Doing it different
Sadly, for South Asian weddings in the Greater Toronto Area in general, next-day edit videos are pretty generic. What you usually experience is the editor choosing some copyrighted Bollywood song and then filling in the duration of that song with a montage of (mostly slow motion) video clips. They then slap a logo on it and call it a day. Remneek wanted something different. She wanted something more meaningful so that’s why they reached out to me.
We set out to add more context and obvious “storytelling” (I use quotations because, unfortunately, that term is terribly overused by service providers who don’t even “tell stories”) in their film. They really wanted their friends and family to get a fuller picture of who they were. They didn’t want to bore them for 5 mins with slo-mo (slow motion) video clips.
So, on the fourth day when I saw Remneek and Nishant from a distance expressing their appreciation for the film in the middle of the reception, I knew all that hard work was worth it. We presented this next-day edit film at our couple’s reception on the last day of their big Hindu wedding celebrations. The film showed moments from the previous 3 days: the Sangeet, the Haldi and the Hindu ceremony.
Day 1 – The lady sangeet
We enter Bombay Palace hopeful but also nervous. I’m hopeful because I know this is our first day of capturing the celebrations and I meticulously consider the film that we’ll be building over the next few days. We’re also nervous because it’s a weird time in Ontario where masks are slowly phasing out. With a big hall full of the bride’s family and friends excited to celebrate, we anticipated being vastly outnumbered and were among the few wearing masks.
It goes really well and we captured the performances, followed by the dance session with the Dhol drummer hyping up the crowd. It’s also on this day we meet Rishi from Devi by Kumar Images who we will soon see more of in the near future.
Day 2 – Turmeric and bangles
The following evening Andrea and I head to separate houses to capture Nishant’s Haldi ceremony and Remneek Saanth respectively. On Remneek’s end, the family crowds into the living room to witness and participate in Remneek pre-nuptial blessings.
On Nishant’s end, his family and close friends congregate under a homey tent to witness his blessing and apply turmeric to his body as one of the symbolic blessings. You’d imagine that only the family would be partaking but even our groom’s friends from different cultures and backgrounds enjoyed wiping slabs of paste on Nishant’s face and feet.
Day 3 – Watch out for the boys
We start bright and early, at about 7am, for both Remneek and Nishant’s morning preparations. Gotta love our South Asian weddings! These preparations eventually lead us to Ascott Parc Event Centre where we wait for Nishant baraat to begin. Instead of having a traditional drummer and entering majestically on a horse, Nishant opted to rent an old-school convertible and blast a theme song while slowly coasting along the driveway. Which song might you ask? It was Punjabi MC’s “Beware of the boys” (ft. Jay-Z). Throw in some smoke bombs and it was a fun spectacle to film.
Our groom’s entrance is followed by the Milni tradition, some negotiations to enter the wedding space (if you know, you know) and the ceremony itself.
Day 4 – The big presentation
The next-day edit, for us at least, is a big deal. The editing for a normal film (delivered after the wedding) is spread over the course of a week or so. This allows us to take our time and intentionally choose what goes in and make thoughtful revisions as we go. For this wedding, that work was spread over 3 evenings. So, it’s definitely not as intense as a one-day turnaround, like what we did with Shehan and Haseena, but it’s still intense.
Fortunately, Remneek, Nishant and I planned out a pre-wedding shoot, where I recorded the interview segments a week or so before the wedding. This way I wasn’t starting from scratch on the first evening and they would have time to thoughtfully think through what they wanted to say.
It’s always nerve-racking delivering a film live because, if they hate it, their reaction is going to be sudden and unfiltered.
But you’ll be happy to know it went well and to this day, Remneek tells me about all the compliments they get about their next-day edit.
A small side note before I close:
Our bride had such an impactful experience during the planning and execution of her wedding that she’s gone off to start her own wedding planning practice. I’m not going to attribute some of that inspiration to our involvement in the wedding… but I’m not going to deny it either. Check her out at The Gentle Planner.
This wedding was also brought together by:
Devi by Kumar Images
Most Valuable Entertainment
Ascott Parc Event Centre
Pagg and Fifty Designer Dance Floors
Ginger’s Cupcakes & Desserts
MD Aujla The MC