Archived

Hey future brides & grooms! It’s Paul Kwak, your local Maryland, Virginia, & Washington DC wedding videographer/filmmaker!

Your photographer will tell you exactly how to pose, be, and how much to smile – with teeth, without teeth, just a smidgen, etc…..but what do you do in front of OUR cameras?

HAIR & MAKEUP/GETTING READY:

Many times we tell our couples to pretend that we are not there. During the getting ready portion of your day, that is a little easier to heed. The brides have to sit there and not move too much anyways, so we like the reality of those situations. If a bride is grinning from teeth to teeth while getting her hair did, that’d be scary….

COUPLES PORTRAITS:

For couples portraits and sessions on the wedding day, many times after the photographer is done with a specific pose or setup, I will tell you guys to simply “Hold that pose!!” and sweep right in like an eagle and get my shot and move on. Literally can take 2 seconds sometimes.

Sometimes I will ask you to simply walk towards me looking at each other (without tripping in front of a large rock of course or falling down a set of stairs – none of which has ever happened, thank God!)

Sometimes I will ask the groom to twirl his bride like a ballerina to have her dress catch in the air.

If there is a little more cushion room in your schedule, we’ll get you guys in some epic, vast landscapes….

DON’TS:

What you DON’T want to do is pose in front of our cameras the way you typically would in front of a photographer’s camera, namely looking right at the lens, smiling big with a lot of teeth. We do rarely ask you to do the aforementioned things sometimes, but many times the photographer’s pose on video will look just like that – a pose for the photographer. It definitely looks – I hate to use the word staged or fake, but…… not authentic.

BEING YOURSELF:

Even though some of the direction coming from us is technically staged, the words used from us are at a minimum, creating an atmosphere and room for you two to take over and be yourself in those moments. And it shows in our films because these moments seamlessly fit right in with our editing style and looks and feels authentic with the tone of our films.

Now there are also moments we do not pose, but direct you two to just be as well. These candid moments are gold simply because generally in a timeline of a wedding day, things can feel rushed and hectic sometimes. These moments stick out because they’re pure and everything else going on throughout the day temporarily becomes a blindspot.

SUMMARY:

So to summarize, you DON’T need to worry how to pose. Your photographer will direct you well and the photographers and us can piggyback off each other. A lot of the day is trusting your photographer and your videographer and that we’ll direct and ultimately edit your wedding day into the masterpieces they deserve to be!

for your notethank you

Kirsten & Zak | 10/19/19 – Robin Hill Farm & Vineyard Southern Maryland

video

Kirsten & Zak got married at the beautiful Robin Hill Farm & Vineyard right here in Southern Maryland.

Local weddings are not only always good simply because of the distance, but because it’s still always so different from the Virginia vineyards, DC hotels, and other estates.

Something so simple about a farm, but this was no ordinary farm. The acreage spanned quite a lot of land! There was a vineyard, lots of animals, particularly, a horse and goat who appeared to be best friends!

Simply Hitched from Hitched by Heather was the event planner and it’s always great to work with their team.

I’m forever indebted to Heather who was the one who got my foot in the door. Then I officially became a Southern Maryland wedding videographer and moved on up to work in the Washington DC, Northern Virginia area primarily!

I was doing it part time when we lived in California, but in 2013-2014, we were looking to expand more and so she suggested I do a wedding for free.

I got three additional weddings from the free wedding we did throughout the years, and many referrals.

So to those starting out in any industry, I personally wouldn’t avoid doing things for free. Some things are worth the sacrifice if you have the right vision, grit, and PASSION!

Now back to Kirsten & Zak!

We love that they booked us like almost a year and half out for their wedding! That is always the best compliment for us as a business – that we are worth it in a couple’s eyes, especially that early in advance.

Both of them got ready nearby each other getting ready for their first look. Once Michelle Whitley, their wedding photographer got them ready, Kirsten approached Zak and he saw her for the first time in her dress followed by some bridal party and portraits.

Luckily, the weather was good before some nasty rain the next day, and that there were still some Fall foliage….scratch that, not still, because the foliage came pretty late this Fall compared to how I remember it to be.

Once the ceremony started, many tears and laughs continued, thanks to Kirsten’s upbeat and cheerful personality. Their full vows are not in their highlights video above. However, their vows are eerily very similar as Kirsten notes – in the video above. Destiny – like most of our couples!

They actually also work together! Like us, they are small business owners and own a Tropical Cafe Smoothie in a nearby plaza.

So much props to them! I instantly had an even greater connection with them on top of the 25-30 hours I spent with them, editing their clips!

Yes, that is the number of hours I spend with each couple, sometimes up to 40, on my computer! But it really isn’t a chore.

It’s a connection with two families embracing one another and a demonstration of a lifetime of love being poured out onto each other throughout the whole day! That is a really special thing that I am doing and something that I ENJOY!

After the ceremony, more portraits were taken, this time at the vineyard, and we were preparing for the reception as well as getting some cocktail hour shots.

Extra extra points for serving Neapolitan pizza for dinner from BricknFire Pizza Company after their beautiful first dance!

The rest of our coverage included some further dances, hilarious and heartfelt toasts, cake cutting, bouquet & garter toss, and some open dancefloor.

Enjoy it all from their highlight film above!

Watch and leave a comment and again, we are so thankful that Kirsten & Zak chose us to capture one of their most special days of their lives at the Robin Hill Farm & Vineyard!

To check out a previous Southern Maryland wedding, click here.


Vendor Credits

Venue: Robin Hill Farm & Vineyards
Planner: Simply Hitched
Makeup: Miranda Paige Beauty Hair: The Hair Company

Florist: Sha Marie Designs, LLC Photography: Michelle Whitley Photography
Catering: BricknFire Pizza Company

Dress: Champagne Taste Bridal
Photobooth: SOMD Entertainment Cake & Cupcakes: The Front Porch

for your notethank you

Swapna & Bobby | 10/05/19 | Westfields Marriott Dulles Hotel

video

Swapna & Bobby got married at their lavish spectacular wedding in Northern Virginia at the Westfields Marriott Dulles Hotel.

It was great to be back after almost 5 years had passed. It’s a local favorite for different cultural weddings. Previously we had done a Muslim/Hindu wedding here and it’s a great place to hold a really large party.

We were privileged to capture day number 3 of their 3 day extravaganza. If you didn’t know by now, Hindu weddings are multiple days with various types of customs and traditions. The more days the better. Get with the program, Americans!

The day started with both Swapna & Bobby being so welcoming as they were getting ready and prepping for their first look outside in the front of the hotel. A few tears were shed as all her jewelry was being put on her. I’m sure everything must have been pretty heavy! But you wouldn’t know from her excitement to see Bobby!

After more tears were shed upon seeing each other, we did some photo sessions with the always amazing Nat Wongsaroj Photography and the groomsmen and Bobby made their way further out in the front to prep for their Baraat.

Think of the Baraat as the bride walking down the aisle to meet her groom, but this time it’s a long celebratory walk/dance with groom’s side and family and friends making their way to greet the bride’s family and friends and perform a mini-ceremony.

During this walk/dance, sometimes the groom is on an elephant, horse, but in this case Bobby was in a nice car from Regal Limo Inc.

Ceremony

As the official ceremony began shortly afterwards the Baraat, Swapna makes her way with her parents in the outdoor ceremony beautifully arranged by Yaadein Weddings with flowers from Nova Blooms by Megan.

I love seeing how Indian ceremonies include so much of the parents, relatives, and friends in their unique customs.

There’s definitely some traces I see in Korean tea ceremonies with the types of foods involved, colors, different families’ blessings to the couple, and even the circling that occurs.

As they made their way out to their car for an exit, they made their way back to get some rest as well as change into their second formal outfits. We did some quick nighttime shots with Nat and began setting up for the grand entrance into their grand ballroom.

Definitely a highlight of the day is all the dancing and choreography involved. Bobby & Swapna performed a beautiful first dance followed by many performances from their bridal party and a highlight from the bride – a large group flash mob!

You can witness all of these in their highlights above! Watch and leave a comment! And enjoy this most special day in the lives of Swapna & Bobby!

To check out another Indian wedding, click here.


Vendor Credits

Venue: Westfields Marriott Dulles
Planner: Preetie Exclusive Events
Decor: Yaadein Weddings Mendhi: Henna by Shazia

Florist: Nova Blooms by Megan, LLC Photography: Nat Wongsaroj Photography
Hair & Makeup: Salon SBS

Transportation: Regal Limo Inc.
DJ: DJ Lucky USA Bride Wedding Outfit: Frontier Bridal Boutique

for your notethank you

Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro Richmond

Tara & Chris | July, 6th, 2019

Tara & Chris | 7.6.19 | Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro Richmond

video

Tara & Chris’ Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro Richmond wedding was perfect! The moment I stepped into Tara & Chris’ hotel suite in Richmond, Virginia, it felt like such a safe space.

Tara & Chris were so welcoming, surrounded by their children, and I think 6(?) dachsunds! Mommy & Daddy dachsund with their 4 children puppies. It was a whole family affair!

Ceremony

Then we arrived at Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro, a small farm/restaurant with the ceremony setup right next to the restaurant and under some trees where there was just enough sunlight cascading down, that it created such beautiful light – especially for Tara’s grand entrance into her ceremony with her son. Tomika Arnold Carter brought down the house with her rendition of Amazing Grace and a Whitney Houston’s “I Believe in You and Me”. Already, the Spirit was filling up this wedding! And that wasn’t just the first half. She definitely helped bring a soulful and beautiful spirit to this wedding.

Reception

Then after some nice sunset portraits, Tomika helped Tara & Chris with the bridal party jump right into an awesome celebration of the couple with a very lively Gospel song. The energy was on fire!

The rest of the evening had a hilarious, yet heartfelt toast from the matron of honor, another powerhouse performance from Tomika for their first dance with Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing”¬†cake, bouquet, some traditional dances, and some real all-night dancing going on.

 

Did I mention how good the vendor meal, which was food from the restaurant, was? Lobster ravioli!

Despite this being one of the most humid weddings I’ve ever shot, the small and intimate feel throughout the day truly made it a joy to work, let alone being filled with God’s Spirit throughout the day!

Every wedding we shoot is special and this continues to add to special experiences and feeling so honored to have captured these amazing moments for this couple and their family.

Enjoy their Highlights edit, leave a comment, and watch their entire first dance as well above!

To check out another Central Virginia wedding, click here.

Vendor Credits Venue: Lola’s Farmhouse Bistro
Planner: Brousseau Events Photography: Nicole Colwell Photography
Lights & DJ: Renown Sounds Lights & DJ’s, LLC Singer: Tomika Arnold Carter

for your notethank you