When you plan a wedding, you have to decide what's most important. To us, we wanted to make sure the food was amazing (we used Swadleys and it was delicious), that our pictures were flawless (I've sung the praises of Blue Elephant Photography already), and that everyone had a good time (meaning drinks & a dj). Of course that meant that we had to cut corners in other areas. We really wanted a videographer, but after pricing them and even talking to a few, we realized it wasn't an area we were willing to go over budget on.
Cue StoryMix. I stumbled onto the company through a blogger I used to follow, and ended up really liking them! They are a great - and most importantly, budget friendly - alternative to a videographer. They offer different packages, but essentially what they do is send HD video cameras to your door the week of your wedding. Those cameras can be used to capture the rehearsal dinner, the pre-wedding fun (like singing to Pitch Perfect!), and all the big wedding moments. We assigned a camera to three designated people - a bridesmaid, a groomsmen, and the wonderful husband of a bridesmaid who sat in the crowd - to video during the ceremony. But during the reception the cameras were fair game!
The best part of StoryMix is the ability to upload video straight from your phone. Since everyone and their grandma (literally) has a smartphone these days, it made it super easy for people to take pictures and video to share with us. We even had our own hashtag for people to use on Instagram so the pictures were automatically added to the site! After the wedding, all of the footage taken on the cameras gets uploaded for you, and you can upload any other footage to the site yourself. And you also get access to all the raw footage (including footage shot & uploaded by guests).
When reviewing the footage after the fact, it's important to keep in mind the video was shot by your friends and family. It isn't going to be on the same level as if you'd had hired a professional videographer. Professional videographers bring lots of equipment and that's what they do for a living! But there's a charm to having a video like this one. It has a "home video" kind of feel to it. You get to see how other people saw the wedding!
In the interest of full disclosure, it wasn't totally smooth sailing. We had an issue with one of the cameras and I had some trouble uploading footage that we took on an old camera of my mom's (it used a different format than the rest of them). But the StoryMix customer service was awesome. They responded to my questions quickly and resolved our problems as best they could! (In their defense, my wedding was just a giant example of Murphy's Law, so I'm not even sure it was their fault.)
At this point most of the footage is uploaded and I've started putting the video together. With the package I purchased, I organize the footage and then StoryMix goes in and does the editing magic to make it flow. I'm toying with the idea of adding the option to have them do it all though - it might get done faster that way :)
While the full video is still in the works, StoryMix was nice enough to put together a trailer for it! You can check out the trailer below, but I'd also recommend going to their blog post about our wedding. I share details and pictures about the big day, and I tell a Reader's Digest version of how we met and our story.