I need you to turn off your phone, close out your email, and shut your office door for a few moments. I have a very special wedding from Hoo Films to share. It’s the wedding of lovely Lindsay of LVL Events and her sweet husband Brian. And though Lindsay surrounds herself daily with the details of weddings, she kept her big day simple. It has reminded all of us at Style Me Pretty just what a wedding is really about – two people, committing to each other, swimming in a love so beautiful.

Photography courtesy of Studio EMP.

From Hoo Films The bride, Lindsay, and I have worked together a number of times. This is because she is a fun and successful wedding planner in Orange County, CA, running her business, LVL Events. I’ve always wondered how soon the day would come where we’d discuss her wedding with her prince charming. Little did I know, it would come up quickly and the wedding would come quicker. In late August, Lindsay approached me and asked if I was booked September 9th. I said 2013? She said, “No, in a few weeks? Brian and I are going to have a private ceremony. That week, our flights were booked. Me, the photographer, and the hair and make up artist would hop on a red eye (everyone had September 8 weddings in California) and arrive in Ohio at 9am for a 10am start.

We arrived at the airport, took a 2 hour drive, a 30 minute ferry, and found ourselves on a quaint little piece of land known as Kelleys Island. Apparently, the average amount of families that reside there is 50. We passed some old buildings, tiny little markets, and trees. Lots of trees. I knew we were all in for a very intimate setting. We arrived at Brian’s family cottage that his uncles built and where his family relaxes every summer for vacation. After pancakes, we all got ready for what turned out to be the most emotional wedding I have filmed to date. No glamour, no detail, no guests, just Lindsay, Brian, and their officiant.

The officiant, Dr. Belzunce was the perfect fit. He kept pausing and allowing Lindsay and Brian to breathe and take a moment to take it all in. Their ceremony took place in front of Martha’s maple tree, where Brian’s family planted it in memorandum of his mother, whom he lost 11 years ago. Lindsay and Brian go way back. They have known each other for 20 years. Before the ceremony, Brian told me that she was even his very first kiss. How many brides and grooms can say that? So with that, arose the most meaningful heartfelt vows from each of them claiming their long journey that now makes up their love story. Lindsay shed some tears, Brian smiles and wipes them away. You can’t script this! When no one was speaking, all you could hear is the sweet, soothing sound of crickets. Miss Kate Gore – an independent musician Brian and Lindsay found while they were shopping around the island the day before – played a song after the wedding and just let the two enjoy their moment. And that they did.

Next, Brian changed into his family’s Scottish outfit with the family crest on it. We went around the island and just kept shooting and let them play and have fun with each other. Their affection and playfulness with each other is so endearing. Its that type of love that just emulates and affects whomever they are around. We went out to some coastline cliffs and the scenery could not have been more gorgeous. So we kept shooting all the way until just after that beautiful sunset. And then we all went to a quiet, local stop for a dinner and a beer. For 24 hours, we all enjoyed an amazing experience and were reminded what weddings are truly for — the expression of love and commitment of two people. This film lacks beautiful flowers, chic details, and tons of guests celebrating, but it makes up for that with REAL emotion. Filming a wedding doesn’t get any better than this genuine film – a piece that their family and friends are now in awe over being able to share Lindsay and Brian’s moment with them as if they were there. LVL Events’s slogan is: It’s all in the details, but in this case, it was all in the moment.

From the glowing bride … The first thing people say when they find out my wedding guest list included only my dream team of vendors is, “A wedding planner eloping? Now that is ironic!” And they are right.

The one thing I have always emphasized to all my clients is that your wedding is about the two of you.  Yes your background, family, and friends are a large part of this but the most important part is incorporating the details and history that bonds you together. For Brian and I it was our rich history, growing up in Ohio, and our mothers.

Brian and I grew up down the street from one another, we actually met the summer going into junior high. Who would have thought that one meeting was the beginning of a 20 year love story.

Now by love story I don’t mean we met, started dating, and then lived happily ever after. I mean like most people we were friends, then best friends, then boyfriend/girlfriend who passed notes to one another in between classes, then we grew up and went our different ways once we left for college. While in college we both experienced the loss of our mothers from cancer. Though tragic and painful, this is the bond that kept both of us connected throughout our 20’s.

Then three years ago he popped back in my life! Work brought him to San Diego and just like no time had passed, we picked back up.

When we talked about our wedding, Kelleys Island was the first place that came to mind because of its meaning. Brian’s family built their family cottage in the1970’s so he spent the summers with his family up there. When his mother passed they planted a maple tree in her memory. The meaning of the Maple tree includes balance, promise, and practicality, much like our wedding day.  Our day was perfect, intimate, and something we will never forget.

Cinematography: Hoo Films / Photography: Studio EMP / Venue: Groom’s family vacation home / Hair & Make Up: Design Visage / Officiant: Dr. Belzunce / Musician: Miss Kate Gore / Dress: Jenny Yoo / Shoes: Badgley Mischka / Viel: B Bride

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