‘You Stay Classy, Wedding People’ explores nuptials gone off the rails

As a wedding videographer, Jason Drake regularly deals with people on one of the most exciting and stressful days of their lives. The stories he can tell about the things he’s seen are enough to fill a book, and that’s exactly what he’s done.

The former Woodstock resident authored “You Stay Classy, Wedding People,” a memoir of a professional videographer and a narrative he calls a guide to what not to do for future newlyweds.

“I can see where [a wedding] is going off track,” said Drake. “Every story I tell I try to get people to learn from.”

While anyone can tell crazy wedding stories, Drake delivers the stories with his own unique style of humor, original illustrations and an endless supply of pop culture references for any occasion.

The idea for the book evolved from conversations he had with other wedding professionals.

“We’d get together and everyone would tell stories. Everyone would laugh at my stories, and they’d say you should write a book,” said Drake.

While this is the first book project for Drake, as a freelance writer, graphic designer, musician and videographer, he’s no stranger to creativity and entertainment. He produced, wrote and co-starred in the Chicago-based cable access show, “3 Guys Pickin’.” The show, still viewable on YouTube, included an episode titled “Complete Groundhog Day Tour,” filmed in Woodstock.

Drake is also the producer and editor of “Five Days in the Midwest,” a documentary film about the Avett Brothers band.

“Everything is a vehicle for me to be funny,” he said.

During his 12 years as a wedding videographer, Drake has just about seen it all. He said weddings are very expensive events where everyone is dressed up nicely and should be on their best behavior, but the truth is all too often it brings out the worst.

Subjects Drake touches on include problems with DJs, bands, photographers, speech givers and a chapter on “zillas,” including brides and grooms. The book includes an index in the back for each reference.

Entirely self-published, the book includes original illustrations created by Drake.

“You Stay Classy, Wedding People” hit the market in May and is available through the Facebook page YouStayClassyWeddingPeople, Drake’s website YouStayClassyWeddingPeople.com and on Amazon.

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