Updated: May 7
Hey! It's Grace here. Building on our experience as videographers my husband, Brad, and I launched Keeley Wedding Films in 2019. We grew up round the corner from each other in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire (We've known each other forever, I'm talking same church, pre-school, nursery, primary and secondary schools!). But in September 2019 we made the spontaneous decision to relocate to Derbyshire! So I'm writing this sat on my bed in our little cottage looking out at the most amazing view from our bedroom window across the rolling hills to Chesterfield.
Why do you do what you do?
I've always loved weddings! Being from a large family going to weddings was a key part of growing up. I took my first steps at my Auntie's wedding at Whipsnade Zoo, I vividly remember at age 8 crying my little heart out when my brother said his vows and then running around with my cousins at his reception, feeling very proud* (uh-hum *big headed) that as I was a bridesmaid I was allowed in the back rooms.
Weddings get me every time - there's always a point in the day when I'm choking back tears to make sure I can still see what I'm filming. I love capturing the magic of the day for our couples, it matters.
As I prepared for my wedding my Gran got me to pull out her wedding album and my Mum's one too (for the hundredth time in my life). She had a beautifully traditional church wedding, with my Grandad dressed in all his Navy Uniform, and she wore her sister's wedding dress that they had altered to save money. These are memories with my Gran I'll cherish forever.
Bit of a tangent but my Gran got married in the picture-perfect village she grew up in, it still has a greengrocer's, baker's and all the traditional shops. Bradley and I visited the village with my Gran a number of times while we were dating, and she took our photo in front of the church doors - the same spot her wedding photos were taken.
I guess all of that is why it matters! I'd give anything to be able to watch a film of my Gran's day, to see all those smiling people frozen in time come to life. It's a great responsibility being in the heirloom business but that's why I love it! When all the parts of the day you spent so long planning for and putting together fade away into memories, your film will bring it all back to life for you! I'm honestly so grateful that I get to create that!
What do you love most about the industry?
Honestly, it's so so nice to be part of an industry that works together! You know, we're human, there's some healthy feelings of competition with other videographers but ultimately this industry is full of people helping each other up! It's an industry built on relationships, and referrals and I mean it is all about love isn't it? Cheesy, but true, haha!
Seriously though, working for yourself it can easily get really lonely! And in my past work I often found networking to be a bit of a shouting competition to see who could shout loudest about their business. But the wedding industry doesn't feel like that, it feels like a community, and networking feels more like making friends! I love it - suppliers if you're reading this, thank you for making it this way! It's awesome!
What's your favourite creation?
We launched in 2019, I've filmed and edited a number of weddings at my previous company, but Keeley Wedding Films, working with Brad has given us the opportunity to find our own style. So, with each new film we create at the moment it becomes my favourite! We got to film some really beautiful weddings in 2019, our couples are amazing! I'll never forget Ashleigh & Ashley's day, [https://youtu.be/mp1J0KgkCbE] not just because it was absolutely roasting (do you remember that record setting August bank holiday?! It was then!) but also because they were pure magic! It was such a chilled-out day at The Wroxeter Hotel near Shrewsbury, the guests sat around drinking in the late afternoon sun (Gosh I am missing that! Come on Summer hurry back!), enjoying each other's company, passing around a guitar and singing beautiful harmonies together - it was like a dream!
But if I have to pick a favourite creation, it's got to be our own wedding film. [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JtybtQ24PAQ&t=5s] Thanks to Hannah of HannahFilms [www.hannahfilms.co.uk] who came and filmed our day for us, we got to edit our own film! People say it all the time don't they, "oh it'll go by in a flash you'll forget so much of it" and as it turns out that really is true! Our day was such a blur, and I can't remember all the details. Our wedding film brings it all back: the family and friends, the food, the venue, the decor, the readings, the vows, the sparklers, the confetti, Brad mixing it up and saying "I definitely do!" (Melts my heart!) Even sitting here I want to pull up the link and watch it again! Yeah, that's got to be my favourite.
Any advice on choosing a theme?
This is going to be the same as the advice I give to pretty much every wedding related question. Be kind & be you! As long as you're not being a jerk about it, your wedding should absolutely reflect you. In every decision you make really think about what suits you and your partner best! I see questions all the time "Is it okay to do this colour with this colour and this colour or should I just..." Or "I really want to do this but my cousin's boyfriend's sister's friend isn't sure." Okay I'm exaggerating a bit there, but really don't let too many voices sway you. I honestly believe a wedding should celebrate the people who make you, you (not be determined by them) and you should design your day to reflect you and your partner. For me, I picked the colours soft yellow, soft pink and a chalky blue/grey colour and then I just jam packed the day full of little details that maybe not everyone will have noticed but they reflected us completely!
Any tips you want to share?
Not a tip as such, but I think your wedding should be timeless. Someone I know who shall remain nameless didn't get so much say in her day and a number of years later still cannot stand looking at the photos. You want to still love your photos and video in 10 years, 20 years, 50 years time!
Also, decide what matters to you and then keep that the main thing, don't get too distracted with all the wedding paraphernalia!
Mostly though enjoy this! Record it, remember the planning! Try not to get too bridezilla, share some of the responsibility, delegate, write a kick ass list with every single little thing that people need to know about your day so on the day you're not bombarded with tons of questions, even better - hire a wedding planner!
And really and truly I hope you enjoy your day. Make it yours, enjoy every minute and share it with the people you love! Huge congratulations!