ONE HEART FILMS

Esther + Mike / Langdon Hall Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

When our friend Heidi - of Heidi Lau Photography – reached out to ask us to document her sister's wedding, we were so excited (she is, after all, the first photographer on our referral list).

And then we actually met Esther and Mike, and that excitement grew, because it was clear from the start that Esther and Mike would become good friends of OHF. As we moved through the wedding planning process – and, along the way, helped Esther's bridesmaid Rosy's boyfriend Henry propose to her – we got to know two people that care deeply about those around them.

And then September came, and as we headed to beautiful Langdon Hall, the rain that came down seemed unimportant, almost unnoticeable. The bride and groom got ready, and we slowly grew closer to their siblings and parents, friends and nieces. Following some door games that included a memorable Backstreet Boys cover, E & M saw each other for the first time, and the day was underway!

Through a gorgeous ceremony, a dinner filled with lovely speeches and hilarious games, and a first dance illuminated by friends, Esther & Mike's wedding turned out to be all about friends and family, about focusing on the things that matter, and about sharing a good meal... just the way it should be!

Make up : Artistrhi
Hair : Puzzle Creations
Bow-tie : TYTAN
Bridal Gown : Tara Keely
Bridal Shop : Kleinfeld Bridal
Florals : Blush and Bloom
Venue : Langdon Hall


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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.

Friends Friday: Bisous Events

Christian PetersonComment

There are few wedding planners in the city who do urban simplicity better than Jess Hoang, founder of Bisous Events. Bringing a breath of fresh air to the industry, she builds weddings for the modern couple looking to create an experience that’s heartfelt and polished, yet unpretentious. We chatted with the down-to-earth planner, and our dear friend, to talk tips on budget and keeping it simple. 

Jennifer See Studios

Jennifer See Studios

Photo by Eric Cheung

Photo by Eric Cheung

Mango Studios

Mango Studios

STYLE /  As a planner, how do you help couples figure out their personal style and come up with themes for their wedding? Where does one start?

JH: First off, I’d love to thank you for including us in #FriendsFridays! It’s lovely when you can be friends with those in the industry. 

As for getting started when wedding-planning, I always start with inspiration photos, their venue and their favourite colours. From there, we decide on the level of formality they would like their wedding (backyard, glam, black-tie, cocktail or semi-formal) and then we talk about what they are like as a couple. I want to know what their hobbies and date nights are like, how they met and what sort of lifestyle they have. The best weddings are those that are not only detailed and beautiful, but the ones you can tell their relationship was the muse.

PROCESS /  There are so many decisions couples need to make in regards to their wedding day. How can people turn this long process into a simpler, more enjoyable experience? Are there ways couples can help you help them? 

JH: The first step: hire a planner. Sure, it’s easy for me, a planner, to say that, but there is a reason why more and more couples are hiring one even when they have a smaller budget. When I start the design process with my clients, I always start big and funnel down. I take their huge Pinterest boards and inspirations and break it down into 1 page of 8 images to help them narrow down the theme. There are definitely an infinite number of each vendors in the Greater Toronto Area but not all deliver amazing work and seamless service. My job is to not only make their wedding special but within their budget and with the least amount of headache possible. 

Words like “vintage” or “modern” can mean a million things so visuals always help. Couples can help their planners by booking them early before they book most of their vendors so we can help guide their choices. They can also help by being realistic with their vision and their budget.

Becca Gilgan Photography

Becca Gilgan Photography

Becca Gilgan Photography

Becca Gilgan Photography

TIPS & TRICKS / Weddings can get pretty expensive if you don't plan them well. Any budget tips for couples at the beginning of their planning process?

JH: One tip is to make a list of all the vendors they would like and to put them in the “definitely” and the “maybe” category. After that, they need to do the same with their guest list. The best way to achieve their dream wedding on a budget is to have a more intimate affair. Also, more and more couples are opting to not have favours.

If you’re in the market for a planner, make sure you book earlier than later to get the best bang for your buck. He or she may have already worked at that venue if you’re still looking for the perfect location and know how you can save money by using the items they have on-hand. Your planner can also guide you to newer vendors such as florists or photo booths that can give a reasonable discount without adding stress to your big day. Often times, planners can save you more than it costs to hire one, never mind reducing the stress level.

WILD CARD / You’re getting married this year! How has the planning process been, and what are you most excited about for your own wedding? 

JH: I am... it is wild being on this side of it all! The process has been great since I always made mental notes at each wedding even before getting engaged, thinking, “Wow, this (insert vendor) is so beautiful… I’m going to ask them more details about my wedding!” But it is also very strange to be a bride-to- be, it’s like suddenly taking our working industry relationship to the next level. 

The majority of our family lives in other countries so I am most excited for our family to be all in one place together. I can’t wait to meet some of our little family members that I haven’t had the opportunity to meet to be there. Most of all, I can’t wait to officially call my fiancée, my forever-boyfriend.  

Mike Rousseau

Vanessa Heins Photography +  Jess Baumung Photography

Vanessa Heins Photography + Jess Baumung Photography

Jess' profile photo: Olive Photography

Vendors & Your Seating Plan: Setting Us Up For Success

Christian PetersonComment

As wedding filmmakers, about 90% of our time is spent working on our feet. We don't want to miss a moment – that's why we're busy shooting from morning to evening, making sure to capture the preparation process, the ceremony and everything in between. 

Most days it's not until halfway through the reception that we have a chance to sit down, but even then, we're still working. What's our strategy for introductions? How's the audio, the lighting? What angles are we planning on using for the first dance? These are questions we're asking ourselves as your guests prepare to enter from cocktail hour. The ability to work silently, efficiently, and most importantly, invisibly, is essential to us as the storytellers of your wedding.

That's why it's important to seat your vendors strategically in the reception hall.

We want to be as discreet as possible but we also need great visual access to the main stage. At the end of the day, we understand that vendors are there to lend our support to your wedding, not steal focus. Where you decide to seat us in the dining hall makes a big difference for what we can and can't do. 

Here's a list of tips to help you place your filmmakers right where they need to be on your seating plan to get the best shots possible, as well as some friendly facts to help you smooth the process for your vendors on your wedding day.

Seat Us In The Dining Room

Some couples choose to seat their photographers and filmmakers in a separate room, away from the hustle and bustle of the dining room during the reception. While that may seem like the considerate thing to do in regards to privacy and workspace, its actually counterproductive for us as imagemakers. Running back and forth from room to room leaves us less time for the important tasks, like recording, and disconnects us from the natural flow of your wedding. 

No matter how diligent you are, there's always surprises like an unexpected toast or an impromptu hug from Grandma during dinner. That's the beauty of weddings – the fact that they rarely go exactly as you planned, leaving room for candid moments. But if you don't seat your filmmakers in the dining room with the rest of your guests there's a chance we'll be missing out on capturing all those spontaneous moments that will make your wedding video that much better.

All that being said, we don't want to disturb your reception. A table placed at the back of the hall gives us a chance to take a breather while still being present and accessible when needed. We can keep our cameras right by our side while we eat and be ready to pick them up at a moment's notice. Plus, it's great to be able to connect with your other vendors; it fosters collaboration. Our personal preference is for the table to be as close to the DJ or audio board as possible so that we can quickly double-check sound quality before important speeches. 

Give Us A Heads Up

Most weddings tend to go off schedule, which means that it's difficult for us to know when, for example, the best man will do his speech. We can react, but we can't guess. Having the co-ordinator or MC give us a signal about 5 minutes before any speech is key. It'll give us time to adjust camera focus, check the audio, and start recording before any important programming starts instead of midway through.

Eating On The Job

On the day of the wedding, your filmmaker will likely include in their contract that they need to be fed. We don't care if we receive a multiple-course meal or a vendor meal (a simpler meal than you'd serve your guests). But do keep in mind how long it's been since we last ate. I'm a member of a lot of videographer forums online and I can tell you that failing to provide meals to your vendors is often a source of frustration and can be very detrimental to your relationship with your vendors. We love our couples, but when we arrive at the reception and are told that our meal will be served 'later', it's a bit tough to stay upbeat.

However you decide to work out the logistics, just keep in mind that vendors have often been working a very long day and likely deserve a break.

Be Open

We've had couples tell us that they'd rather their vendors not drink alcohol during the reception because they've had bad experiences at other weddings. We can understand that. However, most high-end vendors will act in a professional manner and would never do anything detrimental to your special occasion. That being said, you should feel free to share any concerns you may have with us ahead of time.

Our work with you is based on trust and honesty. That's why we wrote this blog post: not only to share some ins-and-outs of wedding filmmaking with you but also to be honest about what makes us feel respected and excited for the work ahead. After all, it's much easier to care about people that care about us! 

Hayley + Zack / Queens Landing Niagara-On-The-Lake Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

When Hayley and Zack reached out to us, they were so excited to work together in sharing the story of their wedding. From our first phone conversation to the ideation Skype call, and everything in between, we always knew they would be such an amazing couple to work with.

Having learned to be adults together, through thick and thin, they are truly 'in sync'. There's a connection there, in the way he cares for her, the way she smiles at him, how they both make things happen together. These are two people that found themselves together, through the years. This film is the story of the moment Hayley and Zack shared those profound discoveries with others.

Shot at the Queens Landing in Niagara-on-the-Lake, feature the funnest bridesmaids, boys tossing the pigskin around in the morning sun, a whole crew of the sweetest grandmothers around, and some waterside romance, this piece is also, in a way, our gift to two people that were always so kind to us.

Here's to you, Hayley and Zack. Here's not to two people choosing to get married, but rather to two souls learning, over time, to become one. We wish you all the happiness in the world!

Thanks also to our fellow vendors, especially our friend Anastasia of Olive Photography.

Venue: Queens Landing, Niagara-on-the-Lake
Planner: Lynda Carpenter Events
Photography: Olive Photography
Music: Impact DJ
Photobooth: Photobooth by Babylon
Wedding Cake: Sweet Celebrations
Florals: Burlington Blooms
Stationery: Oakville Paper Boutique
Wedding Dress: Kleinfeld Hudson's Bay

White Lights Sale: 10% Off New Wedding Bookings in December

Christian PetersonComment

With the most joyful season approaching, grateful for all the happiness shared in 2016 and excited about the beautiful moments that lie ahead in 2017 and beyond, we decided to spread some cheer.

To make your holidays brighter, we are thrilled to announce our White Lights Sale! For this special promotion, we will be offering engaged couples 10% off new One Heart Films wedding bookings all throughout December ($280-$380 Savings). 

To inquire about availability and to book One Heart Films for your wedding day, please fill out our contact form here.

From our team to you and your loved ones, with a heart full of magic, we wish you the loveliest of holiday seasons!

Terms & Conditions of the One Heart Films White Lights Sale:

- This offer cannot be combined with other offers or discounts.

- The discount offered as part of this promotion is equal to 10% of the pre-tax package costs listed on the Investment page, as of December 1.
- This offer is only valid for contracts signed in December 2016. The date of the wedding can be in 2017 or 2018, but a 50% retainer fee on the total value of the package must be received by December 31st in order for the offer to be effective. Standard contract terms apply on all bookings.

- This offer is applicable only on new bookings, and savings will not retroactively be applied to contracts already signed.
- This offer is subject to availability. We do not double book dates and thus cannot guarantee availability on your wedding date.
- One Heart Films reserves the right to cancel this promotion at any time, without prior notice.

 

'All That Shines' Berkeley Bicycle Club Wedding Film (Editorial)

Styled ShootsChristian Peterson1 Comment

What makes a wedding unique? How does one express individuality when planning, confronted with the task of choosing from a myriad of bridal gowns, seemingly identical wedding venues, or too-similar, overly ornate plate options?

In 'All That Shines', an editorial collaboration with event planner Jessica Hoang from Bisous Events and photographer Alyssa Wodabek that was recently featured in Australia's Hello May Magazine, we tried to create a bridal editorial film that, while showing what a Berkeley Bicycle Club wedding might look like, would reflect our personal preference for simplicity in all things wedding-related. (In that, Jess is very much a kindred spirit!)

Building on the venue's inherent qualities, such as beautiful wood panelling (and a magnificent alcove), gorgeous stained glass windows, and spacious rooms, we invited our models Alyssa & Justin to connect intimately but softly, to make themselves comfortable in those nooks of rainy-day light, to inhabit those moments of quiet contentment. Thus, we kept the motion simple, allowing them to simply 'be'. The resulting film is meant to inspire brides and grooms seeking a sense of respite in their wedding. Be it at dinner, hands intertwined as they listen in awe or in more abstract spaces, alone or together, we made everything about pace and soft breaths, withholding any kissing to focus on how the way he looks at her - and how she looks back at him - carries so much weight, so much truth, so much love.

With a dedicated team of Toronto wedding vendors crafting every detail of this bridal editorial, whose working title was 'Copper and Linen', we had the opportunity to create a collective vision that included a stunning gown from Maureen Patricia Bridal and a veil from Posh Veils, set into a beautiful hairstyle created by Puzzle Creations and accented by a sparkly headpiece by The Loved One. Our bride Alyssa, whose makeup was done by The Look Bridal, elegantly handled flowers provided by Ashley Elaine.

Meanwhile, our groom Justin was clad in an Indochino suit, accessorized by Tytan Ties accents (custom tie & pocket square).

Table-wise, Plate Occasions made magic happen, while stationery was designed by Castlefield Design Co. and Crumb & Berry provided us with succulent, delicate cakes.

We hope you enjoy watching 'All That Shines' as much as we enjoyed making it. Here's to the simple things in life.

Mary Anne + Martin / Hazelton Manor Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

I've always wanted to work a wedding with my friend Heidi of Heidi Lau Photography, so when she referred us to Mary Anne & Martin, I was excited. I didn't know them yet, but anybody that liked both Heidi's style and ours was bound to be a winner. And were they ever!

Mary Anne and Martin, both nurses (her in oncology and him in ICU), were so hospitable from the get-go. With a bridal party filled with nurses, I instantly knew that they would both be taken care of as well. Between Funny Man Joe and caring sister / Maid of Honour Maricel, all bases were covered! 

After an hour or so at St. Marguerite d'Youville Parish enjoying a beautiful ceremony featuring both Christian and Filipino traditions such as the candle lighting, pinning of the veil and draping of the yugal, we then headed over to the Kortright Centre for Conservation, for a fun-filled photoshoot (Mary Anne and I came up with a special handshake and a whopper-related posing trick- the details of which will remain secret - and the boys, I'm sure, were also up to no good!).

Wrapping the day at Hazelton Manor in Vaughn, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and, as you can witness in the edit, speeches that ranged from deeply emotional to lighthearted and intimate. With fun photo booth posing and a myriad of outrageous dancing (cha cha real smooth anyone?), things culminated toward the end-of-night partying, but not before Martin gave us arguably the best garter retrieval performance we've seen - dubbed 'the mechanic' by the DJ.

Now that it's all behind us, a couple of words for you, Mary Anne and Martin: know that the connection you share seemed, to me, 'easier' than it is most; that when you come together, you do so effortlessly and lightheartedly. Your love is so beautiful to witness, and I have no doubt you'll go through life happy, together. Thank you for the memories!

Love,

CP

Vendors

planner / Willow Rose Events
photographer / Heidi Lau Photography
make-up & hair / BlushPretty
florals / DeLight Floral + Design
bridal gown / David's Bridal
bridesmaids dresses / Henkaa
groom's suit / Soren Custom Suits
groomsment's suits / Freeman Formalwear
emcee + DJ / Veriation Music
photo booth / Boothclicx
cake / Just Temptations
invitations / A Paper Story
venue / Hazelton Manor

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.

On International Women's Day, Inspire Each Other

Christian PetersonComment

Every single day I have the opportunity to talk to, email and meet with, and collaborate with incredible women. In a great, free country like ours, women have been able to make their place; and while the glass ceiling certainly still exists, they've become irreplaceable, impossible to brush away.

Especially in the wedding business, the artistic sensibilities of my female friends and colleagues, whom I have never viewed as anything but equals, help me progress, day after day, year after year. These women that I have an opportunity to work with as planners, florists, bakers, photographers, make-up artists, hair stylists, venue managers, chefs, designers, editors, show organizers, and much more, they make things happen!

And then, of course, there are my brides, these incredible women, each unique and strong, inspiring. As brave architects, actuaries, engineers, designers, accountants, and entrepreneurs; as kind sisters, daughters, wives, and mothers; as amazing people, they inspire me. They trust me, and in return, I tell their stories, with all my heart.

Today, on International Women's Day, I want to tell every woman out there, especially the one that may be going through tough times, that she matters.

I also want to offer this suggestion, to men and women alike: the next time you talk to a little girl, don't tell her she's beautiful (even if she is). Instead, focus on her intelligence, her strengths. Ask her about the things she loves, about what she wants to become. By encouraging her to develop their minds instead of judging their beauty, you'll be helping her take a step in the right direction.

To my mother who always kept us together, to my sister who moved to a foreign country without fear, to my baby sister who's just embarking on her journey in Law, to my late aunt who I carry in my heart every day of my life, and to every other woman out there: never give up, inspire each other!

With love,

CP

A picture of a shoot with my friend Jasmine, a talented actress and sometimes-dancer who consistently inspires me with her thirst to create.


A picture of a shoot with my friend Jasmine, a talented actress and sometimes-dancer who consistently inspires me with her thirst to create.

My Workspace

Christian PetersonComment

It's Monday, and that means the start of the work week for most people. When you leave home and go to 'the office'.

But for me, every day is a workday. Why? Because being a creative is a full time commitment, one that requires not only taking your work with you when you go home, but also taking your memories of home, the things you like, the songs that make you move, and much more, with you always. Any photographer, designer, or writer, will tell you that; we can't fully compartmentalize, and we're at our best when the projects we work on evoke things in our own lives.

For a few years, I hopped between workspaces, trying various shared workspaces, renting separate units for my home and my work. But a few months ago, I decide to reign everything back in and re-consolidate. I figured being in the heart of the city would be key. I also needed a space where all my equipment could be stored, so that when a project came up, everything was right at my fingertips. It would be expensive though, as I needed a large two bedroom unit to fit everything. But, with some luck (ok, a lot of luck), one of my friends happened to be renting out an incredible unit right at Yonge & Front. So I jumped on the occasion, left the other two units I occupied as quickly (and respectfully) as possible, and the rest is history.

Now, let me tell you about my space.

I've decided to make the living room my office, and the second bedroom my living room (it's nice and cozy). The main thing for me was to remove clutter and stay minimal, while at the same time future-proofing the space so that multiple people could work in it in moments of high volume of work. So I opted to create my own table out of a 4x8 piece of plywood that I varnished (and painted ping pong lines on, just for fun!) and screw-on IKEA legs. It fits 4 people comfortably. On the left side, I have three little rolling storage units in which I store papers, pens and pencils, printer ink, label makers, DVD burners, and other office materials. And then, of course, my trusted iMac, along with my secondary Apple Cinema Display (that I've had for close to 10 years). On the opposite side, I have an IKEA TV bench in which I store all of my hard drives (60TB+), and that I use to elevate the focal point of my room, a beautiful painting by Toronto-based artist and friend Dominique Fung. A few other objects lie here and there: storage boxes, a clock, a printer, etc. But that's it. Overall, there's less than $1,000 worth of furniture in my office (I'm not including that couch in the corner in that price tag because I'm trying to get rid of it). And I love it.

But the best part about this space is this: it reflects my artistic sensibility!

Obviously, the condo unit itself is fairly upscale, and the view is breathtaking, but it was important for me not to get pretentious with the décor. Same as in my work with One Heart Films, the idea is always to distill an emotion into its simplest form: how do we say what we must say simply, how do we express complex ideas with few words, few images? That's the challenge I give myself.

And that's what my office means to me.

Darlene + David / King Valley Golf Club Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

The first thought that comes to mind when thinking of Darlene & David's wedding day is that they truly are so right for each other! Somewhere, between David's quirky, fun-loving personality and Darlene's kindness and real-ness, there's a perfect middle, a meeting point where it all makes sense.

Love is a construct, something that takes work and isn't necessarily serendipitous. As Darlene put it in her speech: "I love that our story isn't perfect."

Being real is at the core of what we do at One Heart Films, and having couples that dare say things like this warms our heart. We believe that finding love is a journey, and sometimes things take time to happen, or they happen in unexpected ways; like when a young man and a young woman meet at a summer painting job and he tells her he "doesn't feel like talking right now" and yet, somehow, they develop an 11-year relationship that culminates with a beautiful wedding day celebration.

What we loved about this wedding: David's amazing royal blue suit, the way Darlene's veil floated in the wind perfectly, and their parents' reactions, ranging from exuberance from oh-so-real tears of joy.

Fellow wedding professionals

Photographer: Photographs by Caileigh
Location: King Valley Golf Club
Musician: 
Chris Platt
Ring: Everlast Diamond

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The Red Room / A Chinese New Year Editorial

Christian PetersonComment

With Chinese New Year celebrations wrapping up, we wanted to take a minute to thank, from the bottom of our hearts, all our clients and friends that celebrated the arrival of the Year of the Monkey over the last few days. We are so grateful and wish you and your loved ones happiness, health & wealth.

Featured on The Wedding Opera and Kleinfeld Canada's social channels, The Red Room is a short editorial film featuring one of the most stunning red gowns around, courtesy of Christopher Paunil Designs and Kleinfeld.

produced & filmed by / One Heart Films
co-producer & stylist / Oudalova Events & Design
hair & make-up / MakeupLady.ca
model / Haruko at Spot 6 Management
photographer / Photasia Photography Re Imagined
gown / Christopher Paunil
jewellery / Jewels By Alan Anderson
courtesty of / Kleinfeld Canada
location  / The Windsor Arms Hotel

'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?

justin-02 (by Andrew Ho).jpg

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

Theme Matters / The Ideation Process of Wedding Cinematographers

Christian PetersonComment

Weddings are about love, no doubt. And good wedding films convey that love beautifully. But what separates a good wedding film from an excellent one? Theme!

In my humble Toronto and Vancouver wedding cinematographer's opinion, it is incredibly important for couples to collaborate with their vendors not only to tell them what is going to happen, but also to share some insight about themselves.

We can make any couple's wedding look fabulous - I think -, but to ensure we get something extra special, here is what we do.

Now, before going too deep, I want to acknowledge the fact that this method is essentially borrowed from Stillmotion, who are pioneers of visual storytelling, incredibly kind knowledge share-ers, and have become a great educational resource for many in this industry. If you know their work and have read their blog, you might recognize some of this. We share in the spirit of disseminating the 'good': we're not the authors of some of this (including some specifics), but this is how we treat it. If you're interested in knowing more about them or their educational offerings, head over to their site.

All right, now that that's out of the way... how do we get to a STORY?

1) We ask the couple a series of 10 questions through an online form. These questions range from the usual (what do you do for a living?) to the more 'mundane' (what do you do on a typical Sunday?)

2) We then sit down and read the answers from the bride and groom (sometimes they answer together, sometimes separately) and highlight all the words, expressions, or phrases that seem to particularly meaningful.

3) We put all of those on a board, or a master document. If I'm doing this exercise with another OHF cinematographer or editor, then we cross-reference, and the words that come up in both our versions are, likely, key words. Once we're compiled everything that's important, we usually have a pretty long list with a lot repetition, and that good...

4) Because the next step is to look for patterns. We pool the words together and from ideas, we start to see themes. For example, if the bride wrote 'real', 'uncomplicated' and the groom wrote 'down to earth', 'simple' then it gives us a sense of who they are, and we might settle on a theme like, say, 'genuine'. Themes emerge from keywords.

5) We look at potential themes, settle on key ones, and discard others that end up being too similar, or that, it turns out, we might be less inclined to develop, for a reason or another.

6) At that point, we start finding links and progressions. For example, what is the link between 'home' and 'fun', or between 'distance' and 'intimate'. Sometimes it's obvious, other times it requires us doing a little bit of thinking. And other times, well, the themes end up being separate from each other. That's ok.

7) The last step is to create a visualization of the themes and keywords that will help us communicate our ideas to the couple. It's always easier with a graphic that highlights how things connect, and how we get to where we got. We like to do a central circle [the couple and their story] surrounded by other circles that represent the themes.

8) Lastly, I chat with the couple about how we can integrate those ideas into their day. For example, could they do some yoga in the morning (if that's something that links them), or can I convince them to address the theme of distance in their speeches (if they were in a long distance relationship), etc, etc, etc.

When couples want to work with us, and they listen to what we derived from their answers, wonderful things happen. But it takes effort from everyone involved, and it goes a bit beyond 'I want it to be romantic'.

At the end of the day, this process of coming up with a theme is about making sure that the wedding film is specifically about the couple - YOU - and the things that make you your own entity, the moments and thoughts that make your relationship unique, that make you the perfect person for each other.

Being yourself at your wedding that some willpower. People will want you to do this or that. The questions we're asking and the work we're doing will, hopefully, help you figure out what really matters to you!

Ashley + Rob 'My Lover from Sheet F' / Black Creek Pioneer Village Wedding Cinematography

Christian PetersonComment

Rob and Ashley had been curling at the The Royal Canadian Curling Club for a year and, while they hadn't interacted much, he knew he liked her from the get-go. But Ashley thought Rob was a loudmouth, telling everybody how to curl, all up in their grill (her words, not mine). But then one fateful Tuesday night, Ashley was sitting with her team after a game and Rob saw an empty seat beside her. He seized the moment and swiftly flew over the couch to her side. They laughed and talked the night away and Ashley's initial impressions dissipated as they discussed their favourite TV show, 'Suits'. He told her he was a hopeless romantic and everything changed. The girl from Sheet A and the boy from Sheet F quickly became inseparable.

From the start, everybody knew this was a special kind of love, something that some people strive for their whole lives. Their friends knew. Their families knew. Ashley knew. Rob knew. They knew they were in it for the long haul. And so one night, at Kramer's Bar and Grill, while they were singing Jason Mraz's 'I Won't Give Up' together, Rob got down on one knee and proposed. This was to be another stepping stone in their relationship, with the proposal song becoming an important part of their shared history, as you'll see in their Highlights Edit.

And so, in August of 2014, roughly two years into their relationship, they tied the knot at Black Creek Pioneer village in Toronto. Their day wasn’t so much about a new promise as it was about celebrating what had been there all along. It was an occasion to honour profound friendships and bring families together, to sing their hearts out and to dance the night away.

From a wedding cinematography standpoint, the day was as smooth as can be, with everything happening in a single location and with an incredible sense of collaboration between us and their Toronto wedding photographer extraordinaire, Erika from
Ten·2·Ten Photography (who shortly afterwards became a true friend). it felt nice to meet someone who, beyond just doing her job well, brings an amazing energy to every moment!

Here's to finding love across the ice and persevering, and to making friendships that last a lifetime!

The Creatives

Toronto Wedding Photographer: Ten·2·Ten Photography
Cinematography: One Heart Films
Band: Arden & the Tourists
Cake: Christina Arduini
Decor: Leonie Segall
Florist: Coquette Studios
Hair: Maria Costa
Makeup: Natasha McKenzie
Makeup: Emmy Broadbent
Officiant: Paula Da Nova
 

Nancy + Kyle 'The Homecoming' / Hernder Estates Winery, Niagara Wedding

Christian PetersonComment

Some love stories take time and happen over time, like those of high school sweethearts. Other, like Nancy and Kyle's, are serendipitous and revolve around a single moment that could never have happened, an intersection in the lives of two people that could well have remained strangers. Some people call it fate, others say some things are 'meant to be'. Whatever the case may be, this is one of these stories!

A few years ago, while Kyle was playing for the AHL Hamilton Bulldogs, he was at a restaurant eating with his teammate and out came beautiful Nancy, who happened to be assigned to waiting his table. After some courting they started dating, with Kyle travelling as part of his professional hockey career. With his home in Alberta and hers in Southern Ontario, it wasn't always easy. But it felt right. And so their love blossomed and they eventually both moved to Arizona as Kyle resumed his NHL career with the Phoenix Coyotes. From there, they planned a wedding that would take place almost 2,000 miles Northeast. But with the help Nancy's sisters and family, and the participation of Kyle's Albertan friends & family, it all came together as day focused around friends and family, a beautiful, intimate celebration of the kindness, friendship and love between all involved.

So here it is, Nancy and Kyle's 'homecoming' Niagara wedding at Hernder Estates Winery.

How to Pick Music for Wedding Videos

Resources, Behind-the-Scenes, Music, EditingChristian PetersonComment

As a wedding cinematographer, I end up having to make a lot of decisions regarding wedding video songs. Finding the right track can sometimes be daunting, but with a little direction, all couples can find wedding music that will reflect who they are, and what their love is about.

The impact of music on a wedding video

As a bride and groom, there are a couple of things to considering when picking a song for your wedding film. First, you should know that cinematographers will generally provide the couple with a Wedding Highlights Edit that varies in length between 3 and 6 minutes, depending on how much audio is kept from the ceremony, vows, speeches, and other moments from the day. Personally, I think 4 to 5 minutes is the sweet spot in terms of length for this type of video, but it varies depending on content, style, etc.

Where to start?

Where to start when thinking about your wedding song? Start with you! A good way to approach music selection is to give your videographer / cinematographer some pointers as to what you enjoy, the type of artists you listen to, the genres you jam to, etc. We’ll come back to it later, but it’s important to keep in mind that you shouldn’t get attached to one specific song, because it may not end up working. I recommend trying to find some keywords that define your musical taste. Perhaps you’re looking for an ‘indie rock’ song that’s ‘upbeat', or maybe you’re more into ‘singer-songwriter’ music with  ‘romantic vibe’… or maybe, maybe you’re really into ‘classic rock’ but also like a bit ‘electronic’. Those are things that can help a wedding videographer find you a great track!

Why is a good wedding song important?

In many cases, the song you choose will define the feel of your Wedding Highlights Film. As editors, we tend to respond to footage and music in a very instinctive way, building wedding stories with our hearts as much as with our eyes. The music, for a wedding film, provides the emotional skeleton of the edit. As the same time, there’s also some technicality to it: the rhythm, BPMs, length, and general structure have a huge impact on the edit. They determine how fast we should move to content, when we should place footage that is important, when we should use more romantic or more playful footage. Music works hand in hand with video to make you feel something.

What makes a good wedding video song?

So, here’s a couple things I look for in a song: first, I want the wedding music to have good pace. If a song languishes too much, or is too repetitive it may prevent the editor from making an editor that progresses well; second, I want the track to have some internal variation. Ideally, I like songs that have fun lyrics, but that also has a few instrumental parts, that way it’s easier to insert bits of live audio - like vows, speeches, or readings from cards - into the body of the wedding film; third, I want the track to reflect the feel of the wedding. If you’re having an unplugged wedding at a farm, EDM might not be the best choice… similarly, if you have a very grand ceremony and reception, it might make more sense to go with a more cinematic soundtrack rather than an acoustic country song. Ultimately, it’s all about the relation of the music with the images, and about how those two relate relate to who you are as a couple.

A few examples of waveforms that illustrate structure within a song. In this case, the first song is a rather slow instrumental, more on the classical side. While it builds up, it's very progressive and likely wouldn't allow me to really cut 'to the music'. I could make it work, but it would feel more like a series of beautiful images rather than a full story. The second song (middle) is a much more high energy track, with some drums and guitar. However, it doesn't have much variation between the verse, chorus, bridge, etc, so while we can cut more 'in relation' to this track, it might still feel repetitive and lack demarcation between the various story segments. The third song is closer to an ideal structure: it starts slow, allowing me to set the stage, establish the locations and people, and then really picks up about 1/3 of the way in; about halfway, it slows back down for a bit, allowing a little step back, a more reflective, quieter moment, and boum, back to the high energy finale! This sort of track is great because it allows to create mini stories within the story, and to emphasize big moments with big changes in music (i.e. have the walking down the aisle, or into the reception hall, at 1/3 or 2/3, when the beats kick in.

Finding legal music for wedding videos

There are many ways to find music for wedding videos, and we’ll get into this shortly. But first, we must address one important issue: copyright. The same way that, as Toronto wedding videographers, we - and you! - wouldn’t want other people using our images without acknowledging that we’ve created them, and fairly compensating us for them, musicians should have the right to benefit from the usage of their songs. On the most basic level, the idea is that if the person sowing the dress, the event planner, florist, etc, get compensated for helping make your wedding awesome, so should the person providing the soundtrack to what will soon become a cherished memory.

Let’s dissipate one myth: licensing music for wedding videos is actually affordable! It’s actually so affordable that we at One Heart Films include that fee in your wedding videography package price. A license, typically, will vary between $50 and $100 per song. Why license music? Well, the best reason is because it’s the right thing to do (as we just discussed). But there is another reason: fi you don’t license your music, it is likely that social media sites will take your video down for copyright infringement. Facebook, Youtube and Vimeo all have track detection that allows them to find music that has been registered, and automatically flag and remove it until a proof of proper licensing has been provided. What this effectively means is that if you don’t use a licensable track, you may never be able to share your video with your friends and family online… and that would be a shame!

The way we work is that we ask our couples to check out the library of our music provider, The Music Bed, and give us a few songs that they might want us to use for the highlights edit. We then give it a listen and either pick one, or go back to the drawing board and recommend a few other tracks. I’ve never had a couple not find anything there, but if they didn’t, there are also other options such as Marmoset Music and SongFreedom (which actually offers licenses to some pop songs that get regular radio play). But we prefer some more unique and handcrafted, so we usually stick with The Music Bed.

Get creative: live music and covers

Another way to go about music for your wedding video is to use music that was performed during your wedding day ‘live’ or to record your own ‘cover’ of a song you love. Now, we have to caution that this probably only works for couples that are musician or music aficionados, and that have access to good sound recording equipment (or for whom we have good sound from the wedding day). It’s not for everyone, and song covers are a bit of a muddy zone with regards to copyright, but it’s certainly something to explore for some people, as it can truly make your wedding video more unique and personal.

Your Music, Your Story

Ultimately, the key to choosing good songs for wedding videos is to keep the following things in mind: pacing, internal variation, relation to the feel of the actual wedding day, and license-ability. Once you got all those things in the back of your mind, the last thing is to find a song that inspires you and can help your wedding videographer tell the story of your love!

So, do you know what music will you use for your wedding film yet?


Bonus: A Song We Love

As a little bonus, here’s one song that we love for wedding purposes (it’s got everything we talked about going on for it) and that is actually available through The Music Bed (yay)!