In an era of instant gratification and an approach to big events with a casual feel, it is easy to forget the days of dressing up for a special occasion.
Families used to wear their Sunday church finest when boarding an airplane to go to another city. Now you find people wearing anything from T-shirts to flip-flops. Fancy restaurants used to require a coat and tie for the gentlemen and a dress or skirt and blouse for the ladies. Now, all but the fanciest of places say that dress is either casual or business casual.
Whether the event is a large family reunion, a “Sweet 16” party for a young girl, a quinceanera for a Hispanic girl’s 15th birthday, or a wedding in an outdoor setting (as opposed to a traditional church festivity with wedding parties and matching bridesmaid dresses), there are ways to make every occasion special.
In terms of putting the event to film for life, don’t trust this event to a simple smartphone. You never know how well phone pictures will turn out, although most phones can shoot good photos. Instead, use a traditional camera to shoot pictures of the event as it is going on. Hire a photographer if you can afford one. Many photojournalists often take freelance assignments on the side, and they know the best ways to shoot a picture with the appropriate angles or settings to make it memorable.
Camcorders are getting smaller these days, and most of them are affordable to the point where a simple camcorder can record your entire event without complications. Most camcorders are now “hard drive” models, meaning all of the video is saved to memory. You can download the video memory, save it to DVD and provide each of the guests a prized memento of the special occasion.
Have a budget? Buy disposable cameras for each table. Tell your family and friends you will develop these pictures, burn them to discs and send them out for everybody.
Instead of shooting the actual occasion, shoot the leadup to it. Your friends and family will get a kick out of watching you look frazzled through the preparations, although you might not be overjoyed yourself. After the event, even you might laugh at how much hair you tore out while getting ready for the occasion.
Speaking of hair and preparations, tell your guests to put a little thought into the dress-up process. Men and boys, this means shirt and tie (if the occasion warrants) or perhaps a nice shirt and pair of dress pants. For girls, sites as www.mygirldress.com provide ideas like a nice dress for an Easter party, a small, informal wedding or a children’s birthday party. Older women can find ideas that are tasteful for the special occasion. Either think like you are dressing for the office or for a party occasion.
This era of casual approaches to festive occasions doesn’t mean everything has to be casual. Think more formal, take more photos or videos, and you will have a special occasion to be remembered for years to come.