What Love Really Looks Like: confessions of a wedding videographer

Houston Wedding Pic Video Event Planner Something To Celebrate 11
Houston Wedding Pic Video Event Planner Something To Celebrate 11

With Valentine's day, the talk of love is in the air, and I've got something to let you know:  

I'm still surprised how often I meet strangers who, after finding out that I film weddings, often lean in and whisper to me in some sort of pseudo-confession:  "I have never watched my wedding video in the past 30 years."  In contrast, our own clients have been known to watch their wedding films on repeat until they are basically suffering from sleep deprivation--all in the first day of receiving their film!  

Now, I know what you're thinking when you hear the word "wedding video" too--but these aren't your Aunt Pam's wedding videos--with those heart-shaped frames around the edges  & star wipes between each shot, so bad that they are never watched---our films of weddings are time capsules of some of the greatest moments in a person's life.  The stories in our films will make your heart skip a beat, and they will make your face hurt from laughing so much.

Like when a wasp got caught in this bride's dress during the ceremony.   Or, when she cried sweet, happy tears as she spoke her vows.

Tara Wilson modern rustic possum kingdom wedding video photos 07
Tara Wilson modern rustic possum kingdom wedding video photos 07

What's the difference between the films we make  and the stereotypical wedding videos from the 1980s?  I'll tell you:

We know that love is made up of both big moments and small moments.   We know that a wedding day isn't just about the DIY accents--it's also about a community of people getting to celebrate together---a community that has supported the couple as individuals over the course of their entire lives, and they're all coming into the same town and the same room for a week, or a weekend, or a few hours-- and they're cheering as they get to witness the start of a new chapter for this couple.  We also know that a wedding is not a finish line--it's a party celebrating the beginning of the biggest adventure and the bravest self-sacrifice two people could ever make.   Love is a continuing story, passed down generation to generation.

rough creek lodge jewish wedding video pic 25 here comes the bride
rough creek lodge jewish wedding video pic 25 here comes the bride

Over the course of each year, we get to witness special moments as we make wedding videos for our clients, and it might sound crazy, but we walk around our office quoting wedding films more than we quote hollywood movies.   In fact, as much as I love romantic movies like Thoroughly Modern Millie, The New World, and Ever After, I'm going to be so bold as to say that not only are our wedding films better than 80s wedding videos--but I like them better than hollywood films because, seriously, y'all.  These love-birds are REAL.  These people are really, really real.  And knowing that these stories are true as day is extremely encouraging and refreshing--sure to soften the heart of even the most hardened cynic. 

Just to prove it, here are some special wedding moments from the past few years that make my heart skip a beat or my face muscles hurt from laughing each time I think about them:

How History repeats itself:

We found out that this bride met her husband in front of the exact same building where her parents met each other 20 years before.  Not only that, this bride and her groom share the exact same birthday.   ...watch the story here

country club wedding video pic 01
country club wedding video pic 01

When this groom is amazed at his bride's jaw-dropping beauty.

When this groom saw his bride in a private "first look" right before their wedding ceremony, his jaw LITERALLY dropped when he saw her beauty!  I also love how the bride's dad SANG during the wedding reception as Jackie and Chance danced their "first dance" in front of friends and family.  ...watch the story here

jackie-and-chance-first-look3
jackie-and-chance-first-look3

When a family friend officiates the wedding: 

It always cracks me up when I think about this hilarious moment  where the officiant in this wedding is handed the rings for the vows, and he looks at the bride's ring for a minute, then turns to the groom and says, "well, there goes your boat payment."  Keeping your wedding personal always makes weddings more memorable!  ...watch the story here

Texas Museum Austin Wedding Pic 13
Texas Museum Austin Wedding Pic 13

When dads make grand gestures:

During the reception at this wedding, the father of this groom announced that he just donated money to support the museum where his son, Andrew, met Erin, the bride-to-be.    ...watch the story here

Boot Ranch Fredericksburg Wedding Pic 49
Boot Ranch Fredericksburg Wedding Pic 49

When a groom exclaims, "I'm the luckiest man alive!"

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san antonio wedding video pic 35

When the best man explains why he chose the groom as a godfather for his own children.

...because he knew that in the event that Scott would need to raise his daughter, she would grow up seeing a great example of what it's like for a woman to truly be loved by a man.  Oh, man, you better grab your tissues before you watch the full story here.

san antonio bbq rehearsal dinner wedding pic 19
san antonio bbq rehearsal dinner wedding pic 19

When this father surprises his daughter with fireworks at the wedding reception.

....watch the full film here

escondido-wedding-pic-fireworks4
escondido-wedding-pic-fireworks4

When this groom cries.

....And he does, multiple times.  In fact, he's so expressive that his groomsmen gently tease "your make-up's gonna come off!"  This good-natured groom takes it all in stride, even though the tears well up multiple times--and he's got some impressive moves on the dance floor, too! ...watch the story here

memorial united church houston wedding video photo03
memorial united church houston wedding video photo03

When this groom jokes about improvising more and more wedding vows.

The custom wedding vows this couple shared are better than any hollywood script: "Every day spent together with you is the best day of my life," wrote the bride as she prepared for the ceremony.  On the way to the ceremony site, the groom teased "If your vows are better than mine, I'm going to improvise more vows!"  This bride and groom were both collegiate-level athletes, and their competitive spirit was super cute--but we have to admit that both of their vows still bring us to tears. Chris & Caroline decided to elope---but they still took along some family and friends--watch the film here or read more about it on style me pretty.

laguna gloria destination wedding photo 11
laguna gloria destination wedding photo 11

When these childhood sweethearts prove that young Love CAN be a Forever Love. 

This bride and groom have known each other since the bride was 3.  They grew up as neighbors, dated for seven years as adults, and the groom still CRIED when the bride walked down the aisle.  In their vows, they say, "I promise to kiss you first thing each morning and last thing each evening."   ...watch the story here

Tara Wilson modern rustic possum kingdom wedding video photos 31
Tara Wilson modern rustic possum kingdom wedding video photos 31

When this bride cries happy tears:

After being pronounced man and wife, Morgan turned to the crowd and CRIED as she showed off her wedding ring.  And then they way that they look at each other.  Pure adoration!   ...watch the story here

showing-off-ring
showing-off-ring

When this father-in-law tells why he first approved of his son-in-law:

The Bride's dad tells a story about when he met his future son-in-law for the first time that has us in stitches each time we hear it.  In Texas, wearing cowboy boots is a good way to impress your future father-in-law!  ...watch here

2013-10-19-kelcee-&-andrew-first-look2
2013-10-19-kelcee-&-andrew-first-look2

When Love lifts us up where we belong:

When this bride opened a gift from her husband on her wedding day, she found a bracelet with a Hot Air Balloon Charm to remind her of the moment he proposed in a hot air balloon.  ...watch here  Kacy & Jason's story is a reminder to put things around us that remind us of important moments.

first united methodist church wedding video picture 07b
first united methodist church wedding video picture 07b

When this couple reminds us that it's Never Too Late For Good Things to Happen:

This groom got his bride a ring with a diamond for each decade of his life that he had to wait to find her.  (She's pretty thoughtful, too--she hired his favorite artist to come and create a "live painting" on site at their wedding reception, and managed to keep it a secret from him 'til the wedding day!) ...watch the story here

houston backyard wedding23
houston backyard wedding23

When this groom makes a promise to his father-in-law:

I'm telling you, there wasn't a dry eye in the house when Mark stood up at the rehearsal dinner to promise his father-in-law that he would take care of Liz for the rest of her life.  We've filmed both Liz' wedding and her sister Sarah's wedding, and this family has truly shown us that love is filled with both a deep sense of honor and a generous sense of humor.  ...watch this film.

Houston-ranch-wedding-groom-promise
Houston-ranch-wedding-groom-promise

When this couple is told they are a sign of hope. 

The priest at this wedding is a wordsmith, seriously. ...watch the story here

web_magnolia hotel houston wedding video photo 11
web_magnolia hotel houston wedding video photo 11

It's a beautiful thing when two people promise to care for one another unconditionally. Love has the power to shine a light into the world, to encourage and surprise us, to carry us through difficult circumstances, and to teach us to cherish the big and the small moments.  The love that we witness at these weddings is a strong reminder of what is good in life, and we hope that as you have read these stories, you've been reminded of good things in your own life.

xoxo,

kourtney amelia

Houston Backyard Wedding || Never Too Late To Live Happily Ever After || MaryEllen + Rob, the full film

houston backyard wedding29
houston backyard wedding29

The romance!  The dogs!  The Art!  Get ready for a sweet film. Rob waited a long time to find MaryEllen--in fact, he gave his bride a ring on the wedding day with a diamond for each decade that he waited for her. Between Rob's sweet romantic gestures, MaryEllen's stunning beauty, their flower girls' antics, and the ways they incorporated their love for art and for their dogs into their wedding day, their story is sure to make you smile.

wedding video package memory tin
wedding video package memory tin

When we arrived at MaryEllen's Crown Plaza hotel room, photographer Taylor Lord was also just arriving to document the day.  We've worked with Taylor before, and she's always great to work alongside.  Edric's crew from Vanity Lounge was already in the midst of styling MaryEllen's hair and makeup.  Her flower girls scampered about like little fairies, bringing delight with each sparkle in their eye and each grin.  Meanwhile, at the house, the bartenders, chef, and waitstaff were already prepping a food course that just to describe will make your mouth water--including bite size smoked sausage with spiced poached apple, potato truffle waffle duck confit, tomato water shooters with buffalo mozzarella and basil foam, bacon wrapped jalapeño, and quail with sweet potato hash (and that's not even half of the hors d' oeuvres list).  Mouth watering yet?  

The dessert table towered with a variety of cookies and cakes, including cookies designed to look like Gracie and Barcley, the furry pups that are owned by MaryEllen & Rob.  As the flower girls marveled at the dog-shaped cookies, adult guests were able to enjoy signature cocktail drinks named after Gracie and Barcley. 

Seated on wooden pews in the backyard, friends and family gathered together all dressed in cream and buttery soft hues to celebrate the happiness of the bride and groom.

houston backyard wedding21
houston backyard wedding21
houston backyard wedding23
houston backyard wedding23
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houston backyard wedding36

Gracie and Barcley looking dapper and sitting patiently for portraits after the wedding.

houston backyard wedding22
houston backyard wedding22
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houston backyard wedding17
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houston backyard wedding31
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houston backyard wedding25
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houston backyard wedding32
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houston backyard wedding35
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houston backyard wedding33

This white wedding cake by 'Who Made the Cake' has frills for days, and peonies to match.

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houston backyard wedding27
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houston backyard wedding26

 Custom water-color style script signage by Houston creative studio Papellerie beckoned guests to leave their mark on the large oil painting being created at the wedding reception. The bride commissioned the groom's favorite artist (Taft McWhorter) to create an oil painting on site at the wedding, and it was an awesome surprise gift for the groom.

houston backyard wedding18
houston backyard wedding18
houston backyard wedding19
houston backyard wedding19
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houston backyard wedding16

The bride and groom have already collected several pieces of Taft McWhorter's abstract work, including a large typographical style painting with the lyrics to one of their favorite songs by Drew Holcomb & The Neighbors.  It seemed to make perfect sense to us that we had to license that particular song for  MaryEllen & Rob's wedding film once we saw what a beautiful vision its lyrics were casting for their home.  (P.S. Fun Fact about our crew: both Jones and Kourtney Amelia got to participate in the filming of Drew Holcomb's music video for "The Wine We Drink" in Jan 2012 through a workshop with The Music Bed.  We love that band!)    The lyrics say:

If I had a great big mansion

I'd rather live in a shot gun shack with you

If I drove a red ferrari

I'd rather ride in an oldsmobile with you

If I won a million dollars

I'd give it away to spend more time with you

If I had a million lovers

I would trade 'em all for just one more night with you

With you I can be myself

With you I don't have to be somebody else

It's like putting on my favorite pair of shoes

I like to be me when I'm with you

Their officiant told the couple during the ceremony:  "The bible says, 'you saw me before I was born, every day of my life was recorded in your book, every moment was laid out before a single day has passed."  The ceremony is over in a few moments, but what really matters is the lifetime that you're going to spend together."  

We couldn't agree more!  Congratulations to MaryEllen & Rob, and thank you for choosing us to create an heirloom artwork to help you remember each moment of your very special day for a lifetime.

houston backyard wedding34
houston backyard wedding34

Venue: Private Houston Home

Coordination:   Paul Pritzen with Keely Thorne Events

Photographer:  Taylor Lord

Caterer:  The Forest Club

Baker:  Who Made The Cake

Florist & Stylist:  Events In Bloom

Stationery & Signage:  Papellerie

Supply:  Aztec Events & Tents

Rentals:  Swift + Company

Valet:  First Impressions Valet

Pianist: Hank Taylor

String Quartet: Chamber Music Unlimited

Oil Artist: Taft McWhorter

Caricature Art:  Satirical Effect Caricature Co. 

Soundtrack:

"Nirvana"  by Chris Zabriskie chriszabriskie.com

Licensed by CC-BY-3.0

"I Like To Be With Me When I'm With You"  by Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors

Used through licensing by The Music Bed  themusicbed.com

The Wild Onion Ranch | The Big Time Band Performs Live

Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 01 reception
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 01 reception

Austin, TX - The Wild Onion Ranch - One of Texas' finest locations for a wedding ceremony or reception is The Wild Onion Ranch located on the south side of Austin. This particular clip features a performance from The Big Time Band and the event was designed by Swoop Events, a subsidiary of 2 Dine 4 Catering.

If you're a Texan with a destination wedding in Maui, obviously, you have to celebrate your wedding twice so all your local friends can join in the fun! Texans love to have a good time with their friends, y'all! Anna Kate & Charles did exactly that, and they included all kinds of cute touches in their Texas reception. Flower necklaces, tropical flowers, orchids, hydrangeas, lilies, birds of paradise--it was a gorgeous event.

Anna Kate had us filming in 8mm during their hawaiian adventure wedding, so of course, we filmed some of their Texas party on vintage film, and we also edited it into the digital footage; it has a neat effect on the imagery in the story.  Some people have referred to this combination of super 8mm film and digital HD footage as mixed media format style.  We call it fun. :)   We are always happy to film at The Wild Onion Ranch for parties or events.

- kourtney amelia

The Wild Onion is located just off IH-35 in south Austin, about a fifteen-minute drive from downtown.  

12112 Old San Antonio Rd

Manchaca, TX 78652

Directions (from Austin):

- Take IH-35 South to Onion Creek

- Take Exit 225 toward FM 1626 / Onion Creek Parkway

- Turn Right on FM 1626 (heading west)

- Turn Left on Old San Antonio Road

- Continue on Old San Antonio Road approximately one mile

- Turn Right into the Wild Onion 

Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 17 reception lights
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 17 reception lights

Photography: Heather Mabry, Eclectic Images

Austin Reception: The Wild Onion Ranch

Austin Reception Band: The Big Time Band

Event Planning: Swoop Events

Catering: 2Dine4

Floral Design: Westbank Flower Market

Bride and Groom's Cakes: Coco Paloma

Photobooth: Booth 66

Watch more films or join us on facebook: 

Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb

The Wild Onion Ranch | Exotic & Intimate Texas wedding venue

Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 01 reception
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 01 reception

For those of you who aren't familiar with Austin, the personality of our city is often defined by an artistic expression that is simultaneously extravagant and humbly charmingThe Wild Onion Ranch is a treasure among the gems that define the look and feel of the hill country region. It is a gorgeous ranch-style location for weddings with exotic, carefully crafted landscaping, stately rustic architecture, gardens, and that true Austin casual feel.

 Take a look around:

 It's no secret that we're huge fans of the Edgerton family (we've filmed both of their daughter's weddings there).  We've filmed several other special occasions & charity event videos there over the years, and it is consistently beautiful.  Under the artistic vision of the Edgerton family, the landscape is always evolving and becoming even more detailed.  It will certainly fill your guests with a sense of wonder as they walk around the intimate gardens.

Some of the features include:  two covered patios with a grill/outdoor kitchen/bar, a stone table where desserts are often displayed, many pathways winding through the garden, small putting greens where tables can be easily placed, a pool, outdoor pergola grandstand and dance-floor, several well-shaded porches, benches, and resting areas, and a sunlit Tuscan Hall where ceremonies can be held, or other indoor activities can be staged. It is fantastic to see.

Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 02 reception
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 02 reception
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 06
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 06

There are many details that still astound us--like the benches constructed entirely from driftwood, and the details in the stone pathways (there's colored glass, fossils, and marbles cemented together--so beautiful!).  You'll enjoy any event (whether it be wedding or corporate) that you choose to celebrate there.

- kourtney amelia

Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 17 reception lights
Austin Wedding Wild Onion Ranch Pic 17 reception lights

Watch more films or join us on facebook: 

Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb
Mason Jar Films fb

Backyard Texas Wedding | "You are the Greatest Adventure" Catherine & Nick, Part 1 of 2

<screen grabs from the wedding video>

Judge Baylor
Judge Baylor
The Heard Home
The Heard Home
Mirror
Mirror
Cheers
Cheers
Bouquet
Bouquet
Pose
Pose
Vows
Vows
Table
Table
Baby
Baby
First Dance
First Dance
Champagne Glass
Champagne Glass
Toast with star
Toast with star
Bride Smile at toast
Bride Smile at toast
Sparklers
Sparklers

Event Planning: Kristin McShane, Keely Thorne Events

Floral: Rosetree

Lighting and Sound: Filo Designs

Reception Entertainment:  Sauce

Photographer: Nancy Aidee

Quartet: Brazos Valley Strings

Catering: Bestyett

Vintage Rentals: Bourbon and Bloom

Tent Rental: Marquee

Departure Transportation: Legacy Carriage Company