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This is my happy place.
Where both laughter and tears come easily and willingly.
Where the love and admiration people have for one another is shared graciously, with no bounds and no restrictions.
Where joy and sentiment are one in the same.
Because that is where all of life's "good stuff" is kept.
This is what Amanda and Maddy's wedding day was like.
I can honestly barely hold back tears writing this and looking back on that day.
I spent most of the day running around like a chicken with my head cut off, an umbrella stuck in my backpack to keep me covered from the continual waves of rainfall. But, even amidst that, I had laughed hard and cried frequently alongside everyone on that mountaintop, and I left with the hope to share life with others even more openly than when I had arrived.
I hope their film does the same for you.
Just a short little teaser of Amanda and Maddy's full wedding film to come.
My films typically end up being longer than promised, and Caitlin and Alex's teaser is no exception. A 1 minute teaser film turned into a 1:40 minute film and I just couldn't help it.
These two are vulnerability at its finest, so much so that even Caitlin mentioned so in their vows...
Putting this together for them was full of hands on heart moments and raw emotional reactions from me that remind me every time why I am so in love with filmmaking based upon real moments with real people.
Cheers to crying, hugging, and opening your heart to love.
Three years ago I fell in love when I least expected it. Fast forward to now and here we are having lived together for 2 years and moving into a home that Ian purchased this month. He is my best friend - He tickles me just to hear me laugh uncontrollably because he loves it. I've never seen my family bond with someone outside of our family so much before. He amazes me every day with his kindness and intelligence, but not once have I ever thought "I'm going to marry this man".
This doesn't mean that I don't want to spend as many years as I can with him, that I'm not happy enough with him, or that I don't think we are a good match. I have truly never known a partnership like this before... It has blown my young hearted expectations out of the water compared of what I thought my future serious relationship would look like back then. I couldn't have imagined anything as purposeful or enjoyable as my partnership with Ian has been so far, and for this I am so very thankful..
So the reality is that I have never been sold on the idea of marriage itself.
I have never been sold on the idea of marriage *for me* and Ian feels the same way. This is where we are, where we are happy, where we find the most purpose right now as a couple and that's all that matters to us currently.
I'm a questioner, and the older I've gotten the more proud of that I have become. Ian is a questioner at heart, more so than me thanks to his scientific brain. We like to rip traditions, societal expectations, and cultural propagation apart until we can wrap our mind around the "why" and see if it fits with who we are. We believe it's healthy and important for all people to do this (and are grateful we live in a place where we get to).
It's not even that I'm afraid of all the negative things you hear about people once they get married - divorce, cheating, etc... I believe that marriage can be incredibly powerful and worth it amidst all of those challenging experiences. It's mainly that I want to know in my heart what I believe a marriage is - what makes it different than what I have with Ian right now, other than legality and a title, and I don't know what that is yet. Maybe I never will. Maybe it's something you can't know until you are married, but I'm okay with trying to figure that out.
So when it comes to being a wedding filmmaker (and loving every minute of it), but not really wanting to be married myself, I have chosen to live (and work) by two of my biggest beliefs:
1. Love is a beautiful, purposeful, worthy mystery that we get to enjoy as humans. I want to celebrate that and share the stories that show the depth of that. We spend a majority of our lives searching for, struggling with, and relishing in the whirlwind of love, therefore my films aren't just a representation of a day - I strive to make them a representation of the couple. Love is my focus and I don't believe there is anything more worthy to spend my career celebrating.
2. All people are different, and deserve to choose different things for themselves to live their most joyful life. I ask all my couples why they want to get married. WHY - what change do they think will occur, what will it bring to their life that they don't have now that means something to them - And you know what? I get some badass answers and they are always different. I love that. Just because I don't necessarily want to get married doesn't mean other people shouldn't. We make choices based upon what those choices mean to us and marriage should be no different.
Jessica + Christopher
A bit of their story:
Jess and Chris live in Florida, so when they decided to elope they made a grande adventure out of it. They left home before their wedding day, taking their time, stopping at different locations along the way. They went horse back riding, rented a cabin, and enjoyed local hot springs before eventually meeting up with Fox & Owl Studio and us on their wedding day. Wouldn't you know it that it had been beautiful sunny weather every day except the one planned to elope, but we all embraced what was given and made a memory all 6 of us will never forget.
We always embrace the rain.
By the time we finished shooting it was pitch black and they were soaking wet, but they excitedly jumped in their jeep to get take out pizza to celebrate.
Over the next few days they adventured more, going ziplining, blue ridge parkway cruising, and they even got to enjoy some mountain snow!
My 3 favorite things:
-getting dressed in the woods with clothes hanging on branches and rocks
-personal vows handwritten in little booklets
-popping champagne in the headlights of their jeep and passing it around drinking from the bottle