ONE HEART FILMS

wedding film

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

The Best Wedding Film Music Of 2017

Resources, MusicChristian PetersonComment

With the wedding season well underway, and as we progress through our couples' wedding film edits, we thought we'd help couples that don't know where to begin when choosing songs for their wedding films and create our own list of the Best Wedding Film Music of 2017.

Now, in case you haven't read it yet, we create a post back in 2015 about How To Pick Music For Wedding Videos. This has been by far the most popular, and arguably the most useful, wedding resource we have ever created. So before going through our list of 2017 wedding song favourites below, give that a read to understand what wedding filmmakers look for in a song.

Before moving on to the goodness, it seems important to point out that all the songs listed here are available over at the Music Bed website. We don't have any sort of deal with them, and they don't pay us to advertise their wedding music licensing service; we just happen to like the creative they put out. Sure, you might not know some of the artists, but you can license the music legally, allowing you to share your film as you wish, basically anywhere (for our couples, the cost of licensing is included in the wedding film package). Plus, it's awesome to support indie talent, and your music won't feel so dated in a few years.

All right, so without further ado, here are our favourite wedding video songs of 2017. Just click on the images to listen to the track.

The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)  High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

The Rival / When I'm With You (Walking On Air)
High energy indie rock with cool lyrics; also happens to be the perfect length.

John Lucas / Caesar  Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

John Lucas / Caesar
Beautiful dramatic track with great singer-songwriter vibes and memorable, soft vocals.

CAPPA ft West Coast Massive /   Paper Stars  Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

CAPPA ft West Coast Massive / Paper Stars
Electro pop with a nice party feel, perfect for waterside weddings with a DIY feel

Tim Halperin / From This Day On  One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

Tim Halperin / From This Day On
One of Tim's newest tracks, it features piano and a storyline perfect for an inspiring wedding film.

Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)  Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

Adrian Disch / Sky Lights (Instrumental Only)
Emotional instrumental indie pop rock goodness that will effortlessly take you places, stunning ambient track

Cody Fry / Go  Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

Cody Fry / Go
Nice classic singer-songwriter song with hints of country and a structure that will work for any wedding film

Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk  Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

Andrew Belle / Honey & Milk
Alternative indie with darker tones and pleasing depth of composition, good for emotional wedding days

The Rival / Good To Be Alive  This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

The Rival / Good To Be Alive
This track is fun, upbeat, and, well, it will certainly make you... feel alive!

John Lucas / Love Is Kind  Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

John Lucas / Love Is Kind
Masterful guitar composition with a nice buildup, perfect for more spiritual couples

Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)  Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

Secret Nation / Believe (SVVN Remix)
Soft lyrics packaged in an exciting track that alternates between reflective quiet moments and high-energy peaks.

Tim Halperin / I Believe  Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

Tim Halperin / I Believe
Easy to listen to, great flow for a wedding film, and meaningful lyrics. Tim Halperin is never a bad bed.

The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home  Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

The Light The Heat / Your Love Is My Home
Beautiful, meaningful, with a great structure. Doesn't go too hard, but definitely enough to carry a film forward.

Hoyle / New Love  High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

Hoyle / New Love
High energy pop for contemporary couples, can really bring some pop to a film

Suzanne + Alan / Graydon Hall Wedding Film

Christian PetersonComment

When Suzanne and Alan reached out to us to craft their beautiful Graydon Hall Wedding Film, we knew instantly they were not your average couple. Suzanne told us that her vision for the day was to keep it beautiful but simple: things would start in the afternoon rather than early morning, the menu would consist of hors-d'oeuvres only, with no formal dinner, speeches would be given in a cocktail hour setting, and then we'd be done. Wait, what? A half day... without a reception or a party?

Suze and Alan's plan was simple: a quick but lovely wedding day and, in the evening, a friends-only night of partying. At first, we were worried. With such a short wedding, we felt there wouldn't be enough footage for the film. A few discussions took place around whether or not we should tag along to Suze and Alan's evening party (at a lovely bar downtown), but the couple decided to keep things intimate. Ultimately, we really appreciated their desire for a more private celebration. We came to shoot the daytime portion of the festivities only, and got to witness so many industry superstar friends walk down the aisle alongside Suze.

At the end of the day, as you can see in their Highlights Film, Suzanne and Alan's wedding was action-packed and full of emotion. In the span of a few hours, everything from ecstatic moments of waiting to uncontrollable tears and laughter, was shared and captured on film.
We love when couples hold true to their vision because at the end of the day, it's not about the photos or the film, it's about you. When you let your wedding unfold the way you imagined it, even it means a little pushback from your family or your vendors, you'll enjoy it so much more.
Here's to Suzanne and Alan. We wish you to live your married life the same way you breezed through your wedding: with joy, in love, and on your own terms!

Wedding Planner : Love Kristine Events
Bridal Gown : Truvelle
Bridal Shop : Sash & Bustle Boutique
Groom Suit : Topman
Photographer : When He Found Her
Hair : Suzie Kim Bridal Hair
Make up : Aglowbyjoan Makeup and Hair Artist
Hair + Make up : Windy Chiu Make-up + Hair
Florals : Secrets Floral Collection
Venue : Graydon Hall Manor

If you loved the film, check out some of the best moments of the day in the slideshow below.

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.

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