OPULENT. EXQUISITE. SOPHISTICATED.
~ Keri + Yonatan ~
September 2018, a tranquil autumnal month, where the light turns to a more golden hue and the leaves bask in the fiery orange sunsets as summer begins to wind down. It’s a dreamy time to be a wedding videographer. I was heading to the Big Smoke to create a beautiful Jewish wedding film. Packing my bags in anticipation of the incredible celebration of the love between Keri and Yonatan, an amazing couple with an even more amazing international, multicultural love story. I felt excited about creating a cinematic keepsake for them to enjoy for generations to come.
The Masterpiece of London Wedding Videography
I love wedding videography in London, there is such an incredible energy there, creativity flows from every corner, the light dances through the city, bouncing off the walls of iconic buildings and winding its way down famous streets. It is a masterpiece. Weddings in the capital are imbued with this creative energy and Keri and Yonatan’s took my breath away.
My daughter’s first trip to London
My little one Ruby had just turned 1, so we decided to come as a family. How apt that I would spend a day recording the celebrations of love between Keri and Yonantan and then get to spend time with my own, bathing in the romantic atmosphere. Not forgetting visits to the Shrek 3D and London Aquarium (for Ruby obviously!)
On the wedding day I packed light as is my discreet wedding videography style (no-one likes a bolshy cameraman!) I watched from my cab window on this bright September day thinking that the light couldn’t be more perfect. I’m a sucker for catching the sun streaming through a soft curtained window, the way shadows dance on faces, and I knew I would get some spectacular footage.
The Breathtaking Venue
On arriving at The Ned you can almost hear the venue exhaling it’s elegance, you can feel class rolling down the steps and I had to get my camera out and capture its magnificence with the bright blue sky as a backdrop and the iconic red double decker buses driving by. These shots give my wedding videography a truly cinematic feel and I love the extra drama and emotive sense they give to the film.
There’s no doubt; The Ned is a stunning venue. A five star hotel and members club that oozes sophistication. There are opportunities for incredible shots at every turn, from the dramatic columns to the soft curves in the window.
The Exquisite Beauty of their Jewish Wedding at The Ned
I took the lift to the 5th floor, and as soon as the doors opened I was bathed in the scent of exquisite florals. The team were in a flurry of activity, setting up the stunning chuppah: a beautiful representation of the home a couple are creating together and a tradition steeped in the rich history of Jewish culture. The immense and ornate fireplaces, which must have housed roaring infernos in the past hundred years, were being adored with beautiful decorations. I also managed to catch a fantastic moment that you see on the film; the waiting staff practising serving meals along the length of the longest table I have ever seen. The plates had to hit the table in unison. It was like a beautiful dance, something you might see in a ballet or an opera and I knew that this wedding was going to be beyond stunning. I felt so honoured and excited to create them a masterpiece reflecting all the love and energy they had clearly put into this day.
While I was waiting to go into the bridal suite, to film those precious final moments where the dress was fastened, suddenly the fire alarm went off! I was a bit stumped to be honest. There I was, expecting to be called at any moment to capture a few elegant shots of the final moments with Keri surrounded by her friends before heading to the ceremony, and instead I found myself herded down the stairs and out in front of the hotel where other guests were gathering. No sign of the bride!
Within a few minutes we were told it was a false alarm and I raced back up to the bridal suite to find that Keri had powered through the relentless alarm! Nothing was going to stop her from getting ready. So although we didn’t get the last buttons of her gown being fastened, we got shots of laughter and merriment and the delicate look of anticipation as Keri prepared for the “first look”.
The Intimacy of the ‘First Look’
The couple meet in private. An incredible, intimate moment with just the two of them (and me, blending in seamlessly into the furniture). Yonatan looked like the coolest person on earth, gazing out of the window waiting for Keri. The shot of him there truly looks like something from a James Bond film. He was so blown away when she walked into the room, and you can really see how much they adore each other from that part of the film. I feel so lucky to be invited into the inner realm of the couple in moments like these. And I never feel the need to include the words they speak to each other. The visual is so strong, the love can be felt in the looks they share, the smiles that tell the history of their love.
The Heartfelt Tradition and Cinematic Drama of a Jewish Wedding
Keri and Yonatan had a traditional Jewish Ceremony, speaking their heartfelt vows under the chuppah and there were tears of joy from their guests. There is something about the way pockets of light come through the windows at The Ned which flavour the whole scene with a dramatic and cinematic edge that reflects the powerful ceremony. This elegant, mysterious and traditional backdrop combined with the personal vows of Yonatan, made for some of the most heart stopping footage. He recounted their love story like something straight out of a fairy tale. Here they were, making love’s greatest commitment to each other after meeting on a bus in a country neither of them lived in! You couldn’t make it more romantic and fated if you tried.
The contrast with the bright and airy reception on the rooftop made for some really eye catching footage. The sun shone as champagne glasses clinked and laughter could be heard echoing over the rooftop of St Paul’s Cathedral, an absolutely epic backdrop to a wedding reception. The jazz band played incredible music and brought such a great vibe to the celebrations.
Photographer extraordinairé Emilie White grabbed the couple and we all took to the streets of London for their portraits. I never pose shots but I always capture the action if I think it will benefit the film, and in this case it really does. They look like they are on a shoot for Vogue. I also love working with photographers, I am an easy going guy and I’m often recommended by them specifically for my relaxed and discreet vibe.
What with it being a Jewish wedding I knew there was going to be a party, and judging from the elegance and opulence of the day so far I was expecting a spectacular bash. It didn’t disappoint. There was music and dancing and the traditional lifting of the couple in their chairs. There was uproarious laughter and shouts of Mazel Tov coiling around the room. I grabbed a beer (it’s all about blending in) and filmed all the action. I think the shots from the party show how much fun everyone was having. And from my chats with Keri and Yonatan they knew that this was an occasion that could be the first and last time all their nearest and dearest were ever in the same room all together. So I knew I had to really capture the emotion of this unity in the celebrations.
The Honour of Filming Their Precious Day
Keri and Yonatan had a spectacular day, you can see it on their faces, and the joy of their guests is palpable. Their families live on opposite ends of the world so they wanted to remember all the emotions, feelings and excitement of their guests. I know I did their spectacular day justice. Weaving the love and the energy of them as a couple through their wedding film was easy, they are such an amazing pair and it was such an honour and joy to film their traditional Jewish wedding at The Ned.
As my Uber drove away from the venue, watching the night speed away, I carried all the love and family tradition and elegance back to my hotel, where I snuggled up to my beautiful wife and our magical daughter and felt in my heart how much I love my job. The magic of being a storyteller of love. It’s incredible and I’m really grateful for Keri and Jonatan trusting me to tell their love story. It’s stunning, I thoroughly recommend you take a look here, and get swept up in the romance of their beautiful wedding day!