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Old December 10th, 2013, 02:14 PM   #16
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

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Originally Posted by Max Palmer View Post
I dunno about U.K. weddings (maybe you guys dance like crazy as soon as the reception starts), but I end up waiting to get good dance shots later in the night because a lot of receptions don't heat up until the drinks have been flowing for a while. .
Well, for us it seems the average time for first dance is about 9pm and with typical ceremonies being 12noon to 1pm the drink will likely have been flowing since 2-3pm. I think 7 hours is plenty ;)
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Old December 10th, 2013, 04:21 PM   #17
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

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Well, for us it seems the average time for first dance is about 9pm and with typical ceremonies being 12noon to 1pm the drink will likely have been flowing since 2-3pm. I think 7 hours is plenty ;)
May I ask what goes on for the seven hours til the dance?

Around here it's straight from the ceremony (4 or 5pm, usually) to the reception where dinner is served quickly, then the dance starts. 200 guests is pretty typical, but I often work weddings with 300 or more.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 05:24 PM   #18
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

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May I ask what goes on for the seven hours til the dance?
Typically (very rough and does vary)

09.00 onwards could be Bride and/or Groom then travel to church
13.00-13.45 Ceremony (could easily be 12noon, so bring things forward an hour or so)
13.45-14.15 B+G greet guests and photos at and around the church
14.15-14.45 Travel to reception venue (assuming it's church + venue)
14.45-16.30 Official Photos & reception while guests are served drinks and canapés
16.30 Receiving line (B+G meet all the guests as they enter the wedding breakfast)
17.00 Bride & Groom enter
19.00 Speeches - typically father of the bride, the groom, best man
20.00 Generally a little bit of a lull where everyone goes to freshen up or have more drinks. Depending on the venue they may 'turn the room around' ready for the evening
21.00 First Dance
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Last edited by Dave Partington; December 10th, 2013 at 05:52 PM. Reason: edited to add B+G prep
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Old December 10th, 2013, 05:40 PM   #19
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

For comparison, here's a normal video schedule round here. Bear in mind Sydney is sprawled out.

9.30-10.30: groom
10:30-11: travel to bride
11-12: bride
12-1: travel to ceremony
1-2: set up for ceremony
2-3:30: ceremony and congratulations
3:30-4:30: travel to photoshoot
4.30-5pm: photoshoot
5pm-5.30pm: travel to reception
5.30pm-6pm: set up for reception
6pm-6.30pm: canapés for guests
6.30pm: guests seated
7pm: bridal party entry
7pm-8:30pm: entrees and mains
8.30pm-9:15pm: speeches, cake cut, bridal waltz
9:15pm-11:15pm: general dancing
11:15pm-11:30pm: bouquet, garter, farewell arch
11:30pm: bridal party depart
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Old December 10th, 2013, 06:04 PM   #20
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

[2-3:30: ceremony and congratulations
.....
6.30pm: guests seated


Remind me never to be a guest at an Australian wedding. That sounds like the nearest thing to hell on earth :- ( Having survived a 1.5 hours ceremony its then a full three hours till you sit down and ANOTHER half an hour till you get fed and at the end of the meal you have to endure 45 minutes of speeches etc. How the heck do Oz couples get any guests to attend?

I know that Oz photographers have in the past been notorious for taking the couples off for two hour fashionista photoshoots - which they really ought to be doing on a separate day not the wedding day - and in the process leaving the guests high and dry. Gosh......

Anyway, my coverage whether its stills or video or both, usually ends shortly after the 1st dance and any accompanying parent dance (rare in the UK). The exception being that if there are special events later such as fireworks or a live band etc. Shots / clips you shoot half an hour after the 1st dance are not going to be a lot different to shots / clips you shoot 2 hours or three hours later. You are just repeating yourself for no good purpose. And - as I often point out to the couple - you risk antagonising the guests and wrecking the ambience if you're just shooting for the sake of it to fill the contracted hours. But when have videographers ever been aware of the effect of their own presence :- )

From a purely business viewpoint - although it may be an easy sell to say to prospective clients that you never watch the clock or that you are there to the bitter end - do consider the effect a late finish has on your ability to shoot a full wedding day the following day and the day after that. It can cost you a LOT of revenue.

p.s. I reckon Dave's UK timeline example is not that typical in that most weddings now take place in civil venues rather than in churches and there is no travel time or other lost time involved in having two or even three venues (including a getting ready venue. I've shot many civil weddings where the latter stages of getting ready through the ceremony, cocktail hour, formal photoshoot, and speeches (at the start of the wedding breakfast and no receiving line) has all fitted into little more than 4 hours. 2pm would be a more typical ceremony time than 1pm or 12pm; the earlier times tend to be in the winter when couples want to make maximum use of daylight, but others give up on that idea entirely and have a 4pm ceremony. Civil venues also mean that you don't have the multiple setting up and breaking down of equipment to deal with :- )

Pete
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Old December 10th, 2013, 06:24 PM   #21
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

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Originally Posted by Peter Riding View Post
p.s. I reckon Dave's UK timeline example is not that typical in that most weddings now take place in civil venues rather than in churches
Last year's weddings produced around a 60/40 split for civil / church, so yes 'most' were civil, but there were still a substantial number of church weddings.

Add to that a couple of the were civil followed by a blessing prior to the reception and things get a little more blurred because that really screws with the timing!

The civil weddings didn't run that much out as far as timing. Maybe a 2pm ceremony instead of 12 noon or 1pm, but they typically still sit down around 4:30pm - 5pm, so after that it doesn't make much difference.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 06:29 PM   #22
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Hi Pete

On the West Coast we are slightly better but still have a gap between ceremony and reception! Our norm here is the ceremony at 3:00pm or 3:30pm which runs for 20 -30 minutes and then congrats and normally group formal photos so the guests would often head back to the reception around 4:30pm and most venues supply pre-dinner drinks and "nibblies" at 5:30pm and then we have bridal entry at 6:00pm and dinner around 7pm which is fine ...speeches are after dinner at any sane wedding in Perth and the photog here is lucky to get an hour at the most to do not only formals but also take shots of just the bridal party.

They don't really starve here at all as their tummies are full by 7pm in the evening which makes speeches more bearable! I have however had some crazy weddings where we only ate at 9pm and as I recollect, the guests were pretty upset about that too!!

Chris
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Old December 10th, 2013, 09:10 PM   #23
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Over here in New York and New Jersey it is mostly like this:

Ceremony if at Church around 2-3 PM
After ceremony there is about 2 hours at the park or somewhere that they go to to kill time because reception does not start until cocktail hour 6 to 7 pm
and the main reception is always 4 hours till 11 or 12 PM
They ALWAYS cut the cake near the end, like an hour before the end.
You cannot talk anyone to cut that cake any earlier, or else.
The maitreD ALWAYS has to cut the 2 pieces for the couple and ALWAYS gets his big posterior in the way in front of the camera lens while doing so, always. You miss the cake cutting and you are toast.
Nobody leaves early here.

If the ceremony is at the reception then the same laws apply for the cake...near the end.
I remember very few weddings that the cake is cut early.
A typical ethnic wedding here, you sweat it out for 12 to 14 hour day mostly on your feet.
Do 3 of those back to back and on Monday you look like a zombie.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 09:16 PM   #24
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

I am moving to Australia.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 11:49 PM   #25
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Hi Arthur

If you are happy to shoot weddings in over 100degrees F then you will like it here!! It gets mighty hot down under!! It's 92 here at lunchtime and that's a mild day! This weekend will go close to 40 centigrade!!

Here they almost always cut the cake and go straight into the first dance which is around 9pm at worst. If it's a budget wedding and they use the cake as part of desert then it's cut as soon as they walk in around 6:30pm.

By leaving after the first dance the only thing I miss is the bouquet toss and nowdays brides rarely do the garter!

You would like ethnic Burmese weddings here!! The Church ceremony is a 1pm ..then photos and the reception starts at 4:30pm with at least 500 people ..they do the cake/dance and then feed everyone and the wedding is over by 7pm !!! Shortest receptions I have ever had!!

Chris
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Old December 11th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #26
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

It gets that hot eh ? You are welcome here, we just had some snow with icy road conditions and sub freezing temperatures. Last Sunday I started shooting at 8am as the bride wanted shots at the hairdresser salon with the bridesmaids, that meant I was out of bed at 5:30 to tackle the New York traffic. Here is what followed.
10:30 at the groom's house ( 1 hour drive)
12:30 at the bride's house ( another hour drive)
2 pm the ceremony at church begins
3:30 leave the church and go to the reception grounds to take some shots with the photog before the sun
sets and gets dark.
6 pm starts the nibbling hour, that's called cocktail hour here. Drinks and finger food.
7 pm the guests are seated and the fun begins, introduction of the bridal party
7:10 first dance followed by mother son and father daughter dance.
7:20 The toast, thank God it was short, start of the big supper.
7:30 all the way to 10 pm is nothing but blaring noise from the DJ ( that's why I'm deaf in one ear) and a
continuation of dancing to the same songs played by all the DJ's.
Snowing outside with icy road conditions at this time. Cars covered in white.
10:30 The Cake
10:40 Garter toss
10:45 The desert tables are brought out with a flaming cake they call Baked Alaska that has the maitreD
pouring alcohol over the blazing inferno while everyone is clapping and wowing the spectacle.
11:30 Guests start to leave, most of the Baked Alaska is still sitting on the table. Hardly anyone eats
the wedding cake as there is other better sweets to be had.
11:45 I say bye-bye to the couple and face the cold reality of the weather out there.
1:30 AM Home at last. Poured a double while laughing about that Baked Alaska.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 01:00 AM   #27
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Max Palmer View Post
I dunno about U.K. weddings (maybe you guys dance like crazy as soon as the reception starts), but I end up waiting to get good dance shots later in the night because a lot of receptions don't heat up until the drinks have been flowing for a while. There is often a lull between the first dance/speeches and dinner, with the cake cutting, garter/bouquet and crazy dancing happening later in the night. Around here, if I left after the first dance, I'd end up with a pretty unfulfilling video.

Maybe this is why my long forms are ending up around 2 hours.
^^^ this.

Maybe it is a US thing. Who knows. But for some couples the open dancing is their favorite part of the day so I give it equal weight to the rest of the day. I'll stay for a couple hours of dancing usually, especially if it's a big party wedding where I can see people are gonna drink and let loose. I may let my 2nd camera op go when the formalities are done. But like Max said, it gets "going" often a bit later sometimes. Plus, I know the couples appreciate us staying and having fun so it's good business. I'll end up with about 100-150 shots or so of dancing and cut a couple fun montages out of it for the full video and then about 1/4 of that for the Highlight video.

Where else am I gonna go? I tell couples I'm in no rush to leave and like Max said, if I left after the first dance I'd miss the real party and in my opinion that would make editing actually more difficult. So many times I'll stay til the end and something really awesome will happen and I instantly feel good about my decision to wait through those "slower" times when the dancing wasn't really happening.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 04:15 AM   #28
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

Hi Arthur

Yep it gets up to the low 40's (centigrade!!) here over Feb/March easily ..further North temps in the 50's are common and you can really and truly fry an egg on a hot rock!!

I know that working 8am to midnight means more money in your pocket but I find it's just too much and not worth the extra bucks! 6 -8 hours is my preferred time onsite and I'm not a zombie the next day!

Now and again I have back to back weddings (last week I had a Thurs/Fri/Sat run so imagine working your kinda hours for 3 days in a row ... doing just 6 hours a day was bad enough.

Chris
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Old December 11th, 2013, 08:40 AM   #29
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

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It gets that hot eh ? You are welcome here, we just had some snow with icy road conditions and sub freezing temperatures.
hahahahahahahahaha... you think it's cold in Jersey? Right this moment, it's -21F/-29C here in North Dakota/Minnesota. During work on a wedding this coming Friday it will be -5F/-21C. That is unusual, especially this time of year (coldest in January/February) but typical is still only 8F/-13C

At least we don't have traffic.
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Old December 11th, 2013, 08:43 AM   #30
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Re: What are you delivering in terms of reception dancing?

In Montreal, Canada, Greek, Italian, and Armenian weddings start very early and go way past midnight till 2 tp 3 am the following day. I remember doing those weddings and avoid 2 in a row.
I was called many times to handle the later part 8 to 2 AM after the video guy got tired and left early.
How about the delivered work being on 2 DVD's Part 1 and 2 for 4 hours of edited content ?
Seems crazy, but that stuff is still going on there.
Has anyone done any Macedonian weddings or Arabic ones that you MUST continually capture EVERY dance in it's entirety ? Where each song lasts like 1/2 hour and the next one immediately begins.
How about an Indian one that is seemingly never-ending ?
Doing an 8 hour wedding is a piece of cake compared to those.
In answering the OP's original question, I just include the main 3 dances ( couple, parents) and include no more than 3 or 4 where they are cut and mixed to be no more than 10 minutes.
I try to keep the final cut to less than 90 minutes, typically slightly more than an hour.
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