Friday, August 29, 2008


A couple of days ago, I was present at a family wedding. Seated in the front row, this is what I got to see most of the time!

Our weddings are full of ceremonies and last well over two days, whittled down from the five day-ceremonies of yore. But celebrations begin much earlier and social get-togethers follow. Friends and relatives are invited days ahead and expected to participate in all events. For those who can’t, there are photographs and videos!

Videographers and their assistants – sometimes more than two pairs – stand in front of the dais where the marriage is being conducted, and manage to block everyone’s view of the proceedings. True, they have their job to do, and do it properly. But for those wanting to see the ceremonies live, and not a recorded version, it is frustrating. I saw many going up to the side of the dais to see the ceremonies. In some cases, close circuit TVs and screens on both sides of the hall (in one instance, even in the dining section) show the ceremonies ‘live’!

Which brings me to my gripe. Are videos really necessary? They are hours long, and I have not met anyone who is really enthused over seeing them. There are bound to be interruptions too. No one has the patience or time to sit through hours of these videos, unless it is to check out the few frames they are in - “Can we fast forward the next bit?” Most of the video players are defunct now, and the videos have to be converted to CDs. You need DVD players, and even in the remote possibility that someone actually wants to see the wedding ceremonies, you need to have power, and some nimble young fingers to operate the remote. I have to confess I haven’t viewed the wedding videos of my sons more than a couple of times.

I suggest that the videography be done away with. Instead let there be more photographs, as many as you like, in black and white (they are really far more glamorous), in colour, in sepia, whatever. Let there be many albums – one for each ceremony, a picture to a page. The albums can be held conveniently and one can look at the pictures peacefully, at one’s own pace. Convenient breaks can be taken, without having to hunt through frames for the last one seen.

I took a quick poll among those present, and was happy to find that everyone I asked was in agreement.

When so much is being spent on weddings, the budget allotted to the videography may not be much, and scrapping it may not be a big saving, so that is not my concern. It is just that it is an exercise in futility.


Swarna said...

Well suggested, Raji!
And there is this funny practice - take digital photos, and then print them in huge (and heavy) albums - at least 2 of them at that, with additional special effects!

Lakshmi Bharadwaj said...

yeah, and continuing on swarna's comment, there is one more funny practice with photos. u digitally enhance it with all kinds of stupid stuff:: the bride staring at a full moon, and the sea (which are cut and paste) or firecrackers in the background of the photos of newly wed couples. annoying, unrealistic, but photos beat the boring vidios anytime, i agree!!

aneri_masi said...

Absolutely true!
I have not seen my own wedding video yet! I don't even know where the husband has put(thrown?) the DVD away. Videographers are def a nuisance. I have seen them so many times asking the couple or the pandit to repeat some rituals again as they "did not get a good shot"!!!

Whereas photographs...I look at them at least once a month, and I have them all on picasa, so I have shared them with SO many friends.

Dinakar KR said...

These "...graphers" must be banished from the centre of action. Let them cover it from a corner. Why in every frame the faces of the concerned must be seen? Other angles too are worth! First of all videography is a waste of money. I'm yet to see the first person who has appreciated watching a 'wedding video'! When 2-3 volumes of someone's wedding is offered to see, I take out 3-4-5 pages at a time and finish looking at it in a jiffy! The way the producers alter and enhance the images in the albums is ridiculously silly IMO.

Though videography was already in vogue at the time of my marriage, I only asked my friend-photographer to expose 3-4 rolls of film. I cherish my small album containing photos where no one is standing for a photo! The event is recorded unobstructed.