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The Most Touching Wedding Moment I’ve Ever Witnessed

In the course of filming weddings I’ve had the honor of witnessing some very precious moments.

But the one that stands out to me more than any other, and one that I gratefully caught on my camera was at the wedding of Marie (Konstan) Hardy.

In this clip you’ll see Marie getting ready at home in the very same room that her mother got ready for her wedding.  You’ll see a photo of her mom getting prepared over 20 years ago and then see Marie with her mother in that same room.

Then I got to film when Marie’s father, Rob, saw his oldest daughter in her wedding dress for the first time.  The emotion of this scene still touches me each time I watch.

Finally, we had the chance to capture Marie as she came down the stairwell to the joy of her dear friends and bridesmaids.

It was a moment I will not forget.

The Most Touching Wedding Moment I’ve Ever Witnessed from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.

You can see the full wedding film here.

THE Best Wedding Planning Tips

According to The Knot the average wedding costs 20,000-40,000 dollars.

A Wedding Bee survey found that the majority of weddings take 6 months to a year to plan.

All of this is for…one day.

One day.

Now, there’s value in this.  Marriage should be made a “big deal.”  We honor it that way.

Still, in the midst of spending all that money and time planning a wedding for one day, I’d like to suggest something countercultural:

Plan for the following 60 years.

60 years.

Don’t just plan a wedding.  Plan a marriage.

  • Read marriage books.

  • Take personality tests.

  • Get premarital counseling.

  • Our premarital counseling was required and it was okay, but we decided to do something else.  We asked an older couple that we really respected if we could just get together several times to pick their brains about what they had learned about marriage. 

  • Make a list of married couples that have a marriage you would like to have.  Try to figure out what you like about them.

  • Listen to marriage podcasts

  • Deal with your “stuff.”  Do you have some issues to face?  We all do.  Maybe now’s the time to get some help, read a book, open up, share it with your fiancee or a friend, get some counseling, do some journaling.  This is one of the greatest gifts you can give your spouse-to-be.
  • Pray about your marriage.  Maybe you haven’t prayed in a long time.  You’re betting a lot on the next 60 years.  I’ve come to believe that God is very interested in helping you succeed here.

  • Laugh and have fun together.  Sometimes you’ve got to ditch that wedding plan list and go get ice cream and snuggle on a park bench!

So plan that big day, but 60 years from now consider this: you’ll want to look back and not just see a great wedding, but a legacy that simply started on a beautiful day.

Life on a Tuesday: Entertaining: How to turn a stress into a joy

I love having people over to our house.  
I really
But, I can get stressed out by the all the things that I need to
do in order to have people over…like clean the house, prep the food, manage
the kiddos, set the table, get myself presentable, oh yeah…then simply enjoy
the company.  
Well, just the other night we had some people
over…well, like 10 people, so a little bigger crowd.  And we had a
blast!  But here’s a couple of small things that I did to make the
night more enjoyable and less stressful:
1.  I prepped the chicken fajitas a couple of
weeks earlier when we do our crazy once-a-month shopping & cooking
extravanganza.  So, all I had to do was pull out the chicken in the marinade 2 days before to thaw.  Then I cut up some onions and
peppers a couple hrs before people came and threw that on top of the stove
to cook.  I want to make super yummy food, but keeping it simple is
2.  I love the look of an inviting
table.  But I’m no Ina Garten, but I do have 5 lovely young ladies

who love to color.  So, we made little table cards for everyone.  Sophia, our budding artist, drew a little something for
everyone and we placed that at the top of each plate for an extra sweet
touch.  It never ceases to amaze me how such little things like that
bless people.  I also cut some mini daffodils that had just bloomed
from the garden and put them in small vases alongside some votive candles.

3.  When people came over, of course, I wasn’t all
ready to go like Martha Stewart says I should.  So, when people asked
if they could help, I took them up on it.  I’ve come to believe that
people really do enjoy helping out or they wouldn’t ask.  So, Joe
& Sarah were in the kitchen cutting up some dill and parsley for the
basmati rice, one of my favorite, and super simple, side dishes from
the Barefoot Contessa.  Bryan helped get all the drinks and a few
others offered to bring things – like the dessert,
guacamole..etc..  I have learned to never turn down anyone when they
offer to help.  
So, these are just a few things that have helped me truly enjoy
being more present when we have people over.      

It’s all in the details

It’s All in the Details from For Real Wedding Films on Vimeo.
Weddings are beautiful because marriage is beautiful.  But some weddings are above and beyond and Jessica and Mike’s was one of them.  Jessica was certainly the most creative bride we’ve ever worked with.  She personally designed and made more cute details than most brides can shake a stick at!  Her style was elegant country.

This is a little clip of our film of her wedding day.  You’ll see some of the fun, well placed signs she made, the farm and barn setting, and the girls switching out their heels for cowboy boots before the reception.  Enjoy!

See the full video here.

A Surprise Proposal

Most proposals are surprises, for sure.  But imagine a surprise proposal at a beautiful ranch, in a private pasture, with horses, and with hidden photographers!  That’s just what Daniel and Hannah had.

Daniel’s parents are our friends at Imagine It Photography.  Here’s the story:

Daniel had every detail planned out for the moment he would ask Hannah to be his bride.  Flying into Columbus for Ohio University’s homecoming, he had scheduled one of Hannah’s favorite activities, horseback riding, at Smoke Rise Ranch, nestled in the rolling hills of Southeastern Ohio. 

John and I made our way through the beautiful back roads, full of excitement and joy to capture this special moment in all of our lives! Daniel is our oldest son, a lieutenant in the Air Force and Hannah is finishing her PhD in Physical Therapy at OU . So, sharing and capturing a moment like this is pretty rare for parents and was certain to be one of our favorite shoots. Determined, John and I hiked through pastures, climbed under bared wire fences and sunk into mud, to find the perfect hiding spot to capture this moment.  And the moment was beautiful and fun!  We feel so pleased to have been there and to have shared the joy they were feeling! Smoke Rise Ranch was so accommodating and helpful and we would recommend it for a great weekend activity or event! 

With no detail forgotten, Daniel had lunch plans for her parents and us at a local BBQ restaurant.. 
just another surprise and little celebration for Hannah!
Horseback Riding-Smoke Rise Ranch in Glouster, Ohio
Bakery-White Flower Cake Shoppe, Beachwood, Ohio

To see more photos of this beautiful moment go to Imagine It Photography’s blog.

A Wedding on Good Friday?

A Hand reached from the other side,

into the void that is our life.
No more will you be a boat
tossed about by angry waves
determined to crush
this already splintering piece of bark.
Waves once cowered at this Voice
And they shall once more,
for the voice is no longer just a voice,
but a presence, true presence,
that has come into life, our life,
and known it all, the intimacy of suffering,
the ache of loss, the anxiety of death.
the lash of betrayal.

Your feet are now coupled,
wedded to an ever present groom.

painful joy
happy sadness
sweet tears
healing blood
searing pleasure
Good Friday.


Brad and Alexa 2015

I know it’s getting a tiny bit warmer, but oh for warm, August days like the one that we’ll have the privilege of filming Brad and Alexa’s wedding on!

Top 5 Retro Wedding Songs

Need a wedding processional song and want to buck the ‘typical’ trend?

Go retro!

Here are some popular wedding processional songs from the past:

“Here, There, and Everywhere” by the Beatles

“Annie’s Song” by John Denver

“Here and Now” by Luther Vandross

“Over the Rainbow” by Israel Kamakawiwo’ole