Eric Praetzel - A Wedding Story
This picture is from my wedding dance and was taken by Moira Messenger.
Here are my comments about my own wedding.
Our wedding was non-traditional [that seemed to be my sisters every 2nd word]. The wedding
was for us to celebrate our marriage with our friends. It was not for our family and it was not for anyone else. It was to be fun and that involved the activity that brought Heather and myself together, social dancing and music. In true social dance form I
don't think that I danced with Heather more than a handful of times in 4 hours.
- The Hall
If you can believe it; a year in advance we were unable to rent some of the halls we were interested in!
We did get a nice hall but had to have a non-Saturday wedding because it was already booked on Saturdays.
So, plan at least a year in advance!
My worst experience so far was with a local camera shop. I took some wedding pictures
in medium format (120) film and when the film was developed they left a wonderfull thumbprint
on the back of my favorite shot. When I had them soak the negative to fix that, the
punched holes, bent and scraped the negatives above and below the one that they'd
already dammaged. To top things off, I was offered no consolation, no replacement
film; nothing. I was told that I could call back the next day and talk to the guy who
did this to my film. When I wasted another 45 min. going to and from the shop they
would gave me some replacement film. At that point I found out that they'd dropped my
film into very hot water and they were not supposed to charge me for processing. The only question going thru my mind is; Why on earth would I get near this shop again?
My experience with "professional" photographers was not what I was hoping. We were simply looking for a portrait shot of us. Nobody was responding to email or voice mail about such a simple request. In the end I had to settle for 30 pictures for a fixed price.
We were upset about how we were hurried thru the pictures and how a soft focus filter was used even though we requested that no special effects be used. My wife was asked to pose
in positions that were uncomfortable and looked awfull. Needless to say, with these problems, smiles were not forthcoming and we're not very happy with the pictures.
Keep in mind that if you go for a "professional" photographer, they own the negatives and rights to all the pictures. You are not allowed to copy or duplicate the pictures in any way. They will charge you fantastic rates [15x normal reprint prices] since most everything is done by hand. The cost is ok if you want high quality large pictures [8 inches x 11 inches or bigger] or you need professional expertise to enhance or fix up the pictures. They'll also have access to print the pictures on special paper that can make the pictures much better than you'll get from any photoshop that uses standard printing equipment. In particular, lower contrast paper will often allow detail in both the white dress and black suit to be visable. Standard papers are not able to show details in both at the same time. Dito for the film. There are special low contrast films which are only available in medium format rolls. They are designed for portrait shots and will improve the pictures slightly.
But if you're looking for a fair quantity of small pictures as thankyou cards; expect to
pay several dollars each. Frankly, it's cheaper to buy your own printer and do them
yourself off of pictures taken by a competant friend!
What I would like to see is one of these "professionals" simply sell their expertise. ie Why don't any of them simply use a good 35 mm camera to take reasonable quality pictures that are given to the wedding couple? All that I wanted was someone with expertise in taking good pictures. I didn't want fancy equipment or filters or effects or anything else. I'd gladly
have paid a good price for that expertise; but that didn't seem to be an option as everyone
tried to steer us towards ever more expensive packages.
- Dance and Music
We hired an excellent contra-dance band the Groovemongers and had friends as dance callers. They did an excellent job. The dance and music was the best part of the wedding. The cost of a band can be quite significent [$600 US - or CDN and up]. But if you're a dance addict then you know why a DJ is
We held the wedding in a local hotel [Walper Terrace - because of the dance floor] and were satisfied with the food. The billing was a mess though. We're still not sure what cost how much and why items were deleted and re-added at high costs.
- The Minister
We used a minister to do a non-denominational ceremony. Alas, his diction left a lot to be desired. Three times he said Erika instead of Eric and several times he said Eather instead of Heather. At least one parent started to break out in laughter.
However, it went nicely that way. We didn't have hassles by someone trying to force us to adopt certain rituals. The wording of the ceramony was important to us and by using a
rent-a-minister outfit, we were able to do what we liked.
- The Wedding Service
- Post Wedding
After the wedding we had a potluck supper. This was a great time for people to get together and chat. ie This isn't possible at a wedding were people are either dancing or clumped into groups of 6 or 8 at tables.
- The Cake
One mistake that I made at my wedding was having a traditional cake. These things
tend to be fluffy cake piled high with sugar. Just avoid this mistake from the
recent past and do something different!
- The Outfits
Heather had a dress custom made with fabric she bought. That way she got what she wanted.
As for me, I simply bought an outfit that was Heather Approved and appropiate for some of
the dancing [vintage - ie a jacket with tails] that we do. So, my suit has actually been
used a few times already.
Back to my home page