. We've actually had a lot of requests for pets, and because of it, we of course changed our policies. I am a big fan of having Rover in your wedding. So, yeah, a lot more pets in the wedding, which I just think makes for adorable pictures and actually adorable stories.
Kim: Do you ever have deer and stuff kind of wander through during weddings?
Cricket: Interesting enough, they come out after, and I haven't quite decided if it's for, well-
Kim: The food.
Cricket: Yeah, and we have-
Alan: 100 pieces of cake.
Cricket: The cake, yes. We had a bear. Yes, we had a bear come by for some cake. I've always kept that on the down-low, but I guess now I'm [crosstalk 00:56:54].
Kim: Well, if they're not there during the wedding ...
Kim: There's too many people around.
Cricket: Yes, the wildlife ... And, it's funny you mention that because a few times after a cleanup of a wedding, I've always felt actually kind of good with the little crumbs and stuff left, and it sounds kind of strange, but I watched a little squirrel one time come several times to grab this little burlap piece of string. I thought, "You know what? I'm doing my part."
Kim: He's making his nest.
Cricket: Right, for the winter. So, I guess along the lines of keeping it natural ...
Kim: And green, yeah, definitely.
Shannon: So, is there anything else, do you wanna add?
Kate: I would say that a trend that I'm noticing is that our traditional busy time of year is not necessarily what it used to be in years past. It's not just sticking from June to September. I have two weeks off right now, and that's the biggest break I've had since last January. So, I would say that a lot of couples are more willing to get married at any time of the year. We do have a lot of really awesome venues, though, that are opening up their space that would not traditionally be a venue, for those winter weddings. So, I think that that's a trend that we'll continue to see is that Seattle is moving away from our normal pseudo-summer, and being willing to get married and embrace the rain.
Reid: Something that I hope to continue ... Most of our weddings lately have had couples do their own vows for the ceremony, and I think a lot of people take that for granted, but a lot of couples don't do that. Then, people look at the videos and stuff, and they wonder, "Oh, well, how come all these videos don't have the vows in them?" And you go, "Oh, it's because they didn't write them." I don't care if it's five minutes before the ceremony or six months before the ceremony, but I think even just a couple lines of something that you wanna say to your husband or wife or whoever that's not necessarily by the officiant, I think is really important both for you and for the guests to hear and obviously be in the video and everything later.
Kate: Have you seen this lately? I had a lot of couples that will actually ... Because they can't do their own vows during the ceremony because it's just something our officiant doesn't offer, they will do their own vows at their first look, and I am loving that. That is such an intimate thing, because they also ask us to make sure that no one is watching, and then they recite their personal vows to each other privately. I'm gonna cry, sorry. But, it's seriously such an emotional thing. So, if you can't, if you don't have that option to do them in front of everybody, do them for the first look, especially if you have your videographer there.
Reid: We can set up the camera and walk away. Just to know that they exist because you can't make that up after the fact.
Kim: That's why I couldn't say my vows because I bawl. I'm a bawl bag. There's no way I could even say them.
Reid: We had a bride that her ... I think it was her bridesmaid had to read it during the ceremony.
Kim: That was a good idea.
Reid: Still, she was just ... She broke down. It happened and it's still there, and it [crosstalk 00:59:59].
Kim: What a good idea. I never would've thought of that, have somebody else read your vows. That would have been a good idea.
Shannon: Alright, well, we want to thank you for coming today, and we want to know where our listeners can find you. So, Alan?
Alan: Puget Sound DJ is my company name, and you can type that into any search engine.
Reid: Best Made Videos, Bestmadevideos.com, or Bestmadeweddingvideos.com. We're on all the social medias.
Cricket: We are The Lookout Lodge, and you can find me at Thelookoutlodge.com.
Kate: GSquared Weddings, and you can type that in to everything as well.
Ginger: I have Chalk Ink Style, and I have Chalkinkstyle.com, or I'm on Facebook and Instagram with @chalkinkstyle.
Kim: Awesome. Well, before we go, is there anything that you guys wanted to ask us? Since we've always been asking you guys, if there was anything you guys wanted to ask us, it's your time.
Kate: What has been the best part of doing this podcast for brides for you?
Shannon: I think it's the ... When we get comments or reviews on our iTunes reviews and stuff like that, and they tell us that we've helped them so much in their choices. Like we said earlier, it makes us fan girl squeak, so that's one of my favorite things.
Kim: Yeah, that and getting to know all of you guys has been really cool, because we're transplants, we don't know anybody here, we didn't grow up here. It's really nice getting to know other people that live here that are kind of in the same industry as we are, and we value their opinions. As well as getting the feedback. That's always number one.
Cricket: What's one of your favorite podcasts that you've done?
Reid: Besides this one.
Cricket: Or, I guess your favorite or what has gotten you the most response?
Shannon: We had Phuong Nguyen of P.M.N. Dream Dresses, and she's been our largest podcast. She has our most listens. She did the interview, I didn't.
Kim: Yeah, it was one of our first ones.
Shannon: But, and it's so random. I'm like, "Why is this one ... Oh, and this one and this one our biggest shows?" They have nothing to do with each other, but the trends shows are good ones.
Kim: Yeah, the trends shows, those are really popular. I'm trying to think of my favorite show and it's really hard to pick. Gosh, I really like the trends shows myself, actually. When we find out what's coming up and the new dresses and the colors and all that. That's probably one of my favorite is the trends.
Alan: What do you see as the changes in the use of technology for couples in planning their weddings? Obviously, a generation ago, nobody was listening to podcasts, and you're instrumental in helping create that as a wedding tool. Are there other things that you see out there?
Shannon: Everything's online now. They want it now. They'll contact you through any kind of social media. They want everything online, and so they don't have to sign any papers or anything like that. That's what we've noticed in the trends. We try to accommodate that with our business, with the floral business as well as here, as well.
Kim: So, I think podcasts are really ... And we're not the only wedding planning podcast out there, so you've got tons of information coming at you from different places. I do think podcasts absolutely is a really good and upcoming and useful tool for planning your weddings. Like Shannon was saying, everything being online. So, with our floral business, you can go in and fill out our stuff and it sends us an email. It automatically sends an email that says, "Let's set up a consultation," and it really keeps it going because, like she said, automatically you wanna get a result, an answer, something to let you know that, hey, these people are listening to me and they're gonna get back to me. Instead of days go by and then, "Oh, I just saw your email" kinda thing.
I really do think if there's some way that you can make sure your website, like Cricket was talking about, is compatible with all kinds of phones and tablets, and that's something we have learned is ... We went to Wedding MBA, we learned some stuff. Tablets and phones, and make sure it loads quickly and things like that are just, especially for the vendors, for the people in business, that's what you want. You don't want anything to slow anything down. I think that's where it's going, and I think at some point, there's probably not gonna be any in-person consultations anymore. It's all gonna be Facetime or Skype. There's still gonna be those people that like the paper and like the face-to-face, but I think a lot of the newer generation people really like technology, online.
Shannon: It's that instant gratification thing.
Kim: Right? We all have our phones. We can answer and ask Siri and Cortana and all those people, Alexa, for all of it and get an answer right away. So, I think maybe even, I don't know if you've ever seen those "Ask me a question I'm here" things on the websites where you can just click on that and ask a question. Somebody's right there to answer you. That's a good idea, too.
Kate: You mentioned trends. Can I ask what are your favorite ways to learn about the trends?
Shannon: Yesterday, I was with the North American Planning Academy. They came out with the 2017 trend report, and they had many different specializations in there talking about what's coming up and things like that, like Dave Tutera and many different wedding planners and things. So, my favorite source is, of course, the web. We search. Every time we have a podcast, we sit here and we search and research.
Kim: A lot of the big wedding ... Like The Knot and Brides, even Vogue, that kind of stuff, especially when you're talking about colors and stuff.
Kate: I think that it makes it hard to filter, though, through everything and try to deduce what is actually going to be the trends and be [crosstalk 01:06:25].
Kim: A lot of times, there's a lot of overlap.
Kate: Oh, good.
Kim: So then you see, "Oh, that's probably gonna be it." And then we ask our friends, too.
Shannon: Of course, some of our favorite shows are Wedding News and the things that are in the wedding, like the funny wedding stories or the bad wedding stories, like the Bridezillas and things that they've done. So, those are sometimes fun to talk about.
Reid: What's your biggest goal for the next 100 episodes?
Kim: Well, funny that you ask that, we are opening up to sponsorship. So, our goal is to try to get a sponsorship for all the shows. I know it's probably not gonna happen for every single show, but that's the goal for this year: sponsorship. And, of course, to grow and just keep on doing the same things we're doing and learning from our mistakes.
Shannon: What's our average listener per show now?
Kim: I believe we're at 350 per show for the first month. So, in the first month, I go back and I look, and it's about 350 downloads per show.
Shannon: Then it grows from there. Hopefully, we can grow that way to actually make money. That would be awesome.
Ginger: That would be great. That's a good goal, yeah.
Kim: It's giveaway time. Our friend, Kate, from Gsquared Weddings wants to give away a special prize to one of our listeners. She wants to give away a free engagement session and a 16X20 print. All you have to do is go to fromringtoveil.com/100 and fill out the giveaway form. Hopefully, you'll be the winner.
Thank you guys for joining us today. We hope you enjoyed our round table discussion with some of our best friends, our From Ring to Veil best friends.
Shannon: We are so excited to get on with the next season here at From Ring to Veil. We have all new shows, new wedding professionals, and new topics coming up.
Kim: Oh yes, we've got some really good things. So, we're gonna talk about destination weddings, we have some more wedding word glossaries to share with you. We have a very special guest coming on to talk about what it's like to be a professional bridesmaid and tell you what it's like as a bridesmaid at the wedding.
So, stay tuned or subscribe, which would be a better thing to say, so that you don't miss any of these. These are just some of the topics that we have. If you have any topics for us, please, please let us know. We're on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter. Info@fromringtoveil.com. Let us know what you want us to talk about.
Shannon: And, until next time, no stress, no worries. Keep calm and listen on.