So about a year ago now, I was sat in a cafe after a hard morning’s shop with my beautiful cousin Kim. We’ve been more like sisters for about a decade (after the teenage years wore off). She told me she had some big news. My mind instantly shot to pregnancy, but she had always said that two babies were definitely enough… “We’re eloping to get married in Malta!”. My heart somersaulted; she had been waiting for this for 14 years, I was so ridiculously pleased for her. She exudes kindness and love to everyone around and she so deserved her happy ending (read: beginning!). The tiny sad side note was that it would pretty much be just the two of them going… but I knew her husband-to-be Leon had only made her wait so long because the idea of a big ceremony was much too daunting. So I totally understood their decision, in many ways, it was the only way forward for them.
I decided instantly we needed a plan. A plan so cunning that no-one would see it coming. Relying on my oldest and dearest friend Ryan, I began to hatch a little mischievous plot.
I coerced Kim’s parents (my Auntie Jane and Uncle Trevor) into being my allies. They would be going to Malta and holding the dinky bridesmaid’s hands (Kim and Leon’s daughters). I convinced Trevor that he needed to hold a videocamera in his other hand… and Ryan was there with all the right easy-to-use Shoot it Yourself gear.
The second part of my cunning plan was more complicated. I had decided if we couldn’t be there to see Kim and Leon on their wedding day; we could still send our wishes and love. What better way than via video?! Shoot it Yourself from Talking Fly was all over it like a fly on… well… a fly on golden syrup! Ryan handed over the high spec but easy to use camera, and a tripod (I would not have thought to use one, but he informed me hand shaking footage was soooo 90’s).
I utilised my family links to get in touch with family and close friends of the happy couple. It took quite a few months to get the right people together at the right time, having convinced them to go on camera. However, by the end I had raw footage of each branch of both family trees, and a few friends thrown in the mix.
I was surprised how easy to use the Shoot it yourself gear was. Quite literally open screen point camera and hit record button. There were many takes. There were many mistakes. And because of this there were many, many outtakes. (Hilarious outtakes… I cannot even begin to describe… *sniff sniff*) – sorry for the in-joke. #sorrynotsorry
Ryan went above and beyond the call of duty so many times to bring this project to fruition. His editing work is so time consuming (I ate a LOT of take-out with him). So many hours slicing and dicing the footage to create not only a surprise “congratulations” video for Trevor to play to the happy couple after the ceremony, but also of a 17 minute long outtake video (yes, that’s not a typo – 17 minutes!!). And the final version was so awesome that Trevor had to give special mentions to people who had excelled themselves on camera: my nephew with an impulsive improvised song for the newlyweds (it’s so cute!), and a couple who bashed out a guitar and new lyrics to the Cliff Richard classic.
Talking Fly outdid themselves again at the reception (back in England now), having taken Trevor’s Malta footage of the wedding ceremony, and turned it into an awesome 7 minute highlight video so we could all see the happy couple tying the knot.
A good time was had by all, and yet again Talking Fly’s Ryan Woodard proving that no job is too big or too hard for an absolute professional. I owe him big-time!
The bride and groom were so impressed with Ryan, and the father of the bride, Trevor, has not stopped telling me how awesome he is since. Another wedding success from this suave entrepreneur!