Posts in Wedding Film Journal

{ December 9th, 2017 }
San Francisco, CA

Wedding videography often gets forgotten about, for some strange reason, in the planning of a wedding.  

Celina, Angel and I met for coffee in Walnut Creek to discuss making a wedding film, and according to Angel, the choice was between hiring me to film their wedding, or him arriving at the wedding in a Lamborghini.

Luckily, they made the right choice, though a shot of the groom slamming the door to a Lambo behind him as he pulled his shades off would have been cool.

The Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco is such a gorgeous wedding ceremony venue, and we were ecstatic that the weather played nice.  It looked less like the foggy city we know and love and more like what SF looks like in the movies and in Full House.

Flying my drone around the city with the Golden Gate bridge in the background was a thrill in itself, as young children and their parents came up to me to ask if they could see the monitor.

The intimate reception was held at the Temescal Beach House, where the real party began.  They projected an animated video that told the story of Celina and Angel meeting and falling in love.

Celina and Angel are an incredibly sweet couple with a bright future ahead of them, and I wish them the very best.


{ July 22nd, 2017 }
Santa Cruz, CA

When Nicole first contacted me, we were only a couple weeks away from the wedding.  She told me that her father-in-law, Ian’s father Johnny, had passed away a week before, and that now they were trying to quickly get back into wedding planning mode and get everything locked in.  I am generally not good at handling loss, and without ever having met these folks, I was extremely saddened and distraught by the passing of Johnny just weeks before their wedding day.  Luckily, I was available and jumped at the opportunity to help them tick one thing off their planning checklist, and make sure they capture and eternalize this time in their lives.

As I drove through the Santa Cruz hills I was anticipating a heavy, emotionally charged wedding and hoped I could capture that story without missing a beat.

Arriving at the townhouse to meet Nicole, I heard laughter, and champagne being uncorked.   I tried to decipher all the relationships between all the people running around, they all seemed like family to me.  We were clearly in UC Santa Cruz territory, and everyone there seemed to speak multiple languages, including a small child who was smarter than me.

A beautiful vegetable farm surrounded the Hay Barn, which was buzzing with vendor activity.  Bright red tractors, decorated hay stacks and old school irrigation rigs served as accents in a lush agricultural setting.  The bouquet had artichokes and other delicious looking produce, hidden among fall color blooms.  

I have to admit, I had to try extremely hard to remain professional and hold back tears every time they mentioned Johnny in the ceremony.  The words spoken into the microphone by everyone at the top of that hill could not have been more poignant, artful, and cathartic.  

All in one ceremony, we saw them jump the broom, break the glass, and tie the knot.  

And when the sun went down, and the DJ started bumping vintage soul, hip hop, and R&B, there were no shy people in the back, everyone was on the dance floor, stopping only for an occasional gin cocktail or an It’s-It ice cream sandwich from the cooler.  

Planning: An Everlasting Moment
Venue: The Cowell Ranch Hay Barn Project
Photos: Rob Eves


{ September 29th, 2016 }
Slane, Ireland

After a sleepless ten hour flight with my wife, one-year-old-son, and my in-laws, we arrived in Dublin tired, hungry, and thirsty for an enormous tub of Guinness to bathe in.  I’d never filmed a wedding for a family member, and I was ecstatic to shoot in the Irish countryside.

My sister, Beatriz, and my future brother-in-law greeted us at the rehearsal dinner at The Ferryman, an old Irish pub along the Liffey.  We had such an amazing time seeing family from California & Chile, and meeting my soon to be Irish extended family, that the whole night ends up a sleep-deprived blur.  But the one big memory that stands out is my Sister cutting the Celtic band for a moment to give a speech, to thank everyone for coming.  It was then that she stopped mid sentence and gave the microphone to Keith, who picked up where she couldn’t go without getting too emotional.  

“To Virgilio”, Keith said.  Virgilio is Beatriz and my father who was unable to make the trip to Ireland, due to the recent loss of his right leg.  From California, Virgilio had still made sure to pay for the food and drinks at the Ferryman that evening.  

The music kicked back on, and we all partied until we could not party no more.

Fast forward a few days.  Bright and early, we all met at The Gravediggers, an incredibly authentic Irish pub that sat outside an old, old graveyard, filled with historical tombstones and Irish Constitutional signatories.  We hopped on a charter bus to Slane, and I was drooling at the sites while trying to keep my son entertained.  We arrived at The Millhouse, and everyone (me) couldn’t stop with The Simpsons references.  “Everything’s comin’ up Millhouse.”

From there on, the Guinness flowed, the whiskey… also flowed, and the gin and vodka and rum and tequila, also flowed.  A stream flowed past the old mill.  Lot’s of flowing going on.  

After the ceremony, we went out for a portrait session along the creek, which is where I got the final shot in the video and almost killed myself doing it.  Sprinting with my Ronin stabilizer behind a golf cart, I said to myself, “if this shot turns out of focus, I’m going to have to take a bottle of Jameson to the face.”  Fortunately, I nailed the focus and only drank half the bottle.

The live band played classic American rock & roll, lots of Elvis.  My uncle Hector showed everyone how to dance the “cueca”, a Chilean dance involving a handkerchief and 1000% confidence.

The night was far from over.

Venue: The Millhouse, Slane, Ireland


{ October 28th, 2017 }
San Francisco, CA

I was tending bar in Walnut Creek, when Zohreh and Mitch sat at the counter at the early stages of an epic-busy night.  I was telling my friend about an amazing wedding I had just shot with another company, when Zohreh and Mitch cut me off and asked me if I was a wedding videographer.

“Wedding cinematographer” I said jokingly (but also a little seriously) as I poured shots of Fireball for college kids.  
As I continued to muddle, shake, strain and clean for the rest of the night we chatted about their upcoming wedding, and their plans to have a Persian Wedding “sofreh” during the ceremony.  I had never seen or heard of a sofreh, despite growing up with multiple Iranian close friends. 

We hit it off and made plans to make a wedding film.  

One of the first things I noticed about Zohreh and Mitch, was how they constantly looked each other in the eyes and you could tell that there was a wealth of information-transfer in those looks.  

While the Bentley Reserve is a huge piece of wedding venue eye-candy, it was almost outdone by the sofreh.  This rich layout of silver, mirrors, eggs and other heavily symbolic items was like nothing I’d ever seen before.

The ceremony proceeded with Mitch and Zohreh facing the audience, as the officiant beautifully read poetry in Farsi (and kindly translated to english as well).  The Kalleh Ghand ritual was my highlight: a happily married woman rubs two sugar cones together, over the Tureh Ghand (sugar cloth) while held over the couple’s head to shower their life and marriage with sweetness.

For days after the wedding, I had about three different Lana Del Ray songs stuck in my head, as Zohreh was a huge fan and I am not ashamed to admit I am as well.

“Mitch,” said Mitch’s brother during his speech.  “Gramps would be proud of the man you’ve become.”

“And Zohreh, you’re getting a great guy.  And I can tell you he will love you and cherish you like Gramps did Granny.”

Venue: The Bentley Reserve
Photographer: Abbie Leigh