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The Perfect Toast

What reception would be complete without a toast or two?

Unless your prospective toasters (most often parents, best man & maid of honor) are professional speakers, or in sales of some kind, they may feel pretty nervous (or even extreme anxiety) at the prospect of having to stand before the entire reception and be on the mic. Alone. With all of the focus on them.

In addition to watching countless toasts at Something New (they’re my favorite part of the reception!), I myself have been the best man at three weddings, and have had to deliver the Best Man toast on at least a few occasions. Here’s my tips for a terrific and memorable speech!

Keep is Short

If the idea of speaking gives you anxiety, this point may not be for you, as you’ll want to keep it as short as possible right from the get-go! But for those of us with the gift of gab: hear my words! Keep it short! A great format to keep you on track is to think of this run-down:

  1. Compliment the couple. If you can work it in, compliment them each respectively as well as together.
  2. Tell a joke, a memorable story or anecdote. This should tie-in with the couple, the day, or the bride/groom. If appropriate, roast the groom a little bit, but keep it PG (never roast the bride).
  3. Wish them well and show your support of their marriage.

Ideally your toasts should be no more than 5 minutes. Three minutes is probably the perfect length for a toast. Don’t believe me? Try sitting still and not doing ANYTHING for 3 minutes. Feels longer than you thought, right?

Kaitlin & Tyler’s Wedding Film has some great toast examples! From Something New Media on Vimeo.

You Cannot Fail

An important concept to remember when giving a toast is that this is the ONE speaking engagement you’ll have where you simply cannot fail. Yes, it’s a formal setting, but no one has paid to attend the event (and certainly not to see you as a headliner), and the bosses of the day (the couple) have your back 100%.

If you feel anxiety, that is 1000% normal. But it’s very important to remember that everyone in the room, and I mean everyone, wants you to do well.


Maria & Stephen’s Wedding Film is a great way to demonstrate how toasts really complete a wedding film! From Something New Media on Vimeo.

DO NOT READ OFF OF A SCRIPT!

Ok, so I know I’m probably going against some conventional wisdom here when I say this, but DO NOT WRITE YOUR SPEECH VERBATIM (word for word). There are a couple key reasons why you should NOT do this:

  • There is a big temptation to make the speech multiple pages (very long… i.e. too long).
  • You sound different (translation = stiffer) when you read a script, and most people sound less sincere while reading than when speaking extemporaneously.

If the prospect of speaking without paper in front of you is a bit too much, I would suggest making a few cards with bullet points on them to help you keep track of where you are in the speech (which again, should be short!). This approach helps with the problem of anxiety while keeping a heartfelt cadence to the toast. It also helps keep your shorter!

So those are some quick thoughts on giving toasts. At the end of the day, no matter what, it’s important to have a great time and to remember everyone else is there to have a great time too. Then make sure to have fun and enjoy the rest of the reception!

Make sure your toasts are captured – get in touch with us about our collections by e-mailing booking@somethingnewmedia.com or by giving us a call at 602-730-0478!

Sincerely,

James Lee

A Look on First Looks

The first time you see your spouse-to-be on your wedding day is a big moment. A huge moment. An emotional moment. And it is entirely up to you (and your wedding day) how it all goes down.

The. First. Look.

Those three words have a story in them. And despite what you might read in other articles, every single wedding has a first look – it’s just a matter of where and when it happens in the wedding day.

The Traditional First Look (AKA No First Look!)

Brooklyn & Tanner’s Wedding Film shows a sweet if not perfect traditional walk down the aisle!

OK, so it’s a bit of a misnomer, but it’s also 100% true. The traditional first look, of course, is when the groom sees the bride for the first time as she’s walking down the aisle in the wedding  processional. However, this should not be overlooked as anything other than a “first look!”

There are many pros to this approach.

First, it is the ‘more’ traditional approach, and for some couples, this tradition matters (specifically of the groom not seeing the bride before the processional because it is ‘unlucky’).

Second, the excitement and tensions of the day and anticipation of the moment culminate with a lot of (often nervous!) energy when the groom sees his beautiful bride for the first time as he himself is standing in front of his friends and family at the altar.

Finally, and on a more pragmatic note, waiting for the processional as the first look allows for more breathing room during the ‘getting ready’ part of the day.

The Modern First Look 

Allison and Jonathan’s Wedding Trailer shows off an unbelievably sweet contemporary first look. Check out the groom’s face at 31 seconds!

The first look everyone knows as the first look is when the  couple has a private moment (with the photographer and cinematographer of course) to see each other for the first time on that day. This is a newer phenomenon, but it now a well-established beat of the wedding day.

As with the traditional route, there are unique benefits to going with this style of a first look.

  • It’s a tradition that can be your own. Chances are you will be the first in your family to have this special moment on your wedding day. It’s also just a moment that’s… well… yours!
  • It’s a more intimate energy. While the excitement and joy of the first look during the processional are very real, the modern first look has a more gentle and intimate energy all its own.
  • It saves you time after the ceremony. Again, from a practical perspective, the “First Look” allows the couple to have a first set of portraits taken, along with the entire family photos, during the day before the ceremony. This is particularly important if natural light photography is a must for you and/or your photographer.

On a Personal Note

For my wedding, my wife and I chose to have a first look (here are some photos of it!). For us it was a practical measure, as we had to take the same transportation to get to our wedding venue (a waterfall in Kauai), so we had to see each other at some point on the drive there!

Our experience was electric, exciting, and to be honest, a little awkward. Awkward? Yes, a little bit. But again, that’s the nervous energy you’ll more than likely feel on your big day.

Final Take

I recommend a first look if you are any of the following:

  • Practically-minded
  • Intimate or private
  • Want your family & bridal party photos done before the ceremony (for lighting or scheduling purposes – or both!)

Let us know your thoughts by sending us an e-mail at booking@somethingnewmedia.com!

The Sound of Music

When consulting with couples about their wedding film, a question we often get is “how do you pick your music for our wedding film?”

It’s a great question, and one worth asking. Music is so important! Music has an effect on every aspect of a film. Music can have an effect on your mood, your day, or almost any other aspect of your life. Don’t believe me? Try driving through a beautiful part of town and play something minor, like Bach’s Toccata in D Minor. Changes the mood, doesn’t it? With these things in mind, it’s no wonder this question comes up!

So how do we choose music that fits each wedding film like a glove? Obviously we don’t use pieces of music with royalties attached to them (no Top 40 songs or Best of Elton John); instead, we work with professional music licensing companies who pair us with amazing artists and songwriters who create music we can use in your wedding film.

That’s where we get the music; but the real answer to the “how do we pick it” is all in how we listen.

We listen to you

First and foremost, we listen to you. What are your current music preferences? What kind of music and feel describes you as a couple? What kind of music describes your family, or the theme of the event you are going for? A cowboy or ranch-themed wedding will have a very different feel to it than an event set with an urban view of a city’s skyline.

We listen for these preferences and themes from our first conversations with every single couple. Having specific examples of music used in the wedding helps immensely (such as the song used for the first dance or grand entrance), as well as songs that have specific significance to you as a couple (even ones with royalties attached)! This helps us dictate the style and mood of the track or tracks we use in the creation of the film.

Lane & Rachael’s wedding trailer is a perfect example of music setting the right mood!

We listen to the story of the day

As important as listening to the preferences and tastes of the couple, is ‘listening’ to the mood and feel of the footage captured on the day. It’s one thing to know the preferences of the couple, but it’s another thing entirely to match those preferences with the story and feel of the day, and the cast of characters that play in it. What things were said during the ceremony? What things were said during the toasts? What kind of relationships does this couple have with their friends or family? Is it lighthearted and fun, or does the event and people in it take a more old-school and romantic approach?

These questions and more are things our editors and producers consider when crafting each and every film, and this way of thinking is part of what we pride ourselves in in the creation of our films.


Tia and Chris’s wedding is another example of how music can work with the footage of the day!

There’s more!

I’d be remiss not to mention amazing new ways couples can express themselves creatively through music. Recently, we’ve begun partnering with an incredible new company, Songfinch, which provides custom songs, complete with original lyrics and full production, to anyone with a story to tell or a message to convey. Couples can use music crafted by the creatives at Songfinch at their wedding, and in their wedding film!

You can learn more about Songfinch and what they can do for weddings here!

Ask us questions!

Do you have more questions on how our music is curated, or other aspects of how we produce award-winning wedding films? Feel free to drop us a line at 602-730-0478 or e-mail us at booking@somethingnewmedia.com! We look forward to hearing from you!

Wedding Planning Pro Tip – Sticking to A Planning Timeline

planning stressPlanning a wedding may be the single largest event that you’ve ever hosted, or even the first major event that you’ve hosted together as a couple! The obvious here is that there are many meticulous details that come into play when planning a wedding – the seating chart, the timeline, the color pallet. Sometimes it feels like your planning checklist is endless!

…want to know how the experts (wedding planners) get it done?

Wedding Pro Tip #1– Planning timeline.

A planning timeline lays out each planning element and when it should be completed, according to the length of your engagement and planning process. Most engagements last between 14-18 months, which gives you plenty of time to get your you-know-what together. However, most couples crumble under the pressure of planning a wedding because they don’t know how or where to start.

Having said that, we always recommend sticking to a wedding planning timeline that will give you more perspective on when to book your wedding professionals. You can find awesome wedding planning timelines at The Knot, Style Me Pretty, or Wedding Wire.

 Pro Tip #2- Don’t wait until the last minute to book your wedding professionals.

Venues, Photographers, DJs & Videograpers can book couples as far out as two years! (Yes, you heard us right!). The first, and very important step of planning your wedding is going to be booking these wedding professionals. These are the people who are going to host, capture & help create your special day into the wedding of your dreams that you’ve always imagined.

We highly recommend not waiting until the last minute (anywhere from six to nine months out) to book your wedding professionals. Like we discussed earlier, most of these professionals are typically booked out by almost 2 years. You wouldn’t want to miss out on that dream photographer you’ve been eyeing on because you didn’t stick to your planning timeline. So, print out that timeline, download an app, book your wedding professionals EARLY in the planning process so you can tackle the smaller and more menial details down the road!

 Pro Tip #3- Breathe

When planning a wedding (or any large event), it’s easy and very common to feel overwhelmed by the pressure. It’s important to remember to breathe. Take a moment, back up, give yourself some perspective on what you actually have to do. Make a list, and then schedule out when you will do everything on that list. It’s not enough to know what you need to do— you need to actually pen/budget in the time to make it happen!

Once you give yourself that big-picture perspective, you’ll be shocked at how much easier you sleep at night, and how fast your anxiety drops throughout the day!

 Pro Tip #4- Use your support network

Remember that you have an army of people in your life who love and support you, especially in this new and exciting chapter. Even though there might be drama in some circles, remember to focus on the people you have in your life who love you unconditionally, and don’t be afraid to involve them in your to-do list!

If you have any other Pro Tips for planning a wedding, be sure to share them and tag us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Five Reasons to Hire a Videographer for your Wedding

Tim.KatieAccording to TheKnot.com, one of the top wedding regrets that couples have is NOT hiring a wedding videographer (of course, at Something New Media, we prefer to call them Cinematographers). Even better, a recent survey conducted by The Wedding and Event Videographers Association found that ~98% of newlywed couples recommended to future brides that they SHOULD have wedding videography. While we agree that investing in a fantastic photographer is always a smart choice, we also warn our couples of the regrets that they will have if they don’t hire a wedding cinematographer.

For example – can you imagine not being able to re-watch your father’s toast at your reception? Or hearing the crack in your fiance’s voice as he or she reads your vows to you? Or the look on your beloved’s face when he or she sees you for the first time? Neither could we. So here are our top five reasons to hire a wedding cinematographer!

  1. Relive the Moments You Missed
    As a bride or groom, it is impossible to be everywhere on your wedding day. There are moments that you’ll miss such as your fiancé getting ready before the ceremony, your guests arriving and sharing their excitement with each other or your grandfather wiping a tear from his face during the ceremony. Having a wedding film allows you to relive all of the special moments that you missed and may be surprised to see!
  2. Hearing Your Vows
    The most important aspect of your wedding is of course your ceremony where you’ll exchange vows with your fiancé! While photos do a fantastic job of capturing the emotion of the day, your wedding film will allow you to hear the personal vows that you exchange with your fiancé, the tone in your voice and the laughter of the audience. These moments just simply can’t be relieved by photos alone. Your wedding film will be able to take you back to that moment where you said “I Do.”
  3. Slow Down Time
    No, we aren’t time traveling experts, but with our wedding films we can bring you back to the moments of your wedding day that just seemed to fly by. After months and maybe even years of meticulously planning the biggest day or your life, those sweet hours are going to fly by and you’ll wake up the next day thinking – is it really over!? (Cue the post wedding blues). However, have no fear because your wedding film will be able to take you back in time and re-experience the butterflies, excitement, love and all around happiness of your wedding day.
  4. Two Words – Raw Footage
    We typically get emails from our couples that say something along the lines of “OMG – we love our wedding film but we are SO thankful that you shared the raw footage!”. The raw footage contains all of the moments that didn’t make the cut for your wedding film. That might be because someone was making a funny face, cursed or had a few too many jack and cokes. But hey, what’s a wedding without some fun ;). Our videographers typically get 5-8 hours of footage and most of that we have to edit down to a 3-10 minute film. Imagine all of the bloopers and behind the scenes footage you’ll be able to see!
  5. New Traditions
    After you start your life together as a married couple, you’ll notice that life seems to move at light speed. You’ll have kids, buy a new home, get a new puppy, start a new job, move to another state – the list goes on! We always recommend our couples to start a new tradition and watch their wedding film on their anniversary each year to take them back to those sweet moments. Even better, you can pop some popcorn and grab a few beers and go through all of the raw footage. Trust us, watching your drunk try to bust a move on the dance floor will never get old!

Do you have other reasons why hiring a videographer (or cinematographer!) for your wedding was a fantastic idea? Be sure to share them and tag us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook!

Something More!

ShootPic

If you know anything about Something New Media, you know that we know weddings. It’s at the heart of what we do to capture the special moments that couples share together on one of their most epic days. But did you know that Something New Media also has a commercial side of the business? We’re very proud that our professional experience has allowed us to recruit some of the best cinematographers from the filmmaking and commercial production world (here you see a snapshot from a narrative set yesterday, shot locally in Tempe, Arizona). We strive to find and work with the best, and keep them working on a variety of projects as well.

Currently, Devin Berko, the founding member of Something New Media, is in Vancouver, British Columbia, on another commercial shoot as well. It keeps us busy- as if weddings didn’t keep us busy enough! Thanks to all of the amazing couples out there, we’re booked solid through most of this month, and have nothing but a full and productive schedule to look forward to for the remainder of this year.

We’re very blessed to be able to wake up every day and pursue what we love. We’re even more blessed that we get to capture people’s love, their lives, and watch them smile as they watch and relive the best day of their lives. When you add Something New Media to your team, you know that you have know-how and innovation behind every frame, edit and interaction. Until next time, we look forward to hearing from you!

Enjoy one of the finished products one of Something New Media’s producers created below:

Fall is Here!

BlogPhoto09292015Fall has always been a great time for a change, and at Something New Media, it’s been no different. Lots of things have changed— we’re now officially in the busy season now that October is upon us, we’re looking for new and talented team members so we can keep up with the work, and to boot, we’ve gotten a new set of office furniture to entertain couples and other guests!

We’re so thankful that we’re looking at one of our busiest seasons ever. While it puts the pressure on us to make sure we continue to operate with our trademark standard of excellence with the increased workload, we’re so thankful every single day that we’re able to capture some of the most magical moments in a couple’s love story.

Oh, and one more change- one of our staff members, James Lee, got hitched in Kauai this last month! Check out the video the team made for him here!

Gearing Up for the Fall!

It’s particularly hot in the greater Phoenix metro this time of year, and this week is no exception. But while the weather continues to heat up, we continue to gear up for the exciting wedding season coming up quickly. We can’t wait to start shooting some truly fantastic and memorable events this fall and winter, so be sure to check back with more photos and videos from those events!

 

However, at Something New Media, we haven’t been sitting idly by the wayside. We’re up to our ears in all sorts of fun projects – we’ve recently taken partnership in a large project to produce YouTube content for a large software company (you can view and subscribe to those videos here), we’re working on a fascinating project to give a local Arizonan company breathtaking content for their front-lobby digital signage in stunning 6K resolution, and traveling around the continental US, crafting films around and about hotel chains and the experiences they bring their guests!

 

While we’re completing these and pursuing other projects, we’re continually expanding our creative staff in our Mesa office- we’re looking for cameramen (or women!), graphic designers, and film editors. If you’re interested, or know someone who might be interested, please contact us at booking@somethingnewmedia.com, and we’d love to be in touch!

 

And of course, if you are in love and getting married, it would be our honor to capture your love, so you can relive the memory and moment of your wedding over and over again for years to come!

 

Have a great week everyone!

Traditional Chic Wedding in Scottsdale Arizona

Katie and Tim’s Wedding at Troon in Phoenix, Arizona featured some of the most extravagant decor we’ve seen this season. It’s really a treat when all of the different elements of a wedding come together and this one was definitely one for the books. Planned by Best Friend Borrowed, the event took ideas from Katie and Tim’s pinterest page which featured a lot of chic wedding details and attire. Lots of soft color tones. It was fabulous.

And when it began to rain during the ceremony, it was almost like something out of a fairtale. You just have to watch their wedding film 🙂

 

And check out their slow motion booth too!

A Western Wedding Fairytale in Wickenburg, Arizona

Nicole and Alex’s Western Wedding was nothing short of a fairytale. Down to every detail and the emotion you could feel through every moment of the day, it was one of my favorite weddings to this date.

I think what’s really special about a wedding is that you can call every element and detail your own. This western wedding catered to the Nicole and Alex so well that I really believe that every single element of the day spoke about how much time and energy they had put into crafting the fine mix of western appeal and magical whimsy that a wedding traditionally brings.

Watch their full documentary wedding film to get a better glimpse of what this couple’s day looked like.

CONTACT US!

Currently filming in Phoenix, Chicagoland and Vegas. Accepting challenges nationwide. How do you want your story told?