The case for videographers

_PX_7997

During planning meetings, I ask my couples for the names of their wedding suppliers. This includes the photographer and videographer and it surprises me how few couples opt to have their wedding recorded. Recently, a bride asked me during one of these meetings if a videographer was really a worthwhile investment. After all, she said, they’d already booked a photographer – surely a videographer wouldn’t be necessary too?

My answer? They are not only worthwhile, they are a must-have.

_PX_7232When planning our recent wedding, I told my husband that hiring C2 Video was a non-negotiable.  I had worked with them on several weddings and I always ended up crying whenever I watched one of their reels, even when it was of people I didn’t know.

Dave accepted my decision, but he did say at the time that he never considered a wedding video as something we’d need.  When we told my parents that we had hired a videographer, they were initially sceptical – wasn’t it an unnecessary expense? I told them they’d soon see it wasn’t, but I know they took my advice with a pinch of salt.

_PX_7447_PX_7782

In the lead up to your wedding, everyone tells you the day will fly. That’s because it does. One minute you’re having your hair done and sipping on champagne, the next you’re climbing into bed, exhausted, beside your new husband.

This day that you have spent so long planning and saving for and dreaming about is no different to any other day – it is over in a matter of hours.

_PX_7843

In those few hours, so much happens.

You get ready, bubbling with excitement and anticipation.

You share memorable moments with parents and siblings as you prepare to step into the next stage of your relationship.

You walk down that aisle and go through the most significant ceremony of your life.

You are congratulated, heartily, by the people who love you.

_PX_8853

You hear thoughtful, emotional (and often hilarious) speeches that your friends and family have sweated over for weeks.

You enjoy the most expensive meal you’ll ever pay for.

You tear up the dance floor.

And it is in those moments, and all the moments in between, that the magic happens.

Wedding coffee

The day after our wedding, C2 Video uploaded a highlight reel of the day (scroll to the bottom of this post to see it). It was but a small snapshot of everything that happened, yet still enough to bring back the raft of emotions we felt that day (not to mention a few tears).  In just a few short minutes, Marcus  captured not just how it looked, but the way our day felt.

_PX_9156

We spent several days on our honeymoon talking about the wedding, nominating our favourite moments as we recounted everything we’d seen, done and heard. We realised that while we clearly remembered how the speeches made us feel,  we couldn’t remember the words used in them. We each wanted to know how the other had spent the morning before the wedding, and what had happened on either side of the chapel doors in those moments before they opened and I walked down the aisle.

When we got home all the uncut footage was waiting for us. We spent two evenings glued to our tv as we relived our wedding day through Marcus’ artistry. Not only did we get to see all those things we’d talked about while we were sinking poolside cocktails, Marcus had also captured so many little moments that had either gone unnoticed or been forgotten.

_PX_9585_PX_9934My parents, in particular, couldn’t wait to see the footage. Mum told me that the day was as much of a blur to her as it was to us, and through that video, they were able to take it all in once more.

Dad took a copy with him when he went to visit my 96-year-old Nan in Brisbane a few weeks after the wedding. She too had been there on the day, but wanted to see it all again. Friends and family around the world have been able to take part in our wedding through the work of Marcus and his team, and I love that we will one day be able to share our wedding ceremony with our children.

As a result, my parents have gone from being wedding film sceptics to complete advocates. Funnily enough, my Mum now asks me every weekend if the couple I’m marrying has hired a videographer. She’s a walking advertisement for C2 Video!

Are these not the best dressed crew you've ever seen? Dave and I with Marcus from C2 Video and John from Warren Photography

Are these not the best dressed crew you’ve ever seen? Dave and I with Marcus from C2 Video and John from Warren Photography

If your budget can stretch to a videographer, I implore you to GET ONE*.

To put it simply, I have never met a couple who have regretted hiring a videographer, but I’ve met plenty who have regretted not hiring one – and then, it’s too late.

*It goes without saying that not all videographers are made equal. Do your research and find someone you connect with, who will listen to you and who understands what you want. Make sure they can work with your photographer, and won’t disrupt proceedings for your guests. You’ll spend a lot of time with them on the day and you need to get along with them!  As you may have gathered, I can’t speak highly enough of C2 Video. They are talented, sensitive and professional, and always manage to get the memories without getting in the way.

All images in this post by Warren Photography, video by C2 Video.
Gown by Suzanne Harward.

One month married – a reflection

One month. Or, more accurately, five weeks and one day. That’s how long it has been since Dave and I stood in front of all the people we love and made our marriage vows to one another.

In the lead-up to the wedding, amidst the planning and preparation, I didn’t give much thought to how I would feel after the wedding. Actually, that’s a lie. I did give it some thought – I worried that I would have a massive wedding hangover; becoming mired in sadness because that one, magical day was now over. I thought I would spend my days fervently wishing that we could go back to being engaged. But I haven’t.

Because being married is so much better, so much more fulfilling, so much more joyous than being engaged.

It is so much more than I thought it would be.

26318_10151582503125918_2032328578_n

On the face of things, marriage wasn’t going to change our life together. We had already been living together for over four years and all of our long-term plans included each other. We felt loved and accepted by one another, safe and comfortable. I am known to Dave’s niece and nephew as Aunty Koren and my parents have long considered Dave a son. Neither of us was naive enough to assume that being married would make us more committed to one another, but much to our mutual surprise, something has shifted.

I remember standing at our reception just before we made our speech, looking out over a room filled with the people we love. There was an energy in that room that I can’t quite describe. It was like a pot of water just before it hits the boil – rolling, sitting just under the surface. You can feel it but not quite see it.

That energy was made up of love and hope and faith and happiness, and to realise that it was all on our behalf was humbling. It is a feeling that I hope everyone gets to experience in their lifetime.

Since the wedding, I find myself saying the word ‘husband’ a lot. I like the way it feels on my tongue, the way it fills my ears and the way it envelopes my heart.

I like knowing that in marrying, we have become part of a tradition shared with my grandparents and parents.

I like knowing that our love for one another has been marked in the pages of history and will still be there for our descendants to see in centuries to come. Whatever other stories about us survive, they will know we loved each other.

Our love feels deeper and more intimate. We feel closer to one another. Our relationship has subtly and almost imperceptibly grown. It’s wonderful.

I didn’t think it possible that our life together could get even better.

Never before have I been so happy to realise I don’t know everything.

 

Image by Warren Photography

Ash and Sam

Whoops! I’ve fallen a bit behind with the blogging of late. It has taken a backseat to meeting and marrying some seriously wonderful people, but I have so much love and beauty to share with you all that I’m determined to get back on board.

Today, it’s with the beautiful Ash and Sam, who make me happy just thinking of them.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

We first met one lunchtime and the smiles didn’t leave either of their faces for the entire meeting. Ash and Sam weren’t just excited to be getting married, they were excited about life, full stop. As they told me about their relationship, their families and their plans for the wedding, I found myself getting excited too. I just wanted to spend more time with these gorgeous people and their infectious zest for life.

They had booked one of my favourite venues, Stones of the Yarra Valley, for their springtime wedding. Stones is stunning no matter the season and in springtime it is beyond beautiful. The blossom was out on the trees, the air was crisp and everywhere you looked were fields full of green. The idyllic surrounds of the Yarra Valley were the perfect setting for the beginning of a new life together.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Sam was a relaxed groom, greeting family and friends with hugs as they arrived. John Warren was on the camera that day and I love the candid moments John has captured as Sam waits for his bride. In fact, Sam kept his cool right up until the doors of the chapel closed, notifying us to Ash’s arrival. Then, it was up to his groomsmen and I to distract him until he laid eyes on his bride!

Once the doors of the chapel opened and the bridesmaids began their walk down the aisle, Sam took a big breath, put his shoulders back and readied himself for Ash’s entry.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Following the entrance of Ash and Sam’s utterly adorable niece and Ash’s bridesmaids, the bride herself appeared in the doorway of the chapel. This was the moment when all of Sam’s resolve left him and I can’t say I blame him. Ash was simply breathtaking. She appeared lit from within  as she made her towards Sam to an acoustic version of Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years on the arm of her very proud grandfather.

We began the ceremony by asking Ash’s Mum and Sam’s Mum and Dad for their blessing of the marriage, which all of them gave with a resounding ‘I do’! We then paid tribute to Ash’s much-loved Dad and lit a candle in memory of him. It was a moving, emotional and loving moment and I don’t know that anyone was left without goosebumps by it.

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

The ceremony incorporated the story of Ash and Sam’s relationship, beginning with a chance meeting one night out and culminating in an engagement while on a family holiday to Thailand. There were also many laughs when we recounted how one of  Sam’s favourite memories was of the secretive way Ash first told him that she loved him – and then pretended she hadn’t!

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Two readings were shared by Ash and Sam’s close friends, the first being Holding Hands and the second An Irish Blessing. Both prompted more tears and big hugs with the bride and groom. People often worry that crying during a reading or vows will take something away from the day but in my view, it adds so much to it. Honest emotions are beautiful to witness and it was clear how much Ash and Sam mean to their friends by the sincere and loving readings they gave.

Following their self-penned vows and the exchange of rings, I had the great pleasure of pronouncing Sam and Ash husband and wife. Ash’s brother played live guitar during the signing as a gift to the couple and they took a few moments after the signing to stand alone and just take in the fact that they were now married. Then there were cheers, whoops of joy and a few high fives all round as they were introduced to their guests for the first time as Mr and Mrs before exiting the chapel to a shower of rose petals!

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Congratulations to two absolutely beautiful people. It was my honour to be part of such a special, love-filled day and I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to get to know you both. I can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Much love, Koren xx

Warren Photography

Warren Photography

Ashleigh and Sam, 12 October 2012
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Photos: Warren Photography
Flowers: Blooming Brides
Celebrant: Koren Harvey

Penny and Glyn

Sometimes I am surrounded by so much beauty I struggle to take it all in. I’m not just talking about physical beauty, but about the beauty of emotions, the beauty of people of all ages and backgrounds who care for each other coming together and the beauty of small moments.

Penny and Glyn’s wedding was one of these occasions.

Warren Photography

They met on the first day of high school in Sydney and were part of the same friendship group all the way through uni. It was only once they were nearing the end of their tertiary studies that they became a couple. Not long after this, Glyn was transferred to Melbourne for work. They told me that it was (ironically) perfect timing on their part – they spend over ten years living a few streets from one another, then as soon as they became a couple, one of them moves states!

Such was their bond, however, that a mere 900kms weren’t going to get in their way. After enduring two and a half years of flights back and forth, Penny transferred to Melbourne to be with Glyn. They set up a life and a home together and the rest, as the saying goes, is history.

Warren Photography

They took off on a month-long overseas holiday a week after becoming engaged. Both Penny and Glyn say that the time spent overseas, just the two of them, allowed the realisation of the life ahead of them to sink in and they returned home even more excited about their marriage.

A year after Glyn’s romantic proposal, they married at the stunning Stones of the Yarra Valley (one of my all time favourite venues). Stones is at its best in autumn when all the leaves are changing colours, the days are crisp and the light is golden.

Warren Photography

It was touching to watch Glyn in the moments before Penny arrived. He was so full of nervous anticipation he couldn’t keep still, but as soon as Penny and her Dad appeared in the doorway, he calmed immediately. Absolutely breathtaking in her Mariana Hardwick gown, Penny entered to a live rendition of Pachelbel’s Canon in D by Amati String Quartet. You couldn’t wipe the smile off her or Glyn’s faces from that moment on.

Warren Photography

Penny and Glyn had written down some of the things they love about each other to incorporate into the ceremony. They were little things, such as sharing a bottle of wine on the couch and talking about their day, but these small moments of intimacy speak volumes about what they both value. Taking the time to be with one another, to appreciate one another, to reflect on their relationship and all it has brought them.

Warren Photography

Their friends read two passages on marriage; an excerpt from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin and the wise Apache Blessing before emotions ran high when they got to their vows. It can be nerve-wracking for a couple when they say their vows, but Penny and Glyn weren’t daunted. They made their vows with such sincerity and emotion that nearly all of their family and friends were wiping away tears and photographer extraordinaire John Warren caught a beautiful moment when Glyn’s sisters gave in to their feelings.

Warren Photography

Glyn and Penny emerged from the Chapel into a shower of rose petals before taking a wander in the golden light of the vines with John and the talented crew from C2 Video. (You can watch the video of their day here. Be warned: it is stunning). They then made their way across to the Barn with their family and friends for a party that went well into the night.

Warren Photography

Congratulations, Mr and Mrs J. The way you feel about each other comes across in every single thing you do and it is so clear that at the heart of your relationship is a strong and abiding friendship. It was my absolute honour to be part of your day.
xx Koren

Penny and Glyn, 19 May 2012
Venue: Stones of the Yarra Valley
Bride’s gown: Mariana Hardwick
Photographer: John at Warren Photography. More photos here.
Videographer: C2 Video. See the full video (it is AMAZING) here.
Florist: Blooming Brides
Musicians: Amati String Quartet
Celebrant:
Koren Harvey 

Ai Mie and Mark

I dare you to look at the photos of Ai Mie and Mark’s February wedding and not smile. Go on. It’s near impossible!

Ai Mie and Mark are two seriously cool kids (just check out Ai Mie’s gorgeous dress and Mark’s cheeky pocket square) who happen to be completely unaware of how cool they are. Combine that with being genuinely lovely people and photogenic to boot and you have what I call a gorgeousness triple threat!

Friendly and laidback,  Mark and Ai Mie wanted a relaxed ceremony that honoured tradition without being stuffy. They gave me a lot of freedom in planning their ceremony but also had some very fresh ideas of their own.

One of the best parts of being a celebrant is standing with the groom waiting for the bride to arrive. Grooms are almost always overcome with emotion right before she gets there (I’m yet to meet one that wasn’t) and yet they all calm down as soon as they catch sight of their beloved.

Ai Mie and her bridesmaids walked in to one of her favourite songs, As Long As You Love Me by the Backstreet Boys. The girls timed it so that Ai Mie entered right on the chorus and it was so perfect that I now struggle to think of it as anything but a wedding entrance song!

One of my favourite moments of the day came when Mark began his vows. Ai Mie started to cry, taking herself – and all of us – by surprise. And I’m not talking little tears. I’m talking big, emotive, noisy sobs. She then turned to everyone gathered and cracked us all up with an apology because ‘I hate girls who cry!’

Both music lovers, Mark and Ai Mie used songs to infuse the ceremony with their personalities. One of their readings was the first two verses and chorus from Guns n’ Roses classic, Sweet Child O’ Mine. Go on. Have a listen. You’d be surprised at how suited it is to a wedding.

And as they married on a Friday, care to guess what they left their ceremony to? Yep, that’d be Friday, I’m in Love by the Cure. I told you these guys were awesome!

Following their wedding, they took off for a safari honeymoon in Africa.

Seriously. Cool. Kids.

Ai Mie and Mark were so much fun to work with – I don’t know that I have ever laughed so much preparing for, during and after a ceremony.  Sigh. I love what I do! xx Koren

Ai Mie and Mark, 25 February 2011
Venue: 3 Station Pier
Photos: the incredible John Warren of Warren Photography. More photos here.
Event styling: Balwyn Events
Bridal hair and make-up: S.A.S.S.Y
Celebrant: Koren Harvey