Our latest Wedding Films, Reviews and Wedding Tips

Welcome to our blog! Not only will we be show-casing our latest work but we will also sharing a “videographers perspective” on weddings in the hope that we can provide a few little nuggets of advise for anyone about to embark on planning their big day. As wedding cinematographers we have the unique opportunity to be able to analyze weddings in a deeper way than anyone else. We’re the “fly on the wall” at every moment of the day and we’re the people that spend hours watching through every second of the footage that has been captured. There are so many ingredients that make a wedding great and they’re usually the same ingredients that make a great wedding film; design, location, costume, story and most importantly character. A wedding should be all about you and so should your wedding film. 

OUR BLOG

  • Patrick + Julia | Wedding Highlights Film | One King West, Toronto

  • Directed, film and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Marco Libretti
    Wedding Planning and Decor by Love by Lynzie Events
    Photography by Green Autumn Photography
    Cake by Nadia and Co
    DJ’d by Impact DJ
    Florals by Flower 597
    Officiated by Martin Firth

    We recently began offering  Wedding Cinematography in Toronto and Julia and Patrick were our first clients in this amazing city. I couldn’t be happier with how this Wedding Film turned out and feel so lucky that we had the opportunity to capture two beautiful and fun-loving people. I love how they incorporated so much of their personalities into the day (see “Star Wars”) and really didn’t take a break from joking, laughing or enjoying themselves to the max. I think I can honestly say that I don’t have any footage of Julia where she’s not smiling!
     
    I should take this opportunity to write a little “Thank you” to Carlee and Lynzie from Love by Lynzie Events and Design. Not only for referring us to the couple but also for making the day a breeze. Thank you ladies! I’d also like to thank Sonia and Jimmy from Green Autumn Photography for being such great collaborators. This was our first time working with wedding vendors in Toronto and it was a fantastic experience. Can’t wait to do it again.
  • Jessica + Cody | Wedding Highlight Film | Cecil Green + Vancouver Convention Centre

  • Directed, film and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Daniel Brand
    Wedding Planing & Co-ordination by Dream Group Productions
    Photography by Jamie Mann
    Makeup by Melanie Neufeld
    Hair by Chris Weber
    Florals by Flowerz

    It was Jessica that suggested that she record a message for Cody as a surprise in their Wedding Film. I have to say I was a little hesitant at first because things like this often don’t work out. I’ve seen THOUSANDS of wedding videos and films over the years and addressing the camera has always felt a little cringe worthy to me. A little cheesy, too deliberate and just not a genuine in-the-moment moment. As you can see, there’s a lesson to be learnt here because, in this case it really does work. I remember thinking “GOLD!” as soon as Jessica finished speaking. It was short, sweat and absolutely perfect. About as genuine as you can get and full of emotion. We always have different ideas floating around, ready to see what works, and sometimes you realize that it doesn’t matter what the idea is, as long as its genuine and comes from the heart. If someone is enthusiastic about an idea, then we should always try it out. 
    Cody was a little more nervous in front of camera and so Jessica and I decided that we’d do a short, pre-ceremony interview. Just a casual recorded chat about the day and how they had got to this point in their lives. Cody was so open, filling us in on their history, their family, their son Hudson and how he felt about their relationship.  As a father to a child, just a few months older than Hudson, I could really relate to so much of what Cody talked about.  “It feels like coming home” really does some it all up. To us, Wedding Cinematography is all about connecting with characters and doing our best to understand who they are. I think this is a great example of a couple allowing us to reflect their personalities and lives by giving themselves fully to the experience.
     
    Something else I love about this film is the journey that Jessica and Cody took us on through Vancouver. Beginning at the Fairmont Pacific Hotel and ending at the Vancouver Convention Centre via Cecil Green Park House at the University of British Columbia. It might have rained a little, but we were compensated with bright personalties and a spectacular reception decorated and planned by the amazing Dream Group Productions. We also had the opportunity to shoot along side the very talented and super chill Jamie Mann which was a great experience. Jessica and Cody were the last couple we worked with in Vancouver for 2016 and it felt so great ending the season on a high. Just a few months to go before we kick things off again! 
  • Anna + Ian | Wedding Highlight Film | Metchosin, Vancouver Island, BC

  • Directed, filmed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional cinematography by Grace Gadston
    Photography by Keegan Pearson
    Makeup and Hair by All Dolled Up Studio

    We love festivals and we love weddings. We also love Pimms (especially Danielle), dancing in fields, rope swings, vintage cars and good natured people who are clearly in love. Ian + Anna = top 5 weddings for sure. Set in the village of Mechosin near Victoria on Vancouver Island, Ian and Anna were married on the very same farm that the first EVER wedding in British Columbia occurred. How cool is that? What was even cooler was the inclusive nature of the day, with friends and family camping on-site and all pitching in to get everything in place. I really believe that having your guests invested in the wedding adds so much to the day. As with destination and multi-day events everyone gets to know each other a little more, they feel that they’re part of something bigger and ultimately, they just have more fun. 
    I don’t think anyone could watch this film and not wish they were a part of Ian and Anna’s big day.
    We had to open the film with their vows which set the tone perfectly. They let us know who these people are and where their journey began. They reflected the sweet nature of their personalities and the deepness of their love. Ian’s words “…every chance meeting, I’d be overcome with a strangely wonderful combination of butterflies and calm…” perfectly sum up that giddy feeling of falling in love with your soul mate. 
    There’s so much about this wedding film I would love to write about, but there’s really no substitute for hitting play and learning for yourself. I would like to share a few words from Ian and Anna who wrote to us after we sent them their film…
     

    OH MY GOD YOU ARE A VIDEOGRAPHY WIZARD!!!!! THANK YOU SOOOOOOOO MUCH!!!! WE LOVE IT!!  holy cr*p you’re so good at videography and story telling and putting it all together!!! INCREDIBLE WORK!!! 

    besides all our caps locks we are speechless – you’re amazing!! 
    Thank you!!!!
  • Alli + Eric | Wedding Highlight Film | Hatley Castle + Empress Hotel, Victoria BC

  • Directed by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Grace Gadston
    Photography (including cover image) by Blush Wedding Photography
    Co-ordinated and decorated by Trend Decor and Events
    Officiated by Barbara Densmore
    Flowers by Platinum Floral Design

    Ever wondered how a “Downton Abby” themed wedding would look? Well this is it. Victoria is famed for being more “English than England” (being English I’m just going to say that the claim is a little bit of a stretch) but when you throw in a Hatley Castle you really are pretty much there. We love Hatley Castle. Its such a stunning venue and full of character. Its also home to The X-Men, and thats pretty cool too.
    I don’t think we’ve ever seen a bride take so much care in designing wedding decor. The attention to detail is simply stunning and Alli’s hard work paid off to create a warm and charming environment. There are several shots in the film which feature the details, but really, you had to be there to appreciate the effort. 
    As with any wedding, the details, the dress and the venue all contrite to the overall “personality” of the wedding. But in the end, the most important part is the celebration of two people in love. From the letters that Alli and Eric wrote, to their vows, speeches and incredibly touching moments (yes, Eric really did spontaneously serenade Alli) this wedding was bursting with love. This wedding was a film-makers dream. Amazing production design, unique characters and plenty of emotional moments. Thank you Alli & Eric, for making our job so easy and joyful. 
    Here are a few words from Alli:
    I am speechless and full of tears!! That was absolutely amazing!!!! 
    Wow Wow Wow!!! 
    I just wanted to touch base and say a MASSIVE thank you for that highlight video. The day I posted it to my personal Facebook, it got over 1500 views and literally every person I knew was reaching out saying they had never seen a wedding/wedding video like that in their lives, and that their brothers/boyfriends/fathers were even bawling watching it. And it was only because of the way you captured everything so perfectly. Every time I re-watch it I start crying again. It is absolutely priceless to have this as a memory and it was definitely the best wedding decision we made of having you there! 
  • Jennifer + Alex | Wedding Highlight Film | Salt Spring Island, BC

  • Directed, filmed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional cinematography by Alvin Keung
    Planning by French Kiss Events
    Photography by Erich McVey
    Flowers by Verbena Floral Design
    Decor by White Event Studio
    Make up by Jenny Clark
    Hair by Conscious Hair
    Cake by Passion For Cakes
    Music by Side One

    Look at this venue! I think this is about a nice a setting that you could imagine and could definitely hit a top 5 list for best back yard weddings of all time. Perched on the shores of the beautiful Salt Spring Island Jennifer and Alex exchanged their vows in front of friends and family before dancing into the night backed by the amazing Side One band
    We were put in touch with Jennifer and Alex by Barb from French Kiss Events. She had seen a few of our Wedding Films and thought we would make a great match for this wedding. One of the best aspects of a back yard wedding is that everything happens in one place. We get to be around all the vendors as they set up whilst filming a bride and groom get ready at the same time. I can’t write this post without giving kudos to Barb and her team for pulling such an elaborate occasion together, especially since all the vendors came over from the mainland. Along with Verbena Floral Design and White Event Studio they were able to style and decorate the event with class and style.  I would also be remiss of me to not mention Amy and Eric McVey who photographed the wedding. These guys were such a pleasure to work with and we can’t wait to see what magic they’ve created. 
    Of course, working with amazing vendors at a beautiful location is a real privilege but the reality is that a wedding always comes down to the couple. Luckily we were fortunate enough to film two very easy going individuals who together form a power couple of adventure and success. As mentioned early in the film, Jennifer and Alex are loved by so many people and that is why they flew from all over the world to attend their big day. We feel lucky to have had a glimpse into their lives to see why. 
  • Robby & Joti | "They Are Love" (Pre-Wedding Film) | Fairmont Hotel MacDonald, Edmonton AB

  • We were so excited when Robby and Joti got in touch with us last year to see if we’d be willing to spend a week with them in Edmonton to film their week long wedding celebrations. Its not often that you get to spend so much time with a couple and this was a fantastic opportunity to produce some really unique content for them. As well creating their wedding films we decided it would be great to come up with something that they could play at their wedding reception. On one of our Skype calls Robby and Joti suggested a movie-trailer/perfume commercial type video which would compliment the classical oscar party style reception they were throwing. 

    So away I went to have a think about how to make something that felt high-end that I could shoot and edit within a few days (quite a challenge!). The plan was to shoot in a variety of locations to make our “world” feel as big as possible, include multiple people, sets-ups and emotional moments along with some beauty shots. Our main location was the stunning Fairmont Hotel MacDonald which really added a sense of grandeur to the video along with some more intimate moments in the River Valley. I also had the opportunity to shoot some great footage from a few of the events that took place earlier in the week which were full of moments of complete happiness and joy. From the beginning I knew that we would need a great narrative to tie everything together. The original plan was to interview a few key friends and family members but in the run up to the filming I felt that we might need something a little more scripted, just to get that movie trailer (rather than documentary) feel. And so I came up with the idea of “what is love?” and how do Robby and Joti epetimise that? The script pretty much wrote itself during the first few days I was there, after getting to know everyone a little more and seeing how the footage was coming together it became very clear what Robby and Joti were all about and I had one of those amazing 10 minutes when words flew out of my brain and onto the keyboard! 

    When we discussed the idea of this short film I have to admit that I felt a little nervous! I wasn’t sure if we were setting the bar a little high and if we could pull it off in such a short space of time. But in the end we were lucky to have such a great couple to work with who really threw themselves, along with their friends and family into the project. We’re so happy with how this little video turned out! And we can’t wait to create some more unique projects with couples in the future!

  • Wedding Cinematography in Toronto? Yes please!!

  • wedding-cinematography-toronto-kismet-creative

    WE’RE COMING TO TORONTO!

    Recently we made the decision to spend more time in Toronto. Danielle’s family live there and now that we have a 20 month old daughter, being closer to them is becoming more important to us. We’re super excited about this, we LOVE Toronto. It’s a city full of creativity, diversity, art, music, good food and tons of personality. We cannot wait to begin making some amazing Wedding Films in Toronto and Ontario. 
    The decision comes at a great time for us too. As Kismet Creative grows and our work is becoming more known we’re getting more and more requests to travel. Rather than just servicing Vancouver, we’re finding that its making sense to work a little more Canada-wide, allowing us to spend time in incredible places with the people we love.   
    To celebrate our arrival we have some INCREDIBLE offers, applicable to all Ontario Weddings in 2017 booked before December 31 2016. Choose from:
    A 10% discount across ALL our packages!
    OR
    A free “Love Story” film with any “Cinematic”, “Feature” or “Multi Day” Package
    To find out more and take advantage of these offers please get in touch! We can’t wait to meet you and find out all about your amazing wedding!

  • Tamara & Andrew | Wedding Highlight Film | Brock House, Vancouver BC

  • I can’t get over Tamara’s smile. It doesn’t stop! Tamara and Andrew’s wedding was one of warmth, family and crazy fun. The day started a little grey but as you can see the sun popped out and gave us the most beautiful lighting conditions and some of my favourite all time wedding-film shots. Check out that sunset and those clouds! This wedding had such great energy with so much personality. Tamara and Andrew put a lot of effort into representing themselves and their cultural backgrounds through the details and activities present at the reception. The bag-piper-entrance was definitely a unique touch and was a great surprise whilst Tamara’s Pilipino influences brought music, dancing and good times! 

    Directed, filmed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional cinematography by Daniel Brand
    Photography by Britney Gill
    Flowers by Granville Island Florist
    Make up by Laura Murray
    Hair by Chris funk

  • How to Write Your Own Wedding Vows

  • how_to_write_your_vows

    Danielle and I were married a few years ago now but I still remember how nerve wracking it was trying to come up with the “perfect” words to say to her in front of our closest friends and family. Not only are you making promises for life but you’re likely opening up emotionally in front of people that you might not have done so before. I would estimate that in around 75% of the weddings we film couples read their own vows to each other and it is such a great way to make your ceremony a little more personal and meaningful. I’m so happy that we wrote our own vows and I’m positive that when a couple watches their wedding film and hears the emotion in their voices they are too.

    HOW TO WRITE YOUR OWN VOWS (The Kismet Method)

    So what is the best way to come up with your own vows? I believe the worst thing you can do is sit down with a pen and paper. You’re trying to climb a mountain of emotion! You’re beginning the process with a blank piece of paper and all you can think about is how badly you don’t want it to be blank! And when you do finally write something down it looks a little cheesy. This is a process that requires baby steps. First of all, just concentrate on trying to come up with some content, good or bad.

    Think about what state of mind you’re in when you come up with your most creative ideas. Maybe go for a walk and clear your mind or lay back on the couch and close your eyes.  For myself, I went for a drive and set the “voice memo” app on my iphone to record. I played our favourite music on the stereo and thought about our relationship. After a while I just started talking to myself about how I felt, not just in the present, but how I felt when we met and how I hoped I would feel in the future. I talked about my favourite things about our relationship ad about Danielle. When I got home I listened through everything I had said and wrote down my favourite lines and phrases. At that point I had all the content I needed and it was just time for a little editing and tweaking.

    You want to think of your vows as a mini story. And by that I mean structure it with a beginning, middle and an end. Take a look at all the lines you wrote down and group them together. The beginning stuff might be phrases that talk about how you felt when you first met or even something like “I can’t believe I’m standing here today”. You’re looking for phrases that set you up get you into the main part of your vows. The middle will likely be the bulk of your vows. These are your promises and commitments. Just like a hero faces a series of “trials” in the middle of a story think about what “trials” you might face together as a couple. How will you overcome those? What promises will you make so that your partner knows that your relationship can take on life’s ups and downs.

    Next you want to round of your vows with something fitting. Take a look through your content and see if anything jumps out. You could reference the future (“I can’t wait to spend the rest of my life with you”) or it could even be some kind of giving of thanks (“thank you for making me the person I am today, I love you”). OK, those lines aren’t exactly corkers, but you get the picture.

    Finally you’ll need to edit those vows and trim the “fat”. Honestly, your vows don’t need to be 2 pages long. And you don’t need to say “I love you so much” seven times (they already know that!). Is there anything you’ve said twice? Are there any words you put in just because you thought you should? Remember, this is a genuine statement, coming straight from the heart and often simpler is better. Show the vows to a couple of friends and see what they think. Having a set of fresh eyes is so important (by the way, make sure to do all of this at least a few weeks before your wedding!).

    READING YOUR VOWS

    Whether you’re reading your own vows or traditional vows it doesn’t hurt to practice so that you can deliver your lines with confidence and be heard. No matter what, you’re going to get emotional and a little forgetful. So write them out nice and clearly and give yourself the freedom to glance at the words every now and again. In an ideal situation you’ll know everything by heart (very difficult!) but at the very least memorise your final line(s) so that you can look straight into their eyes deliver some of the most meaningful words you’ll ever say.

    In the end there is no real “magic bullet” answer to writing your vows but I hope that our advice helps someone out there. Take a look through our films and see who inspires you. What sounded good to you and what wasn’t your cup of tea. As I said above, its all about baby steps. Start early and take your time. We’re always happy to help and we wish you the best of luck!

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  • Indy & Sanj | Wedding Film |Akali Singh Temple, Vancouver

  • Its always the audio that drives the narrative of our wedding films and in most cases its a combination of letters, vows and speeches. But Indy and Sanj didn’t have any of those! So what do we do? We talk, listen and pay attention. We spent a little time with them during their reception casually chatting about their relationship and recording what was said.  We’re so grateful that these guys were willing to take a little time out to do that, when you watch you’ll see it was totally worth it! 

    We really love this film. Indy and Sanj were such a joy to be around because not only were they very personable and easy going but when they talked about their relationship it reminded us so much of our own experience when we were an ocean apart. Hearing Indy say that his days didn’t feel complete unless he’d head from Sanj really put a smile on our faces. We know exactly how that feels! You can tell how their relationship has been built on such a solid foundation just by seeing how at ease they were around each other. They were constantly playing, joking and enjoying each other’s company, and it was a real pleasure to be able to capture those moments. 

    Oh and one other thing, check out the colour in this wedding! I love the bold red and blue, its so punchy and complimentary to the decor of the venue, especially on a bright sunny day. Anyway, enough talking, time to watch…

  • Deus Ex: The Mechanical Apartheid

  • You might have gathered from the title, that this is not a wedding film. It’s actually a short film/trailer produced for a video game, called “Deus Ex, Mankind Divided”(made by Eidos Montreal). The trailer was made by the talented folks at Goldtooth Creative in Vancouver and I (Mark) was brought on board to help write, develop, shoot and edit. 

    This was really an incredible project to be a part of. I spent several years working as the Supervising Editor at Goldtooth Creative and so it was a real pleasure to be back in the studio, working alongside the Director, visual effects artists and management team. All of us working on the film were really invested in the project having also worked on other trailers for this game and and the previous title “Deus Ex, Human Revolution”. We all worked together to develop the story and come up with creative ways to bring a science fiction dystopian future to life. 

    Working on a variety of projects like this really helps us to develop our skills as film makers, and I think that is something that helps us at Kismet Creative stand out.  There’s always an element of feedback that un-intentioanlly goes between different film making scenarios or working environments. For example, every week in the summer I am filming Weddings in Vancouver and Toronto, capturing couples enjoying their wedding days and feeling completely in love. This was something I could apply to the happier moments in this film. Conversely, working at part of a visual effects pipeline on a large-budget project teaches you so much about paying very close attention to detail. That, of course, will make our wedding films better for the future. We’re lucky that in both Toronto and Vancouver there are such a variety of projects to get involved in. The independent film and commercial industries are strong in both cities and it only makes sense to work with as many creative people as possible!

    Anyway, I would love to write and write about this project, but the NDA I signed prevents me from saying any more! There’s a couple of cameo appearances from myself and Danielle in here so watch out for those, but most of all enjoy!

    Produced by Goldtoth Creative for Eidos Montreal
    Directed by Kody Sabourin
    Written by Kody Sabourin, Matt Sinclair and Mark Relf
    Filmed and Edited by Mark Relf

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