Best Made Videos – Seattle Wedding Videography Blog

Seattle Wedding Videography and Video Production. Available for weddings, live events, and more!

Posts tagged ‘best of’

by Scott Johnson

Look, we get it—there’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding. Venue, flowers, dress, shoes, suits, seating arrangements, vows—you name it. It’s a tough, tough job having to plan all of this out—which is why wedding planners exist—but what about the maid of honor, best man or parent of the bride or groom who has to dig deep into their souls and find something that speaks to the character of their friend. That is a tough job—believe me, I had to give the toast for the founder of Best Made Videos.

I mean, if only they knew how hard it was to write a speech that somehow captured both heart and humor, then maybe just maybe, they’d understand the sheer amount of pressure we face in the months leading up to the wedding. What if it isn’t funny? What if it’s too mean-spirited? What if they cry too much? What if I cry too much?

Well, we can’t write your speech for you, but we can give you some tips we just picked up from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bridesand Wedding Crashers for good measure. First of all, this one is from Wedding Crashers—always, always, always come from the heart. Don’t try to be too funny—humor is absolutely important—but you don’t want to be too harsh. If in doubt, simply tell a story you have of the couple and how it showed they were meant to be. Other helpful hints include acknowledging the guests, talking about your connection, being positive and staying away from alcohol for your own sake and that of who you’re toasting.

You wouldn’t believe how many toasts we’ve heard, but we’ve somehow managed to whittle down our huge backlog to just three. So let’s check them out—oh, and prep the tissues.

____________________

Veldee Wedding, 07/31/17, DeLille Cellars

You probably wouldn’t ever expect one of your parents to absolutely kill it with their toasts—that job is often left up to your best man or maid of honor who know the even more embarrassing details you wouldn’t want your parents to know about—but the Veldee wedding is something entirely unique for us. Not only is it absolutely wonderful in that it is the bride’s mom getting to “roast” the groom, but it is honestly one of the sweetest and most touching speeches we’ve witnessed.

As Kat’s mom starts off, explaining she and her daughter were digging through some old “love letters,” they found one written by the groom himself—check Kat apologizing to him for the ambush—which she most certainly brought to be read aloud. But before digging into the juicy letter, her mom describes how the two met—with Kat coming home everyday in 7th grade saying “there’s this annoying boy that sits behind me in class.” But, as her mom noticed, she would always be smiling when she was “complaining.”

As the years went by, he would invite her to school dances, prom (where they ended up being queen and king) only to be distanced by college…which is where this letter comes in. After a year of being apart, the letter was sent, and in it he writes, “Dear my beautiful, loving girlfriend,” before being cut off by he who wrote it saying, “let’s just end it there.” Alas, her mom continued, “Only a few weeks left until I shall depart this land they call Oregon in search of pastures anew for the summer time. My likely destination, your heart.”

There’s tons more to it, but you probably get the picture!

Sanchez Wedding, 08/28/16, Historic 1625

If ever there was a tear-jerking toast, this would be up there with some of the best. Sometimes a sibling is the best friend you’ve always had, and they stand up there with you knowing not only yourself, but also your significant other. So often times they have not only a great insight on your character, but also your fiancé. As is the case with our next vows.

“This is really difficult,” the bride’s sister begins, “she is the baby of the family. We have eleven years between us. I’ve watched her, I’ve babysat her from diapers to now. I’ve been protective of her through the many years. I’ve watched her blossom from a young lady to this beautiful woman right here.”

She then starts in on her time with the groom, “Then she met Jesus, who worked his way to our hearts through our stomachs. I mean, the guy can cook, you know, and we love him. He fed us,” which was met with a huge applause. Who can blame her for mentioning that—it’s the easiest way to anybody’s hearts.

Briggs Wedding, 08/15/16, Historic 1625

There’s a running joke amongst most best friends that they—without any doubt whatsoever—wish for their future children to be married and then they’d be in-laws. Very rarely does this actually happen—but we happened to be so lucky as to film the wedding of such an occasion. As the two moms start out their speech, they announce that this has actually been “25 years in the making, and we did it!” They then joke about how they think their kids thought this was simply their own natural chemistry, but they take all the credit for themselves.”

The father of the bride comes up next, joking about how he didn’t want to be surprised by any of his daughter’s suitors, so he “started the vetting process early. Basically, about birth, ok. There’s things you need to know: background checks, credit reports, internet search history, text messages. That’s not the important stuff, I wanted to know how long for Joey to be potty trained, ok. I needed to know if he shared his toys well with others. Did he talk back to his mom? He passed with flying colors.”

I mean, what are the odds. Take back what I said earlier about parents not knowing everything. They know somethings.

____________________

Was your toast at the wedding particularly special? Did it reduce the room to tears or make the double over laughing? Let us know below!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Technology is getting pretty wild these days, especially drones. For a while, they were commonly associated with people doing stupid things with them—like the guy who flew one into the Space Needle—but now they’re being incorporated by cinematographers and videographers (like Best Made Videos) to add even more ways to shoot your wedding day. Though it isn’t cheap—some services charge several thousand dollars per wedding due to tech costs, the need for a trained pilot, and all the FAA regulations—it is becoming increasingly more accessible for a lower fee.

CNBC published an article in October digging into these new high tech weddings which include digital mapping, augmented reality photo booths, and other cutting edge technology to add an extra-geeky flair to your ceremony. And to think, all of this has become a reality within this century alone. What a time to be alive.

We here at Best Made Videos like to be with the times and have on staff our very own drone pilot, so here are some of our favorite drone-shot weddings!

______________________

Salama Wedding, 05/29/17, Fairmont Olympic Hotel

From the opening minutes of the video it’s easy to tell the amazing benefits of drone photography as ours soars across the Sound towards the Ferris Wheel down on the piers. Before drones, you’d have to hire a helicopter to do this sort of thing, but with the advancements in technology, it’s so easy and adds such a cinematic feel to just about any video. Later on, a bird’s eye view of the the breathtaking St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Seattle, will leave you stunned as it rises over its towering domes.

Moriarty Wedding, 08/19/17, Four Seasons Hotel

Just like the Salama wedding, the Moriarty’s video opens with a stunning shot of the city with the drone flying in over the water. For those who call Seattle home, this is an iconic shot. For those who love their home, this might just be the best way to open the video, especially if it’s the city where the bride and groom met. Using drones in the city is tricky, but here it shows the beauty and size of the city before it settles in on something a little more intimate.

Apigo Wedding, 08/27/16, Des Moines Yacht Club

Sweeping shots of beaches filled with driftwood and choppy water on a typical grey Pacific Northwest day opens up the Apigo Wedding out in Des Moines. Like the other videos, and in movies themselves, it helps serve as an establishing shot. You know exactly where it is, and it’s so beautiful to watch. Later on, as the wedding party poses for photos, the drone soars over for a high angle shot that wouldn’t have been possible with something like a helicopter. Drone shots like this are excellent reminders of ways to get massive wedding parties all into one shot while still looking sleek and formal.

Get Hitched, Give Hope – Highlight Video

______________________

As drones become more accessible to more people, instead of just a rich techie’s hobby, it’s important to weigh the benefits of using one to enhance your wedding day. Here at Best Made Videos, we offer a drone package with a minimum of 2 hours at a rate of $200 per. For more information, please contact us directly for inquiries, if not let us know if and how you used drones to upgrade your own wedding!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Venues Part 1:

One of the best things about getting to film dozens of weddings per year is being able to visit the far corners of the beautiful state of Washington–as well as others–and witness all of the many kinds of wedding venues clients have chosen for their big day.

From lavish hotels to tranquil forests and idyllic orchards to ritzy golf courses, there is an almost overwhelming amount of venues we have shot at. Ultimately, the site of your wedding is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make in the wedding planning process. After all, venues can book up years in advance, so be sure to double and triple check right now if you already have places and dates in mind!

A recent article from Weddingwire does offer some helpful advice on why choosing a hotel is one of the best decisions you can make for your venue. For example, depending on the hotels in question, most will have different event spaces to hold your ceremony and reception. In addition, most hotels that offer wedding accommodations will also have a wedding planner on staff and you’ll be able to take care of just about everything all at once on-site. Most importantly–it provides convenience. You, your guests, and the wedding will all be located within the same building, preventing the need to worry about transportation to and from the ceremony.

You also don’t have to worry about your guests getting home safely

As always, this got us thinking: what have been our favorite venues over the past few years? Well we’ve boiled them down to our seven favorites and are splitting them up into a double feature!! The first set is below–and be sure to check out the rest tomorrow!

_______________________

The Edgewater House, Olalla WA

Just north of Gig Harbor, The Edgewater House is an absolute delight. Right on the waterfront, with the altar peaking across the bay, there simply is no beating this venue for a summer wedding. Providing staff and service that always exceeds expectations, the venue will do just about anything in its power to ensure your perfect day. From a greeting service, parking attendants, a shuttle service to the parking lot, and enough tables and chairs for over 200 people, there’s simply no way you can be disappointed by the amenities and customer service.

For those with money they’re just aching to get rid of, you can even arrive by seaplane, helicopter or boat and be greeted by champaign! Bonfires, s’mores packages and more are also available, though showing up to your wedding by seaplane sounds pretty freaking rad. Depending on the weather, you can even request your own firework show for your guests to view from the beach below!

We’ve shot several weddings there, but the Duprel and Staggs weddings both highlight just how gorgeous the venue really is. Both weddings, which were massive in size, had more than enough space to dance and party into the golden hours of the evening. The scenic location also offers endless spots to do stunning photoshoots and poses against a variety of backdrops. There’s just so much to love about this place!

The Golf Club at Newcastle, Newcastle WA

You don’t need to be Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to enjoy getting married at the utterly scenic and undeniably breathtaking Golf Club at Newcastle. Sure it might be all the way up on a hill, but one look at the view and you’ll realize it was all worth it. With a panoramic view that sweeps all across the region, encompassing Seattle, Lake Washington, and the majestic Olympics way out in the distance, it’s worth it alone just to drive up to see it for yourself.

But for your big day, the staff is ready to…caddy…to your needs with multiple settings for the ceremony, outdoor patios (with heaters for those chilly evenings) and even a Scottish bagpiper! Bridal suites are also available to those who want to get ready on site–and they even provide a Bridal Attendant to guarantee your complete satisfaction.

While the Schroder wedding is one of the most stunning weddings we’ve shot, the proposal of Connor and Addie also showcases much of what makes the Golf Club so darn spectacular. We just love the views so much, and even the interiors are as formidably beautiful. It’s certainly a hole-in-one in our books!

The Arctic Club, Seattle WA

Don’t be fooled by the name, you won’t be taking any polar bear plunges or chilling out on blocks of ice as this venue. Rather, the Arctic Club is one of Seattle’s finest hotels and boasts an exceptionally gorgeous event space called the Northern Lights Dome Room with an unforgettable ceiling that rivals ones you’d find in Europe. Formally a social club for men returning from the Yukon Gold Rush, the building is now part of the National Register of Historic Places!

Able to host up to 320 guests, the Arctic Club comes ready with a full china service, dance floors, silver service, and you even get a complimentary night’s stay if you book your wedding there! Also available is valet parking, custom decorations, floral arrangements and more. Plus, you get to pick from a prepared list of vendors and musicians to perform! To top it all off, their catering team is prepared to serve anything from a traditional dinner with menus to a buffet. Just one look at their menu–which includes such mouthwatering options as Scallops Nage, roasted pork, chicken, or sirloin, and even a “late night snack” of kobe beef sliders–will make your stomach growl.

The Cone wedding, back in September of 2016, showcases the immenseness of the dome and the sheer size of the event space. Speckled with gold and white, nothing says “royalty” like the literally-dazzling wallpaper seen during the photoshoots. If you want a luxurious wedding, you really can’t go wrong with the Arctic Club.

_______________________

That’s it for today! Do check back in later this week to find out even more of our favorite venues including a church and a winery!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Vows Part 5 of 5:

Welcome back to the grand finale of our Favorite Wedding Vows series! Throughout this week, you have seen twenty of our favorite vows from weddings we have shot over the years—and now it’s time for the final five. Be ready with your hanky, things are going to be getting real emotional! Let’s wrap this thing up!:

______________________________

Soni Wedding, 08/31/17, The Golf Club at Newcastle

“I have so many things to say I don’t know where to begin,” is either the sign of someone woefully unprepared—or someone truly in love who simply cannot decide what is most important about the person in front of them.

Naturally, at weddings, its almost always the latter, as is easily proven by Christina who segues into tears and a heartfelt speech declaring “You’re the best, most unexpected thing that’s ever happened to me. And I am so thankful to have found such a selfless, caring and charismatic person like you. I’ve always wanted to be with someone as ambitious as I am. Hands down, I found my match.” She continues on with fawning affection, “I don’t know how you do the things you do and keep your sanity,” and compliments his big heart and how he always cares about everyone else—before losing it to tears and requesting tissues.

Tanuj begins his vows by going against what Christina said in writing a letter when she didn’t want to, because he wants to frame it for later on! He’s already off to a good start here, but once he gets going you can really tell he lives his bride, “just being with you makes my life complete. I feel like I’ve peaked in my life just to call you my wife now. Your sincerity is incomparable. I feel like the luckiest guy.”

But these aren’t even his vows! Watch the video to hear all of the epicness!

Mortega Wedding, 08/26/17, Kitsap Conference Center

Jessica’s vows for EJ highlight years of their relationship, “I love the life that we have built together, and though I can’t wait to see the world with you, it’s the everyday things I cherish the most.” She then lists off an endearing amount of favorite things they do—such as making dinner, grocery shopping, holding hands and drinking coffee, and many more. “With you, things haven’t always been easy. At times we have fought fiercely just to stay together, but because of what we’ve been through I know that what we have is real.” Her vows end with a crescendo of tears and emotion as EJ holds it all back while trying his hardest to not shed a tear.

EJ responds with the utmost of flattery: “Looking at you today, it’s easy to see why I fell in love with you. Your beauty is breathtaking. There are still times when you smile at me and I lose my words like when we first met. But more than what’s on the surface, it’s the depth and breadth of who you are that makes you the woman I love and me the luckiest man in the world.” It’s sincere and sweet, and that’s all you can really ask for.

Kent Wedding, 08/27/17, The Kiana Lodge

Rob’s vows for Lisa start off with that famous Jerry Maguire line, “you complete me,” but Rob takes it a step further and essentially makes us want him to do the remake. “With you, I know love has finally found me. Being with you makes me a better person. Your love, caring and understanding nurtures me, guides me, allows me to be who I am and encourages me to be better every day. 357 days ago I said I wanted to share all your future birthdays with you, and today I repeat that commitment.” Maybe it’s the accent, maybe it’s just the words, but Rob makes all of us swoon.

Lisa fires back with a strong, straight-faced recitation by declaring he is her best friend right off the bat. “While I don’t for certain what our future will bring, I am excited to discover life with you. You are my teacher, my accomplice, my teammate and my role model. You have shown me what love is.” Sounds like these two are like peas in a pod!

Stephens Wedding, 09/17/17, Sorrento Hotel

At the dazzling Stephen Wedding with the meeting of worlds, Ashley’s vows are seriously powerful and inspire a whole slew of emotions. “I see you in every romance movie, every epic love story and every glimpse of my future. You are my ultimate dream in life and my biggest inspiration. My life would not be complete without you.” These are some of our favorites, especially the movie line.

Rajeev’s return is a little hasty at first—with obvious forgiveness for the nervousness—but he simmers it down to an emotional slugfest as he recites his love for his bride. “We’ve grown up and grown together for the last six years, I wouldn’t trade for anything.” Later on he says, “Thank you for always standing by me and making the sacrifices that you do, because I can’t picture life without you. I promise to buy you flowers and chocolate when you’re upset.” That, right there, is love in a nutshell!

Ko Wedding, 08/20/17, Novelty Hill/Januik Winery

Before even beginning the vows, the sniffling tells you all you need to know. Nick, clearing his throat, is greeted with giggles from Sally. We don’t hear too many poems here—it seems poets are a rare breed anymore, at least at weddings—so that’s what makes Nick’s vows so special. “Sally,” he begins, “you are the person that makes me dream of the future. You are the person that makes me feel strong.” But as he keeps reciting these, it makes the heart swell. “Your heart, your face, you are my home. I love you, and now you are my wife,” it’s so sweet! “We’ll live our lives, and time will pass, but in this moment I read you my vows. I won’t need to look back to know that the good ol’ days are now.”

After taking a moment to prepare herself, Sally tearfully tells Nick that meeting him is the best thing that’s ever happened to her. Continuing on through the sniffles, “Thank you for always making the effort, for pushing me to grow and for reminding me to pick up all the hair that I shed.” That’s a big one, for us, “I promise to love you for who you are at any given moment. I promise to always have your back. I can’t wait to dream with you.”

______________________________

And there you have it! Our 25 favorite wedding vows! Thank you for sticking through it with us, and if you have any suggestions or would like to share your own, please throw us a comment or message! We are always looking to improve, so please don’t be shy. Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Vows Part 4 of 5:

And we are back for part 4 of our Favorite Wedding Vows series. As we reach the final stages of these articles and the year itself, we want to thank all of our readers and visitors for checking out our content and witnessing all of these spectacular weddings. Without you all, we wouldn’t be able to do this—so thank you.

Let’s start tackling the final ten!:

______________________________

Fincher Wedding, 09/03/16, Chambers Bay Golf Course

For many people, early September is associated with going back to school and the last legs of summer. The days start to dwindle, the air gets a little crisper, and the leaves start to match the golden skies. The Fincher wedding is a gorgeous example of late summer weddings done right as the beautiful sunset videography inspires romance and new beginnings.

While the officiant delivers some hilarious remarks to introduce the two, recounting the storied history of the bride and groom with jokes and anecdotes, Ina’s vows cut straight to the heartstrings. “Offering me the very best of you, filling my world with a love more beautiful than I ever dreamed of. I love you today, and I will love you for all days for the rest of my life.” Short, sweet, and to the point—even Ronnie has to agree because he tries to steal hers!

But he delivers in kind, “The first day I met you, I knew there was something special about you. As the years went by, and as I got to know you, I knew you were special. For the 2,716 days from our first date to today, I’ve learned from you, I’ve grown to love you more and more every single day.” That’s really all you can ask for, isn’t it?

Sanchez Wedding, 08/28/16, Historic 1625

An exuberant and tearful Jesus immediately declares that he has to do his vows in Spanish before saying “I love you,” in English, followed by, “It’s not coming out.” But the two are bashful as they hold each other’s hands. My Spanish is a little choppy, but he promises to help Erika accomplish her dreams, on good days and bad, and some other sincerely heartfelt things. It may have been short and sweet—but in his own language it adds all the more emphasis to his feelings.

In English, Erika responds—through tears—“You are my best friend, I couldn’t have asked for anyone else.” Chuckles emerge from underneath the sobs; they really do love each other and say so at the altar time and again. But she keeps going, “I can’t wait to spend the rest of our lives together,” which really makes him sob.

Anita and Enoch’s Wedding, 09/03/16, Within Sodo

Anita’s vows for Enoch sound like a legal briefing, but you can’t deny how well organized she is about her feelings. Separating her vows into different sections titled “Important moments,” “Promises I make,” and “Comparisons to famous couples,” she starts with the former, “I knew I loved you when I challenged you to Saved by the Bell trivia and you stumped me.” Most importantly, however, she promises to give him space to play his video games and to eat as much pizza as he wants—and really, that’s what I think most guys want. Well, maybe just me…and Enoch.

Enoch’s vows are a little less organized—which really isn’t saying much since most vows don’t have subsections—but he immediately teases her for being able to get through it with such a straight face and not crying—“that kinda kills my opening jokes.”

“I’m gonna assume you cried anyway. I’ve written more than I should be saying mainly because the more I talk the more you are going to cry. I don’t know if your water-proof makeup is going to win this battle. I should skip some parts.” Jokes aside, he starts delivering a heartfelt response, “Anita, you are my best friend and the mother of my beautiful daughter. I have loved you because of and in spite of your ability to follow societal norms. You told my coworkers not to tickle my feet for some reason, you’ve stolen peanut butter M&Ms from my roommate.” It keeps going from there, but Enoch’s words both make us laugh and smile, and that’s pretty special.

Manheim Wedding, 10/28/17, AXIS Pioneer Square

Danica and Phil’s late October wedding— with Thriller and allmight make you think they’re into spooky stuff. While they might just be, this isn’t another Halloween Wedding (couldn’t find the link). Instead their vows are about teamwork, working together, and completing each other.

Danica, who announces she was once called “Danica Panica,” for her high levels of anxiety, loves Phil deeply, “while luckily the name didn’t stick, the tendency occasionally persists. With you, however, I am naturally at ease. I have never felt more comfortable, loved, or accepted as I am with you. We are not two halves of a whole, but instead two parts of a whole. Whatever life throws at us, we tackle it together as a unit.” This is sure some great chemistry—after all, you are partnering with this person for life—and the two really seem made for each other.

Phil, on the other hand, admits he probably isn’t the one to tell you how marriage works—he is just getting married—but he feels, “that in addition to loyalty and honesty, and all the other things we can just assume, a good marriage for us will include at least these things. A strong partnership, people and interests outside of ourselves, and a desire to be better as individuals and as a couple.” These two seem to be pretty in sync with the teamwork thing—they have absolutely nothing to worry about.

Mead Wedding, 10/21/17, Melrose Market Studios

An elegant wedding at the Melrose Market Studios sees groom Taylor reading his vows first. Sniffling as he starts, “I was just blown away. I didn’t know back then that this was the girl I was going to marry. I was just concerned with getting to know this amazing person in front of me. And got to know her he did, so much so that he has to “vow to get better at stifling my contempt for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, New Jersey, Atlanta, the NBA, the NFL, and the rappers as you sit next to me.”

Dakota reciprocates with vows a little less laugh-inducing, but equally as emotional as she recounts memories of football and their early years. “I can still remember the feeling of brisk, cold nights under Friday night lights with you. I’d bundle up under a hoodie tucked under your jersey and stand proudly on the sidelines as I cheered my heart out for the boy wearing #13. In a sea full of fans and players, I only had eyes for you.” Come on!

______________________________

And that does it for today! Check back tomorrow for our final installment of favorite wedding vows! As always, thank you for keeping with us. We truly appreciate it. See you tomorrow!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Vows Part 3 of 5:

Welcome back to part 3 of our Favorite Wedding Vows series. We’ve worked hard to bring you these videos, but the true appreciation should go to the brides and grooms who came up with such beautiful words of love and affection. As it has been stated multiple times—it isn’t always easy sharing such personal feelings for the public, so we are truly thankful that we can share their words with all of you. So let’s keep on trucking!

______________________________

Morrison Wedding, 12/31/16, Embassy Suites

The Morrison Wedding is pretty special in that their big day took place on New Year’s Eve. But even more special than celebrating a wedding day that spans into two different years are the words of love spoken by Gus and Andrew when they tied the knot. Up against a gorgeous, snow-white altar, Gus begins his vows by stating the obvious—“Andrea, you look very beautiful”—before flipping the pages back to the very first time they met.

“We had no idea who one another was,” he starts, “when I saw you I felt a strong sense about you. I could feel your warmth, loyalty, genuine nature and cheerful soul. I somehow knew in that moment we would be together some day. Over eight years later from that day, my heart is bursting to know that I was right, and that we’ll be together forever.” Who is this guy? He should hire his services out! He continues with another gut punch, “Over all things, my happiness is tied to yours” and at this point we have to move onto Andrea because he’s just too good.

Holding back tears, Andrea declares, “Today, I am marrying my best friend, my soulmate, my prince charming. You know me better than anyone else in this world, and somehow still manage to love me. You’re my best friend and one true love.” Talk about openings! But wait, there’s more; later on, Andrea says, “Love is saying ‘I feel differently’ instead of ‘you’re wrong.’ And some day, if the stars align, I might even let you win an argument.” Well that right there says it all—true love.

McDonald Wedding, 10/2/16, The Monte Cristo Ballroom

Drew and Briannah’s early October wedding is one of our favorite fall weddings—with unseasonably nice weather to boot! Kicking things off, Briannah stares lovingly at Drew, issuing an awkward laugh from the audience, before really diving into the feels (and fighting back tears) with the line, “you’re my dream come true, you’re a man I didn’t know existed.” You know it’s real when they can’t even get through the first line without losing it, but Briannah musters her strength and charges forward, “you’re my world, the joy in my heart and the air that I breathe. Today I take you as my partner in life, and my one and only true love.”

While there was nary a dry eye in the audience after that one, Drew has to somehow follow that emotional cry-fest. The audience realizes this too as they let out a collective laugh as he’s about to start, “Briannah, my love, thank god we found each other. You know I never thought I would get married, I never thought I would be so lucky, I just had no idea there was someone in the world as incredible as you. Someone I could love with my whole heart, someone I could trust with my full confidence.” He then proceeds to shower her with compliments and affection, surely coming to common ground with the sheer emotionality of her speech. They both take the prize with this one.

Ainsley Wedding, 08/20/16, AXIS Pioneer Square

Elise and Alex’s wedding was replete with words of love and promises of devotion, like Alex promising to “support your dreams and to grow with you. I vow to tell you what I am thinking and feeling. I vow to be your food-taster, sous chef, and your dishwasher.” But he even vows to put her before Seahawks and guitars! Now that’s dedication—but he further underlines it by promising to only make “inappropriate jokes at appropriate times,” and by promising to kiss her every single morning, even if she’s sick.

Elise starts to lose it almost immediately after she begins her vows, even declaring it’s tough to follow. She begins by saying he’s the love of her life and brings out the best in her. Through sobs, Elise delivers some really poignant vows, “I want to uphold this union, to fight for this union whenever necessary. I look forward to spending my life living out the vows I make to you today.”

Donoso Wedding, 09/04/16, College Club of Seattle

When you have something that connects you, never be afraid to use it. While it may sound corny, Erin and Alex’s nautical-inspired wedding is all the proof you need to see they’re ready to set sail on a new voyage in life. But Alex took it a bit further and infused his vows with rowing references (the bride and groom are both rowers) that easily calls back to that one scene in Wedding Crashers, though his are far less cheesy and much more sincere.

Erin reciprocates without any mention of rowing, through when they’re perched on a dock it is pretty easy to accept their love for spending time on the water. Fighting back tears, Erin says “you’re everything I could’ve imagined and more. We’ve laughed together, cried together, and dreamed together. I promise to always be by your side and share your happiness and success. I promise to support you as you strive to reach your goals.”

Bukowski Wedding, 08/20/16, Private Residence

Starting out with thanking her husband-to-be, Laura says “I am grateful for this day, but I am most thankful that I get to stand up here with you—my best friend—and promise to love you forever.” Cue the tears.

“Thank you for choosing me, I love you so completely.” Oh man, stop it Laura, you’re going to make us all cry. “I love when you look at me with sparkling eyes and mischievous smile.” Hers are some of our all-time favorite vows, and if you can watch the video and deny that—we wouldn’t believe you.

Augustus responds with a confident, mature, profanity infused message promising to listen and allowing her to call him on his *expletive,* but it is nonetheless sweet and meaningful. He may not have cried, but that didn’t mean nobody else did.

______________________________

Thank you for checking out #10-15! With the final ten approaching, we hope we haven’t caused too much emotional trauma–but if we have, wasn’t it worth it? Check back tomorrow as we begin the final countdown!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Vows Part 2 of 5:

Welcome back to part 2 of our Favorite Wedding Vows series! Throughout the week, we are spotlighting some of our favorite wedding vows from 2017 as a way to close out the year! If you missed the article yesterday, you can find it here. We hope you’ve been anticipating the next post, so let’s jump back into it.

______________________________

Balsoma Wedding, 04/29/17, Great Hall at Green Lake

Right off the bat it’s clear that Brooke is crazy for Dominick: she knows they’ll be together for at least fifty years (and even fifty years after that). As she reads a message from the future, she talks about the life they’re going to build, the people they’ll still be in touch with, the challenges they’ll face. It’s creative and different from most other vows that only reflect on things that have happened, and that’s why we love it so much. Then it turns meta as she references the wedding itself and the vows she’s currently saying. She should be a writer.

Dominick responds with some suave vows as he starts with, “Brooke, I knew you were special the day we met. When you first smiled at me, your eyes sparkled like emeralds and I felt like we were the only two people in the room.” He later shares how much of a “counterbalance” she is, as she is always there when he is upset and helps keep him level. It’s been said that Dominick rewrote his vows 3 times on the advice of their officiant Huey. Both Dominick and Brooke had handed over their vows for Huey to read before the wedding and after seeing how good Brooke’s were, Huey told Dominick that he better “step his game up.” I think he did!

Robak Wedding, 05/12/17, The Canal

A shaking groom is almost always simply suffering from stage fright–it really isn’t an “easy” thing to do to open your heart up in front of an audience, after all. But Brett works his way through some heartfelt words to his bride Katie with lines like “you are the most loving, caring, kind person. You have showed me how to love unconditionally.” The emotions soon overtake him, but he still threatens to kill spiders for her–which to some is the sexiest line you could ever say.

Katie responds with a little more containment, “you are my hero,” she says, “you are the love of my life and you make me happier than I ever could have imagined.” Break out the tissues, audible sobs can be heard as just about everyone gets swept up with the love of these two. They’ve got some potent verbiage.

Klehr Wedding, 06/17/17, Wenatchee, Wa

You may remember this as the wedding with the bouncy castles. Yes, you read that right: bouncy castles.

Yet aside from the childhood fun for the reception, the vows spoken between bride and groom Jason and Cristina are seriously touching. As the bride begins, she calls for tissues. Full of sass, humor and love, Cristina begins with, “I always thought it would take a special someone to handle this ball of craziness,” which, in other words, means we’re all in for a wild ride with her vows. “You have shown me how to look at the world through a new set of eyes,” she concludes, “But most importantly, I promise to fall in love with you, more and more as each day continues, no matter what our journey has in store for us.” She was right about the tissues. Jason responded with something a little less epic in length–as Cristina teases him about before starting her own–but it is nonetheless personal and exemplary of his feelings towards his bride.

Takisaki Wedding, 07/01/17, Maroni Meadows

There are wedding vows that go off without a hitch and those that are a sobbing mess the entire time. Bride Julie’s vows for Kevin are the kind that start off strong as can be, but due to the weight of the words they crescendo into a flood of emotions. Beginning with, “I never believed in love at first sight or finding the one, until I met you,” she peaks and triggers the tearfall with “We talked every single day for four months over Skype, and that’s when I fell for you.” Most importantly, he’s the “best decision” of her life.

Kevin, however, fights the emotion with a determination we rarely see from grooms. Starting by declaring her as his favorite person, and one of the most genuinely caring people he knows. He tells her life has never been better since they met, and even when all is wrong just having her makes everything fine. The recounts of their relationship is something of beauty as he lists a multitude of his favorite activities he’s done with her. After all, it is about the little moments–and there are a lot of them.

Pearman Wedding, 04/22/17, The Landing at Tyee

Rachel and Jon’s spiritually-infused vows combine their love of each other with their love of god. Jon begins by vowing to take her as she is now, and who she will become. With promises of support, courage, comfort, and to fix, “Everything, or to recognize when not to,” Jon gives himself up to his bride for life. He not only gives himself up to her, but to god as well. Best of all, he promises to laugh at all of her jokes, “even when no one else thinks you’re funny,” that right there is something we all need.

Rachel’s vows are a mixture of laughs and sentimentality. Recalling memories, inside jokes, and promises of devotion, companionship, and loyalty to the man of her dreams. Beginning with “I love you, I choose you, and I promise to make that choice day after day. You are my best friend, and I promise to make you a priority above all else.” Then she switches to jokes, as Jon is a total Spurs fan, promising to be by his side when they lose, or drink beer when they win (especially when they lose.) Anybody who promises to drink beer with you is someone you want to keep around.

______________________________

And there you have it for the second round of our favorite wedding vows! Check back in tomorrow for more. Hopefully that’ll give you enough time to get some more tissues; you’re gonna need them.

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Vows Part 1 of 5:

Of all the elements in the wedding—whether it’s the dress, the ring, the suit, or the venue—there’s nothing more personal and paramount than the vows. Those words come in many forms; poems, a promise, a simple “I love you,” or maybe even an epic saga detailing your courtship and the devotion for your future—but the most important part is they come directly from the heart. They are directed to the one you love, as they stand across from you looking into your eyes as you promise to be their partner through life, for better or for worse, until the day you die.

A writer from the New York Times recently got married and recounted his trials and errors of writing his own wedding vows to his wife who is also a writer. He panicked that he had a certain responsibility to make it eloquent even though he typically is more of a comedic writer, and as he explains—weddings aren’t really supposed to be funny.

In the end, he was able to come up with something simple, sweet, and personal—talk about the person you’re going to marry and don’t worry about anything else. Even if it’s the traditional “in sickness and in health, till death do us part,” you still mean it because you love the person standing across from you. Don’t let a lack of passionate writing skills keep you from speaking your heart.

This article really got to us, especially since we do over 50 weddings per year. For the next week, we will be posting our 25 favorite wedding vows for you to cry to at your leisure. Maybe it’ll remind you of yours, or it might even inspire you to renew them! We do more than just weddings, you know!

Let’s get started!

______________________________

Faoro Wedding, 09/02/17, Ashe and Alder

To kick off the vows, we start with one of our most recent weddings at Ashe and Alder, a magical farm-like estate with towering trees, barns, and a view of the hills. The groom, though, couldn’t be phased by any of it. As he delivers a truly touching speech to his “best friend,” saying that he was “exploding with excitement” to wake up that morning, it’s hard to doubt his love for her.

He keeps going on with just the introduction by saying it is, “A day I have dreamt about forever. Today I get to stand here and look my best friend in the eyes, tell her I love her, and commit to her for the rest of my life.” I mean, come on, that’s some specialness right there, but he finishes off by promising her a list of things only those who truly love their partner can. This is where the tears start—especially in the audience, but especially when he promises to be her “Superman.”

Wagner Wedding, 08/12/17, Dairyland

Let me crush your hopes right now—Dairyland is not some farm-themed amusement park.

But it was the perfect venue for Kayla and Erika who tied the knot on this beautiful estate. When Erika steps up to the plate to speak her vows, she addresses Kayla with love and sincerity—but almost instantly she starts to lose it (maybe this should’ve been in our biggest cry babies?) Kayla assures her they can talk through it, as Erika devotes herself to the love of her life, “you will always be the most important person to me.” If you want to see what love looks like, this is it, especially when Erika says she loves Kayla “to the moon and back.”

On the other hand, Kayla is full of jokes, perhaps to keep herself composed, as she immediately announces “you have an amazing booty.” But she pushes the jokes aside and digs into the heart of her speech with a speed of both impatience—to be married— and nervousness that is entirely understandable.

Vera Wedding, 08/04/17, Russell’s Loft

A wedding you are certainly going to recognize from our Best Officiant and Most Emotional articles, the Vera wedding is definitely one of our favorites. As Alex addresses Mathew in his vows, it’s almost like someone flips a switch as the floodgates open and the tears fall out. Going into the first time they met, Alex details the account of the partnership and describes how happy and perfect their time has been. But most importantly, “we make up and apologize in some way or another. We are friends, companions and lovers, you are the Robin to my Batman (even though we argue about that.” Those are words of love, my friend.

Mathew’s is no less emotional, saying he “doubted this moment would never come.” But he continues to say that, “Now I could not be more blessed or proud to have this life with you. To be in this community with you, being gay has been one of the most incredible blessings in my life.”

Davis Elopement, 08/06/17, Quinault Rainforest

A tranquil elopement in the Quinault Rainforest saw two young, passionate lovers meet and become one all alone in the forest. No guests, no bridal party, just the two alone (with the officiant and us, obviously) within the vastness of the forest. Even more impactful than the venue and decision to elope are the vows themselves as Malik completely spills his heart and soul to Ashleigh. He even offers to build her an entire kingdom. Actually, maybe don’t watch this one ladies, this is some tough stuff to beat. Ashleigh responds with a recollection of their relationship, a story involving a sword, and the promise to be the rock in his life. These two are really meant for one another, no doubt about it.

Pablo Wedding, 08/05/17, Cedar Springs

Our final vows for today are from another wedding you may recognize from our other articles. As Tim starts his vows, he announces he’s already crying before going into a list of everything his bride is to him including friend and confidant. In his words, she is the “engine behind this very slow-moving Island-time of a guy.” He knows she has been there for him “through thick and thin,” and that he is “completely, 100% in love” with her. That sounds pretty great to us.

When bride Kaleena begins her vows, it becomes apparent how long the two have known each other as she mentions their time in high school before starting to sniffle as she recites her vows for her groom. Her love for him “is love I have never felt for anybody else.” These two really got it, they ground each other and make each other know they’re cared for.

______________________________

These were just the first five of twenty five vows to come! Check back in every day this week for more weddings, more vows, and more tears! We hope to see you soon.

1 Comment

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Reception Moments:

While the wedding itself might be the most important part of the big day, the reception to follow should be an unforgettable—or forgettable, if you do it right—event full of alcohol, food and a whole lot of dancing.

A recent article from Uproxx brought up the subject of which songs not to play for the dancing portion of the reception, with “Chicken Dance,” “Cha-Cha Slide” and “Macarena” filling up the top three from surveyed DJs (the first two appeared on over 20% of do-not-play lists.) Other obvious choices included “Turn Down for What,” “Baby Got Back” and “Hokey Pokey” while a few had the audacity of not wanting to play “Footloose” and “Uptown Funk.” Come on, guys.

All this talk of music, dancing and receptions got us thinking about the best reception moments we’ve witnessed, so we’ve compiled a list of some of our favorites!

______________________________

Mortega Wedding, 08/26/17, Kitsap Conference Center

The Mortega wedding, for the most part, was a traditional, formal affair. With the whole family there, the reception took a completely different turn as EJ donned a cowboy hat and started busting moves like Magic Mike himself. It definitely looks like someone practiced quite a bit as he removes Jessica’s garter, rocking moves you probably shouldn’t do in front of children. This would take first prize in our “Most Shocking” moments, but for now it remains prominently on this list.

Faoro Wedding, 09/02/17, Ashe and Alder

A crisp September day proved perfect for the Faoro wedding, with bride and groom Jeremy and Stefanie being ushered off by a forest of glow sticks held by their friends and family. It’s little moments like this, particularly at the end of the night, that have so much magic in them as they’re set against the twinkling lights under a dark sky. Fun, creative, and most importantly touching, this send-off ranks as one of our favorites.

McLaughlin Wedding, 09/24/17, The Monte Cristo Ballroom

A decadent wedding at the Monte Cristo Ballroom was capped off by some of the best dancing we have ever seen, as the best man tore up the floor with some seriously impressive moves…with a back-flip as the grand finale. We seldom see dancing like this, and can’t help but re-watch the clip over and over in awe of his skill. Check out the video for yourself and wonder why he can’t dance at all our weddings.

Manheim Wedding, 10/28/17, AXIS Pioneer Square

Danica and Phil’s wedding in Pioneer Square features one heck of a sing-along to none other than the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe.” A song that nobody can deny knowing the lyrics to, “Wannabe” should be played daily by everyone, but here it came blasting on and so did the singing as the bride and her entourage started belting the lyrics right on the dance floor.

And, you can note that it didn’t appear in the Uproxx article.

Staggs Wedding, 08/29/15, The Edgewater House

The flower and garter tosses are lively—and sometimes aggressive—events that get all the ladies and gents together to catch their respective objects. For the most part they’re usually pretty similar, but football fan Shawn heard the beck and call of the NFL (literally, as the music played) and turned around to toss the garter like Tom Brady ready to throw a game-winning touchdown at the Super Bowl. A slow motion replay shows a young man at the back being the lucky one to catch the ball…er…garter for a touchdown.

______________________________

Whether it’s an unforgettable dance, an epic sing-along, or just throwing the garter like a football, receptions lead to some pretty wild and spectacular memories. Sure the wedding ceremony is what everyone came for, but the reception is the cherry on top to the big day. Let us know of any favorite reception memories and maybe we’ll feature you later on!

Leave a comment

by Scott Johnson

Very rarely is there ever a piece of clothing that garners the amount of attention than the wedding dress of a bride-to-be.  Shows like Say Yes to the Dress and I Found the Gown peer into the amount of work and research that goes into designing, crafting and ultimately deciding on the dress you’ll choose to wear on your wedding day. To say that the decision is huge is only a minor understatement–as shows like Bridezillas detail the more intense sides of the decision-making process.

Popularized by Queen Victoria and earning its traction over the last century or so, the white wedding dress actually dates back as far as the 14th and 15th centuries as white transitioned from a mourning color to a celebratory one. Following the trends of royalty, commoners began adopting similar traditions which led to the rise in popularity of the white wedding dress.  Almost 200 years later, the wedding dress has evolved just as much as the wedding ceremony itself, though one thing remains–it still holds the same significance.

Over the past few years, we have seen hundreds of dresses in all shapes and forms–ball gown, mermaid, or even sheath, each representing the person wearing it. So when it comes to setting up the perfect “Dress Shot,” videographer and founder of Best Made Videos, Reid Johnson, does so with the care and expertise to truly capture the dress as it best represents the bride to be.

I sat down with Reid to discuss dresses, his favorite and most challenging shots of the year and why he puts so much effort and care into such a brief moment.

______________________________

Scott: Let’s begin with a simple question, why the dress shot?

Reid: To me the dress shot is really our chance during the day to flex a little creative muscle. When it comes to wedding videography, a lot of our day consists of capturing moments as they occur. Your wedding ceremony, the reception, wedding toasts, things like that.  We don’t like to stage a whole lot of shots, we just like to let the day unfold as it goes, and doing the dress shot and other detail shots like your shoes or your wedding bands or even the groom’s details, really gives us a chance to show a little flair. Whether that’s hanging a dress from a tree or a picture frame or a window, all of our dress shots are unique and different ways to showcase not only our client’s personality, but the venues they choose as well.  Your wedding details are a tremendously important part of your day, not only because of the money that you spend but also because of what they represent.  I always try to find the best and most creative way to showcase my client’s particular wedding details, just as a wedding photographer would.

Scott: Great. How many dress shots are in this year’s dress shot video?

Reid: In total there’s 55 wedding dress shots in the video this year from slightly less than 55 different wedding venues. We were at Newcastle Golf Club five or six times this year, and I think there might be a couple other repeated venues for some of our other clients. There’s 55 dresses from probably 47 or 48 venues across the area. Sometimes you lose track at the end of the wedding season, haha!

Scott: Sweet. Did I see a purple dress in the video? What’s the story with that?

Reid: Haha, that was actually from this summer. We had a client that was having her 18th debutante ball.  When we got there she had a beautiful purple dress on a mannequin in the window where she was getting ready at. Basically the whole day was like a wedding, there was a reception with toasts and dancing. She even had her own cake cutting, and so I felt it was appropriate to include her dress in the video as well.

Scott: What is your favorite dress shot of the year and why?

Reid: I always really like the Newcastle Golf Club window in the bridal suite. That’s probably one of my favorite places to hang a dress because the client can watch you work while you work. They can see you go up there and hang it up and then when you show them the final product they are always really excited!  Newcastle is such an iconic wedding venue, it’s always really fun to go back there and reinvent what you did the last time you were there.  

Outside of Newcastle, down in Cedar Springs by Port Orchard, our bride Kaleena had probably the longest train of any wedding dress this year. We actually struggled to find a place that was tall enough to hang her dress, and you can see in one of the photos associated with the blog that we climbed up on a chair and tried to use the side of the shed.  We ultimately ended up finding this huge arbor swing set in front of the lagoon there that we finally used, and it still wasn’t even tall enough to adequately showcase the train, but as tall as it was, it was the best we could do.  It was such a beautiful venue, we could have hung the dress from every tree on the property and it still wouldn’t have gotten old!

Dress Shot Video 2.jpg.JPG

Scott: Alright. What was the best client reaction of a dress shot?

Reid: We were over at Novelty Hill this summer in Woodinville, Washington, which is another one of our favorite venues. Our bride Sally was a smaller, petite girl, and her dress was more manageable to work with and hang. This allowed us to hang it on the iconic red wall at Novelty Hill, along with a couple of trees on the property. We always try to find 2 or 3 places to shoot our wedding dress detail shots.

Over by the main entrance of Novelty Hill fixed on the cement side there is the sign for the Novelty Hill Winery. There’s a ledge that protrudes out that you can’t even really reach, it’s so tall. I actually bought a shepherd’s crook or a hook that you would use in a retail store to hang clothes. I’ve bought a couple of those off Amazon that allows us six feet of extra hanging reach to be able to hang the dress wherever we need to. And me being six foot tall with another six feet of hanging reach really allows us to get up in there and get it hung. After I got the dress up there by the sign I was so excited I took a picture of it on my phone and ran back in to show Sally while she was getting her makeup done. She was so excited, and it was really cool because it instantly shows them, the client, that we know what we’re doing, we’re getting cool stuff. It really represents our creativity and I thought that was really neat.

When we were at the Sorrento Hotel this summer as well, we did a similar thing outside the front of the hotel with the hotel sign. We were able to frame it where you were able to see the hotel up above and the sign and dress down below, I really like the composition of the shot. One of the bellhops or somebody that was walking by that worked at the hotel said, “I’ve worked here 20 years, and I’ve never seen anybody hang a dress up there like that.” To me that was really cool because that meant that we were doing something different and new.

Scott: Cool. What was the most challenging dress shots?

Reid: Without a doubt, the hardest dress shot we did all year was at the Rosehill Community Center in Mukilteo with one of our favorite wedding photography teams, Kate and Josh with GSquared Weddings. You’ll see from one of the other pictures in the blog that we had to borrow this huge ladder from the venue. The reason that I bought the shepherd’s hook to hang the dresses was because of how difficult this particular dress shot was.  At the Community Center there, the whole side of the building is this huge picturesque window that looks out over the sound, and you see the ferry coming and going and we knew we had to use it for our dress shot.

23660238_10212711067266421_2003381736_o.jpg

There’s ledges at six feet, and then I don’t know how high it is, 12 or 15 feet in the air. I actually had to get on the top or near the top of that 10 or 12 foot ladder to get it hung up, and you see my assistant, Jeff in the photo holding the ladder and then Kate’s husband, Josh, is helping as well. That was really challenging, but it was really cool because I don’t know if all types of vendors would go to that kind of trouble to do that. But it was great because they (Kate and Josh) got their photos and then we got video of the dress as well. She was really happy, the bride Rachel was ecstatic.

Scott: Alrighty. Final question. What song did you use for the video and why?

Reid: This year we used the song, “White Dress” by Ben Rector, which I think in years past has gotten used a lot in wedding highlight videos almost to the point of over-saturation, but it is a really classic song. The title “White Dress” is obviously pretty appropriate in terms of talking about the white dress of the wedding. I just thought it was too perfect of a match to not include it in our first ever white dress compilation wedding video. So that was why I did that and I hope that my fellow wedding videographers will forgive me, haha!

______________________________

It’s crazy to think there’s this much effort that goes into just a dress that is going to be worn on but one single day. Yet the dress represents so much more than most people could ever imagine, so it is the duty of people like Reid to encapsulate that meaning. We hope you enjoyed the interview and all of our dress shots that we captured over the year, let us know your favorites below!

Leave a comment
%d bloggers like this: