Do you have a family member or best friend that wants to put together a slideshow to present at your wedding? Have you thought about the logistics of showing one at your venue? There are many questions to ask yourself before you commit because it’s trickier than you would think. Besides just the logistics, there is usually a time and place to show a lovely wedding slideshow.
Logistical questions you should ask the place you want to show the slideshow:
- Do they have a screen to project the slideshow on?
- Where is the built-in screen placed/where would you put a movable screen?
- How large is the screen?
- Will the guests in the back of the room be able to see the screen?
- Will the sound from the video (music/live footage) come through the DJ/Band’s speakers or self standing speakers? If they won’t go through larger amplification, will your guests be able to hear from the back of the room?
- How will you play your slideshow? USB, CD, via email? If you need the internet, make sure to have that already pulled up before play time.
- Have you practiced playing the slideshow at your venue? Most likely, your venue rep will allow you to come in early to practice playing it. This way, you will be sure it should run smoothly.
- How is the lighting in the venue? It needs to be shown once the sun is set if there are windows, or in a room without much outside light.
The ugly truth though is not everyone cares to look through baby photos and a life story of both the bride and groom.
The most fitting time to show a slideshow is at your rehearsal dinner. Here are the reasons why:
- The people who care most about your “life story” is your closest family and friends. These are the people who will be at your rehearsal dinner. Does your dad’s work friends and distant cousins want to see photos of you and your partner?
- Your rehearsal dinner location has a higher chance of having in-house AV. If you chose to use a private room at a restaurant, most include speakers, a TV/screen, and input abilities (to insert a USB drive or CD). When you look through ALL the logistical questions above, think about if they are easier to answer at your rehearsal dinner compared to your wedding reception.
- Screens are intrusive if they are not built into the venue. If there is no “drop-down” screen, you will have to either have the screen pre-set in front of your guests (which takes away from the beauty of the room), or you will have to roll out a screen prior to showing which is slightly obnoxious.
- Having a slideshow during your reception is one more thing you have to worry about with the timing. It’s very important that the catering staff has a precise timeline so the food does not get cold, and if there are any mechanical errors with a slideshow, it could really throw things off.
Tips on how to properly construct a wedding slideshow:
- Make sure your photos are high-quality. Once blown up on a big screen, pictures easily become depixilated.
- Keep the video short! There is a point that every guest becomes bored. Not that they are bored with your relationship, but studies say people have less of an attention span than every before. We think the perfect slideshow does not exceed 5 minutes.
- Make sure both the bride and groom have an equal amount of showtime. It’s very awkward if the video is focused more on one side. Even if the groom’s mother made the video and she clearly wants the focus on her son, it’s just as much the bride’sday too, so share the love.
- Make sure there is music, and the music is appropriate for the crowd and setting. It’s alright to use slow songs (most people like to during baby photos), but don’t have “depressing” slow songs. It’s a joyous occasion so have the music match. On the other hand, we suggest shying away from “inapropriate party music”. Swearing in songs is not good, especially at a formal wedding or if children are in attendance.
- Make sure your slideshow is in chronological order. Starting from baby photos, going through the school years, college, when the couple met, and the “love story”. It will confuse people why the photos are shown otherwise.
- Balance out the family photos, friend photos, and selfies. Typically there are the most selfie photos when thinking of going through people’s childhoods. But once at the “grown-up stage” of the slideshow, try to balance out who you showcase. Your guests can only see so many sorority girl shots, or family christmas photos.
- Add in some funny pictures or videos! Everyone loves to laugh, so allow your guests to be engaged by throwing in embarrassing photos of you.
- If you want to add video footage, space that out between your photos. It’s a nice break of still shots.
Now, if you read this blog and still really want to show your slideshow on your wedding day, but agree it’s difficult to have it done during the reception, here in an option. Have the slideshow playing on repeat (with no sound!) during your cocktail hour. This will allow guests to watch as they please, but is not intrusive.
-The Effortless Events Team