We are so wrapped up in our SMP FilmFest this month that we really want to keep going this weekend! If you’ve missed ANY of our LBB Blog features this week, now’s the time to grab a cup of your favorite and curl up in front of the big screen for a bit. SO many wedding styles. SO many cinema styles. SO many WORDS that deserve to be heard over and over again!

images by paul and mecheal johnson

There’s no better inspiration than this short film from Joanna and Robert at Diva Productions!

Got ‘ya smiling, didn’t we!

We are sharing brief snippets of wedding films this week. Mostly to spotlight some of the terrific filmmakers in our Little Black Book, but also to continue to encourage all of you to FIND room in your budget and FIND that special cinematographer out there who will capture all of your unforgettable moments. We really want to point out, though, that these are but glimpses into a full wedding film. Once you begin interviewing videographers, you must have a clear understanding of what kind of film you want… romantic, edgy, documentary, quirky… the list of options are boundless.

Joanna at Diva Productions writes a regular column for Gulf Coast Bride. In one of her articles she shared a lot of her own personal insights in “What you need to know … About Hiring A Wedding Filmmaker.” WISH we could reprint the whole article! A few highlights from her article (in addition to what we’ve already pointed out) ~ Any videographer can put together a great three minute highlight. Do your research. Know what kind of fully edited film each cinematographer you interview puts together. Know what kind of wedding film suits YOUR personality and style. Meet with them and be sure you mesh. Have a clear understanding of what kind of memories you want to have and be sure your videographer does too.

One other thing that Joanna discusses in the article is that with her couples, the guest interviews are ‘hands down’ the favorite part of their films. That might come as a shock to those of you who have had a microphone thrust in their faces at a wedding with the question, “Would you like to say something to the bride & groom?” (I know I cringe and hide when I see a video camera coming towards me!) But that’s where a seasoned cinematographer steps in. A filmmaker skilled in the “art of the interview.” It IS an ART. Joanna gives advice to filmmakers in another article written for POSH about this (HERE)! She has a passion for documentary-style films and works hard to make the interview process ~ a breeze! We don’t want to steal any more of Joanna’s thunder, so we’ll just urge you to read the full articles in *Gulf Coast Brides and *POSH.

From the happiest of brides ~ today’s beautiful bride, Lori …
Justin and I met in 2000 at the University of Alabama where we were both freshmen. We instantly became friends. Yes, I may have had a little crush, but tried very hard to keep that quiet! Justin is very carefree, he is always smiling, just a very happy-go-lucky – fly be the seat of his pants kind of guy, and I am the complete opposite. I am always stressed out about something, and I am overly organized and have to ‘have a plan’ about everything. We have always picked on each other, and always balanced each other out.

For 8 years, we went to ball games, the beach, the lake, parties, the mountains, concerts, – you name it, we did it together! FINALLY, we started dating on the 4th of July in 2008. He proposed to me May 9, 2009 at the University of Alabama where we met! In front of Denny Chimes to be exact. I immediately tackled him – I don’t think he ever really got the words “will you marry me” out before I just involuntarily jumped on him. I was screaming and doing cartwheels on the quad. It was the best proposal ever!!

I have ALWAYS wanted a pink beach wedding – since I was like 4 years old. There was never any question. And my sweet husband allowed me to have my dream wedding……even though he had to wear pink! I didn’t necessarily want the entire ceremony & reception on the beach….I just wanted beach wedding pictures. Even before I met Justin, I was always looking for places…..just in case ‘the big day’ ever came. A while after we started dating, I was working a wine tasting, and met a girl there who had told me she was getting married at Carillon Beach, FL. Justin & I had talked about getting married, but I didn’t have a ring on my finger just yet. I immediately went home that day and looked Carillon up on the internet and saw pictures of the Meeting House, and knew that was where I would get married one day. So picturesque, such a gorgeous place. I started investigating it a little bit more, and noticed that their calendar was full, and steadily filling up. Justin & I had discussed when our wedding should be – not hurricane season, not football season, no winter months, no months where it is too hot, etc. So that left a short window of opportunity. There was 1 weekend that was not booked in May…the weekend of May 29th, 2010. I immediately told Justin, “Look, I have got to book this place before someone else does…I know we aren’t engaged yet, but we have got to book this now!!” So we scheduled a time to tour, and Victoria so kindly penciled me in for that date, and we both fell absolutely in love with everything Carillon had to offer, as well as Victoria & Avis! We booked the venue in April and were engaged May 9th.

Justin & I are huge bama fans, and so were the majority of the guests. So we named each table at the reception after landmarks in Tuscaloosa & coaches. (table Saban, table Bryant-Denny Stadium, table Denny Chimes, etc.). And since the wedding was @ Carillon by the beach, I used starfish to tie the name cards on with pink ribbon. We also had a pink signature drink that is called “hop, skip & be naked”, but we renamed it “hop, skip, and be married.”

We asked Lori if there were any particular wedding vendors she’d like to give special thanks to. This is her response:
All of them! The cakes were like nothing I had ever seen before- Confections on the Coast did a superb job! Justin wanted the National Championship Trophy for his cake, and they actually made it look EXACTLY like the real thing! And our wedding cake was a pink sea-shell themed cake that was incredible. Couldn’t have asked for anything better! Townsend Catering did a FANTASTIC job with the DELICIOUS food, and the bartending was excellent! Everyone was so nice and friendly! And Diva-Productions was delightful to work with- Joanna was so sweet, and I barely even knew she was there! She got AMAZING footage that we can’t stop watching! Amazing job!! Paul & Mecheal Johnson did a fantastic job with the photography- breathtaking pictures, and they were so flexible and easy to work with. Fran Bullock did an outstanding job with the ceremony music, and Christina from Nouveau Flowers made my dreams come true with all the pink flowers and tablecloths every where you looked!! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw what an extraordinary job she did! Truly melted my heart. TGK did a remarkable job on our starfish invitations! Everyone I talked to said they had never seen an invitation so original and pretty. What I have always wanted!! Of course Victoria & Avis were above and beyond perfection- we never had to worry about a thing! They took care of everything! And of course Chaplain Harry Houseman who had everyone laughing and having a wonderful time during the ceremony!! We plan to take our children to him for their Christening!! Todd Sparks & Conch Republic band was AWESOME! Played every song we requested and then some!Everyone I worked with was amazing. Such a fabulous experience!!

And what does she remember the most?  Oh wow!! So many!! I can’t pin-point just one. When the Meeting House doors opened & I saw Justin there staring at me- BREATHTAKING!! Seeing how gorgeous the reception was set up – how it exceeded my wildest expectations & dreams – I will never forget that feeling. And our time on the beach for pictures- the weather was perfect and the sky was so gorgeous. Couldn’t have asked for anything better. Conch Republic playing Sweet Home Alabama & everyone dancing on the dance floor…priceless!! The whole night will always be a vivid memory of mine. I think I was the happiest bride there has ever been!

Photographer: Paul Johnson Photography, Paul & Mecheal Johnson / Videographer: (the wonderful) Diva Productions, Joanna & Robert Banks-Morgan / Wedding Gown Designer: Maggie Sottero / Grace Bridesmaids Dress Designer: Davids Bridal / Floral Designer: Nouveau Flowers, Christina Springfield / Event Designer & Planner: the AMAZING Victoria Volpone & Avis Johnson, Carillon Weddings / Invitation Designer: The Green Kangaroo (TGK Designs) / Cake & Desserts: Confections on the Coast / Venue: Carillon Beach