Our recent ‘real wedding’ blog post was brought to you from Switzerland, the place where I live and where Story Of Your Day’s studios are based – so I thought this week I would share with you a wedding from my previous home, Yorkshire in the UK.
Swinton Park Estate is one of my very favourite wedding venues in the UK and it’s such a great privilege to be their recommended videographer.
Photo above by Ruth Mitchell Photography
Last year I filmed two fabulous weddings there and they couldn’t have been more different. Rammina and Chris are two young doctors who met at university and fell in love in their twenties.
In complete contrast, Carol and Alex from the United States waited for years to find each other and ‘true love’. And, it’s their story and their wedding I would like to feature today – a destination wedding in the UK.
(L, Ryan Browne Photography and R, Ruth Mitchell Photography)
Alex first contacted me in the February of last year and, as well as telling me that they thought my wedding films were “breath-taking”, he also explained that in their 50s, this would be Carol and Alex’s first and only wedding. They were both the “centre of each other’s world”.
Their approach to life and love was so inspiring. I love working with all ages of couples, all with different love stories. But, for me, Carol and Alex’s was one of the most amazing of 2017.
In terms of working with them, they told me from the start that for them videography would be the most important element of capturing memories from their day. They were bringing all the friends and family over from their home in California and a film was how they thought they would best remember their time over in Yorkshire.
With that in mind, we worked very closely from the point of enquiry through to the delivery of the film to ensure their wedding day was arranged to perfection.
On several occasions our Skype calls lasted more than two hours to ensure meticulous planning. Perhaps not surprising as both Carol and Alex had both served in the military. But as a former BBC journalist, I know that telling a story is as much about preparation as it is about ‘art’ of storytelling.
As Carol and Alex’s wedding was a UK ‘Destination Wedding’, part of the commission involved pre-wedding filming. I was invited to film and share with them and their friends and family the events the night before wedding.
It began with a dress rehearsal at the church. It’s not something I usually do but, on this occasion, due to the fact there would be little time to set up cameras on the actual wedding day, I decided it would be prudent for me attend and do a recce.
That evening back at the estate there was a BBQ for the rehearsal dinner and then a falconry show for all the guests… and then I had an early night.
On the wedding day itself, it was an early start with preparations in the bridal suite as well as catching up with Alex while he and his groomsmen got ready. The mood was buoyant and excitable – not an ounce of stress from anyone.
The wedding party and the groomsmen travelled the fifty miles to the church on a double-decker bus, while I took the car. My assistant camera-director regretted volunteering for the bus journey as he was definitely green when he reached the church. But there was no time to dwell on that, as we had four cameras to set up for a full Catholic mass.
I really loved the priest. He was so funny with lots of jokes and gags and just perfect for Alex and Carol’s sense of humour. There wasn’t a dry eye in the house when Carol walked down the aisle and it was Alex who lead the teary eyes…
After the service and possible one of the longest first kisses I’ve ever filmed (another comedy moment from their day) we all headed back to Swinton Park. By the time we arrive the heavens had opened but no-one minded… after all this was “typical UK weather” and the couple along with their guests loved it.
Carol wanted the whole look of the day to look sophisticated with English charm… something her florist, Twisted Willow achieved beautifully.
There were canapés in the grounds while the portrait sessions took place… something I never direct but instead follow the lead of the photographer, in this case Ruth Mitchell. I was watching out for a beautiful sunset to steal the couple away for that if it ever happened.
Photos by Ruth Mitchell Photography
The one thing I LOVED about this wedding was the speeches. To be honest I don’t think I’ve ever covered an American wedding that didn’t have great speeches.
Carol’s speech about Alex and how she’s found ‘the one’ had me choked and then Alex finished me off with his amazing speech.
And did I mention that in the morning he’d given a poem to Carol to read that he’d written himself? “And so it is today…” all fantastically romantic but also great substance for my storytelling style of film-making. I wasn’t expecting this moment, so it was a great honour for me to film Carol reading this personal message from her husband to be.
So, with a beautiful poem, personal vows and amazing speeches I was all set for a great film.
Carol and Alex were so in love that day … she was constantly telling him how lucky she was. But I don’t think there was any luck involved in their love story… it was serendipity …
I hope you love their trailer as much as I loved filming their wedding and telling their story.
If you’re looking for more than just a music montage of your wedding day and want your story told in a beautiful cinematic film, then please get in touch.
As all my trailers are unique to each couple, if you’d like to see my other UK weddings, including Rammina and Chris’s 2017 Swinton Park wedding, just click here.