It has been nearly three years since I shifted my career being an accountant to being a wedding videographer/photographer, making videos for couples wanting to show their kids how they fell in love, what happened at their wedding, and how young and beautiful their love was. I am grateful to be there on such an amazing day when two people devote themselves to each other, committing to be a family together, and carry on the another branch in a family tree just as their ancestors did. I understand the magnitude of the situation as I film that day. I understand who is going to be watching this video, and how important the story of how their family is created is going to be. I know all of us struggle to envision our future selves and how important watching these videos will be with our children. Imagine watching your wedding videos with your daughter when you are helping her plan her wedding. Everyone at weddings seems to be at their best. Everyone there is happy to celebrate two families coming together to start a new one. Which is why wedding videos are so beautiful, they capture friends and family while they are glowing with that joy. Which is why I decided to share some of the videos I have helped couples make this year today with you.
One of my favorite things to do is record live music during a wedding and use it in one of the highlight videos I create for the couple. During the wedding reception, the Bride’s niece stepped onto the dance floor alone with a microphone, and expressed her desire to give the bride and groom a meaningful gift from the heart, something more than just a thing. After dedicating her gift to her aunt, she opened her heart in front of everyone. She sang from a place that gave everyone listening goose bumps, as the DJ played an instrumental version of the song “At Last”. Now this was a great experience for everyone there, but as a videographer, I can tell you right at that moment when she began this amazing gift, I thought “Thank God, Sight and Sound” is the DJ. I knew I was recording their audio and it would sound amazing for their video.
One of the downsides of planning an outdoor wedding is that you never know exactly what to expect weather-wise. That is a risk, but there is a high reward that comes as well. Can you really beat the atmosphere that the outdoors provides? And from a photographer’s perspective, visually, you can’t beat it. This couple had their ceremony outdoors behind the Farm and Ranch Museum. Full view of the Organ Mountains and all. They spent months in advance preparing their own separate vows, to surprise each other on their wedding day, with their own personal commitment thoroughly outlined composing their promises in exchange for their lives of solitude. You could tell they did not take this marriage lightly, as they spared no expense in detail of their willingness to commit. The time had come, the rings nearby in a trusted pocket, the microphone was passed from the reverend to the bride, and she began to read her carefully written and scrutinized thoughts she had worked so hard on to show her soon to be husband how important he was to her, and what she was willing to sacrifice for him if only to spend the rest of time together. The wind had picked up slightly and the microphone cut out every now and then. Words heard by the groom that weren’t heard by the guests. It was fine, we could fill in the blanks. Their love was still felt. And so it went during his vows to her. The risk of the outdoor wedding found one small way to manifest itself, in the form of a slight technical distraction. That’s alright I had a back-up mic on the groom, “No big deal” I thought. Only they were so close to a running fountain of water, the noise overwhelmed that audio. When I was working on their videos and found that out, I contacted the couple. I visited them at their new home, and we recorded their vows again. This time, there weren’t any blanks to fill in. Their vows became the voice over of one of their highlight videos. Now they can hold each other to their vows at their convenience, making it difficult not to think twice before getting in an argument. But even better, they can inspire their children to find the person that comes along in their lives that holds the same passion towards them.
After a year of planning and working with talented and experienced vendors to ensure that your wedding lines up with your vision of what your wedding day should be, you are set and ready to relax on the day itself, and just enjoy each other in wedding bliss. And that is exactly what this couple did. This was the most elaborately decorated wedding we photographed this year, but you would never know it from looking at the photographs. The day started as any wedding day would have, family and friends getting ready, expressing their love and pride of the bride and groom, everyone smiling so much you knew their faces were hurting before even getting to the Church. The ceremony is beautiful and everything is going great, and then the Priest says out of nowhere “Life is what happens to you when you are making other plans”. And then as if inspired, he repeats it again. Not quite what a newly married couple who just spent the last year planning this marriage wants to hear. But in fact, he was right, especially for that day. At the reception venue, lights were hung, decorations were set, and live musicians where gracing the cocktail hour as a strong wind blew in. One look at the mountains, and you could see half of the sky covered in darkness. Elise and I were about to photograph the wedding cake when the wind nearly blew it over, if not for Elise and the Bride’s uncle literally catching it. In came a nasty windstorm, down went all of the wedding décor. A few decorations smashed by the wind, a few guests wet by rain, and several wedding plans destroyed, changed without notice or aspiration. But it didn’t stop the celebration or the lovebirds’ commitment. The expressions on the faces of attendees was only bleak for a moment, compared to the evening of laughter, reminiscence, and excitement for these two and their journey through life together, through both the good times and the bad. They proved that day, they will uplift each other come what may.
We are so grateful for these couples including us in their wedding, inviting us to be there and witness one of the longest and simultaneously the shortest days of their lives. It is with great gratitude that we continue our photography business thanks to great clients like these. We cherish the time we spend together, and the creativity they inspire. No two wedding stories are alike, and so we tell none of them the same through our photography and videography. That is the true essence of storytelling isn’t it? It isn’t the individual moments, staged for the camera, posed for that particular flash in time. It is the combination of several moments, a beginning, a middle, and an end. We always end stories with a happily ever after, not because that is the end of their story, but that is the beginning of another that they start together.