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. 

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  • 5 Ways We Turn“Wedding Videos” Into “Wedding Films”

  • We were recently asked by a client “how do you make your wedding videos look cinematic?”. They had seen lots of work and found that our Wedding Videos really felt more like short films. Of course we explained our process, but it got us thinking that it would be the perfect opportunity to expand on the subject with a blog post!

    There are so many different style of Wedding Video to choose from. There are traditional, documentary, music-video, super 8 home movies and cinematic. With so much video content out there it’s impossible not to be inspired by what others are creating. Each style has its own merit and we can appreciate it all. But when it came to figuring out our direction, we knew we wanted to implement the style we knew and liked the best: Film. 

    Toronto Vancouver wedding videos into wedding films by kismet creative

     

    So here are 5 ways in which we turn our Wedding Videos into Wedding Films.

    1) Our Wedding Videos are inspired by actual films

    Think about your favourite films. Why do you love them? It’s unlikely that you’re thinking about the camera work, the editing or the sound mixing (although these can certainly play a part). It’s probably more to do with the characters, the world and the emotional journey those characters take in that world (more about this later…). 

    So we approach our weddings with this in mind. How can we capture the essence of our characters (as in you!)? How can we reflect the world you exist in?  And how can we create a narrative that allows a viewer to share in your emotional journey? 

    Our team has worked on several film productions over the years and it’s a medium we’re all familiar with. Two of our second shooters, Grant and Alvin work in film VFX (Grant even worked on the Oscar Winning film “The Shape of Water”). Laurent is a well regarded focus puller and camera operator in BC. And Mark has filmed and edited for clients such as Warner, Disney, Marvel and the BBC. You can check out some of his film & commercial work on his website markrelf.com. 

    We take inspiration from pre-production to delivery. We advise you on writing your vows, we give you ideas that we can film,  we plan the recording of audio, we learn about your wedding design and we spend extra time scouting your venues. By being as prepared as possible we’re able to capture all aspects of the day and mould it all together in the edit.  

    When it comes to post production we use our experience in film editing to piece it all together. There are no hipster-filters, odd looking “light leaks”, “zoom transitions” or overly edited sequences. You don’t see those things in films, so we don’t put them in ours. We give our stories time to breathe. We “foreshadow” events, create tension and mix emotions. Our films are colour graded like like real films, emphasizing natural colours and softening overly digital images. 

    2) Our Wedding Films emphasise character and story

    As mentioned above, your favourite films probably have great characters and story, which is why we centre our films around you and the journey you have been on. We don’t believe in the idea that we’re just there to record a wedding day. We see this as an opportunity to create a film about two unique people and their lives leading up to (and following) a monumental event. 

    It would be easy to create a template for wedding videos since most weddings have the same kind of timeline. But ultimately you are unique and the journey you have been on is unique. So it stands to reason that if we make the story about you and your lives (rather than just the wedding), then your film will be unique too. 

    This is why our favourite wedding films are those where the couple brings as much of their personality into their day as they can. It’s so important to be emotionally open, not only to make your film better, but  to truly soak in the experience of marrying your soulmate. 

    Check out Taryn and Mike’s wedding film. They allowed us to interview them and film a welcome bbq they threw for their guests. The story they told about their meeting and how their relationship grew is something that draws us into their story. It adds so much depth. And the extra scenes with their friends and family expands their world beyond the wedding day. 

    3) We consider audio to be as important as video

    Just like film production, we invest in sound because sound really is 50% of the experience. 

    We know what we’re doing because our Creative Director Mark has a degree in “Music Technology & Audio Systems”. He also spent 4 years as a sound engineer for the BBC in London. When it comes to making sure your vows, speeches and sounds from the day are captured, you can know you’re in good hands. 

    We record audio from through the day, both vocals and sound effects. Live event filming is always a challenge because there are no “second takes”. If we don’t record your vows properly we can’t exactly ask you to do it all again can we? So we cover ourselves by having backups, multiple sources of audio and redundancy if something goes wrong. 

    We also record and mix in subtle sound effects that enhance all those important moments that we want you to relive. It might be the opening of a letter, the rustle of your vows, the cheer of your crowd or an applause to the first dance. You might not consciously pay attention to them, but you’d miss them if they weren’t there. 

    Finally we spend a huuuuuge amount of time selecting an appropriate sound-track because the music has to compliment your character. We’re in the best position to pick music because we have an objective understanding of the narrative of the story and experience of the day. When we edit our films we’re bringing so many elements together and the soundtrack is the glue that holds it all together. 

    Take a listen to April and Chloe’s Wedding film.  Their vows sound nice and crisp because we hid discreet microphones on both of them. Also pay attention to the sound of the ocean, the forest, Chloe’s footsteps as she approaches the first look. Then there’s a soundtrack which reflects two sides of the wedding day. Something earthy, intimate and emotional followed by brighter, more energetic music.

    4) We shape light and employ Cinematic Techniques

    We  take a lot of inspiration from the technical aspects of film making. In particular camera-movement and lighting. 

    We can’t always control the light in any given environment at a live event but we can do our best to shape and manipulate it. It might be a case of “bouncing” or blocking”. We might have to shoot from a different angle or shift the position of our subject. Or we may even add a subtle amount of our own lighting (unobtrusively of course). Either way, light does so much to the colour and composition of a shot. It can change the mood, add emotion and help to draw the eye. Good lighting is probably the most important factor in composing a cinematic shot. So we really pay attention to getting it right. 

    Once we have lighting that we’re happy about, it’s time to think about adding a little movement. It’s very rare to see a shot in a movie that is still. Still camera work dehumanizes a scene, after all your perspective of the world is rarely still. We like to have some kind of movement in the majority of our shots, even if it is subtle. We like the camera movement to be “motivated”. That is, there’s a reason for it to move in a direction. Either gradually revealing a subject, adding grandeur, drawing attention or emphasizing an emotion. 

    Vancouver island wedding videographer Victoria bc

    5) We pay attention to detail

    There’s a saying that 90% of a project is completed in the first 10% of the time spent on it. The last 10% requires the most work and its what elevates our wedding videos to a truly professional level of film making. 

    Its the location scouting, lighting adjustment, multiple audio recorders, creative shot composition and never being satisfied with “thinking you got the shot”. Its pouring over hundreds of music choices, trying out ideas, animating footage and processing audio. The list is never ending, and continually growing as we look to push our creative envelope. 

    Mark spent 6 years as a Supervising Editor in the visual effects industry, working on movies, trailer and commercials produced by Disney, Marvel and Warner Bros. In important part of a visual effects workflow  is quality control, and the Editor is largely responsible for that. That responsibility is now engrained in the way produce our Wedding films. They receive the same level of attention that we give all our projects. 

    This post was meant to be a little shorter. But its a subject we could write about for far longer! We hope this has given you an in-site into the way we produce our wedding films. Perhaps now that you’ve read this post you’ll have a slightly different perspective on our work. 

     

  • Los Cabos Wedding Film | Sandos Finisterra Destination Wedding, Los Cabos, Mexico | Tasha + Ben


  • This Los Cabos wedding (Cabos San Lucas specifically) is one of our favourite Destination Wedding Films. Tasha and Ben came to us through a network of friends in Vancouver. I think we’ve probably shot 4 or 5 weddings for various acquaintances of theirs! So we kinda knew what we were getting. Fun loving, easy going people. I really feel that this wedding video does a good job of summing up the vibe of the day. From morning to night, these guys just had FUN! I got to film smiling faced all day long, enjoy a cocktail or two and hang out with truly great people. 

    Thank you guys, you showed me a good time and gave me so much material to work with to make this film. Please please please don’t run out of friends who want to get married! 

    The Venue: Sandos Finiesterra, Cabos San Lucas, Mexico

    Just look at this place! Just a short walk from the lively town of Cabo San Lucas, Sandos Finiesterra provided the perfect backdrop to Tasha and Ben’s Los Cabos wedding. I was able to spend a little extra time with the couple the night before and found a great spot, overlooking the harbour, for some nice romantic shots. The staff put on a great beach BBQ as well so which enabled be to get some great interactions with friends and family. Spending just a little extra time with the guests means I become more embedded in the whole celebration. Just one of the many reasons I love Destination Weddings. 

    As for the day itself, both Tasha and Ben were able to prepare in nice big naturally lit rooms with great views. The beach was decorated beautifully and the staff provided a superb, wind resistant PA system (thank you!!). Cocktails were then served right at the beach and I may have sampled one of those myself.  Traditional Mexican live music provided entertainment while tasty snacks were delivered to guests. For the photoshoot Sarah Richardson and I picked some lovely spots around the venue as we made our way back up to the reception. In case you happen to be looking for a Los Cabos wedding venue, bear in mind that Sandos Finiesterra has an epic roof-top lounge. Its reserved specifically for events and weddings so is nice and private. Oh and It over looks the marina with a perfect vantage point for your guests to enjoy the view. 

    los cabos wedding videography. Sandos Finisterra Cabos San Lucas Mexic

     

    The Photographer: Sara Richardson and team (a local Los Cabos Wedding Photographer)

    Being a destination wedding, there’s a very good chance I haven’t worked with the photographer before. Luckily Sarah and team turned out to be great shooting partners. I love it when it feels like more of a collaboration than just separate vendors going about their business. As Los Cabos based Wedding Photographers, Sarah already knew a couple of great spots for the portrait session. She also gave me plenty of time to do my thing too. If you’re looking for photographers in the area, check out her work! Here’s one of my still frames from part of our portrait session:

    cabos san Lucas wedding film. Mexico destination wedding

    The Make up Artist: All Dolled Up Studio

    You may or may not know that Danielle (as in my wife and co-owner of Kismet Creative) is also the owner of All Dolled Up Makeup and Hair Studio. We work on many weddings together and her natural style perfectly compliments our candid cinematography. Also, when we book a destination wedding, we’re able to offer a package that includes both video and hair/makeup styling. And since we book our travel together we’re able to save a few $ for our clients. Win win!! 

    I love working with Danielle. Its just the little things, like getting a heads up from here when she’s about half way through the make up (so I can start filming). Or picking a spot with lots of natural light or leaving a little for the end for some touch up shots. She just gets it. Being the co-owener of a videography company gives her the inside scoop on how she can help me and the photographers out during the prep session. 

     

    cabos san Lucas wedding film all dolled up studio

     

    Sparklers:

    Am I really giving a shout out to sparklers? Yes, I am. They’re cheap, easy and should be a part of every wedding. Especially if your guests hold them whilst they surround your first dance.

    Mexica destination wedding film cabos san Lucas

     

    Credits:
    Filmed and Directed by Mark Relf
    Wedding Hosted by Sandos Finisterra, Los Cabos
    Photography by Sara Richardson Photography
    Makeup and Hair by All Dolled Up Studio

     

     

     

  • Shangri-La Toronto Wedding Film | Toronto Wedding Cinematography | Monica + Garros

  • Filming Weddings in Toronto has its challenges. Like Parking. But it also has its rewards. Like being spoilt for choice for awesome downtown locations. I think we hit 5 or 6 spots in the space of about 90 minutes during their photoshoot! University Avenue, Campbell House and Osgoode Hall to name a few. I love how it makes it feel like Monica and Garros have been on a little journey throughout their day. 

    Shangri-La Toronto Wedding Cinematography
    Smiley Happy People

    Being March, we fully hit the jackpot weather wise. Look at that blue sky! (OK, it didn’t last all day, but we got more than we could expect).  We also lucked out with a super energetic couple and bridal party. I’ve never seen a set of groomsmen get so into group photos. We had “Let get suits”, the “Octopus” and “West Side Story-click-your fingers” within just a few minutes. Please feel free to ask for an explanation….

    Monica and Garros are definitely happy people. I know you’d like to say that about everyone you meet but you can just tell. You can hear it in their voices and see it in their eyes. Their easy going nature and constant joking around made it a really pleasure to be in their company. Thanks guys!

    Some Really Emotional Wedding Speeches

    There will soon be a blog post about what makes the best wedding films. And there will definitely be a section in that about speeches. Unfortunately we don’t get to write those, but we do get to edit them. Monica and Garros were fortunate enough to have 6 really awesome, emotional speeches that would have been perfect for their film. Unfortunately, getting them all into the edit would have ruined the pacing of the film. They all had slightly different stories and I didn’t want them to compete. 

    Maybe its because I’m a father, but I was immediately drawn to the Dads speeches. I think its a combination of the wiser sounding voices and hearing how much they have loved their children over the years. A speech from a parent is also significant because it symbolizes the closing of one chapter and the beginning of a new one. Its part of a bigger story. 

    Shangri-La Toronto-wedding-film

    The Shangri-La Toronto

    We’re still quite “fresh” to Toronto and this was the first time we filmed at the Shangri-La. As mentioned above, its in a great spot downtown for multiple photo opportunities. The roof deck allowed us to shoot a nice first look with the backdrop of the city and the interior has tons of natural light. I loved those chandeliers in the ceremony room too! 

    Shangri-La Toronto Wedding Videography

    Amazing Toronto Wedding Vendors

    Its always a team effort but I’d like to give a special thanks to a few.  

    Rebecca Chan and her team were so helpful and friendly with super clear communication. They really helped me keep on top of what was happening next (much appreciated). Their timeline was perfectly paced and allowed us to capture everything and more than we needed. Can’t wait to work with you guys again in just a couple of weeks! 

    Svetlana and her team from Purple Tree Photography picked out all the photoshoot locations and did a great job! They were also totally gracious in giving us the time we needed to get our shots too. You could tell they’d spent a good amount of time getting to know the couple and I’m sure its going to show.  Can’t wait to see the photos!

    TJ4 Productions provided a fantastic PA system for both the ceremony and reception. I can’t ever stress how important good sound is for our films and these guys certainly provided. A nice little touch of reverb on the recording helped out too! Thank you for being so co-operative and helping a fellow (former) sound engineer out!

    We were also helped greatly by the rest of the vendors below. From letting us film you to providing great visuals for us to shoot, you’re all a part of this film. Thank you. 

    To see more see more of our Wedding Films click HERE. Please Contact Us for more information about our Cinematic Wedding Videography services. 

    Credits:
    Directed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Grant Lynch
    Wedding Planning and Co-ordination by Rebecca Chan Events
    Photography by Purple Tree Photography
    Officiated by All You Need is Love
    Make up by Hey Jolie
    Hair by Tammy Cho
    Decor by Delight Floral
    Draping by Rose Petal Decor
    Rentals from Detailz and Plate Occasions
    Vinyl Dancefloor from Event Graffiti
    DJ’d by TJ4 Productions

     

     

  • Alberta Wedding Videography | Banff, Canmore + Lake Louise Lodge | Tricia + Ryan

  • When I watch Tricia and Ryan’s Alberta Wedding Video in the Rocky Mountains, its not the ceremony, photoshoot or reception that I think of. My memory is immediately drawn to the first couple of hours when we met two bubbly personalities in a car park before heading out for a little excursion. Being a destination wedding we were there for a few days, so took the opportunity to shoot some extra footage the day before. We hopped in Ryan’s truck and let them take us up into the mountains. 

    An Inspiring Pre-Shoot

    I love these extra shoots right before weddings. Its a time when we can get to know a couple on a deeper level and let them bring us into their own world. Tricia and Ryan took as to a place we would never go other wise. Several kilometres up a dirt track to one of the most beautiful mountain scenes I have witnessed. It’s a place familiar to these guys and somewhere they were used to spending time. It was clear from the beginning that we wouldn’t need to give them much direction. We just pointed them towards a nice spot a filmed around them for a while. They laughed, joked and skimmed stones as if we weren’t there. Its pretty crazy when you think about it. Here they are,  being filmed in the middle of the most epic scene, and the world still melts away when they’re with each other. 

    alberta_wedding_videography_canmore_lake_louise_banff.jpg

    When a couple opens up

    Later, we headed back into Canmore and I asked if they would be up for a short interview session. You’ll read in other blog posts how I think of these as more of an informal recorded chat. It really is just me being interested in someone and learning a little more about their relationship. Its always an opportunity to add so much depth to a story, hearing someone speak without prepared vows, letters or speeches. You get that raw emotion. Raw story-telling. Real film making. It also means that couples get to hear those words from each other when they watch the film. Its a nice surprise and sometimes it means you learn something new. As you can see, Tricia and Ryan were totally open to this and let their hearts pour out. Amazing since we’d previously only chatted on Skype and met in person hours before. 

    This continued right through the wedding as well. There wasn’t a moment in the day when Tricia and Ryan weren’t fully living the experience. Whether they were alone, with friends, family or ourselves, the jokes and laughter continued. 

    alberta_wedding_videography_canmore_lake_louise_banff.jpg

    An Adventure though Banff, Canmore and Lake Louise

    It would be remiss of me if I didn’t talk about the actual wedding. And boy, what a wedding. Tricia and Ryan are adventurers, to the point where they’ll begin in Lake Louise, travel an hour and a half through Banff national park, get married in Canmore and go all the way back again for a reception. When I commented to Tricia that this was a longer than normal joinery (not that I was complaining, the drive is bucket-list worthy) she simply replied that it made total sense. After all, why wouldn’t you go to all those places on a wedding day? And she’s absolutely right. I mean, look at where we ended up? Why wouldn’t you want to do that? Sometimes you film weddings and a couple can take you on an amazing journey. Thanks guys, your wedding was a highlight of our year. 

    alberta_wedding_videography_canmore_lake_louise_banff.jpg

    Directed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Henry Zhang
    Co-ordination by Everlasting Impressions
    Photography by Carey Nash
    Reception hosted by Lake Louise Lodge
    Flowers by Devine Petals
    DJ and Sound by Fun Factory DJ Service
    Decor and Rentals by Chair Affair
    Limo services by AM PM Limo

    You can see more of our Wedding Films HERE. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, please CONTACT us!

  • Toronto Wedding Cinematography | The Omni King Edward Hotel | St. Michael's Cathedral Basilica | Erica + Ryan

  • Wedding Cinematography is so much easier when you film a day filled with style, elegance and emotion. I think thats the best way to sum up Erica and Ryans amazing day in downtown Toronto.  They put so much effort into their wedding and allowed themselves to be truly in the moment. This was a day filled with so much love, support and most importantly, family.

     

    Heartfelt Letters

    I think my favourite part of this Wedding Film is Erica and Ryan’s letters to each other. It just opens the door on their relationship and hearing the personal thoughts of someone before they’re about to walk down the aisle is a special moment. Their words reflect true happiness, comfort and love. Hearing how they felt when they met, how they live and how they feel as they’re about to embark on a new chapter in their lives really gives you the feels. You get to understand what its like to be in their relationship. Even if its just for a moment and thats pretty cool.  

    wedding cinematography Toronto

    Stunning Wedding Decor

    It has to be said that this wedding was dripping with beautiful details and ornaments (Thanks to Erica’s creative vision and Glaze and John’s planning, skills). From the grandiose interior of St Michaels Cathedral to the (many) candles, cakes (thank you Nadia & Co.) and decorations at the King Edward Hotel, there was eye candy all around. And of course, Erica in her amazing dress, styled byAll Dolled Up Makeup and Hair, looked absolutely stunning. 

    Wedding Cinematography Toronto King Edward Hotel Details by Glaze and John

    Wedding Cinematography Toronto King Edward Hotel
    Destination Wedding in Toronto!

    Finally, I’d like to mention that these guys brought their guests all the way from Atlanta and across the world to our home of Toronto. How cool is that? As well as making sure they all featured it was important to us (and them) that we really make the city part of the film as well. As a relative newbie, I love having the opportunity to shoot various locations downtown. The King Edward Hotel and St Michaels Cathedral Basilica are incredible venues.  But you know what my favourite shot of the city is?…. Its the street car. Its one of those things that makes Toronto what it is. And for a film bursting with personality it absolutely makes sense to feature right? Oh, and that skyline……

    Wedding Cinematography Toronto Skyline

     

    Featured in Wedluxe

    This wedding has been featured in Wedluxe! With all the hard work from the couple and vendors how could it not be? You can check out the feature HERE

    To see more see more of our Wedding Films click HERE. Please Contact Us for more information about our Cinematic Wedding Videography services. 

    Credits:
    Directed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Aaron Rivando
    Planning and Decor by Glaze and John
    Photography by Amsis Photography
    Make up by All Dolled Up Makeup and Hair
    Flowers by Ooh La La Designs
    Additional Decor by Have a Seat, The Lettering Studio (seating chart mirror), Event Graffiti (dance floor)
    DJ’d by Impact DJ
    Cake by Nadia & Co.

  • Kelowna Wedding Videographer | Gellatty Nut Farm & The Cove Lakeside Resort | Rachel + Wes

  • I love these guys’ energy! From the first beat of the music, the party started the dance floor was packed. It was so much fun to be present at Wes and Rachels’ Kelowna Wedding. We spent the whole day being surrounded by guests, young and old, letting lose and celebrating the occasion. 

    Kelowna_wedding_videographer_party

    Wedding Trailer + A Feature Film!

    Wes is a tech and video enthusiast. So it only made sense that he and Rachel wanted to go “all in” for their Wedding films. That meant, 4K delivery, a feature film, a trailer and documentary edit. What I love about putting together multiple videos is having the freedom to emphasize different flavours of the experience. 

    When it came to editing the trailer, we felt that we really needed to emphasize the single biggest take-away from the wedding. And as indicated above, that would be the ridiculous good-feeling, fun loving, happy nature of the day. But most of all, this is young love, supported by a super close community, coming together to celebrate.

    Kelowna_wedding_videographer_party

    The aim with the Feature Film was to tell the whole story, to the point where a stranger could feel like they got to know the couple through the video.  We want a viewer to really experience what it was like to be present at every moment. We wanted to include all that great build up footage with the parents and friends chipping in. I loved seeing the Moms and Dads hard at work to decorate a beautiful ceremony.  In addition there’s the amazing speeches where you hear how Wes and Rachel are so supportive to their friends. We had such a fantastic portrait session that we had to get a little romance in there too. Finally there’s the fun times that were had and of course, a little “Afternoon Delight”. 

     

     

    A weekend of Okanagan Weddings 

    We’ve had a few stand out weekends in 2017 but this was right up there. Who wouldn’t want to spend the weekend filming weddings in vineyards by the lake? (You can check out our Penticton Wedding HERE). We were lucky enough to work with some friendly, helpful and very professional Okanagan Wedding Vendors. The whole event was co-ordinated by Day by Night Events who very helpfully kept things on track. Photography was by Megan from Of Earth and Soul and you can check out her awesome pics HERE. Impressions Wedding and EventsClassic CreationsBrie Stein ArtistryLauren Elsie Hair Design and Sugar Sweet Cake Company provided tons of eye candy. Alex Bird Music got the crowd whipped up with a great playlist and give us a great audio feed too. Thank you!

    Kelowna_wedding_videographer_party

     

    Directed and edited by Mark Relf
    Additional Cinematography by Henry Zhang
    Co-ordination by Day by Night Events
    Photography by Of Earth and Soul 
    Decor by Impressions Wedding and Events
    Flowers by Classic Creations
    Make up by Brie Stein Artistry
    Hair by Lauren Elsie Hair Design
    DJ and Sound by Alex Bird Music
    Cake by Sugar Sweet Cake Company

    You can see more of our Wedding Films HERE. If you’d like to learn more about what we do, please CONTACT us!

Cinematic Wedding Videography Blog