Top 6 New Orleans Courtyards

New Orleans has some of the most unique, hidden courtyards perfect for hosting a wedding or event.  We are always excited to shoot a wedding at a new courtyard we didn't know existed and below are just a few of our favorites!

1. Race + Religious

Race + Religious is full of gorgeous textures and dreamy streams of light making it a cinematographer's ideal shoot location.  We love all of the brick walls, antique pieces, and mysterious paintings.  There are many different ways you may want to utilize Race and Religious.  Some couples host both their ceremony and reception at the venue, while others use it only for one or the other.  It is also a great place to get ready for your wedding day.  Riki and James' Bride Film below includes beautiful prep footage from Race + Religious, as well as their fun reception under the stars!

2. Il Mercato

Il Mercato looks like it was plucked straight out of a small town in Spain and dropped onto a fun area of Magazine Street.  It's white stucco walls provide a clean, modern scene for any wedding.  Did we mention that Joel Catering handles all of your food needs?!  DELICIOUS.  Joel comes up with both creative and yummy food options for any style wedding.  Sarah and Brian's sweet Bride Film below highlights all of the wonderful aspects of Il Mercato!

3. Chateau LeMoyne

The newly renovated Chateau LeMoyne is a great spot for your ceremony and reception.  Brittany and Johnathan's wedding below is one of our all time favorites!  They held their ceremony in the courtyard, then second lined around the French Quarter with their guests, while the hotel seamlessly flipped the courtyard space for their reception.  The vines growing down the brick walls were a great backdrop for both their vows and group photos.  Conveniently located in the French Quarter, Chateau LeMoyne is a perfect spot for your guests to also explore the city during your wedding weekend.   

4. The Pharmacy Museum

The Pharmacy Museum stands as the entrance to a hidden gem of a courtyard right in the middle of the French Quarter.  Once you walk through the historic old pharmacy, you'll exit out into a beautiful courtyard dripping with greenery and florals.  The courtyard is cozy, so it's perfectly suited for small, intimate weddings like in Becky and Tom's emotional Bride Film below.

4. The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz Carlton is not only one of our favorite hotels in the city, but it is also home to one of the most beautiful courtyards in New Orleans.  First of all, your guests will have to walk through the Ritz' lobby which is home to one of our favorite scents.  Yes, you read that correctly...scents.  The Ritz smells AMAZING.  We buy a candle every time we shoot here...make sure to stop by their gift shop and pick up the gardenia scented candle.  Back to why the courtyard rocks...it's flowing fountain and lush greenery make this a tranquil setting for your vows like in Melissa and William's Bride Film below.

5. The Beauregard Keyes House

The Beauregard Keyes House is not only a gorgeous historic landmark in the French Quarter, but situated behind the home is the cutest little courtyard.  We had so much fun at Laurie and David's wedding below.  Everyone danced the night away under the string lights and stars!

6. The Elms Mansion

We love the location of the historic Elms Mansion perfectly situated on St. Charles Avenue in uptown New Orleans.  We have seen the courtyard used in many different ways, so you will have lots of options when planning your wedding here.  We have to say we are big fans of the streetcar and love that you and your guests will see and hear it moving by throughout your event.  The unique history of the mansion will give your guests a taste of our city's culture.

Top 5 Tips from Your Filmmakers Point of View

1. Get Ready for Your Wedding at the Same Location.

 
New Orleans Wedding Videographer - Bride Film

You'll get more out of your wedding film (and photo) coverage if you get ready in the same location as your partner on the wedding day. We know this isn't always possible, but it might make your life a little easier!  Creating a timeline for your wedding day will be one of the most important tasks you tackle in the planning process.  As you're scheduling, you'll notice that if everyone is spread out across the city, a lot of your time will be spent traveling.  Wouldn't you rather be relaxing and chatting with your loved ones?  This is going to be the best day ever, so you want to get the most out of your time!

Regardless of where everyone is, we promise we are going to comprehensively cover all of the special moments for your wedding film!  We pride ourselves on always capturing both sides of the wedding day prep; however, you might also save money on transportation to the ceremony location if everyone is at least near each other.  Side note: having a wedding coordinator is super helpful and efficient in accomplishing this task...but that's a topic for another day. 

 
 

2. Write a Good Old Fashioned Letter to Your Partner.

Best Wedding Movie - Bride Film

If you have a minute, write each other a simple note on your wedding day.  You don't have to spend more money on presents if you don't want to; notes are free!  A few words from each other to read before your ceremony will help calm you and bring you into the mindset that you are about to marry each other (holy smokes!).  You'll remember what the entire celebration is truly about: the two of you officially becoming a family.  Not only will writing a quick note give you a second to relax, but reading the note from your partner will be an emotional moment you'll cherish.  Check out our this tearjerker of a letter exchange from Amanda and Hayden's Bride Film.

 

3. Have your Wedding Cinematographer Film Your Rehearsal Celebration.

Wedding Singer Movie - Bride Film

Down here in the South, we often share toasts at the rehearsal dinner, instead of the wedding reception.  If your loved ones will be speaking at your rehearsal dinner, then have the event filmed!  Trust us, the entire weekend is going to go by in a blur.  You won't be able to remember all of the kind words, funny stories, and sweet toasts to your love.  It's not every day that all of your favorite people stand up to say how amazing you are and reminisce about past shared memories.

If you're giving speeches at your reception, great!  Make sure to communicate to your photographer and videographer when they're going to happen.  We want to be prepared to capture them.  Remind anyone who is going to speak (at least the leaders) that using the microphone is crucial to capturing the speeches on film.  It's not just to project the sound for your guests...this is how we capture some of the most unique and compelling audio to tell your story throughout your film and preserve for you for years to come.  My dad even addressed future generations as their great-grand father in his toast.  Let's be real, the tears were flowing all around.

4. Share Your Love Story.

 
Bride Film Wedding Bridesmaids
 

Speaking of story, we want to know yours!  Don't be shy...share every detail you can think of with us.  Our favorite part of our job is meeting new people and couples, and learning what makes them happy and in love.  We'll send you our pre-wedding questionnaire where you'll be able to share most of the details with us; however, on the wedding day, we may ask you more about you.  We want to create the most unique film for you...a film you'll be able to show your kids in twenty years to explain your crazy first date or the way you got engaged.

5. Create Time for You.

We know you want to get to the party...trust me, we love to dance and pop champagne too.  But this is your wedding day!  First of all, you look AMAZING...you're in the outfits you spent months choosing for just this ONE day.  Let's document this beauty!  Set aside time to take some portraits...even if it's only 20 minutes.  Your photographer will capture some of the best photos you have together and your cinematographers will be able to capture romantic, intimate moments that will complete your film.

We'll never forget the private time we had together on our wedding day.  It was just a few minutes, but quietly watching the sunset on the beach and soaking in the magnitude of the day was one of our favorite wedding moments.

Best Father Daughter Wedding Moments

After watching the Bride Film Father's Day video below, you'll be reminded how monumental of a day your wedding is for your father.  We love to hear dads' perspectives on the wedding experience, and we've listed some of our favorite "dad-centric" wedding weekend moments below.  Make sure you share at least one of these moments with your Father or Grandfather during your wedding weekend.  For our favorite Bride Film moments with Dad, check out the Father's Day Film below ONLY if you have lots of tissues on hand.  We literally cried all week editing it.  Also, it was featured on Love Stories TV as the best Dad's Who Will Make You Cry film.  Hope everyone had a great weekend celebrating with Dad!

 

1. Father Daughter First Look

Some of the sweetest, most intimate moments of the wedding day happen before the ceremony even begins.  The Father Daughter First Look almost always brings us to tears...mainly, Janice and me, but Chris and Joe understand the importance of this moment too.  Even if your dad has already seen your dress, this is still a super sweet moment to share with him.  

2. Father of the Bride Toast

We always anticipate the Father of the Bride toast when we capture rehearsal dinners or speeches at the reception.  Every dad has a different story, but sometimes, they share similar sentiments as you'll hear in our favorite toasts included in the Bride Film above.

3. Father Daughter First Dance

This is always an emotional moment for our brides and their fathers.  We love hearing the different songs they chose to dance to, and sometimes, they switch it up and dance to a fast song!  Michelle and her dad's dance to Love Shack was so fun, and apparently a song choice they made years ago, which makes it even more significant.

Eddie Marroquin captured this awesome photo of Chris and his Dad before our wedding.

Eddie Marroquin captured this awesome photo of Chris and his Dad before our wedding.

Mark Eric captured this special father daughter first look moment with my dad. 

Mark Eric captured this special father daughter first look moment with my dad. 

Every father who has a daughter, is of the opinion there is never a guy who’s good enough to marry her. That said, entrusting you with our daughter is one of the hardest things that we will ever do. But I get great comfort in that you are a very special guy who’s character, loyalty, integrity, and thoughtfulness I can count on.
— Mr. Rees

Why You Need A Wedding Video

Why should you hire a professional wedding filmmaker? This is why.

I know I am biased, but humor me for a minute.  Years from now, your children and grandchildren, or nieces and nephews will cherish your wedding film.  They will cherish your film perhaps even more than you will.  They will be transported back to this monumental moment in your life.  They will see AND hear you, even after you're no longer with them.  They will experience the love that is literally the reason they exist.

Today is our parents' 31st wedding anniversary.  

Last year, for their big 30th Anniversary, we four kids (Natalie, Meredith, Joe and I) put together the below video to celebrate their 30 years of marriage.  We have been meaning to share it all year, but life happens, time got away from us and all of the sudden, WOW it's June 14, 2017.  Here we are. Another. Year. Later.  As you will see and hear, it's not a cinematic masterpiece, but to our family, it's priceless.  

This video exemplifies why wedding videos (or wedding films as we call them these days) matter.  

Upon watching this, I am transported back to Mary and Jerry's wedding day: June 14, 1986.  I experience the nerves and excitement my parents were experiencing.  I smile with them as they smile through group photos with our loved ones.  I feel proud with my grandparents as they look on while my parents say their vows.

We also included clips from family home videos spanning the past 3o years.  I guess one could say that Joe and my love for video and photography stemmed from our mom.  As you will see throughout the video, she filmed everything.  The woman must have always had a camera in her hand!  Years later, I find myself sharing this quality.

I fully believe sometimes you just need to be present in the moment (especially in this wild age of smart phones)...

...however, at least sometimes, capturing these special moments is invaluable.  I love watching this video because I travel back in time to our family vacations, birthdays, regular dinners, and holidays.  What I love the most is hearing our voices and laughter...and watching our hairstyles and clothing transition through the years.  I am able to spend time (if you will) with loved ones we miss so much.  Now, as we watch our nieces and nephews (and our pup, Bacchus) growing and changing at lightening speed, I am further reminded to document the people I love.

Birth Photography

We often hear couples regret not having a wedding film or not budgeting for a professional filmmaker.  

Unfortunately, wedding films sometimes fall last on the wedding priority list.  As much as this saddens me, I know weddings are expensive.  But at the end of the day, your wedding celebration is going to FLY by.  With a professional, you'll be able to relive the day in the most authentic way possible.  You'll hear the rehearsal dinner speeches, you'll watch your groom's tears fall as you walk down the aisle, and you'll dance with your grandma one more time.  

Head over to this article for another interesting perspective on this topic.

 
Family Photos