It was the first of August. The sunlight, as if on cue, broke through the evening clouds and lit Marissa up like a spotlight as she walked down the aisle to Jason. I remember as we were filming it thinking, "This couldn't possibly be any prettier, even if I designed every inch of the image myself." As a wedding videographer, you're always visually dealing with the given circumstances of the present. What the natural light is doing, how the scene is set, the way the wind is flowing, all the unpredictable elements of life happening in real time that you can't do over again. I'm continuously searching for ways to not just accept the given circumstances but utilize them to create the most striking wedding videos. Light, airy, & cinematic. That's my forever quest.
But in this moment, all I had to do was point my camera at Marissa. The light flowing through her hair as she walked arm in arm with her father in slow mo -- cause, come on, wedding videos are always better with a healthy dose of slow mo -- was something to remember. Not only was the natural light completely doing it's job & then some, but the real hero of this image is the design of Lionsgate Event Center (located in Lafayette, Colorado). To start, you have a dream-sized amount of greenery, like a Pinterest inspired backdrop level of greenery, from the Dove House behind her. Have I ever told you how much I love greenery? It evokes feelings that every summer wedding should: alive, fresh, & vibrant.
Now, let's talk about this aisle. Lionsgate really found the perfect size in its construction. Part of why we were able to include such an elongated portion of this procession was that the aisle has a healthy level of not only length but also width. I can't tell you how many weddings I've been to that don't prioritize the width of an aisle. When a bride is walking down a very tight space, I believe she often subconsciously rushes through it almost out of a bit of claustrophobia. And my coverage of the walk then becomes limited. I always encourage my brides to take a breath, keep smiling, and take their time relishing in the moment as they walk to their marriage ceremony. Tiny, narrow aisles do very little to encourage this. The outdoor ceremony space at the Dove House really prioritizes opening everything up and in doing so creates a wide, expansive feeling of being outdoors in Colorado.
That may seem like a minute detail, but honestly as a wedding videographer, it's huge. I always feel cared for at Lionsgate. It's as if when they were designing it they thought, "How would every vendor exist in this space? What would help them? What would inspire them?" As we took Jason & Marissa across the grounds, every little pocket felt like an opportunity to create a bit of cinema. I loved having them pressed up against a garden wall, dancing, kissing, & laughing. The locale just oozed romanticism & elegance. And let's not forget whimsy. One of Lionsgate's greatest visual strengths, from my viewpoint of filmmaking & photography, is it's ability to blend the luxurious with the whimsical. Some of my favorite images were Jason gently pushing Marissa on a tree swing, an outdoor table set up paired with their infamous red telephone booth, & string lights swaying in criss crossed patterns above the ceremony space. If you've ever been to Lionsgate, you know there is a plethora of other whimsical props and pieces scattered across the multiple houses it offers to its clients to pose against, like bright red & yellow vintage cars, colorful wall art, the ever-stunning chandelier barn, and real live chickens to boot.
Ultimately, a wedding video comes down to a ton of planning and a bit of luck. Jason & Marissa's day was exactly that. With sunlight spreading across their entire ceremony, a truly unique & stunning venue to capture, & the open love they shared with ou