Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Wedding Video

I can not tell you how much I am happy that we got the wedding video. The thought of not having a video really scares me.
We almost did not.
We planned our entire wedding and our budget thinking our wonderful photographer, Scoobie, could capture every moment. And his team did an amazing job and I adore all my pictures.
However, pictures can not capture absolutely everything like Roger's voice, his strut, or his laugh.

And literally ten days before the wedding, I booked a videographer.
My good friend who lives in Africa was part of that decision. There was no way she was going to make it over for the wedding and she was begging me to get a video. Almost pleading.
I, in turn, begged Roger.
And since it looked like we were going to get our tax return early and the refund was better than we expected, he finally said yes.

I booked our videographer over the phone without seeing a sample and went only on a friend's recommendation.
Roger and I met the videographer at the rehearsal the night before the wedding.
He seemed nice. He was very inexpensive and we got a lot for a little.
I was excited.

Mario Inglesia was fantastic. We did not even realize how much he captured. He was not in the way during the wedding day and he got our video back to us quickly.
When I picked up the video from Mario, he said one thing to me that was odd. He included the raw footage and told me to watch it. He left some interviews from the reception out of the final video version because they were a bit explicit.
We sat down one evening and watched our final version of the video.
We were instantly very happy we did so.
For me, there were things I never saw since I was hiding before the ceremony. I did not see everyone who was at the ceremony and it was nice to see them on the video.

I told Roger about Mario's comment and we both knew instantly who had left the explicit messages-Ralph, Roger's cousin.
Ralph was the life of the party at our reception.
Ralph always speaks his mind and at times can be a little vulgar.
All in good fun of course.
We had no idea what he could have said exactly but we waited to watch the raw footage.

And we waited.
And we waited.
Until today, I finally watched the raw footage in honor of being the four month anniversary of Roger's death.
The very minute I heard Roger's voice, my heart lept without me doing anything. I instantly could remember him in new ways.
Tears started streaming down my face.
Man, I miss him so so so much. I miss hearing his voice on the phone or at home.
It was great to see Roger smiling before the ceremony while talking with his guys.
To see him in his tux with tails that he wanted so badly.
To see him enjoying his wedding cake ("Man, that's good cake. It aint got nothing on Publix.")

It was really nice to see everything again.
To see how much fun we had.
What a wonderful day it was.
I cried, I laughed. I cried and laughed at the same time.
As I watched, I remembered how it felt when he touched me.
I remembered how it felt to slip my hand into his.
I remembered how it felt to hold his hand while he was wearing his wedding band for the first time.

The words "to death to you part" and "all the days of your lives" kept echoing inside my head.
I would have never guessed "death" would part us so soon.
Who would have known how limited those "days" would be.

I wish Roger would have been miked the whole night. I wish I could hear all his words.
To remember absolutely everything we said to each other all night long. To have a permanent recording.

I can not imagine not having this video.
Thank you dear for agreeing to have this done since its all I have left of your voice, your laugh, your lips gently turning into a smile, your strutting around, our dancing, and your attempt at dancing the rest of the night.

And what did Ralph say in the interview with the videographer?
"Fuck, fuck a lot. I'm serious, it helps everything."
And when Ralph got with Lipps, "Fornicate, fornicate a lot."
Lovely guys, I promise.


The Pickards in NYC said...

Hi Star...your blog has a daily visit from of course I think of you every day. I'm so happy that you have the wedding video to make your memories that much more special!



robyn said...

oh my gosh, that is amazing! i love ralph's comments!!! how awesome that you got a video...cherish it forever, girl! :)

Kerline Docteur said...

Star, reading your blog has brought me to tears so many times in the last few months. I truly believe your words on this blog will help many others that may be going through the transition you are going through.

Everything happens for a reason. Your decision and persistence for electing to have a video has captured one of your many beautiful moments in time with your late husband. That will always be at your fingertips.

May God give you continued strenth.

Crash Course Widow said...

I'm glad you have that video too. Like you (originally as planned, at least), we didn't have a videographer for our wedding. I cared about photos, not video, so we didn't bother. We had some family members videotape it with their camcorders, but none turned out well since we had a candlelit ceremony at night.

I never saw the video at all, until the first time I was allowed to be alone after Charley died, about 36 hours after the police came and told me. I was in a brief lull between "chaperones" for the newly bereaved, and I put in the tape from our wedding. And I cried, and sobbed, and howled how Charley could do this to me. I didn't watch much of it, and I've never watched it since. I don't even know where the tape is now. It might be one of the unmarked ones in my "memory box" of Charley, with the various mementos from his funeral, his toiletry bag, and some other miscellaneous things...or it might be elsewhere. I have no idea.

A couple days after Charley died my brother gave me a DVD he'd burned of some video of Charley, the only stuff I have of him alive and well and laughing and talking. It's of my brother grilling him how Charley proposed (as well as stuff from our rehearsal dinner and reception), and I watched it sometime around 5 months out from Charley's death. I hoped it would make me cry, but it didn't much.

I haven't watched it since, but I pulled it out for my 5th wedding anniv. last month. And while the wedding stuff bored me silly (imagine being able to say that! perhaps I was just exhausted and already emotionally wrung out by that point in the DVD?), it was phenomenal getting to see Charley how he was in real life. And instantly I remembered everything about him that I'd sorta somehow forgotten. The sound of his laugh, his voice, of his self-deprecating smirk (because yes, it had a sound sometimes)...his sense of humor and even just how he moved. It was phenomenal getting to remember it so clearly, when I'd forgotten it for so long that I didn't even realize it was forgotten.

Perhaps that's why I've been having such vivid dreams of him lately....Who knows?

I'm glad you got that video, as well as the raw footage. It's always a little eery with those loaded "accidents" (like the videographer, or the raw footage), isn't it, knowing what we now know?

And the lack of a "real" video from our wedding is why I had Charley's funeral professionally videotaped. And it turns out the DVD of it is pretty darn cheesy and I was a little horrified at what I ended up receiving...but I decided I didn't need it to be an amazing, awe-inspiring, tour de force piece of art encapsulating everything that was Charley. It was just a video. Just a document, a record, of one unescapable moment in our lives so our daughter could watch it someday. I only ever watched it once, at Charley's birthday 5 months after he died. Lordy, I was waiting for some lightning bolts from him after a four-minutes-too-prolonged cheesy single shot of a waterfall set to bad music. But at least I have it. And at least the pro photos from the day are amazing.