Weddings can come and go so fast they might sometimes seem like one big blur to the newly married couple, their guests and families. With so much going, too, it is often easy to miss some of the day's more noteworthy happenings.
That is why couples are opting for viewing parties.
"It was almost as exciting as the wedding itself because you're watching it with all the people who were with you the first time," said Kevin Turchin, 29, a financial analyst from Miami. "There's all this energy in the room and everyone is crying."
Turchin and his new wife, Daniella Turchin, a hospitality publicist and also 29, got to relive their February 2017 wedding at the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami through a 20-minute video shown six months later at a festive gathering.
They enhanced the viewing experience by re-enacting moments from their big event. Daniella Turchin donned the dress she wore at the reception, while Kevin Turchin and their 25 guests raised a celebratory glass of Champagne. Her brother made the toast (again) and her niece performed the dance she had created for the occasion.
"I wanted to fully experience every feeling from our wedding and not let those moments die," Daniella Turchin said.
Kevin Turchin admitted he "wasn't as excited as Daniella -- until we pressed play."
While some viewing parties are held at home, others are taking place in theaters or screening rooms.
Peter Gubernat, an owner of Red + Olive, a film-production company in Chicago, has been shooting movielike wedding videos for the last three years. To capture the day, he employs the help of several drones, two to four compact steady cams and automated gimbals, an assistant, cinematographer, and of course, a director.
"We saw the market needed more high-end videos so we create a cinematic experience," Gubernat said. "I thought they should be seen that way. Eight months ago I contacted the Soho House in Chicago and set up premieres for couples to watch with 20 of their friends. It's a very luxurious service."
Luxurious and expensive. Gubernat charges $12,000 for a five- to eight-minute film; the screening gathering is complimentary.
Yet the price does not seem to have deterred people. Fourteen couples are scheduled for video services this year, he said, and six more are booked so far for 2019.
Viewing guests are treated to popcorn, movie theater candy, wine and sparkling water. The first 30 to 40 minutes are spent mingling. "Because we haven't seen anyone since the wedding, we thank them for coming, tell them how much it meant for us to be there, and talk about the video for a few moments," Gubernat said. "Then we play the film."
When the movie ends, people gather themselves -- most have cried during the experience -- and the video is replayed. "The first time people are in awe," he said. "The second round they get to see everything they missed, all the details they didn't catch before."
Sarah and Aaron Konieczny did not know what to expect when they drove from their home in Indiana to the Soho House in April for their viewing party. They married last September in downtown Chicago.
"It was extraordinary," said Sarah Konieczny, 29, a law clerk. "When you see the video on this huge screen, you're pulled back in time and seeing the wedding from a different perspective. It lets you see your friends', siblings' and parents' reactions in the room, but also on the video, which we didn't get to see on our wedding day because it all goes by so fast."
Photos, too, are getting the big reveal treatment. Manolo Doreste, owner of In Focus Studios in Coral Gables, Fla., offers clients and 15 guests the chance to see their wedding projected onto a wall. The couple's favorite snacks, along with strawberries and Champagne, are served. Then everyone is escorted to the viewing room, where 900 to 1,400 photos are shown, paired with music, usually opening with the song from the couple's first dance. Average cost: $9,500, with the viewing event included. Parties are given post-work hours during the week.
Doreste, who shoots about 25 weddings a year, said that offering a viewing experience improves the level of service he provides while allowing clients to "relive their wedding day and disconnect from the world."
"No one has missed their viewing," he added. "We've even had two couples fly in from different states just to experience seeing their photos like this."
For Shavest and Lee Brotherston, who married at the Epic Hotel in downtown Miami last October, re-experiencing their wedding on a massive wall was both spectacular and a bit overwhelming.
"I got to see everything I missed, everything I didn't know happened," said Shavest Brotherston, 33, a revenue analyst for Carnival Cruise Lines, "like the grooms getting ready, or a tender moment with my husband and his mother. No one knew it was captured on camera. My husband and our family watched the entire wedding happen all over."
And perhaps that's part of the allure. Couples want to relive their wedding day and they want others there to commemorate when they do. "You spend a year and a half planning this and then it's over," Sarah Konieczny said. "This gives you one last event to celebrate what it was all about. It added to the magic."
Daniella Turchin echoed similar sentiments while highlighting the fact that a new tradition had been created. "The group viewing turned it into a festive event," she said. "Eating your cake a year later is so cliche. Every year from now on we're going to do this instead."
High Profile on 08/12/2018
Print Headline: Relive wedding, see what you missed, with a movie party