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Top 10 Tips for an Amazing Wedding Slideshow

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This is the fifth in a series of posts on DIY wedding photo ideas – in celebration of wedding season and my one-year wedding anniversary!

If you missed the first four posts:

Wedding Proposal Photo Book & Wedding Website

Save the Dates, Photo DIY Wedding Invitations & Engagement Photo Book

Showcasing your Engagement Photos on your Wedding Day – Photo Guest Book & Personalized Sweets

DIY Custom Photo Table Numbers

For a roadmap of the series, read the overview on DIY wedding photo ideas.

As part of the reception’s entertainment, my husband and I put together a DVD on our Mac using iMovie of photos and videos to show our guests after dinner. With programs like iMovie, it’s very easy to put together polished video to show your guests. Don’t have iMovie? If you can bring your laptop to your event, you could use Flickr or Picasa, select your photos and put it in slideshow mode. Easy! Our DJ had a white screen and laptop as part of his setup and we made sure to get him the DVD days before the wedding to make sure it would play on his equipment.

Ready to make your own wedding slideshow?

Photo Book Girl’s Top 10 Wedding Slideshow Tips

  • Select photos of you and your families – from baby photos to current ones, photos of you as a couple and throw some in of the wedding party or close friends.
  • Be sure to add not only your cute baby photos but add some of those awkward pre-teen and teen shots – those always get a lot of laughs and the point is to entertain your guests.
  • Select a few medium-paced to fast-paced songs. Even though you may have a favorite slow song you want to use, keep in mind though it may be meaningful, it may also lull your guests to sleep, especially since they’ve just eaten a full meal!
  • Keep the flow of photos consistent with the pace of the song you have selected. As a rule of thumb, 2 to 3 seconds per photo is plenty. If there’s a particular photo you want to emphasize more, hold it for an additional second. I also recommend holding a photo for a second or two longer if it’s of a large group. Your eyes need a bit longer to take in a photo the more people that are in the picture.
  • Keep it concise, try to limit the show to 5 to 7 minutes (which is about the length of two songs).
  • If you have video clips, and have the software to include them in your slideshow, those can be a fun addition.
  • If you use transitions, limit yourself to one or two types – like a slide, wipe or fade. Some transitions can get kind of crazy and dizzying and using too many types will look disjointed.
  • Make more than one copy or backup of your slideshow and test it out on the actual equipment you will be using before the wedding day to reduce chances of “technical difficulties”.
  • If you’re too busy with wedding preparations, or not comfortable doing this yourself, enlist a knowledgeable friend or family member to help and send them a link to this post!
  • If you are more comfortable with the computer, get as creative as you want – grab some friends, write up a storyline and shoot a music video!

A Second Slideshow?

We ended up having lots of photos that didn’t make it into the main presentation, so we decided to have TWO slideshows!  Now, I know that may sound a bit crazy, but keep in mind you are reading a blog written by me – Photo Book Girl!  The primary slideshow as mentioned earlier, we called the “wedding video” since it incorporated video clips and ran about 5 minutes. We played the wedding video after dinner right after the “Dude of Honor” toast. (We had a non-traditional wedding without a formal wedding party, and I asked my brother to give the toast traditionally made by the Maid of Honor. I would joke and call him my Maid of Honor, which he then took upon himself to change to the more fitting – “Dude of Honor”…)

So, as for the second slideshow, we actually brought our 32” LCD TV screen from home, set it on the guest book/wedding gift table and had the slideshow loop, so it would cycle through the photos for the entire evening in the cocktail area. It was very easy to do because we didn’t intend for it to have any music – it was supposed to be a purely visual display. During the cocktail hour and throughout the night whenever our guests went to get a drink at the bar, they could take a peek at the slideshow.  The focus of these photos was not on us, but rather on our guests and family. For a sense of nostalgia we included wedding photos of our parents and relatives and even photos we took with our guests at their weddings. The point of this was to make our guests feel part of our event and to show them our appreciation. If you’re not insane like me and don’t want to lug an LCD and DVD player to your reception, why not get one of those cool digital frames? It’s the same concept. Just load your photos into the frame and set it on shuffle!

Same Day Edit

Another more recent trend is to have a same day edit of your wedding video shown at the reception. This is where your wedding videographer makes a quick edit of the ceremony footage and video taken earlier in the day such as during the wedding party photo shoot and creates a short 3 to 4 minute “trailer”. Not all wedding videographers offer this option, and if you had your reception immediately after the ceremony like we did, you may not have enough time to have that done, but it’s definitely a very neat idea that builds excitement for the final wedding video.

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So, there you have it – wedding slideshow and wedding video tips revealed.  While many of our guests said they enjoyed our slideshow and video, the one item on our reception program that got the most compliments is still to come!  Stay tuned!

Like to read more wedding photo tips? See other posts related to Weddings & Brides.

Ready to make your own photo book? Check out our Coupons and Deals page for discounts. It’s all about staying on budget right?

If you want to use a neat NEW tool to help you find the right photo book publisher for you, try out the Photo Book Software Wizard!

b/t/w I would love to hear any comments or tips you want to share!  Happy Friday!

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16 Comments

  1. Posted June 9, 2010 at 1:53 am | #

    Great article and thank you for sharing.

    What are your thoughts on transition times between slides?

    • photobookgirl
      Posted June 9, 2010 at 11:42 am | #

      Hi DJ-RJ,

      Thanks for your comment and interest in my slideshow post. The transition times depend on what type of transition you use. A fade transition where the photo fades into black needs an extra second in my opinion or the fade to black may seem a little abrupt. In contrast, a cross dissolve in which one photo begins a semi-transparent merging into another photo doesn’t need as much time. So I’ll hold photo A for 2 seconds and photo B for 2 seconds and the cross dissolve may take about a half second of that 4 seconds which is pretty fast. If that’s too fast for you, you could add say a quarter second to each photo to make photo A last 2:15 and photo B last 2:15, depending how fast the song is. I try to limit using transitions for the most part and typically cut straight to the next photo with no transition. If you think about how quickly most people flip through the pages of a photo album – you probably look at a page for about 2 to 3 seconds before flipping to the next page (at least I do!)
      As for the end of a segment, I like using the fade to black when coming to the end of a song which I try to time with the end of a section of a slideshow. If it doesn’t match up, I just fade the song out. For a fade to black, I probably have the photo go 3 seconds with the actual fade lasting through the last second to half a second before it hits black.

      b/t/w I remember reading somewhere that a good way to learn about how to edit video is to watch a TV show. You’ll notice that there is no fade or other transition between shots, it’s just cutting from camera 1 to camera 2 and back and forth.

      Additionally, as much as possible, the transition should match the song. For example, I think it would be awkward to have a slow transition paired with a medium to fast paced song. As a DJ I’m sure you can appreciate that! Given your experience, I’m sure you’ve seen a lot of slideshows – have any interesting stories or tips?

  2. Melanie
    Posted November 24, 2010 at 2:52 pm | #

    More great tips! I was unsure about whether to do a slide show. I’ve enjoyed them at some weddings, but other times, when I didn’t know the couple or their other friends as well, it felt like it dragged on and on and on. We may do it at the rehearsal dinner.
    And I LOVE the idea about the digital frame on the table with the guest book. I think that’s a fantastic way for people who want to see a few pictures to stop for a minute, but then move on if they’re bored.

  3. pakistani wedding dr
    Posted August 9, 2011 at 8:39 pm | #

    Thanks for sharing the tips I will surely get this one personally for my son’s wedding this november. I have pictures of him that I want to include in the slideshow.

  4. Jesica
    Posted March 18, 2013 at 11:25 am | #

    I love love the digital frame idea!! I was reading your blog when I was having a mild panic attack because my wedding is this week! I had forgotten about the pics for the gift table!!! You gave me an amazing idea and does not cost a thing for me. I already have a digital frame. And I had no formal nice pics of my fiance and I. We have many fun pictures and I wanted sort of a slide show. Thank you so much for the idea!!!

    • photobookgirl
      Posted March 22, 2013 at 2:17 pm | #

      You’re welcome and congratulations! When you get a chance I’d love to hear how it went! :)

  5. Liz Carranza
    Posted April 24, 2013 at 2:46 pm | #

    Hi, great post!

    I recently went to a friends wedding that had the greatest wedding slideshow I had ever seen. It had about 30-40 movie clips in and around their pictures. It was like watching a movie, because it was a full story. It turns out they downloaded the template for the video from a website that makes them from scratch. I just thought you should follow up on them and see what you thought.

    The website is: gigflixstudio

    Thanks for everything you do!
    Liz

    • photobookgirl
      Posted April 24, 2013 at 9:44 pm | #

      Thanks Liz! I’ll definitely check it out. As time passes, there’s always new and fun things coming out. Yes, I love it when you can take a template and then personalize it to make it uniquely your own – much easier than going from scratch!

    • Stacy Williams
      Posted May 4, 2013 at 2:49 am | #

      Hi Liz,

      I just saw one of these videos in action at my Nieces wedding last weekend. I thought the groom had made it from scratch since he was a cameraman and video guy…but I found out they had just bought the template from this site. The actually used some of my favorite movies as clips…The Princess Bride and Father of the Bride!

      • photobookgirl
        Posted May 5, 2013 at 10:55 pm | #

        It is a fun concept, but I suppose you wouldn’t want it to catch on too much because then it wouldn’t seem very original! Very entertaining though!

      • Rachel C
        Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:01 am | #

        Yeah, but it looks like they change it up often because we used one for our wedding and it didn’t look like the ones they currently have up.

        Besides what are the odds that two weddings will have people who will have seen the same video…there are a ton of weddings each month all across the country. :-)

        Its pretty cool.

        Great Site by the way!

        • photobookgirl
          Posted May 12, 2013 at 2:20 am | #

          Oh, that’s good to know that they change it up. Sometimes I get too obsessed with having something custom :) I’m glad you like my site – hope you saw I have a giveaway right now – there’s a banner at the top of the post!

  6. Pedro
    Posted June 3, 2013 at 12:40 pm | #

    Check this :)

    see this new type of slideshow for weddings.
    The MarryDolls tells his story in a way never seen before.

  7. Danielle M
    Posted June 6, 2013 at 6:53 pm | #

    I just thought I’d share a website that looks like has the coolest video templates for slideshows. I love video montages especially when it includes some classic movies! gigflixstudio.com

  8. weddings yorkshire
    Posted July 29, 2013 at 12:57 pm | #

    Howdy! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a group of volunteers and starting a new project in a community in the same
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  9. Ed Woodall
    Posted May 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm | #

    Hey,

    I know this thread is pretty old but was looking for something similar for my wedding. I found a way of doing it through a live Instagram and Twitter slideshow.

    The website is ii.do and looks great!

    Dan

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