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Past Weddings

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Jolene + Ken

Jolene and Ken had a beautiful "destination wedding" in southern Arizona this summer. From Phoenix, they wanted to get away somewhere different (but close) to create their wedding memories. They ended up picking some of the best venues the Tucson area has to offer. The ceremony was at St. Augustine Cathedral is in the heart of downtown Tucson, which is always a pleasure to film at. The Spanish Colonial style adds a rustic romance to the Catholic ceremonies that is hard to match on the west coast. Preparations and the reception were at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass, which is nestled up in the mountains just west of the city. If you'd like to see cactus no matter which way you look, stay at the J.W. Marriott at Starr Pass. 

Now gorgeous venues are important, but it's the atmosphere created by family & friends is what makes it a wedding. I had a blast getting to know members of their wedding party (many of whom are a hoot) and the reception had everybody on their feet. You can't really beat a choreographed first dance with confetti canons. Having an awesome vendor team definitely helps to ensure the day goes off without a hitch, and it was a pleasure working along side Lori O'toole Photography and all the awesome guys at Satyr Entertainment

~Carl

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Ben + Alex

I’m sitting here in a coffee shop attempting to write about Ben & Alex, and I just don’t know where to start. It's not due to having a lack of things to say, but perhaps due to having too many. I met them serendipitously in Starbucks one day, told them I was a wedding filmmaker, and gave them my card. They left saying they would give my website a look, and to my surprise, it wasn’t twenty minutes later that they returned, informed me they watched my films from the car, and hired me. My Americano tasted especially good that day.

Flash forward to the wedding. Their venue, Warrenwood manor in Danville, Kentucky, is absolutely picturesque. Imagine a historic home and barn surrounded by green pastures and rolling hills. The pics below are just a glimpse, so watch their film to see what I mean.

Same-sex Kentucky Wedding Film
Warrenwood Manor Kentucky Wedding Film

Their personalities were infused in everything. Alex's cuff links read "Ravenclaw." Their processional song? John Williams’ Jurrasic Park theme song. The recessional? “Everything is Awesome” from The Lego Movie. Dinner? Chicken & waffles, muffins, bacon-wrapped hotdogs, and an assortment of other bite-sized finger foods (made delicious by Cue on Main). It was one of the most beautifully unique weddings I’ve ever been to, and I wouldn’t have expected anything less knowing how Alex proposed to Ben. I think a big shout-out is in order to OkCupid for bringing these two together.

Same-sex first look Kentucky wedding video
same-sex wedding videography

I am also incredibly proud to have been a part of another same-sex wedding. As my first wedding in a state that has received a lot of negative publicity on the matter, I would be remiss not to openly celebrate it. It’s been wonderful to see Ben & Alex and so many others openly acknowledge and affirm their love for one another. As a wedding vendor I get to see the march toward marriage equality on the ground level, and yet despite recent milestones there is still a long way to go: I see couples struggle to find vendors who aren’t ambiguously “unavailable”; I see vendor timelines with zero effort put into making them appropriate for a gay or same-sex wedding (e.g. still showing a “Bride and Groom Entrance”); I see vendors omit pictures and any evidence that they worked a LGBT wedding from their social media pages. Couples shouldn’t fear rejection when they inquire with me or with anyone else and they shouldn’t feel as if they’re treated differently. I hope this can one day become a reality.

To Ben & Alex: I’m confident the future has a lot of wonderful things in store for you both – traveling abroad, discovering new TV shows & board games, and perhaps a couple new Harry Potter books (eeek!). I wish you the most amazing adventures in your new life together as a married couple!

~ Carl

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Shaida + Michael

You know that feeling you have when things feel just right? That’s the feeling I had after grabbing coffee and having my initial consultation with Shaida and Michael. I recall sipping my Americano and thinking to myself how fun and easy they were to talk to. I especially remember them describing their work load as med students (and having to balance that with planning a wedding – not easy!), which made me incredibly thankful I was not in med school. Now I’m definitely not bashing on med school; I’m just saying I’m not a masochist . In all seriousness though, if it weren’t for med school at the University of Arizona these two would not be together! Thus the hashtag #medschooltomolloys. So, awesome careers plus awesome relationship = med school was a really good decision. Also, part of the deal in hiring me was that they provide me with free healthcare for life. I call it MolloyCare for short. Full disclosure: I stole that joke from one of the Best Men, Andrew. Credit where credit is due.

Filming their wedding exceeded my expectations, both in how beautiful everything was and in how enjoyable it was to work with Shaida, Michael, and their families. Shaida’s little sister, Shelia was a hoot (more on her later) and Michael’s little brother Evan gave me flashbacks when he talked about the “Thunderdome” of growing up in a household with all boys (I grew up with three brothers myself. I still remember us gluing lamps and other items back together and hoping mom would never notice). I am confident Shaida is going to inject some much needed civility and frontal lobe development into the Molloy Thunderdome. I also loved seeing the special gifts Shaida gave to both her mother and mother-in-law:

Wedding gift to mom and mother-in-law. Wedding video frame grab.

 Seeing the reaction of Michael’s mom, I know she is so thankful to have Shaida as her new daughter. My time with couples is inherently limited, so I love seeing interactions like these with family members. Each time I learn a little bit more about the couple and the insights they grant can be incredibly helpful in choosing which path to take in creating their films.

Regarding the details of everything, this was an exquisitely gorgeous wedding. I’m a guy and so I can’t really comment on wedding dresses, but I do know that I really liked Shaida’s a lot. To me it had a classic aesthetic in a contemporary design:

Shaid's dress for her wedding in Phoenix, Arizona. Video frame grab.

And the venue (Villa Siena) was a videographer’s dream. Despite being in the middle of Gilbert, Arizona, it really looks like something transplanted out of Tuscany:

Entrance to Villa Siena in Phoenix, Arizona. Wedding Video frame grab.

Their planner, Rackel Gehlsen, really did a fantastic job organizing and coordinating the wedding – attention to detail is so key if you want your wedding to run smoothly.

Throughout the entire day Shaida's younger sister, Sheila, was a fun bubble of energy. I loved her unique personality, and her penchant for performance and flair came to a culminating display at the reception. Now, I have seen a lot of creative and thoughtful wedding speeches, but this one takes the cake as the most epic. All you Disney Frozen fanatics will enjoy this:

The guys at Awesoos also deserve an honorable mention for allowing me to create the gem below with my assistant videographer, Matt. I do love a good photo booth.

Arizona Wedding Videographer photobooth

To conclude: Shaida and Michael have an awesome relationship, they had an amazing wedding, and I hope I was able to capture as much in their film. Thank you so much for hiring me, you two! 

~Carl

Shaida & Michael's other awesome vendors:

DJ: Satyr Entertainment

Photography: Indie Image Photography

Floral: Posh Petals

Make-Up: KLM Artistry

Dress: Schaffers

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Nöel + Dan

I’ve known Nöel for a couple of years. We both worked together at the University of Arizona tutoring center as we pursued our graduate degrees (higher education for Nöel, school psychology for me). I remember first liking Nöel because we often had the same criticisms of this Malcom Gladwell book we had a weekly discussion on (part of our job requirement was an assigned book reading. I have no idea why so don’t ask). I remember thinking, “Hey, she thinks like me!” You know what they say about great minds. So, when she asked me to film her wedding I said heck yes.

The entire day was a lot of fun. Nöel and Dan just had their new home in the barrio renovated, which made preparations a visual delight. The lines were just amazing - so many interesting architectural shapes and designs that the photographers (Keith & Melissa) and I were sort of like kids in a candy shop going, “Oh this would be a cool shot” and “That angle would be perfect!” I also tried to incorporate aspects of their new home as somewhat of a metaphor for their relationship: new home, new marriage, new life together. The ceremony was out in Saguaro West, which has the absolute best cacti vista you can imagine. Go visit it, seriously:

Destination Wedding Film in the desert

The reception was at the Tucson Museum of Modern Art (MOCA), which was also the venue for Rebecca & Frank’s wedding (click here to see their film). The place is awesome, although I got yelled at by one of the museum employees. I was engrossed in filming things when I leaned up against a wall to steady my shot. At least I thought it was a wall. Turns out it was a giant piece of art. The lady ran over to scorn and remind me that no touching was allowed. I was deathly embarrassed and apologized.

My favorite part of Nöel & Dan’s wedding? Their tandem bicycle entrance. Hands down. Awesome, original, and completely them. Though if I had to pick a second favorite it would be the deserts. SO MANY DESERTS. I never had a sweet tooth until my wife forced me to develop one, and boy, was it in heaven. They tasted as good as they looked:

Arizona Wedding Video desert bar

I want to conclude with a shout-out to Nöel’s mom, Diane, for being awesome. She was so fun to chat and laugh with throughout the day. Here’s a fun fact: She has a major crush on Mick Jagger. I couldn’t help but to immortalize her forever by posting the video below on her Facebook wall. She's a good sport so I think she’ll forgive me, in time.

~Carl

The amazing vendor team:

Photography: Keith and Melissa (Phoenix based)

Event planning and florist: Aletier de LaFluer (Tucson Based)

Venues: Arizona's Saguaro National Park (West) and Tucson Museum of Modern Art (MOCA)

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Rebecca + Frank

I’ve been listening to a lot of old vinyl lately so it was easy to notice Frank’s extensive collection in their home. There was some Paul McCartney, Huey Lewis, and Earth, Wind, & Fire in there. Good stuff indeed. I bring this up because details like this so easily remind me of how much I love what I do. I’m a filmmaker for a lot of reasons, but being able to get to know the amazing couples and people I work with is something I find intrinsically rewarding. Without sounding mushy-gushy, it allows me to care about my clients at a deeper level than what most professional relationships allow. I create better films because of it. Not just because I can include certain content and showcase it in a way that is more personal, but because we all work harder to please those we care about. I want to repay the couples who allow me a glimpse into their life with the best possible wedding film they can image.

From attending their rehearsal dinner at Carusos (a pretty amazing Italian restaurant in Tucson) to bringing in the New Year with them, Rebecca & Frank gave me a pretty amazing glimpse. I got to eat churros & Sonoran dogs, listen to a didgeridoo, and by the end I felt as if I was part of their wedding party. Rebecca and Frank started building an amazing life together long before their wedding, and I have no doubt they’ll continue to be as in love and committed to another as a married couple. Now go watch their amazing film above (perhaps again) .

~Carl

Awesome wedding vendor shout-out:

Photography: Jason + Anna Photography (Scottsdale, Arizona based)

Planning: Alain Garcia of Small Town Event Design (Serving Tucson, AZ & Mexico)

Venue: Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) Tucson

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