Best Made Videos – Seattle Wedding Videography Blog

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Posts tagged ‘surprise wedding’

by Scott Johnson

Soliman Wedding on 12/15/17 in Downtown Seattle

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“We worked with Reid (with his assistant Matt) from Best Made Videos and they were absolutely amazing! They truly captured the best moments in the highlights reel, and the turnaround time was unreal. We got everything back in less than two weeks. We also really appreciated the responsiveness to our questions and quick ability to adapt when plans were changing down to the last few days of planning. We definitely recommend Best Made Videos for their quality work!”

The week before Christmas in Seattle is often a dark, rainy and bitterly miserable time. The season is just about to change, the days have gotten shorter (and will continue to do so with the winter solstice) and us Seattleites begin to mourn the loss of the sun until it pops its head out again come March (if we’re lucky). While the day started out with a touch of sunlight peeking through the grey clouds, the Soliman’s big day didn’t need a lucky break of sun in December to get all the warmth and happiness they deserve.

The day got off to a pleasant start with the bride and groom getting ready in separate abodes. A quiet morning, Stacey and Richard started to look as suave and elegant as can be. Hanging out with cats (four of them) was more than plenty to calm any flaring nerves. Once they were all dressed, the future newlyweds met on a rooftop almost directly under the Space Needle for their first look.

As Richard turns around to greet his bride, they play a cute little game before they embrace in a hug. Holding each other and shining near-blinding smiles, the two looked absolutely adorable looking out towards Queen Anne and the EMP Museum. Once the groomsmen joined along, there was no stopping the laughter and smiles. We even got a new pose: Richard acted like he was falling over the edge, which we have never seen before! We also got a chance to shoot them outside the world-famous EMP museum, which gave us all some really incredible shots with the wholly unique architecture and designs.

Before too long it was time to head inside for the wedding at the Courthouse. Posing against a corner window, with the backdrop of the city, the Sound and all the way down to the south, it was a gorgeous setting for a winter wedding in Seattle. Following the absolutely heart-touching wedding, which saw the bride bursting into tears during her vows, everyone was treated to a gigantic dinner of Chinese food. Taking up the entire event space in the restaurant, there was plenty of room for dancing and mingling, which began the moment everyone got there. A riotous garter dance led into a sweet cake-cutting, followed by the couple’s first dance. A live DJ performed a variety of songs, even a personal version of Ed Sheeran’s “Perfect” that seemed to be, well, perfect for the occasion.

Eventually the lights dimmed low and the strobes and flashing lights came on, bringing everyone out of their chairs and onto the dance floor. What followed was a massive dance celebration that provided the newlywed with a lifetime of memories.

We want to thank Stacey and Richard for choosing Best Made Videos for filming their wonderful wedding ceremony! Congratulations on a happy four months and here’s to many more!

As always, if you have any questions or comments please feel free to leave them below and we’ll get to them as soon as possible!

Stacy and Richard’s story in their own words:

Stacey’s Perspective:

It was just another day. I had just printed off some sheets of a report from the library (it was 75 free sheets a week so who wouldn’t do this??) and was headed back home when I ran into Richard. It was SO random, because this was the library right by my house… and Richard lived 30 minutes away. That was the last place I expected to run into him. After that awkward encounter, I started messaging him on the (now-dead) social media platform MySpace.

Richard’s Perspective:

Looking back, I don’t think I would have had that fateful run-in with Stacey at the library had my car not broken down (which caused me to have to get a loaner car, which led to a stop at the library after a couple of practice rounds to get used to it). Just like Stacey, I thought it was the most random occurrence, but turned out to be oh so wonderful, since that’s when we started talking. By the way, what’s MySpace?

The Proposal:

The last quarter of 2016 was tough for us and the time around the holidays wasn’t any better… In attempts to cheer ourselves up we attended a Christmas Day improv show by Unexpected Productions down at the Pike Place Market. We laughed until we cried along with maybe 20 other people (yes, there are other people who watch improv comedy shows Christmas night) that night.

Before heading home, we stopped by my friend’s place to check in with the cat. We stopped by the rooftop to throw away the cat litter and enjoy the view overlooking the area by Smith Tower. We had an ordinary conversation like we do most days…

Then Richard brings up going to grad school- mind you, we had recently bought a house and a car. How could he do this to me? What was he thinking?

“I was working on this paper about set theory to get into the math program.” What? “Wait, think back to your abstract algebra class,” he explained. “You know, I was writing about set theory, group theory, and…”

“Ring theory,” as he pulled out a ring.

“Stacey, will you marry me?”

I was so mad I almost threw him off the roof! After I calmed down a bit, he asked me again. Of course, I said, “Yes.”

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by Scott Johnson

Most of us don’t want to admit it, but we can all be lazy when it comes to planning things. So when something like a wedding needs to be planned–often with an absurdly daunting list of a hundred different things that need to be ordered and organized–it’s not a surprise that a lot of people shut down and hire a wedding planner in order to take on the weight of planning a decadent affair.

Of course, there’s also the option of not planning much at all. You could just boogie on down to the courthouse and get married like Richard and Stacey.

These two proved you can still have a ton of fun getting married and taking pictures around downtown Seattle with just a small bridal party in tow and the sense of carefree joy you get when you do something on a whim, rather than wait months and months for an event to happen.

The other option, as movies like What If and shows like Parks and Recreation have inspired a number of people in recent years, is throwing a surprise wedding. Take Ashleigh Banfield (CNN host) for example who, upon not wanting to get bogged down in “a million details,” threw a surprise wedding for all those in attendance at what they presumed would be her 50th birthday party.

So, essentially, the couple just had to plan for a birthday party and that was pretty much it! Check out the article from People to learn more about their day!

We don’t get too many offers to shoot surprise weddings—mostly because we’re often booked months in advance and the idea of a surprise wedding is pretty much the exact opposite of that—but we have indeed had two that were truly special events full of love and excitement. Also, they just so happened to take place at the same venue. Weird. But that’s just the way we like it! Let’s find out more about them, shall we?

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Alford Wedding

One of our most emotional weddings, the Alford’s was a truly spectacular day. About a month in the works, the surprise wedding was staged as your typical Thanksgiving dinner. Everyone is dressed up, ready to eat some good food, excited to see family and friends—but they’re in for just a little bit more than that!

What makes this day so special is the love these two have for each other and the sheer impact their children have in their decision. Feeling like it was a “good idea” but still “non-traditional,” the couple very quickly established the plans within a month—which by our standards is pretty darn impressive. The wedding, to be held at the place they had their first kiss, is amazingly touching.

Raising a kid on her own, it was always Desiree’s hope that Hartley would find a father figure. “I cared more about her having a father figure more than a mate for myself.” It seemed like she found the best of both worlds with Ron!

Even more special, Ron didn’t know his father which makes his connection with Hartley almost kismet. The bond these two have with their respective kids is something else, but merging the two amazing families is one of those things you only see in movies—until now.

Part of the planning also had to involve including his son who was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, which had shaken things up a bit, but the ability to have everyone be there is what makes it even more fantastic for these two.

The day went off without a hitch, as everyone was welcomed to the wedding right away—with many doubting Ron’s words! As soon as they all saw the chairs and the officiant, it all became clear—this wasn’t just Thanksgiving dinner.

Cofield Wedding

One of the most thrilling aspects of a surprise wedding is that it feels almost like you’re pulling off a big heist. Only a few select people are in on the operation—lest certain family members feel betrayed—in order to make it run smoothly. It is done under utmost secrecy, because then that destroys the whole “surprise” aspect of it. But most importantly, the rewards are key—the excitement and shock on everyone’s face is utterly priceless.

So the Cofield wedding kicked off as a “engagement dinner,” planned for about two months. They both wanted small weddings, Mallory was lacking the “wedding gene,” and simply didn’t want to have all the bells and whistles—but they still wanted to make it special. Only close family and friends were invited, essentially the “wedding party,” as well as his boss who happens to be a preacher.

Once everyone was sat down in Mama Stortini’s, Mike got up on stage with his preacher boss and asked her directly, in front of everyone, if she wanted to officiate their wedding. Being in on the plan, she responds with, “well I’m honored. I don’t even know what to say, but why not just do it now? You have all your family and friends here.” Then it clicked with everyone. The tears, applause and cheers were everything you expect them to be. Everyone got duped! But at least it was the good kind!

Earlier this year, the Cofield’s surprise wedding was actually featured on Offbeat Bride! The article, written by Catherine Clark, discusses the diverse background of the parents of both of the bride and groom. After a more-or-less “traditional” ceremony, the two changed garbs to perform the traditional Korean Pyebaek bowing ceremony, in honor of Mike’s heritage, who is also African-American while the bride is Chinese, Greek, Italian and German!

Surprise weddings can be a lot of fun if pulled off correctly, though for some it might upset some of the more traditional family members. There’s not much more that can be the look on everyone’s face, however, so just that alone might be enough to convince you to throw your own!

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Did you have a surprise wedding? Ever been to one and have pics and videos to share? Let us know in the comments below and we’ll be sure to feature you!

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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.

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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.

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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!

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Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“Awwwww yay!! We love it! Thank youuuu so so much!! :)”

There’s something so quaint and fairy tale-like about one of our favorite wedding venues, Maroni Meadows. Located just outside of Snohomish and the tiny town of Cathcart, the five-acre venue can accommodate as many as two-hundred people and is ready to handle volleyball, bocce and a slew of other fun games and events. We just like it because how idyllic it feels, especially after driving out of the madness that is downtown Seattle.

For Julia and Kevin, like many others, it was the spot they wanted for their wedding—with their unique “island-on-the-pond” altar—and we can do nothing but agree. A beautiful July day—though in the midst of the forest it is hard to tell the sun was shining—started with high spirits, especially after Kevin received a Samurai Darth Vader! Smiles and laughs were abound as the bride and groom got ready with their closest friends and family, sharing drinks and coffee to get the day off to a joyous start. Their first look soon followed with the two completely isolated on a little wooden walkway with the forest behind them. It was touching and sweet that both of them just glowed with smiles.

The ceremony, with a sign declaring “pick a seat, not a side,” was a beautiful culmination of these two’s story with family there to celebrate both of them—not just who they know. We love venues and weddings that gut the age-old tradition of sitting on the respective side—after all, everyone will be family now. The bridesmaids, adorned in shades of purple, looked elegant across from the groomsmen without jackets or vests.

Julia’s vows, which were ranked among our absolute favorites just a few weeks ago, make us emotional every time we hear them. Reciting everything she loves about her groom—which is, well, everything about him—she completely bares her soul, making it absolutely impossible to not feel the same way. Kevin responds with some embarrassingly cute stories and moment’s that cement the two’s relationship and guarantees their success and happiness.

Following the ceremony, document signing followed while the rest of the guests made their way to the bar. Joining the rest of the party, the bride and groom posed for photos and sliced their adorable cake topped with lego avatars. Dancing followed, with twinkling lights strewn across the rooftops to illuminate the dance floor. Soon everyone else joined in for some of the best dancing we’ve ever witnessed. Very rarely do we see this talented of breakdancing, so be sure to watch to the end of the video to glimpse some talented footwork!

As the sun went down, fire pits were started for, you guessed it, s’mores! But, alas, the sun did go down and the night had to end. We want to wish nothing but happiness and joy to Kevin and Julia, it was an honor being able to do the video at your wedding.

– Scott Johnson

Venue – Maroni Meadows

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by Scott Johnson

Favorite Surprises:

The longer and bigger a wedding is–both in terms of the event itself and simply just planning it–the more opportunity there is for a surprise. Of course, all surprises can range from delightful to just plain horrible. No, none of our brides and grooms have ever not shown up to the altar, so we take that as plus, but there’s still plenty of moments that have surprised us.

With the release of Stephen King’s It in theaters a few months ago, clowns are on the rise, as is ever-apparent in Jesse McLaren’s engagement photos he took for his sister. In a cute (or subtly terrifying) move, he snuck in Photoshopped Pennywise the Dancing Clown into every one of her photos. The result is a sinister surprise for his sister—and luckily one he can easily remedy when she finally discovers the twisted clown leering at her and her loving fiancé. See the photos for yourself below.

http://q13fox.com/2017/10/25/brother-photoshops-clown-from-it-into-sisters-engagement-photos/

Here are some of the best surprises from our own wedding videos:

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Wagner Wedding, 07/15/17, Craven Farms

The biggest surprise any wedding day could bring is the bride or groom not showing up. As stated before, this has never happened at one of our weddings, but that doesn’t stop the groomsmen from not poking a little fun at the groom prior to the ceremony. Everyone knows of Runaway Bride, Run Fatboy Run, and every other movie where one of the two parties makes a fast getaway before they tie the knot, so perhaps it isn’t always best to make comments on the day of the wedding to the groom. Luckily as you can see in the video, he takes the jokes in stride and the bride did indeed show up.

Berry–Reich Wedding, 08/10/17, Kitsap Memorial State Park

Weddings are stressful; no doubt about it. That stress can seep into even the easiest tasks—like tying your shoe. If this is your biggest issue of the day, it’s pretty safe to say you got off easy. But for the groom, the simple task was a bit of a struggle even with a few sessions of Mario Kart to ease his nerves, though we can’t really blame him because for one it is the biggest day of his life, and two—nobody really likes those thin, wonky laces, do they?

Watch the video if you need a quick chuckle, or some empathy if you’ve ever been in the same situation.

Forney Wedding, 06/18/16, Chambers Bay Golf Course

There’s a lot of work going into getting the bride all made-up for her big day. Hair, nails, eyebrows, make up, the dress, and teeth all need to be attended to, which makes it all the more easy to forget about the little things—like a retainer. Just as she’s ready to open up her dazzling jewelry, bride Elizabeth’s friend reminds her that she still has her retainer in her mouth, to which Elizabeth responds with glee and humor as she urged us to keep it in our video.

So we did.

Nelson Wedding, 07/01/17, Chihuly Garden and Glass

Even though the wedding dress is the most important piece of attire in the ceremony, the groom still has his own suit to worry about—and you know how guys are. Thankfully, groom Adam has a thing for perfection as evident by our video of him picking and plucking with a lint roller at the sleeve and cuff of his jacket to get it just right. It takes a certain amount of dedication—or fear of snarky comments from his bride—to get this level of grooming from a man. At the very least, it shows that he loves his bride-to-be dearly and wants to dress to impress.

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Sometimes cute, always unpredictable, surprises don’t all have to be bad. Whatever the case may be; we just hope that it’s for the best and on video. Share your own surprising wedding moments below!

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Alford “Surprise” Wedding on 11/27/16 at Mama Stortini’s in Puyallup, Wa

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“When Ron and I planned a last minute surprise wedding Reid was awesome to work with. He let him know upfront that we had a unique situation with our surprise wedding and a very sick child with cancer.. We wanted to make sure whatever video we got that it not only mirrored the love we felt, but offered a lot sentiment to both our children and all others who would see it. Reid went above and beyond with editing and giving us all the clips we wanted, He even did last minute edits upon request. The video turned out amazing and we will cherish it forever. It will give our young kids a forever memory. It also gave many of our friends a family a view of our wedding, which was awesome since we had a very small wedding party. Our 3 kiddos have already asked to watch it several times. Reid did a fabulous job at being sensitive to our needs and also giving us everything thing we asked for. The surprise wedding when off without a hitch and we have had the coolest comments about the video. Many people have adored it. Thank you Reid!”

Ron and Desiree’s surprise wedding was one of the most emotion-filled wedding days I have ever had the opportunity to take part in.  Planning their wedding in under 4 weeks all the while having a child in the hospital is no easy feat.  Ron and Des made it happen and the result is something truly extraordinary.  Read about the whole experience in Desiree’s own words.  Their love, just like their wedding day is truly out of this world!

“How to Plan a Wedding in 4 Weeks: Just Make it a Surprise!

October 16, 2016, I walked into a restaurant and found my entire family and closest friends waiting for me. I turned to Ron and before I knew it he was down on one knee asking me to be his wife.

Overjoyed with excitement, as the evening ended, Ron and I went back to his house and planned our “surprise wedding.” For Ron and I, we did not have any desire to have a large wedding, we also knew without a doubt we were supposed to be married. The actual “wedding” wasn’t that important to us. What was important was being married, getting our family under one roof, and starting our life together while honoring God, each other, our children, and our family.

Our story is unique for several reason — As our relationship developed we knew Ron would fulfill the role as “Daddy” for my 5 year old daughter, Hartley. On the other hand one of Ron’s twin son’s, Vanny, was recently diagnosed with Leukemia, and for us it made more sense than ever to get our family together, united under one roof to create more stability for one another and our children.

For us, there was no reason to wait! Our other option was just to run down to the court house immediately! And we did discuss that several times.

The surprise wedding became such a cool options for us because it gave us a unique way to plan a small wedding, in a short time (4 weeks), while still making it incredibly memorable and honoring to our family, friends, and most importantly, our children. We also felt like nothing in our relationship was “standard.” Every part of it developed it such awe inspiring way, thus getting our marriage started differently — just made sense.”

Photographer – Sincerely Nellie Photography

Venue – Mama Stortini’s Puyallup

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