One of my favorite parts about shooting a wedding day is seeing how each couple interacts with each other.  No two couples interact the same way, and it is always such a beautiful thing to see.  It didn’t take long on Megan and Quinton’s day to see that they were both so full of laughter and smiles on their wedding day.  Neither seemed stressed about the day, just happiness.  Megan inquired with me before they had even booked their venue, and surprisingly, the venue they booked, The Oak Ridge Estate, was less than an hour away from where I live!

 

“You’re getting married!  This is really happening right now!  Did you ever think this day would come?!”  Over the last few years, I’ve heard so many different crazy, wonderful, absurd, and terrifying things while filming bridal prep.  During Megan’s bridal prep, one of her bridesmaids shouted this out, and I believe it is what every bride (and many reading this) are so looking forward to hearing.  You spend years growing up waiting to hear these words, and be at your wedding day.  The mood and excitement in the room only grew from there, and pretty soon we had a room full of excited bridesmaids who just couldn’t wait to see Megan walk down the isle!  Megan and Quinton decided to do personal, hand-written vows, and I highly suggest doing this if you can!  Knowing that no one else will say those exact words to another on their wedding day, mixed with the fact that we can tell such a better story, keeps us excited every time one of our clients tell us they are doing their own vows.  After the vows, the couple decided to do a dove release, and spend the rest of the night partying with friends at the beautiful estate.

 

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Brand new venues, camera upgrades, a new drone, an amazing couple, teary-eyed in the editing room, how do I even begin?!

For over a year now, the wedding industry in Charlottesville has been anxiously awaiting a brand new venue to be built called “The Lodge”.  While new venues come all the time, this one was going to be built, owned, and operated by the same owners of Mount Ida which brought big shoes to fill (Mount Ida is already so stunning!).  Shooting at Mount Ida last year, I saw some construction and wondered who would get to be the first videographer to grace the brand new venue for a wedding.

Enter Lauren and Michael.  When Lauren and Michael inquired and within the second sentence were telling me about their boy cat named “Sassy”, I new they would be a great couple to work with.  Imagine my surprise when they told me they were getting married at the brand new Lodge!  Lauren and Michael booked the venue before it was even done being built, and were the second couple ever to have a wedding there.  Since the first wedding did not have a videographer, we were thrilled to know that we would be the first videographers to “break the ground”.

A little on the technical side, I had just bought a brand new Canon C100, a major upgrade from my 5DII, as well as a drone to fly for weddings to get aerial shots less than a week before Lauren and Michaels day.  I was super excited to fly the drone at the Lodge, but bought a cheaper practice drone to make sure I could successfully fly it on the wedding day.  Less (literally) than one minute later of powering on the practice drone, I had sliced my finger on the blade and crashed the drone right into the wall.

Heading out to the wedding day WITHOUT my drone, I was eager to see the new venue, and the couple whom I already just knew were going to be so fun to work with.  I had seen some shots of the venue from my friend Aaron Watson, so my expectations were high.  The venue BLEW me out of the water, and Millicent, the venue manager, gave us a quick tour in the Hummer (I love Hummers, but I also love saving gas, hence my Honda Accord), and away we went on the wedding day!  The day couldn’t had gone better, the day was beautifully orchestrated by Courtney and her staff from the Local, and I got to shoot alongside Meredith Sledge Photography, a photographer I have surprisingly never worked with, but hope to work with more in the future!  Meredith’s style and look is definitely something unique in the industry.  I also always enjoy working with Andy Wilfong of Party Masters, because so few DJ’s seem to be able to get me a clean signal out of their board, and not only is Andy able to do this but he is super helpful and goes out of his way to help us ensure a great audio capture.

Anyway, before I finish what is beginning to be a book:  THE VOWS, GUYS!  Lauren and Michael love each other so much, and while that is the case for many couples, they sure know how to put it into words and make every guest tear up while watching the ceremony (and me, later, in editing, possibly twice).  This is one of my favorite wedding films because Lauren and Michaels love just engulfs every part of the day and is so easy and beautiful to capture.  I ended going all the way back to the venue a week later (after I mastered my drone) and getting some shots of the venue.  The Lodge is on thousands of acres far away from everything else, and I wanted the first shot of the film to reflect this amazing fact.  I hope you enjoy this film!  Grab a box of tissues though.

 

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I was so honored to be a part of Megan+Adam’s Pippin Hill wedding day!  When Megan and Adam told me they were going to have a somewhat untraditional wedding day, I did not realize to what degree they meant.  Megan and Adam totally (and beautifully) re-wrote their day to their liking and completely let go of tradition.  Don’t get me wrong, I love every kind of wedding, however for those wanting a unique and untraditional wedding, Megan and Adam hit the nail on the head.  Megan and Adam chose to get ready together in the morning with family and friends, a dynamic we don’t usually see.  Watching the powerful moment of Adam zipping up his soon-to-be-bride’s dress as she smiled back at him was quite a moment!  The untraditional aspect did not stop there: next up was a cocktail hour, to hang with guests before the wedding ceremony.

Finally, at around sunset was their Quaker-style wedding ceremony, and boy did the mountains at Pippin Hill that surrounded them look beautiful as the sun set, all around the ceremony.  Pippin Hill is the venue we shoot at more than any other venue, but we never ever grow tired of it.  The ceremony was very unique, in which guests got to stand up and say something about the couple or tell a story about them.  The day was super relaxing, and we were so excited to work with the team at Amore Events (as always) and alongside Mohammad Boriae of Boriae photography again.

I wanted to end this blog post by a quote that so captures the amount of love on Megan and Adams wedding day, and was even featured on a banner at their reception: “Even after all this time the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’  Look what happens with a love like that.  It lights the whole sky.” -Hafiz

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Brandy and Brett got married on THE windiest day of the entire year (so far).  Wind is always so wonderful and horrible on a wedding day.  When it is really windy, the wind tends to make it into the audio for the ceremony, despite having the best equipment to battle it, BUT, when you have the right couple, the wind really makes the couple shots look all the better, and let me tell you, Brandy and Brett ROCKED the wind.  As you can see in this teaser, the wind really accented the mood of the sunset and brought about a perfect look for Brandy and Brett. Brandy and Brett also had one of the most stunning backdrops of Virginia, Sierra Vista.  Most of our favorite wedding venues we love shooting at are far away from where we live: Connecticut, Virginia Beach, Charlottesville (Pippin Hill), but there is one venue only 20 minutes from my house that has one of the best views of the Virginia mountains in all of the state: Sierra Vista.  We enjoyed shooting the day with Sam and Mitchell from Sam Stroud photography, and were thankful the day was expertly planned by Katie Lester from A Little Party Events!

 

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Matt and Amanda McCauley had their wedding at what we consider one of the most beautiful venues of Virginia-Pippin Hill.

Amanda contacted me 3 months before her wedding explaining how they had decided not to do videography, but after stumbling upon my work and viewing my collection, she had changed her mind completely.  After some successful “fiance convincing”, we were brought into the team of vendors for her beautiful Pippin Hill wedding.  Knowing that Pippin Hill is an extremely beautiful and scenic venue, I arrive to the venue about 2 hours earlier than the schedule had me there, and the whole two hours I got breathtaking shots of Pippin Hill (the first few shots of the wedding film are some of these).  I enjoyed shooting the wedding not just because it was my favorite venue, but also Matt and Amanda are such a perfect fit together.  As you watch the film, just by looking at how they look at each other can convince you of this.  You can easily tell they have a LOT of fun together.  After sending Amanda the finished wedding film, she responded with “IT IS ABSOLUTELY PERFECT!!! I want to share immediately!”

We had a lot of fun working with Matt and Amanda, and hope that you enjoy the film as much as they do.

 

 

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