Henry and I LOVE when we have the opportunity to film weddings for our family and friends. Last year alone we had that opportunity 3 times, which is pretty amazing considering that prior to 2016, we only had 4 weddings over a 5 year period where we knew the couple personally. Those videos have been incredibly memorable for us and unsurprisingly have a special place in our hearts. Those videos have included cousins and best friends, which you can check out here:
Jonathan + Shahmeem
Clara + Tom
Wilkin + Antonella
The very first video that Henry filmed when we weren’t even doing this as a living and just for fun, was my cousin Mindy’s. All he had was literally a camera and 50mm lens. It was taken all handheld with no monopods or tripods and no special gear…and they loved it! Watching that video again makes us realize how far we have come, but also reminds us about the passion we had for this from the very beginning. The video still brings a tear to my eye!
So all these feels that we get from doing this for family and friends made it an easy decision for us to film my cousin Ricky’s wedding to his now lovely wife Dannese – it was a no-brainer! The couple usually worries that we won’t actually enjoy ourselves and that they would rather us have fun than work, but honestly, it is fun for us. We have fun being around people that we’re super comfortable with, AND we get the satisfaction that we have contributed in a way to their legacy with their memories in our hands!
I always find it so interesting doing the Q&A portion of the day with people that I know. There is already a sense of comfort that is of course, needed when asking such personal questions. I remember doing my Q&A with my cousin Wilkin and he said, ‘I can’t believe you’re making me cry’. I just loved how honest and open he was with me! It was also really great to see another side to him that I probably would never see otherwise! It was no different when I did my Q&A with Ricky. I honestly could’ve used all of the answers he gave me because they were just so genuine and from the heart. I couldn’t believe this man was the same little boy that looked like the McCain french fry kid growing up! Flashbacks of us pulling the sofa cushions off of the couch and sliding down the stairs came flashing through my mind. I had another, ‘I’m old’ moment…I was just so proud of how far he has come in life! I won’t lie, I shed a tear behind the camera. Especially when he started talking about our grandma. It’s a strange feeling when I actually know everyone he’s talking about!
With Ricky being such a great person and cousin, I couldn’t have been happier when Dannese came into his life. She is kind, sweet, easy to get on with and just all the characteristics you can say about a person that is awesome. She came into Ricky’s life and became another amazing role model for his son Christian and then they expanded their family with the arrival of Nicholas. It was clear that she was born to be a mum as I can see how great she is with the two boys. Her great sense of family probably stems from the fact that she comes from such a large family herself. She’s one of 6, 5 girls and 1 boy. You could just see the love between all of them on the day, which is great for them as there’s always someone to rely on when you need it most.
Already, you can see my dilemma when editing this video. I had SOOOO many relationships to highlight that were key to the couple and their love story. To do that in such a short amount of time is a difficult task, but I’m glad at the end of the whole editing process, I managed a way to make it work! Half the battle were the song choices, and I was lucky enough to have those suggestions provided by the couple! They sent over a few to choose from and when I heard the songs that I ultimately ended up using, I knew I was onto the winners. The first song, I Was Made For Loving You by Tori Kelly and Ed Sheeran, was the perfect foundation to set the scene for the whole day and introduce all the key relationships. The second song, Love Me Now by John Legend just kicked the video into high gear. I love how it was the perfect song to show off that friggin’ Ferrari right off the bat! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a sexier car!
Their wedding was held at the new Universal EventSpace byPeterandPauls. When Ricky and Dannese booked the venue, the space hadn’t even been built yet! The promise of an amazing venue was enough, and they delivered! I’ve never tasted better food at a cocktail hour! They were literally passing around small plates that were basically entrees. I was full before we even got to the table for the actual dinner! Another amazing feature were those massive screens in the reception space – perfect use for videos to play, pictures to show, or just another tool for your decor.
We had a great time working was some familiar faces and vendors! Victor Lee was their photographer and we had a blast with him just like the last time we worked together at Raymond + Thea’s wedding. Lettering was done by the super talented Doris Wai whom we first came across when we saw her work at Amanda + Greg’s wedding. Seriously, she gets booked up fast, so inquire for your wedding now! The gorgeous cake was created by one of Dannese’s sisters, Jing, and was oh so delicious! That’s the key to a great wedding cake – not only a dream for the eyes, but for the tastebuds too!
The whole day/night was a success and we were so happy to see it in the perspective of a wedding cinematographer and a guest. As a cinematographer, we were given so much content to work with! We were literally celebrating as the day went on as we got more and more footage. As guests, we know everyone was having a great time which is the main thing. Drinks were flowing, bellies were full, and speeches were on point! We couldn’t have asked for a better wedding to film and attend!
At the end of the day, we are reminded of how lucky we are to do what we do as a living. To have the power to create a time machine for some of our most dearest and loved, as well as all of our couples from past to present, gives us so much joy and satisfaction. To know that people will remember us whenever they watch their video for years to come makes us all warm and fuzzy inside – nothing can replace that feeling!
A big thank you to Ricky and Dannese for all of their love and support over the years, and for letting us take part in their big day. Your wedding and celebration is another perfect reminder that family truly is everything.
Until the next post,
ADDITIONAL VENDOR and WEDDING DETAILS:
Hair and Makeup: Fancy Face Inc
Wedding Dress: Superior Bridal
Chinese Dress: Custom gown
Groom’s and Groomsmen Suits: One Bridal
Bridesmaids Dresses: One Bridal
Photographer: Victor Lee
Decor & Florist: Precious Flowers
Sweet Table: Sweet Philosophy
Cake: Jing Yang
Officiant: Jan Mokund Agincourt Pentecostal Church
DJ: S4 Sound Sensation
Lettering: Doris Lovelettering
Vocalist: Lesley Traballo
Hawaiian Dance: Halau hula I Ka La
Published on HenjoFilms: Wedding Cinematography Toronto / Toronto Wedding Videographer