Until this year our short form (Wedding Story) videos were edited in a linear fashion. That is, that the narrative proceeded from pre-ceremony, through the ceremony and concluded with the reception. While we produced some very good wedding stories this way, I was dissatisfied with the results. The entire idea of the Wedding Story is to capture the emotion and feeling of the day in an artistic and and dramatic manner. The highlight of the wedding is usually the vows. The problem is that this occurs early in the narrative. Wouldn’t it be nice to conclude with the vows (definitely a happily ever after moment).
There is no rule in storytelling where you have to start at the beginning and end at the end. A good example are stories told as flashbacks. The narrator is who ties everything together. In a flashback narrative it is acceptable to tell the story in a non-linear manner as there is a device to tie everything together and keep it coherent.
So what we do is to evaluate each project. Some will be better when edited in a linear timeline. Others will tell the story better when time shifted. Here are two examples. The first is uses a linear time line. Jason and Darlene’s wedding story starts with the bride and groom getting ready. It then proceeds to their first meeting, and then to the ceremony. After this we see the entry of the bride and groom, the first dance, toasts, parent dances, a montage of more dancing, and concluding with a recap of the day. The story is told in about 25 minutes.
Below is an example of a time shift edit. Amber and Dan’s wedding starts with the bride and groom getting ready followed by the pre-ceremony photo session. But interspersed are voice overs by the rabbi and father of the bride recorded at different times of the day. Part of the ceremony is shown but this is interrupted by the first dance. During the dance we hear the voices of the matron of honor and best man. The first dance flows into the parent dance where we again hear the father of the bride (from his toast) and ends with the toast itself. We then return to the ceremony for the vows, rings, the kiddush cup and breaking of the glass (all important parts of a Jewish wedding). The father of the bride’s voice reappears right at the end providing a satisfying emotional conclusion. The length of Amber and Dan’s wedding story is only half as long as Jason and Darlene (13 minutes) but is stronger emotionally proving that less can be more.