ONE HEART FILMS

wedding

Marina + Baher / Fairmont Royal York Wedding

Real WeddingsStirling MylesComment
Marina + Baher - Selects - 55.jpg
Toronto Wedding Couple Portrait

Connection takes time, and it often develops in ways we never expected.

Marina and Baher drifted around each other for years until they eventually drew closer, ultimately sailing together down the aisle hand in hand. We had the honour of documenting their story of a deep love that started when they were young. The couple ‘met’ in high school, but they were islands in different social crowds and didn’t speak to each other until they both attended the University of Toronto. It was then that they spent time talking on their GO Train commutes, and were friends throughout their time in school. They didn’t begin dating until they graduated and their love first set sail.

The couple’s elegant Fairmont Royal York wedding, at one of Toronto’s most stunning historic wedding reception halls, was perfectly curated. Amidst travertine pillars and painted ceilings, a warm light was cast, from the venue’s ornate chandeliers, upon every family member and friend in attendance.

Marina and Baher are there for each other. Really there. There’s an emotional proximity, nurtured and developed through years of close friendship. They are safe with each other, even when apart. You feel it in the room.

When you watch their beautiful, modern wedding film, we hope you can feel that closeness. In the moments of togetherness and support, but also in the solitary moments in the morning, reading each other’s wedding cards. No matter how far they are from each other, they are always there for each other. Really there, no matter which way the wind blows.

Marina + Baher - Selects - 32.jpg
Marina + Baher - Selects - 31.jpg
Bride smiling at modern wedding ceremony
Groom smiling at modern wedding ceremony
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Church / St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church
Venue / Fairmont Royal York
Photography / Dave Abreu Photography
DJ - Sound Obsession
Stationary - So Pretty In Print
Floral & Decor - Royal Orchid Florist
Dance Floor - Event Graffiti
Cake - Fine Cakes by Zehra
Tux - Garrison Bespoke
Make up - Fancy Face
Hair - Ladylyn Gool

Kristin + Tom / Whistler's McNeil Room Wedding

Real WeddingsStirling MylesComment
Our groom smiling on his wedding day

Places can carry emotional memories, and for Kristin and Tom, New York City's Union Square is a very special location. It's where they lived (just a block away from each other), where they often visit, and it's where Thomas ultimately proposed. Their story, that we tried to express in a simple yet meaningful wedding film, is one of incredible connection; Their love carried across borders and postal codes with a connection that wouldn't break, even when separated by physical distance.

Five years ago, Tom from Toronto met Kristin, from St. Louis, MO, in the summer while he was interning at a law firm in the Big Apple. They met, as he says, "the old-fashioned way", in the early hours of the morning. And contrary to what his mom says - that "nothing good happens after 2:00 in the morning" - it was magic that took place then. A few years later, they finally had their first date, and even though he showed up late, they were instantly connected. Which takes us to their wedding day at St George's Orthodox Church in Toronto.

As you watch their lovely Toronto wedding film, you can't help but fall in love with Tom and Kristin. Right off the bat, you can feel the love not only between them, but from their community of family and friends who came to celebrate from all over the world. All day, they took great care of every detail of the wedding and reception, with the planning help of our friend Jan (of Willow Rose Events). Everything unfolded perfectly and Kristin, as a professional wedding designer with her company, Miss Design Berry, even made all the wedding stationary.

In true Mastoras family fashion, they had the reception at his uncle's restaurant, Whistler's Grille and McNeil Room. We couldn't help but get caught up in the joy and happiness shared by everyone on this incredible day.

Congratulations, Tom and Kristin! You are a beautiful couple that is a true testament of the fact that love knows no boundaries. Here's to many years of a happy life filled with love, friendship, and trips across the border.

Love,

OHF

Photographer : Purple Tree Photography
Hair/Makeup : BlushPretty 
Planner : Willow Rose Events
Band : Dave Murphy Band
Flowers : Blush and Bloom
Cake : Nadia & Co.
Stationary/Backdrop : Miss Design Berry
Plates/Goblets : Plate Occasions
Venue : Whistler's Grille and McNeil Room
Limo : Paradise Limo

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And If You Listen To The Light: a Wedding Inspiration Shoot at Airship 37

Styled ShootsStirling MylesComment

Objects don’t inherently carry emotions; it’s the context that we place them in, how we approach them, that gives them meaning. The same goes with colour: where shadows end, where light begins - and the delicate in between - is where stories begin. This editorial shoot, recently featured on the Ruffled blog, was an exercise in finding beauty in quiet, in deliberately harmonizing opulence with sparseness.

Curated and produced by our Toronto wedding planner friends Bisous Events in collaboration with The Look Bridal, the shoot took place at Berkeley Events’ blank canvas events space Airship 37, where we gathered with some of Toronto’s best wedding vendors to explore a common vision of refined simplicity. The setting was staged and curated, yet each element of the setup, from the wedding tablescape to the carefully curated wedding dresses, remained emotionally authentic.


While the table itself was upscale and the objects were still, we focused on what brought the settings to life. We found inspiration in light and shadows, air and breath, texture and space. We created room for our model Sam to simply be herself and engage with the setting organically, transforming spaces into beautiful bridal moments.

During the shoot, filming with body rigs as we always do, we tried to give the viewer a sense of personal perspective, of actually being there.

We also went much deeper into our setup shots, trying to convey in motion the emotion that Coyote Flowers’ floral arrangements evoked. We tried to hear and interpret the delicateness of nature, the poetry created by the almost imperceptible movement of carefully arranged branches. We let objects breathe and watched an intimate relationship with the camera develop.

When you spend enough time with an object, it eventually speaks to you. And if you listen to the light, you eventually realize the stories it tells you.

Planning and Production: Bisous Events
Makeup and Production: The Look Bridal
Photography: Purple Tree Photography
Floral Design: Coyote Flowers
Venue: Airship 37
Wedding Dress and Accessories: White Toronto
Jewelry: Anice Jewelry
Engagement Rings: Bluboho
Wardrobe Styling: Katie Goodfellow
Hair: Morgan Inniss
Wedding Cake: Sweet Regards
Furniture Rentals: Detailz Couture
Tabletop Rentals: Plate Occasions
Stationery: Maison Maquette
Model: Sam Leung (B&M Models)

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Love in All Colours / Happy Pride

Christian PetersonComment

This morning, I was reading NOW Magazine's coverage of Pride and it struck me that, while I have always been open about my own support of the LGBTQ community, I had never publicly spoken about One Heart Films' views on this matter.

OHF is firmly in support of LGBTQ rights, from freedom of speech to washroom access, from protection from police brutality and systemic marginalization, to the right to equal marriage rights for all.

Dear LGBTQ neighbours, I want to keep this post short because this weekend is not about me or about us, but about you. I want you to know that while we haven't really worked together yet, we are in your corner, and you can count on us to be allies and friends. Happy Pride!

Truly yours,

Christian Peterson
Creative Director
One Heart Films

 

My wife’s the reason anything gets done.
She nudges me towards promise by degrees.
She is a perfect symphony of one.
Our son is her most beautiful reprise.
We chase the melodies that seem to find us
Until they’re finished songs and start to play.
When senseless acts of tragedy remind us
That nothing here is promised, not one day
This show is proof that history remembers
We live through times when hate and fear seem stronger
We rise and fall and light from dying embers,
Remembrances that hope and love last longer.
And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.
I sing Vanessa’s symphony, Eliza tells her story.
Now fill the world with music, love, and pride.
— Lin-Manuel Miranda

Wedding Filmmaker's Planning Tips: The Morning

Christian Peterson2 Comments

With wedding season fast approaching, I thought I'd share some of my top wedding videographer 'planning' tips to help make your film - and your day - amazing. This is the first in a series of blog posts that will also include tips for all parts of the day, but for now, I'll be focusing on the morning routines. I'll go over: 1) choosing a well-lit room; 2) preparing details ahead of time; 3) keeping things tidy; 4) making sound choices, and; 5) why love letters are awesome. Let's get started! 

Tip #1: Go where the sun is

I can't tell you how many times I arrive at a couple's gorgeous home, so excited about what the getting ready images will look like, only to find out that the makeup and hair stations have been set up in the basement. This. Breaks. My. Heart. With many modern, candid style imagemakers, having well-lit rooms is key because it allows us to focus on emotion and interaction, the things that matter.

Let's get (slightly) technical for a moment: because of their relative light temperatures, overhead 'tungsten' lights, chandeliers, lamps, etc. in rooms that also have windows will create an unpleasant orange color cast (since daylight is 'bluer'); on the other hand, neons / fluorescents (often found in basements) generally yield unflattering greener skin tones. Meanwhile, sunlight is beautiful and complex, allowing me to render skin tones faithfully and explore the complexity of shadows for enhanced visual effect. It creates catchlights when you look out a window, and beautiful silhouettes when you stand in front of it. Sunlight, as far as imagemakers are concerned, is almost always the best option.

So, take some time to think about where your getting ready will happen: pick a big, bright room and re-arrange furniture a bit beforehand if necessary. It'll make a huge difference in your images.

Tip #2: Prepare the details

The day before the wedding, move all of the details you want your photographer and cinematographer to capture (earrings, invitation suites, shoes, perfume bottle, veil, dress, etc.) in one area of the house or hotel room. That way, when the imagemakers arrive in the morning, everything is ready and you know nothing will be forgotten. I also recommend leaving the rings with the girls in the morning as the lead imagemakers tend to be with the bride at the start of the day.

Tip #3: Keep things tidy

While I discussed the importance of big, bright rooms earlier, it's important to keep in mind that a well-lit mess... will still look like a mess! So when the day rolls by and you and your bridal party get done up in the morning (or play video or drinking games for the boys), make sure to keep things under control. As a group, try to ensure that leftover food, drinks, clothes, accessories, etc. aren't left all over the space where your imagemakers are working to create candid portraiture. With a clean room, we can shoot 360 degrees without having to selectively avoid corners that we may otherwise have used creatively in composing your images.

Tip #4: Sound matters (kill the music)

I know: this tip doesn't sound fun. But following it can have a huge impact on your wedding film. Why do I recommend turning off the music? Because it will allow you (and me) to focus on the conversations and the people around you.

I love the morning routines, largely because it's such a great opportunity to get to know your friends and family. It isn't just about recording you as you move through the motions, but also about talking and listening. If you do want music, by all means; but please consider, at the very least, turning it off for the moment you slip into your dress, or say a prayer together, or give or receive a gift, etc.

The music playing in the background might not seem like it matters in the moment, but once I start stitching the pieces together, having one verse of a song back to back with another from a completely different one is distracting. One of the big advantages of wedding films is their ability to bring you into the moment. And you know where that starts? With the sound of the doorbell ringing, your dog barking at friends arriving, their voices as they see you for the first time, the contagious energy of honest laughter. If an image is worth a thousand words, then an image along with words is a thousand and one. Sometimes, it's that 'one' that turns simple beauty into pure magic.

TIp #5: Write a letter (for someone) that matters

There are few things sweeter than reading a card from your future spouse in the morning. Those words, a reflection on the past or an enthusiastic look at the future, give perspective to the day to come. Card receiving and reading moments allow you to stop in the midst of all the action. While you certainly shouldn't feel forced to read your letters on camera, know that they are the backbone of many of my favourite edits. Why? Because in making your wedding film 'about you', those genuine, private words to each other are my go-to building block to shape emotion and rhythm with.

And if you don't think you can read his/her letter (some people know ahead of time they likely can't contain the tears), consider writing to your bridesmaids. They'll really appreciate it, trust me.

That's it for my wedding morning tips.

Do you have anything you did or plan on doing to make things run smoother on the day of? How have or will you create moments of magic on your wedding day? I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

'Elemental Sentiments' a Modern Minimal Wedding Inspiration Editorial

Christian PetersonComment

Imagine a wedding where extravagance and tradition are replaced by refined simple beauty, one that omits gold and blush, opting instead for timeless monochrome palettes and unburdened tablescapes, juxtaposing strong concrete walls and fragile, flowing dresses.

Elemental Sentiments is a minimal, monochrome, modern wedding day vision for couples with discerning taste and a love for modern minimal design.

Watch the inspiration video below:

All photography taken by the wonderful Ally at Evolylla Photography. For more images, please head over to her website.
 

Thanks to our incredible team of wedding professionals for their beautiful work on this piece!

Film & Production: One Heart Films
Photography: Evolylla Photography / www.evolyllaphotography.com
Décor & Florals: Bisous Events / www.bisousevents.com
Make-Up and Hair: Windy at Aglow by Joan / www.aglowbyjoan.com
Menswear accessories: TYTAN / www.tytanties.com
Gowns: Ferré Sposa / www.ferresposa.com
Bridal Accessories: LUVYT / www.luvyt.com
Styling: Jennifer Dang
Macarons: Nadège Pâtisserie / www.nadege-patisserie.com
Model / Bride: Ming-Bo Lam / http://www.mingbolam.com
Model / Groom: Hubert Tran
Shot on Location at: Album Studio Rentals / www.albumstudiorentals.com

Friends Friday: TYTAN Ties, bespoke menswear accessories

Friends FridaysChristian Peterson1 Comment

This week we kick off our Friends Friday series, which is meant to be a source of inspiration for couples getting married, as well as a window into the work of some of the wedding industry’s best professionals: why they do what they do, what drives their work, how couples can best work with them to achieve unique results, and much more. This series will feature photographers with unconventional styles, convention-shattering milliners, bridal shops that cater to the individual not the masses, planners with resolutely contemporary tastes, and much more.

But first, to kick off Friends Fridays, we sit down with Justin from TYTAN ties to talk about custom-made menswear accessories.

OHF: First things first: so how did you get into making accessories for men? Why ties, bow ties and pocket squares specifically?

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Justin: I started off working in the wedding industry as a hairstylist for brides.  During our consultations, many of them would ask me if I knew where they could find a nice tie for their groom-to-be and most of the time I would direct them to one of the big department stores or a few other popular menswear stores like Mexx (R.I.P) because that’s where I would get mine.  Keep in mind, back then, matching solid ties were ‘in’ so it’s not like many were looking for something that particular; maybe stripes at most. The thought of anything else was pretty foreign. And then a few years ago, there was a shift in menswear and accessories: suits and ties were beginning to get slimmer, bow ties were making a comeback, and grooms were starting to get more involved in wedding planning. With so many options available for brides and bridesmaids, I started TYTAN because I could see that guys were starting to go the custom route and wanted something unique for themselves as well. We wanted to break away from this idea that a groom is just an accessory to the bride on the big day.

OHF: What are your thoughts on the relatively recent rise in attention given to menswear and menswear accessories? I mean, it seems to me we've never given as much thought to how men dress, especially grooms on wedding days…

J: To put it simply, guys do care about what they look like. Especially for such a big event in front of all their family and friends, Groom’s want to look and feel good. Wearing the right suit and [bow] tie makes you stand a little taller and walk with a little more swag. I hear it all the time, “I feel like James Bond today!”

What makes a wedding unique are the details, and that goes for choosing the right attire as well. As I said before, grooms want to be more involved (for the most part), and selecting what they wear is one of the few decisions that is fully theirs. They are beginning to see and becoming more aware of their options. With pretty much everyone on social media these days, finding ideas and options is easy, and even though it is overwhelming at times, it can be a great starting point to see what you like and don’t like. Whether you decide to go bespoke or buy off-the-rack, there are many affordable suit and tux options that come with a variety of styles, fabrics and colors to fit every body type. In some cases, grooms are opting out of a full suit altogether. Some current trends I have noticed this past year include wider and different colored lapels, suspenders, colorful and funky socks and of course, bow ties! I also like that Groom’s are wearing a different color suit from the Groomsmen and choosing bolder colors like electric/cobalt blue, as well as exploring dinner jackets with black tux pants. If you’re afraid of stepping outside the box too much, don’t worry, you can always try a navy or midnight blue suit instead of the traditional black. Many of our own clients have expressed their frustration of seeing the same things over and over again at every store, so they like the idea of being able to design a [bow] tie that reflects their taste more specifically. You’d be surprised at some of the fabrics our grooms have chosen! I believe most guys are visual learners, so when you are able to help them visualize the entire look, they are able to make better - and often surprising! - decisions.    

OHF: Tell me about customization, and the idea of men wearing one-of-a kind, tailored pieces on their wedding day.

J: No two clients are exactly the same, so we treat each design the same way. We have what we call The ABC’s of Style. Most grooms we work with fall into a style type:  A-adventurous, B-Bond, or C-classic. We use that as a starting point to select textiles that we feel fit their personal style. For someone who is adventurous, we may choose more vibrant colors and prints, whereas a Bond [James Bond] might want something more plush and luxurious feeling. The great thing about our designs is that they can be made reversible, which means that you can choose a style type that speaks to who you are, but also another one of who you may want to be for the day. It adds adds an element of fun and surprise, giving you the option to switch it up from day to night, GQ gentleman to party animal! Although to some a tie or bow tie is a minor detail to the overall scheme of things, it’s those details that count. When you’re standing front and centre saying your vows, so is your [bow] tie. So make it count!

OHF: So, for any grooms to be out there that are indeed looking for custom pieces, can you explain  the process of creating the pieces? How do you go from a groom reaching out with an idea, all the way to having the pieces delivered in time for the big day?

J: We want to make the process as simple as possible. After an initial consultation where we have established their style type and color palette, we head out to find textiles that fit within their vision. We then put together an inspiration board that we send via email with swatches for them to choose from. They select the ones they like most and we meet up once more for them to see it in person. Once they have decided, it goes into production! Fabric selection is what typically takes the longest, which we allot about 3-4 weeks for, as there are a number of stores we visit; it also gives our groom some time to actually think about what he wants. The production itself can happen as quickly as 2 weeks (depending on the number of [bow] ties being made and if there are any special requests like embroidery). April to September are high season months, so we highly encourage grooms to book at least 3 months in advance to ensure not only timely delivery, but also confidence in their choice. Each [bow] tie is boxed with a personalized card with their name and message just to add that extra special touch.

OHF: And to finish: tie or bow tie?

J: That’s like asking me to choose between rice or pasta! They’re both good for different reasons. BUT, if I had to choose one, I am going to have to go with bow tie. I’ve been a tie guy for pretty much all my life, but there’s something about a bow tie that’s so classic. Plus, you can get away with more crazy prints because it’s on such a smaller scale!  

Editorial photography: Gable Mak
J's profile picture: Janet Kwan

Paola + Oliver / Fairmont Royal York Toronto + Regency Palace Calgary Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

Every now and then, a couple comes along that you know is as excited to work with you as much as you're excited to work with them. Paola and Oliver were, from the start one of those couples.

Laid back and united, they immediately gave me an impression of knowing where they stood on most issues as they organized the details of our collaboration from their home in Calgary. I was to shoot their big day here in Toronto, where Paola's family is from, and then head over to Calgary the following week to shoot the reception they would hold there for Oliver's relatives, and for their friends. I'd never been to Calgary before, so that was exciting.

And so a few weeks ago the adventure began, with me meeting Paola, her sisters and family at their home in Etobicoke, while my second shooter Andrew went over to meet the boys at the Fairmont Royal York Toronto, where their Toronto wedding reception would take place later that day. In a few hours with Paola and her gang, everything fell into place as I got comfortable with everyone and she got ready for the big moment. Everything went smoothly, including collaborating with the incredible Lisa Mark, a photographer with whom I had common friends, but had never worked with. We worked so well as a team, helping each other throughout the day, which is incredible given how hard it is to actually stay out of each others' way on a big wedding day like Paola & Oliver's. But Lisa and her team were incredible wedding photographers to work with [insert approval stamp sound here ;) ].

Then it was off to St. Basil's Church on the University of Toronto campus. I had never been there before, so I was absolutely in awe, being an architecture aficionado, when I saw the incredible ceiling of the church, and the incredibly photographer and cinematographer-friendly light and layout of the space. It would be so easy to shoot there. And it was. And so over a beautiful, flawless ceremony for which they actually walked in together (that was a first for me, and I liked it!), Paola and Oliver officially became Mr. and Mrs. H.

By the time they became official, we already knew their bridal party pretty well, so the photo shoot at Osgoode Hall went by in a breeze and in good spirits. We pitted the boys and girls against each other in a walk-off (the boys won, by the way), and captured many laughs and smiles before splitting from the party and bringing P & O to one of TO's quintessential landmarks: Nathan Phillips Square, just in front of the Toronto City Hall. I guess Lisa and I figured we might show the good people of Calgary what the Toronto weddings scene (ry) is all about too! ;)

Last stop for their Toronto Wedding: the Fairmont Royal York. Wow! I've shot in lots of beautiful spaces in the city (including many at this same hotel), but the moment I walked into the ballroom where their party was to be held, I was amazed: it was so richly decorated, and what gorgeous lighting! I knew the images were going to be special right away. And they were: the bokeh (for you photo geeks) was incredible. And beyond the 'I love the space' stuff, many super unique moments happened, from the expertly choreographed first dance to the beautiful get-together spirit of the crowd as the couple showed a musical video Oliver (and his groomsmen) prepared as a surprise for Paola (you can see her initial reaction in the getting ready section of the highlights film).

The night came to an end, but it was only 'partie remise' as we say in French. We were to resume the festivities the next week in Calgary at the Regency Palace Restaurant. But that's another story...

For now, please allow me to share with you the story of a wonderful woman who moved to Calgary to further her career and went from knowing one person only (her sister) to finding that one person. The story of P & O's first date at Phil & Sebastian's that was cut short because neither of them realized it closed kind of early. The story of how they liked their date anyway. And how they came to love each other.

Paola & Oliver, to me your story isn't about extravagance or big gestures, but about effortless serendipity, things falling into place. As per your card, Oliver, I wish you to cherish this as a record of little precious things, of stolen glances and candid smiles, of imperfections that make life unpredictable of beautiful. A record of how meeting each other, and of how allowing me to look at your wedding from the outside, will ultimately have made lifetime memories. As per your card...

We do not remember days, we remember moments.

This is the edit that was shown at their Calgary Reception (full highlights edit in a few weeks!)

(vendors list at the bottom of the post)

Wedding Professionals List -
Planner: Kate at Devoted To You
Photography: Lisa Mark Photography
Décor: Creations by Gitta
DJ: Impact DJ
Limousine: A Celebrity Limousine
Cake: DT Bistro
Make-Up: Na-na Hong

Venues -
Ceremony: St. Basil's Church
Photoshoot: Osgoode Hall, Nathan Phillips Square
Reception: Fairmont Royal York Toronto