Most of the time we get the chance to get to know all of our awesome couples well before their wedding day. Sometimes though, time and geography just don’t allow that to happen and we end up meeting the couple very close to their wedding day. It is especially challenging trying to portray the love and uniqueness of two people after just meeting them, and I think that is where instinct really kicks in. Jodi + Mark live in California but had their wedding in Toronto. We travel to California so many times every year; it was great that a couple from California traveled here this time.
Jodi had a rather early start to her day, as in 5:30 am for hair and make-up. We decided to stay at the same hotel as her, so we could be ready to go in the morning. As we checked in the night before, I hoped I might somehow run across Jodi - which would be our first time meeting in person. I asked at the front counter if they had seen the bride around, thinking to myself how silly it was for the receptionist to have any idea who I was talking about and that she would be around the lobby at 11 pm. As I asked, Jodi walked up to the front desk. Turns out she was looking for some equipment to steam her dress after her travels. Steaming the dress at about midnight the night before your wedding sounded too good to pass up so I headed up to her room to check it out. The rest I will leave to the sde, but not only was that a great part of their story, it gave me a great chance to get to know her before the wedding, even if it was only hours before.
A little aside related to their SDE. During the wedding day we were shooting the dress hanging and one of the bridesmaids asked if we wanted to move it somewhere prettier than the washroom. Had it been a couple years ago we probably would have taken it out and done something crazy with it, but as we add more depth to our films we try to resist great visuals just for the visuals sake. By shooting the dress where and how it was, the shot may have been simpler in a sense, but it also had so much more story as to why it was there. It makes me wonder about all of the other stories related to every other detail of a wedding and how much of that is lost when we become too contrived. The challenge, for us, is to match the visual quality of the best of settings, while also keeping these details in their real setting, or at least in a way that related to their story.