Andrew and Jaleen hired me MONDAY for their wedding on SATURDAY! No problem! Rather last minute than not at all. Video is a last minute for a lot of couples. We understand that wedding budgets are challenging enough, but if preserving your vows, your first look, your speeches with audio and visuals is important to you, there are ways to make it work. Your wedding only lasts one day, but your video will last a lifetime.
I started out my day with Jaleen & her girls at mom's house. They had hair going on in the dining room and makeup in the kitchen. You can truly get ready anywhere you want, as long as there is lots of light and hopefully limited clutter. Carina Scott Makeup had the girls looking their absolute best.
Jaleen & Andrew chose to write letters for one another to be read the morning of their wedding. We love capturing this personal moment on film! Letters allow you to talk about your past and future as a couple and are a lot less intimidating than saying your vows in front of all of your guests. They make a great addition to personal vows, but especially if you will be reciting traditional vows at your ceremony, we highly recommend letters or ask about other ways we can incorporate your own words in your own voice for your wedding film. This is why most couples choose us, so even if you're not the touchy, feely type, we can find a way to make sure that personal element can still shine through.
The timeline was a little tight, so when Jaleen was mostly ready, I headed off to where Andrew was getting ready: The Pavilion Grand Hotel in downtown Saratoga Springs. Andrew had warned me about his guys, but I wasn't scared! You certainly get used to goofy, riled up groomsmen in this line of work. (And I'm lucky to have never experienced anything truly inappropriate).
This is where I first learned of Andrew's love of his two cats: Roxy & Puffin. Next to framed pictures of them on the hotel kitchen counter were personalized water bottles for the groomsmen: complete with the image of a cat on them. Anyone who is familiar with my Instagram stories will know that my 12-year-old short hair is my forever editing buddy. She's even lying across my arms as I type this on my laptop. It's not exactly comfortable, but she is warm…
After a sitcom-worthy incident where two of Andrew's groomsmen had the wrong suit pants on- "My pants are too long" and then another groomsmen walks out with pants on that don’t reach his ankles- and after capturing Andrew reading his beautiful letter to his bride, all parties raced over to the Saratoga Polo fields for the first look.
Jaleen and Andrew had a sweet, simple first look in the grass with the forest as a backdrop. With an unseasonable warm, mid-September wedding the leaves were just starting to change and had a beautiful mix of greens and yellows.
A first look is always a touching moment, but having seen these two that morning, each a bundle of nerves and excitement, it was so good to see them together, able to calm down a little bit in each other's arms before the next big event.
I got some footage of Jaleen and Andrew by themselves, walking and holding hands, staring into each others' eyes and then their big wedding party joined us. This part can be fun and crazy while the photographers try to get everyone together all at once and the many different combinations of friends and family.
At this point, I snuck off to throw my drone up in the air. I got vast, sweeping shots of the venue, polo fields and surrounding woodsy areas. I flew over the outdoor ceremony setup to show this aspect from above. Drone batteries do not last very long, but it only takes 10 minutes or so to throw it up in the air and grab all of the cool shots you could want.
Then it was time for the ceremony! Jaleen & Andrew had a beautiful, brief ceremony out on the polo field. Their close friend gave a personal ceremony that highlighted their relationship and how beautifully their personalities mesh together. Non-traditional wedding officiants are a strong trend these days and we're here for it! If you have a friend or relative who is a tested public speaker and knows you well, this can be such a beautiful touch for a personalized ceremony. I love hearing about the couples' relationship and feeling like I get to know them from someone who already does.
Nate from Piano Man kept the party going at the reception. I'm not sure I've ever seen a DJ get on the dance floor to demonstrate Cupid's Shuffle before! Jaleen's maid of honor gave a beautiful speech, Andrew's best man gave a hilarious and touching speech and Jaleen's step-father gave a heartfelt speech about the couple.
One of the really special things for me was as this was a very early wedding in the lifespan of JM Films, it was a new experience for me to walk into a wedding where people were familiar with my work. Multiple friends and family members told me that they had watched my work online and were so excited to see what I did with Jaleen and Andrew's film. This really meant a lot to me, because this never happened when I had previously worked for big wedding companies where I was just a piece of the machine.
All in all it was a beautiful, hot, sweaty wedding and I'm so glad that they invited me in to film it.