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Wedding videos – moving scrapbooks

The Union graphic "Traditional is best; it stands the test of time," says Towne.
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Say you get married in 2003. Fast forward to 2016 when your oldest is not yet a teen and wants to know when, where, and how you got married. Easy, just show her the video of your wedding (and watch her laugh). Or maybe, more seriously, if you’re going through a rough patch, you can watch the exchange of vows and remember what brought you together in the first place.

This is a part of wedding planning that may be the most important expense you’re tempted to leave out, say videographers. “But don’t,” says Paul Towne, 49, of PTV Productions, Penn Valley. “Pictures can tell you only so much, whereas videos capture the emotions and the flavor of the day, including footage of grandpa who might not be around for long.”

For 15 years Towne has been recording weddings, and boy does he have some stories to tell-and advice to give.



One thing Towne has a great dislike for is the MTV production wedding where the script calls for the guests to stand in the pews and do the wave or the preacher is lip synced to a song. “Traditional is best; it stands the test of time,” he says, “especially when you’re watching this video with your kids in years to come. You don’t want them thinking your wedding was a joke.”

Towne stays unobtrusive, often shooting with a long lens.




For about $1,000 Towne will deliver 2 hours of truly professional video that begins with a childhood memory montage and ends with the couple’s song. And should you be concerned that video technology is waning, he’ll convert the video to DVD “that can,” he says, “outlast you.”

One of the most famous weddings Towne videoed was the grandson of Mafia Boss Joseph Bonano. “There were bodyguards everywhere, and Bonano called from the federal pen to wish the couple the best.”

Another videographer, Greg Whatkey, 48, of Nevada City, is also well-versed in audio (30 years experience), thus the music and sound of his finished product is the best. He even wires the DJ.

He calls his product “a moving scrapbook or a book or a play. It moves along at a good clip in an entertaining way so that both friends and strangers can enjoy seeing it.” In fact, Whatkey models his scripting after Channel TLC’s “The Wedding Story.” At the beginning it shows days preceding the wedding (gown fitting, rehearsal) and ends with guests delivering greetings to the couple, and there are special effects in between, like the first kiss in a haloed heart.

One mother of the bride was so pleased with Whatkey’s video she actually sat her business clients down in her office, where as a captive audience, they “went to the movies.”

Whatkey bodaciously suggests that if there’s one thing to cut out of the wedding budget, it be still photography, because his digital video camera takes 30 “frames” a second, all of which can be turned into photographs. A 1 1/2 hour video, therefore, means thousands of potential photographs.

PTV Productions

19704 Echo Blue dr.

Penn Valley, CA 95946

Mon. – Fri. 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.

530-432-5070

Video tips:

1) Choose your videographer on the basis of talent and experience. This is not the time to trust Uncle Louie with his camcorder. You can’t stop the wedding to reshoot the moment of the kiss.

2) Ask the prospective videographer for demo footage that will match your wedding situation: in a dark church, or outside under full sun.

3) Invite him/her to the rehearsal; that may be where the officiating minister states the rules of the day.


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