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.
Vanessa and Tony were married at St. Annes Catholic Church in Houston Texas, followed by the reception at The Corinthian. The day started out with bridal prep in the ZAZA Hotel in the Rock Star suite! It had an amazing view of downtown Houston. We shot so many great moments up there. The ceremony at St. Annes was beautiful, the church had so much character and the interior was just so breathtaking.
From there we headed to The Corinthian for the reception. Lisa Newburn from Lisa Newburn Events setup the whole event and it was amazing! The gorgeous flower arrangements were created by David Kurio Designs. In any direction we shot there was an amazing floral setup, it was a pleasure documenting such a perfect wedding.
When Vanessa and Tony arrived the guests were ecstatic, the huge applause led them to the dance floor for their first dance. After a bit of dancing a savory filet was served by Jackson and Company, one of the best steaks I’ve ever had!
The night went on with lots of dancing and partying. The band was amazing and kept the floor going for hours of fun. Vanessa and Tony had a dream wedding, and when it was all over they knew it was the time of their lives!
This is the trailer for their upcoming video -
At the end of the night, Helen and Dave mentioned something in their speech that really resonated with me. Well, it was Dave speaking on behalf of the two of them as Helen has a history of breaking down midway through - which you would never guess form the same-day edit. Back to their speech, Dave said that he loved how we became their friends very quickly, that we captured all the raw emotions, and that we kept them that way -raw. It is that connection that we have with our couples that really allows us to get inside and see things that are often shut off for most of the world.
Helen and Dave’s wedding couldn’t have been a more fitting day for the comments he made. Their morning was in two words, pure pandemonium. As much as we plan, prepare, organize, and storyboard, weddings are unpredictable beasts that take on a life of their own. While I don’t think our bodies could hold up to shooting weddings like this every week, it certainly is refreshing to have so much going on that you simply can’t cover it all. When that happens, nearly all the planning goes out the window and it becomes a very instinctual art. At one point in the day we had a band, Dave, and about 50 family members dancing in Helen’s driveway while she was thirty feet away, just inside the door about to put her dress on. As it started to pour (both the rain and Helen’s tears), the dancing just got more intense.
As much as we want to always have the perfect lens choice and angle for every shot, it is days like this that even the 30 seconds of thought it takes to work through that is time you don’t have. It is a different way of shooting and it is certainly a challenge I thoroughly enjoyed.
The irony of the whole situation was that after all of these intense events, everyone rushed to the church to make it on time. As things started to settle down, a confusion set in as nobody could find the priest. He ended up arriving about 40 minutes late, and as difficult as it must have been for Helen and Dave to sit and wait to be married, I think everybody appreciated the calm after the storm.
With that Dave + Helen…
Shannon and Jason’s wedding was held at Kairos on June 7, 2008. What an awesome day it was! We’ve had so many perfect days filming weddings this year! Shannon + Jason planned an amazing wedding. All the guest were so nice, and they made our day that much better. The sunset in the evening was spectacular! We were able to shoot with Shannon and Jason for a few minutes and it made for some of the best shot’s I’ve ever seen. Watch their trailer below.
For Quyen and Steve’s wedding, we got the opportunity to shoot with Ed Pingol from the San Jose, CA area. When he and his team showed up in the morning, they were pumped to be a part of a Stillmotion same-day edit. When I told them that Quyen and Steve opted for a love story instead of an SDE, their enthusiasm quickly faded. If you know Ed at all, that certainly means a lot. With that, the idea was born that maybe, just maybe, we could try and swing a SDE at some point in the day. Add to that, Quyen and Steve’s love story had such a strong ending, it was just calling for a SDE to complete it.
When the reception rolled around the possibility of not doing an SDE became smaller and smaller. So we devised the plan, set to work, and had the piece ready by the time the speeches were done. The coolest thing about this was that nobody except for the two of us knew what was going on. The love story aired and we received a rather huge applause with Quyen and Steve undoubtedly thinking that everything was over. Then it hit the screen to quite the reaction, one that surely made all the craziness worth while.
With that, here is the SDE that was born and finished at the reception. Thanks to Casey W. from mindcastle for his awesomeness in pulling this together.
Here is Keely and Kyle’s HD wedding trailer. They had an amazing wedding at Villa Antonia just outside Austin, Texas. The weather was perfect and the couple was a lot of fun!