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Adam Kealing & Sarah Stoker Kealing / InTandem Photography
Hayden Geller and Sean Duffy wanted a nontraditional wedding and a "save the date" video that reflected their unique style.
TODAY contributor
updated 5/31/2011 10:22:59 AM ET 2011-05-31T14:22:59

Jane Choi and Tim Chung of Chapel Hill, N.C., were looking for a fun and unique way of announcing their 2010 wedding date. Despite not having any videography or graphic design experience, the two decided to try their hand at an increasingly popular “save the date” trend: an Internet video.

The couple made a cake with “save the date” written on it and filmed themselves eating it. Tim then used his MacBook to edit. The result, which they sent to family and friends, was a two-minute video beginning with the couple covered in cake, running backward, and ending with the cake and its message. (See Tim and Jane’s video here.)

The total price for the video?

“The only things we bought were cake mix and frosting!” Choi said. Not bad, considering traditional mailings can cost upward of $200.

Because of the cost-efficiency, as well as the utter charm factor of a homemade video, many couples are choosing to forgo traditional “save the dates” for something a little more creative. After all, filming a video with your fiancee is a heck of a lot more fun than picking out fonts.

Hayden Geller and Sean Duffy were looking for a practical and cost-effective way to spread the word about their 2010 wedding in Austin, Texas. But not just any old “save the date” would do.

“Sean and I are both fairly creative people (or so we like to think) and we knew our wedding was going to be pretty nontraditional, so it was important that our ‘save the date’ reflect that,” said Geller.

They decided to make a video inspired by their favorite filmmaker, Wes Anderson. Geller and Duffy ride scooters, skateboard and even stargaze in an Anderson-esque video that ends with the wedding date and location.

“For the most part, we shot the video ourselves," said Geller. “A couple of close friends of ours helped film the scenes we were both in.” (See Hayden and Sean’s video here.)

The video took 18 hours to complete and cost under $30. It even became a bit of an Internet sensation, landing on Gawker.com as “The Hippest Save The Date You’ll Ever See.”

Ryan Turri of Turri Productions in Los Angeles started getting requests to help film “save the date” videos after his own 2008 announcement on YouTube.

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“My wife thought of telling our story through a comic strip, but I wanted to take it a step farther," said Turri.

The result is a sweet two-minute animation that follows the couple from infancy to engagement, and ends with the upcoming wedding information. (See Ryan and Rochelle’s video here.)

“I would definitely encourage couples who want to make their own video to go for it ... Your video will come out being a great reflection of you as a couple,” he said.

If you’re thinking of making your own “save the date” video, here are some tips on how to keep it fast, easy and affordable:

Skip the fancy equipment
Contrary to what you might think, you don’t need expensive equipment to make a high-quality video — and you can do most of the filming yourselves.

“We didn’t have the funds for a videographer, so we set up a tripod and camcorder,” said Choi.

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If you don’t have a camcorder, use the movie setting on a regular digital camera. You can set up a tripod, or get a friend to help. Then, use software that’s already on your computer, such as iMovie or Microsoft Movie Maker, to edit your footage and add subtitles and music.

Keep it short
“I usually have to work with them to try to find the best way to tell the story in an appropriate amount of time. You don’t want Grandma sitting through a half-hour video,” advises Turri. You can always show the “director’s cut” at the reception.

Set up a personalized domain
For as little as $12 on domain hosting site GoDaddy, you can set up a personalized URL for a quick and easy-to-remember way of linking your video. (Example: TimHeartJane.com) As an added bonus, these sites can be used to host all of your wedding information for easy access.

Make an exception for less tech-savvy guests
“The trend tends to be geared toward younger friends,” warns Amber Gustafson, director of Amber Events in Los Angeles, Calif.

So you’ll want to print out a few cards for your older or less tech-savvy friends — but be sure to show them the video at some point!

Be careful of posting too soon
On the Internet, it’s difficult to control who sees your “save the date” video. Not everyone who does will actually be invited.

“You can’t un-invite someone, so be incredibly careful who you send the ‘save the date’ to,” advises Gustafson.

Email the video only to the finalized guest list, and wait until after the wedding to share on Facebook or YouTube, where uninvited friends will see it.

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Photos: Chic summer bridal gowns

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  1. Chic within your reach

    Boutiques are no longer the go-to stop for bridal gowns. These days, you can hit up your local mall – or even Costco – to find the wedding dress of your dreams.

    With fashion guidance from TODAY style editor and Bobbie.com’s Bobbie Thomas, take a look at gowns from mass-market retailers that are redefining the bridal industry market.

    Ann Taylor: Rose Petal Wedding Gown, $750
    Flirty florals are always eye-catching: Ann Taylor's silk rose petal wedding gown is covered in appliquéd petals for a mesmerizing effect.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "This soft and fluttery style is great for a bride who wants to add a little curve to her shape." (Ann Taylor) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Ann Taylor: Embroidered Tea Length Dress, $695

    Who says it has to be long? Ann Taylor's short, strapless dress features a full crinkle skirt for a play of textures and proportions.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "A darling combination of sweet and girly – perfect for a day wedding." (Ann Taylor) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. BHLDN: Burnished Organza Gown, $1,400

    Take it up a notch with BHLDN's strapless bohemian gown, featuring sparkling bronze sequins at the top and five dramatic tiers of embroidered silk on the bottom.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Interesting details and elements make this gown perfect for the bride who wants something different." (BHLDN) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. BHLDN: Sweeping Tafetta Ball Gown, $1,600

    If you're looking for sophisticated drama, BHLDN's taffeta gown features a dramatically scooped neckline and a majestic A-line skirt. Not that it's without any whimsy: the dress also comes with handy side pockets.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "For the belle of the ball, this grand gown makes a statement without looking over-the-top." (BHLDN) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. BHLDN: Greenbow Lace Gown, $600

    For the hippie in love, Tracy Reese's romantic crocheted lace dress comes dotted with globe buttons and encircled by grosgrain at the waist.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Vintage inspired with a romantic bohemian appeal, fantastic for a spring/summer outdoor affair or country wedding." (BHLDN) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Kirstie Kelly for Costco: English Net & Alencon Lace, $999.99

    Yes, you can get your gown at Costco! While stocking up on a year's supply of toilet paper, you can also purchase this Kirstie Kelly Alencon lace trumpet gown with an elegant sweetheart neckline.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "A great option with a universally flattering neckline and sophisticated details." (Kelly for Costco) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Kirstie Kelly for Costco: Petal Lace Gown, $1,299.99

    For the romantic bride, Kirstie Kelly offers a petal lace trumpet gown with a subtle sweetheart neckline and cording hand sewn throughout the skirt.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "This demure, feminine gown is perfect for a bride who is stylish yet conservative." (Kelly for Costco) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. David's Bridal: Oleg Cassini Gown, $850, with Bolero, $129

    Moments after Kate Middleton revealed her wedding gown, companies feverishly began emulating her classic look. David's Bridal re-creates the royal style – without the palace price tag – by pairing a strapless ball gown silhouette with a lace bolero.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Timeless and full of grace, this classic look is a chic option." (David’s Bridal) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. J. Crew: Starling Dress, $1,400

    J. Crew offers the perfect flirty option – a silk taffeta dress with festive ruffles, ostrich feathers and lace.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Sweet yet not too simple, this cocktail-length dress is fun, feminine and fabulous for a carefree setting." (J.Crew) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. J.Crew: Duchesse Satin Noelle Gown, $2,500

    Capture an old-world glamour with this vintage-inspired dress, complete with a traditional empire silhouette, dramatic bottom and three-quarter-length sleeves.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Consider this one conservative chic, a traditional gown fit for a queen." (J.Crew) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. J. Crew: Silk Chiffon Whitney Gown, $425

    Keep it casual with a flowy, strapless gown made of lightweight silk chiffon and boasting an eye-catching sash that falls down the center front.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Flowy, breezy and easy, this gown is ideal for a destination wedding." (J.Crew) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. White by Vera Wang for David's Bridal: Ball Gown with Fully Draped Skirt, $1,400

    For the modern princess, Vera Wang offers a princess-seam bodice and a flowy, breathtaking skirt.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "Brides in search of the fairy-tale gown will appreciate this delicate yet dramatic gown." (Vera Wang for David’s Bridal) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. White by Vera Wang for David's Bridal: Gown with Hand Appliqued Lace, $800

    Vera Wang brings her golden touch to this unique lace gown featuring a romantic, asymmetrical pattern over soft, sensuous netting.

    Bobbie Thomas' take: "This understated yet whimsical design feels like a modern fantasy." (Vera Wang for David’s Bridal) Back to slideshow navigation
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  1. Ann Taylor
    Above: Slideshow (13) Chic summer bridal gowns
  2. Image: 82nd Annual Academy Awards - Arrivals
    John Shearer / Getty Images
    Slideshow (34) Celebrity weddings

Video: She says 'I do!' to Hollywood-style proposal


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