When it comes to wedding coverage, whether it is photo or cinema, why is it just one day? Wor obvious reasons, the wedding day itself has tremendous value, but why do we limit ourselves to just that?
We often cover the bride and groom preparing things, such as presents or their vows, the morning of the wedding. Something has always irked with the timing of it all. Let’s say Chrystalle decides to write her vows to Michael the morning of the wedding. That is something that we would certainly focus on and would potentially be a big part of their SDE or main feature (assuming it meant something to them). But what if Chrystalle decides to put together her vows the day before the wedding // does it not have just as much meaning? Does it not contribute to the story just as much?
There are so many details that go into every wedding, but we often only see them when they come together. Before the bride can put on the dress, she had to go shopping, choose the right one, and go for several dress fittings. Each and every detail has a similar story. As story tellers, we started feeling like we were only capturing the tip of the iceberg and leaving so much behind.
With that the idea of Michael + Chrystalle’s film was born. We always ask ourselves // what do we not see at every single wedding we shoot? As we look at our own paradigms, one of the biggest things we never considered was why we weren’t looking beyond the wedding day itself.
Over a tasty east Asian inspired Indian lunch, we started plotting with Michael and Chrystalle. The idea for their film was rather simple. The execution of it, as is often the case, wasn’t nearly as straightforward as we had originally thought.
So much thought often goes into the bridal foot wear. All of the bridal details for that matter. The groom? Often some variation of a black dress shoe. But not for Michael. He needed some classic high tops to make his trek through downtown Toronto, across hot dog vendors, past a series of push-ups and a bad Bryan Adams remake, and finally, to Cypril // all with a hot dog still in hand.
Phyllis had one of those feel good weddings. You know, the ones were you wear a huge smile on your face the whole way through. From her scandalous present to Adam in the morning, to their rather intense entrance into the hall, we had such a great time the whole way through.
It should be said the Phyllis is also Filipino. one cannot do an SDE for a Filipino bride without having her know about jmag. For those that don’t know, jmag is the godfather of the SDE. Back when we were wondering how something so complicated could even be possible, him and his team were churning out miracle edits. Years later, as SDE’s have become a staple for us, jmag has inspired a country, and it is amazing what they are doing over there.
Back to Phyllis. Knowing of the jmag influence and the high standards that come along with that, we were so happy when Phyllis chose us. It made things a little extra special knowing what we had to live up to.
A couple weeks ago we got a call from Canon. They had a new camera coming out, and they wanted us to give it a test drive. Sounds exciting right? But, having a camera before it’s announced, not being able to take it outside with any labels showing, and needing to be ultra top-secret certainly has its pressures. Nonetheless, we felt so lucky to get that call and were just waiting for the right oppurtunity to see what the camera could do.
Enter JC + Esther.
If I had to choose one word to describe these two it would be, without a doubt, organic. The dress Esther chose to wear was made entirely by her aunt Norma. Not only did she make the dress, she also helped Esther get into it on her wedding day. The beer at the reception was one of JC’s home brews. Their cakes stood atop towering stumps, their place cards set amongst a tray of grass, and the present JC got for Esther was unmistakeably original and very organic. All of this, and I haven’t even got to their so very touching vows.
Armed with two pre-production 7ds, I don’t know if I was quite prepared for all that I would experience that day. I’ll start with the imagery from the 7d, their highlights film, and follow up with some of our first impressions later in the week. If you’re interested in more technical details, follow the link to vimeo for a complete write-up.
Sorry for the tech speak at the beginning and ends, Canon asked us very nicely to share that with you since it is a pre-production camera.
When you watch Amber and Jordan’s sde, even though we share very little of the reception, I think this piece paints a very good picture of what it was like. I love how these feel so much less like wedding films and so much more of biographies - stories of who our couples are and what they mean to each other.
I wanted to share Aaron + Jess’ short film which we debuted last at their wedding along with their same day edit. You may remember their blindfolded first meeting + a muskoka wedding.
Here is an email we received this morning that just made our day so much so that we had to share it:
I have just come across your website and art today. I have never been more touched by wedding cinematography. I am seriously still drying tears from my face from watching your videos. I didn’t even know such talented existed in this world. Your videos are like movies, they captivate your soul. I feel like I have no words to describe how moved I am right now. So I will just end this by letting you know that I, Courtney, am touched by your beauty and art. I love it. Thank you for sharing your talent with the world. I WILL have you at my wedding someday, when that time comes. You’ll hear from me again.
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.
Thank you to Catherine + Hendra for sharing their wonderful wedding in Oakland, CA with us. The sde timeline certainly was more challenging than most but when the dust settled and we had this to share, it couldn’t be more worth it.
A big thanks to Leslie Campbell of Let’s celebrate for making the sde not only possible, but also much much better because of her efforts.
Your work really exceeded our (already high) expectations, and I can honestly say the SDE saved our wedding reception. There were so many things that went wrong that night (we were scammed by the band company- we didn’t get the band we booked, and they substituted them with one of much lower quality without our consent…long story). I was so disappointed and almost gave up that night, but thanks to your SDE, not only did it save the reception, it also showed me what is important about this whole wedding.
The story line in the SDE was so sweet and amazing, I realized this wedding was not about the band, food, tablecloth or cake. It is about me and Hendra. It is about our love. Oh, I LOVEEEDDDD how you put my parents at the end of SDE. I realized at that very second, that night was a gift from them. It was their acceptance of Hendra that made that night possible. And you captured it PERFECTLY in the SDE. Patrick, I cannot thank you enough for that. Right after the SDE I couldn’t care less about anything else. I was so happy I married Hendra and that both our families accepted each other. That is what really matters. Thank you thank you thank you.
Mr. & Mrs. Christianus
We get to experience some pretty insane things. seeing a rendition of “Baby Got Back” performed by the entire wedding party, on a beach in Maui, is certainly among them. While you will only get a sneak peak of the epic dance that set the place on fire that night, you will also see the energy and dedication that Marie and Mike have, both of which you would need a ton of to pull something like this off.
The idea of using the smashing pumpkins as a backdrop for an SDE has always beem very intriguing. “Tracks like “Disarm” and “Tonight, Tonight” carry so much energy and power that i could just sense how it would electrify a reception. Cyndi + Cory gave us that chance when they said:
one // they love the smashing pumpkins
two // we could do something wild and crazy for the SDE
We all have different processes for how we put together an SDE. Michael likes to play the song on repeat for a good several hours, to the detriment of the rest of the studio, as he lets everything sink in. Konrad likes to sing and dance to the song as he thinks of what he wants to do. I try to sit and listen and see how each couple would fit within the chords.
Being a same day edit, we were a little nervous that we had to find a way to get the quick segments in and completed, otherwise we would have to fill it in with other footage and the SDE wouldn’t have had nearly the same power.
One request before you watch Cyndi + Cory’s SDE. Let the full film load. Turn you speakers up.