The wedding day of James and Magnific started out early as my team (myself, Sean and Raymond) and I had to drive to Fremont, CA from Sacramento for this wedding. Whenever I shoot both photo and video for a wedding, I bring at least three people. I was worried that traffic would make us late, so I made sure to calculate extra time just in case. Both the bride (Magnific) and the groom (James) were getting ready at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Newark. When we arrived at the hotel we had some confusion finding the room, so that extra time I calculated for potential traffic ended up coming in handy. Finally, we located their rooms and quickly got acquainted. After snapping some photos of James getting ready I left Sean with James to get some video footage of him and his groomsman. He got some great shots.
Meanwhile, Raymond and I visited the girl’s room. They were still in the midst of makeup. We were able to capture some great photos and video footage of Magnific and her bridesmaids.
Once we finished up with Magnific, we headed back to James to get an interview on camera. For video, I always like to get an interview of the couple talking about their relationship, especially when the couple has opted not to say their own vows during the ceremony. In this case, James was the only one we had time to capture, but I’m glad we did!
We then headed to the venue for the ceremony. It was a beautiful ceremony and the wedding party did a great job with a choreographed dance in and out of the ceremony. However, the ceremony did last approximately 30 minutes longer than expected which put us a little behind on the schedule.
After the ceremony, Raymond and I left with the wedding party, taking a limo ride to the photography location, which was supposed to be the Japanese Gardens in Castro Valley. However, the bride and groom did not realize that they would be closed that day and we were unable to get inside. Additionally, our timing had been set even further off track by heavy traffic to the location. Nonetheless, I improvised and did my best to get some nice portraits and posed video footage in the parking lot and the outskirts of the garden.
While Raymond and I were with the bridal party at the Japanese Gardens, Sean stayed behind to capture some video footage of the reception room (which was converted from the ceremony setup). He also took some great drone footage of the location. By the time Raymond and I arrived back at the venue we were ready for the bridal party to make their grand entrance, which they did in style.
Extended Highlight Video
The rest of the evening went as planned, with speeches, dinner, cake and lots of dancing. Part of the reason I love this job is being able to experience and show off different cultures through my work. In the case of this wedding, an East African wedding, with elements of Rwandan, Congolese and Burundian culture, it is extra special because it is part of my own culture and heritage. The wedding featured traditional Rwandan dancers, and a negotiation between representatives of the groom and brides families to come to an agreement about the marriage. This is a tradition that has deep roots in my culture.
All in all it was a successful wedding and we all got home safely. First wedding of 2018 in the books!
A side note about the Golden Gate Bridge drone shot in the video. That was footage my late friend and videographer buddy, Innocent, got when he visited me two year ago. Another client had requested that footage and we found the perfect spot to launch the drone and capture it. Lucky that we had it now, and that will be a memory with Innocent that I will always hold dear.