This Bride Edited Her Own Wedding Video and Yeah, It's FLAWLESS
One of our favorite videographers Sammie from SJ Videography just got MARRIED! We are so excited to share her wedding film with you. Buckle up, because this video is emotional, filled with joy, and looks like an Instagram dream.
Alexandra of Canvas & Light captured the footage while Sammie herself edited the film. A true dream team. Watch Sammie and Mitch's wedding film below and then read our interview with Sammie for deets her adorable custom coat (she made that herself too, NBD) and her best advice for couples who are planning their wedding right now.
The Love Story
Mitch and I met during a documentary filmmaking course traveling through India. At the time, I had no video background and was getting frustrated working on projects with a learning curve. Mitch, on the other hand, was one of the few who actually had experience in the area, so I naturally gravitate towards him for help. Instantly, a spark of attraction grew when we realized how well we worked together, and we both agreed that we had never felt more on the same page as someone before. My frustration slowly diminished knowing that spending more time working on projects and learning editing programs, meant spending more time with Mitch. Every evening he would spend hours on the computer patiently teaching me all his editing tricks, and then we would sneak on the rooftop overlooking the city of New Delhi and talking about anything and everything the whole night through.
We started dating shortly after that, and moved to California together 3 years later. My passion for video still remained strong, and I decided to start a wedding videography business upon moving. Watching real love captured on video, has always reminded me of us and of how big a role video played in our own love story.
Because I’m around weddings for a living, I knew I wanted to have something more intimate that wasn’t at your typical venue. I have an art and design background, so my dream was to find a well designed house with a stunning yard. My mom and I scanned home rental sites for months, praying that somehow the perfect home would pop up and they would allow a wedding to be held there. It seemed impossible, but one day we found the perfect place! Villa Montara, is an architectural dream nestled on a ocean cliffside in Montara, CA. The grounds are full of simplistic art, and the interior is a designers playground. I wanted the day to feel relaxed, and the focus to be on the stunning property and view. The few design elements I did bring in, were things I ended up making like the welcome sign, and our alter that was in the shape of a tripod. Mixing organic movement with simple modern-geometric shapes has always been my signature go-to, and I’m so happy that this design concept translated so strong on our wedding day!
Ok, first question is obviously: What was it like to edit your own wedding video?
At first it was a little overwhelming to organize all the footage, but once I started going through all the clips it was actually really emotional. I tell my clients all the time that your wedding day can be a blur, and video really is the best way to relive it. But now, I completely believe in and support that statement from personal experience. I really wasn't expecting to appreciate the footage as much as I do now, it truly is a completely different experience watching your own wedding footage. At so many points through the process, I was in my office editing in tears!
I love that you included so much footage from your life with Mitch. What was pulling that together like? What advice do you have for people who want to do something similar with their wedding video?
I had a clear vision of what I wanted our film to be from the start. The reason I wanted us to edit it, was to use all this random life footage we had throughout the years. It was fun going back through it all and reliving the clips! My style is all about connecting to the viewer on a relatable emotional level, so I think using life footage is an amazing way to tell your story in a real way. I wanted it to feel like us, not like a cinematic movie. Something like this is easier than it seems. All you’d have to do is email or send a USB of some footage you have together to your videographer!
Who shot your film on your wedding day, and how did you find them?
Alexandra from Canvas & Light. We are both a part of the Love Stories TV filmmakers council, and she shot one of my friend's weddings! (Editor's note: Alexandra is AMAZING. You can watch many more of her films, here.)
What was the wedding planning experience like? Did being around weddings all the time make it easier?
I am NOT the planning type, so the actual planning process wasn’t my favorite. However, being around weddings for a living definitely highlighted what I thought was important to focus on. I just knew I didn’t want to overdo it, or stress too much about the details. The simpler the better!
What is your best piece of advice would for a couple who is planning their wedding right now?
Prioritize the big things that last forever like photography or videography. It’s really easy to get sucked into all the decor and being up sold on rentals, lighting, etc. But in the end, those things only last a day!
Your dress is so stunning. Who designed it, and how did you find it?
The designer is Flora, and they are based out of Israel. They are only sold in one location in the U.S, at the cutest bridal shops called The Dress Theory. They are located in San Diego, Seattle, and Nashville.
Also really obsessed with the Mrs. Milner coat you wore at your reception. I feel like custom coats are having a real moment. Where did you get yours?
Custom coats are getting so popular, and are perfect for an outdoor wedding at night! It’s hard to find a coat that goes with a wedding dress, so why not make a statement with something different. I just painted the back of a leather jacket I bought with acrylic paint!
Your video does such a great job of capturing the atmosphere at your reception. Can you tell us how you went about piecing together such a cool beachside vibe?
I just pieced the footage together in the order of how it happened, but having a good song and editing dancing around different \"build ups” in the music helps emphasize a fun atmosphere.
Was there a moment you knew you were definitely falling in love?
Mitch and I started falling for each other during a documentary film course. He knew much more about video than I did, so I would always ask him for help. Towards the end of our course, we were paired to work on a project together. It was an advocacy piece about sex trafficking while we were traveling in India. During that project, we began to fall for each other. We both were struck by how well we worked together, and I had never felt more on the same page with someone before. It’s still one of my favorite videos we’ve ever made.
Go-to date night?
We like keeping it low-key. Grilling, bon fire, and playing cards is our typical date night!
What is your favorite thing about each other?
One of my favorite things about Mitch is that he has such a giving heart and will put his all into anything he's working on. From Mitch: \"One of my favorite things about my wife is that she is one of the most selfless people I know. It makes complete sense that she's so skilled at making her clients' weddings days that much more special.\"
If you were to guess, where will you be and what will you be doing when you celebrate your 10-year wedding anniversary?
Hopefully going on a fun trip! We started our relationship living in Hawaii (which is a big part of the wedding video footage), so it would be fun to go back for that mile marker!
Favorite Wedding Photos By Betsy Blue Photography
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See the full vendor list for this wedding here.
Watch more of Sammie's videos here.