I started off my 2017 capturing the story of a very fun and genuine couple. I don’t just say this for a cool opening sentence, but you can see it in the visuals and hear it as their friends and family comment on their character and strong faith, which was key in their long-distance relationship. These guys managed to squeeze in a lot of festivities into the 15-hour day of shooting, and the result makes me nostalgic every time I watch.
This is was filmed in Marietta, Georgia! It was such an honour to fly down with Elton, Stephanie and the posse to be a part of the celebrations. It was my first time there but we didn’t really get much “southern hospitality” from the weather. It was actually COLDER than Toronto while we were there with the climax of the bad weather on the day of the wedding: wet snow and freezing rain. This is not normal in Georgia and, as a result, Atlanta was shut down by the evening, dissuading about a third of the wedding guests from attending the reception for fear of unsafe road conditions later on. But the Canadians were like, “Hey, this is sweater weather”
There was a very traditional Chinese practice that the groom and bride took part in the night before the wedding (courtesy of the mother of the bride). In short, the couple drank 3 bowls of soup (each), lit some candles and got their hair combed by a family member all to signify coming of age and to wish good fortune on the couple.
We had two tea ceremonies. In other weddings I’ve captured with Hong Kong culture, both families converge in one ceremony, but these families decided to split this tradition into two: the groom’s side and the bride’s side.
The men entered playing instruments. Elton and a few of his groomsmen entered playing Pachelbel’s “Canon in D” (this is one of Stephanie’s favourite classical pieces). They walked down the aisle playing their parts and concluded their number at the front before the ladies entered.
Stephanie had two wardrobe changes, putting her at a total of three dresses. No, no, your eyes were not fooling you while you were watching. Stephanie would have been happy to have one dress but the moms insisted otherwise!
Our couple chose to host a standing reception after the ceremony to accommodate the larger crowd that they could not invite to the banquet (evening reception). I’m starting to see this more often and I think it’s a great idea to have guests who can’t be at the reception get some time with the couple. In addition, at this particular standing reception, guests got to do some open mic sharing, which was great for me; I got more (good) material for the final edit!
I accepted the challenge of being in two places at once. Not only was I behind the camera leading the production, but I also made a cameo with my own speech I prepared. Stephanie and Elton are great friends of mine. They gave me the puppy face and asked me to do a speech too. I thought, “Hey, let’s give it a try!” Fortunately, I had KJ from JP Framework partnering with me on the shoot so he held it down while I made a food of myself (haha!). I definitely got my taste of being in front of the camera… and boy was it weird editing myself into a film!
I hope you enjoyed the film! I can’t wait to get into some more unique projects I have in store for 2017.
As we narrate together!
Ryan Walters, the founder and operator of Aperture Lane. Look forward to sharing great stories with you!
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