Once upon a time, you met the love of your life, the person you decided to marry. But on your wedding day, not everyone celebrating with you will know your story — how the two of you met and how you arrived at this special day. A simple, elegant way to share that story with the people who mean the most to you is with a wedding slideshow.
To help you tell your own love story, we’ve put together a guide that’ll take you through making a wedding slideshow with music, step by step. Take a look:
1. Decide on the story you want to tell
Every love story is unique, so even if you’re just sharing how you met and fell in love, that’s your special love story. To show how special it is, share the details that make it stand out — how’d you meet? How have you changed each other? What do you do together (for example, do you have a hobby that you both share)? What helped you go from two people who liked each other to two people who love each other?
Created Using Engagement Slideshow Storyboard
Song: “Hide in Light” by Atlantica
2. Keep it short and sweet
It’s everyone’s first instinct to include all their photos and video clips. But a long video is a lot to ask of an audience that’s waiting to raise a glass to you both. Instead, set a goal of about 3-5 minutes for your slideshow, or roughly the length of a song. It’ll keep everyone watching, and still give you plenty of room for all those photos and video clips you love.
3. Set a timeline
Every story has a beginning, a middle, and an end — something to keep in mind when you’re planning out your slideshow. What’s the arch of your story? When does it begin? What are the major events you want to cover and in what order did they occur? Careful sequencing helps viewers understand how the two of you got to your wedding day. It can also keep your video more balanced (rather than having too much at the beginning or at the end).
4. Find and prep your materials
To get ready, raid family photo albums, download images from social media, and then dig through the photos and video clips on your computer, phones, or tablets. In other words, find as much as you can so you have lots of choices. It’ll help give you the variety you’ll need to tell your story. Then save it all in one place (on your computer or a cloud-based storage service) so you don’t have to go hunting when you want to start your video.
Troubleshooting your prep
What should my scanner resolution be? For print photos, there are a few ways to digitize your images so you can add them into your video. If you want to scan your images in, a scanner resolution of 72 dpi (dots per inch) is fine for your video, but up that to 300 dpi if you think you might want to print out copies later.
What if I don’t have a scanner? If you don’t have a scanner, many office supply stores or copy centers like Staples will have scanners you can pay to use.
5. Curate your photos and videos
Once you’ve found everything, go through it and decide what to use. Remember to choose images that help you tell your story. Look for images and video clips from different points in your relationship, and seek out photos with a bit of variety. Also make sure that what you’re using looks good — if the photos have a low resolution or the video clips are grainy, unless it’s a very important moment, let it go. Think of yourself as an editor — if it doesn’t work for your story, or if it looks too similar to something else you want to share, leave it on the cutting room floor.
Troubleshooting your edit
Should images be horizontal or vertical? If you’re torn between two similar photos, if one of them is horizontal, choose that one. A horizontal photo will take up more of your screen and generally look better than a vertical photo.
What’s the best image resolution? When you’re deciding whether an image is big enough for your video, here’s a good rule of thumb: for HD videos or videos you plan to project on a screen, a horizontal photo should be about 1920×1080 pixels, and vertical images should be at least 1080 pixels tall. Much smaller than that, and you’ll be looking at a blurry image.
6. Choose a song
If this slideshow is a romantic movie, then it needs a soundtrack to match it. The song you choose helps sets the tone, so look for one that fits both of your personalities, and matches the pace of your slideshow. Finding your song can be the trickiest part because (to paraphrase Mark Twain) the difference between the almost right song and the right one is “the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning.” But like true love, you’ll know the right tune when you find it.
7. Put your video together
Here’s the easy part! If you already have your photos and video clips ready, it shouldn’t take long to put them all together. Add everything to a video creator, like Animoto, arrange them in the order you want, test to see that your song matches your images and the story you want to tell, then produce and save your video.
8. Prep the venue to show your video
Whether you’re getting married at a resort or at your own home, make sure the location you’ve chosen knows you intend to show a slideshow video, and find out what you’ll need to bring besides the video itself. Ask if the venue has a projector or a screen (many do) or if you’ll need to make arrangements yourself. If you have to bring your setup, here are some things you might want to bring:
- A screen or large-screen TV
- A way to play the video (laptop, DVD player, etc.)
- Video player cords and adapters (input and output)
- Projector (if not using a TV)
9. Save your video to a flash drive or DVD
You might consider making two copies, and giving them to two different people to bring to the wedding. That way, at least one of you probably won’t forget the video at home. If you’re creating a video as a gift for your bridal party, don’t forget to bring copies of that, too.
10. Share your video
If you add your video to your wedding website, or share it on social media, you can include family and friends who couldn’t attend your wedding or who enjoy it again after the fact.
Have a question about creating your own “Story of Us” wedding slideshow to show at your rehearsal or reception? We’re here to help! Visit our Resource Center to learn how to use Animoto, or reach out to our Help Center for more assistance.