Real Weddings

WEDDING VIDEOGRAPHY

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.  

TONY AND DALINA - RIO GRANDE WINERY ROMANTIC SUMMER WEDDING

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Let's start at the beginning. How did you two first meet?

We met at work. He was working as an engineer and I was doing accounting, while going to school. He transferred from San Diego within the company and was only supposed to be in Las Cruces for 6 months but he ended up staying and buying a house!

What was the most anticipated moment of your wedding day?

The actual ceremony! We were both excited and the energy in the church was amazing. It was wonderful to see so many of our loved ones at the church celebrating with us.

What was the inspiration behind your day? Did you have a specific theme, style, or color palette?

Romantic Vintage was the inspiration behind the day. Lots of pearls, blush pink, light grey and gold. Took some convincing but he finally agreed with me! :)

Do you have any wedding planning or marriage advice that you would like to share with other couples planning their day?

Easier said than done BUT try not to stress on your wedding day. Things never go as planned--we should know, we had a GIANT dust storm blow through our outdoor wedding at the beginning of the reception! It sounds cliche but do your best not to stress. No one will notice the things that went wrong and everyone will have fun! Enjoy the day and take it all in, it goes by fast.

[Side note: I was photographing the cake right as the dust storm came through. The wind nearly blew the cake over. Dalina's uncle and I grabbed the cake and rushed it inside just in the knick of time. There's an adventure at every wedding!]

Vendor Credits

Ceremony venue: St. Albert the Great Newman Center

Reception venue: Rio Grande Winery

Hair: Meghan Avilucea, The Room

Make up: Laura Juarez

Catering: St. Clair Winery and Bistro

Cake: Deliciously Creative Cakes

Flowers: DIY

Styling and decor: A Catered Affair

Bride's dress: Brilliant Bridal Boutique

Bridesmaid dresses: Azazie

Menswear: Menguin

DJ: Sight and Sound

Rentals: Enchanted Occasions Event Rentals

Invitations: Zazzle

Transportation: PTA Party Bus

 

 

 

Benny and Melanie - Sonoma Ranch Golf Club Elegant Summer Wedding

One late night out dancing, Benny and Melanie were introduced to each other by mutual friends. As they were dancing together, for the first time, Benny playfully told Melanie he was going to marry her. Fast forward from many years of friendship, flirting and lots of nights spent dancing and here we are!

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On a Saturday in late summer, Benny lived up to that promise of many years ago and married that girl he met dancing. 

Melanie and Benny planned their wedding ceremony to take place on the driving range of the Sonoma Ranch Golf Course insuring a beautiful view of the majestic Organ mountains. Their wedding day was warm and sunny with the occasional cloud teasing the guests with a small patch of soothing shade. I know a lot of people get excited about fall and autumn, but I am completely fine with the idea of a year long summer. Summer stay forever. 

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You can't beat that just married smile. Capturing the overjoyed and ecstatic faces of brides and grooms as they exit the ceremony may be one of my favorite moments of the wedding day (shhh, don't worry, I still love you bride and groom styled portraits!). As Benny and Melanie walked away, I stepped behind them and let them pass me which allowed me to document this sweet, quiet, just the two of them, moment. 

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The bridesmaids wore long flowing gowns from Azazie in a muted, dusty rose shade. The groomsmen wore navy suits. I love how navy seems to instantly elevate any color palette without drowning in formality. Melanie and Benny's wedding style could be described as easy summertime glamour. 

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I love this photograph Nate created from an unexpected angle as I was busy photographing the bridesmaids as a group. Melanie's bouquet was designed by the talented team at Barb's Flowerland and featured white calla lilies, soft pink roses, bold merlot roses with blue thistles. The blue thistles add just the right amount of drama to this bouquet to keep things interesting. 

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Melanie's sleek and sophisticated updo was done by tHAIRapy Salon. Doesn't she look stunning?! Such a classic beauty. 

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Obviously I big perk of getting married on a golf course is the sweet ride you'll drive around all day.

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After we jetted around the Sonoma Ranch golf course for bride and groom portraits, dinner was served al fresco in the covered pavilion patio of the clubhouse. Simon and the whole team at Sunset Grill did a wonderful job serving and catering a yummy meal. 

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A family friend made a classic white fondant wedding cake and garnished the tiers with more soft pink roses. 

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Benny told me the only bite he got of the whole cake was the bite Melanie fed him as they cut their wedding cake. He was too busy dancing with his beautiful bride. 

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Thank you New Mexico sunsets! 

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At their wedding rehearsal, the day before I asked Benny and Melanie how they were feeling. They told me they were just ready to be married and enjoy their day with family and friends. I am so glad that is exactly how the day unfolded. They danced and danced and I cannot think of a more poetic way to celebrate how their love story began. 

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Las Cruces Bulletin's 2016 Wedding Guide

We are so thrilled to have our work featured in the Las Cruces Bulletin’s 2016/2017 Wedding Guide!

Seeing our couples grace the pages of a magazine is quite the treat.

Throughout the Bulletin’s wedding guide, our photographs not only highlight our beautiful brides and grooms but also the wonderful vendors they have selected to work with. I want to take a moment and give them a shout out because they are such a crucial piece to any beautiful wedding.

Here are the local vendors featured in our photographs that appear in the wedding guide.

Venue: Meson de Mesilla

Flowers and decor: Floriography

Make Up:     Allison Shrum Makeup Artistry

Hair: Brittany Evans, hair stylist at Cheeky Chicks

Dress: BHLDN

Officiant: Rev Emma

 

Photo location: EPIC Railyard Event Center

 

Photo location: White Sands National Monument

Make Up: Allison Shrum Makeup Artistry

Hair: The Spa, Alamogordo

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Photo location: New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum Courtyard

Cake: Let them Eat Cake

 

If you are planning a wedding, these are a few of the great vendors Las Cruces has to offer!