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Wedding Video Q&A with 31 Films’ Joey Mathews

Joey Mathews, owner of Houston-based wedding videography company 31 Films, puts his love of family and personal moments into each of his heartfelt wedding videos. Though 31 Films’ work speaks for itself, we wanted to get the behind-the-scenes details on how Mathews and his team create wedding videos and trailers that leave us in tears, every. single. time. Keep reading to see how Mathews’ “passion thing” evolved into one of  Houston’s top wedding videography companies, and view 31 Films’ amazing work!

Video: 31 FilmsVenue: The Astorian | Photographer: Adam Nyholt Photography 

Houston Wedding Blog: How did you get started in Houston’s wedding videography biz?

Joey Mathews: We started back in 2002 and there wasn’t really a business strategy. We were just really passionate about filmmaking and we did a few weddings for friends just for fun. Before we knew it, we were like, “this is actually a job!” For us, it was very much a passion thing that organically snowballed through the years and became what it is today.

HWB: How would you describe 31 Films’ aesthetic?

JM: Our aesthetic is walking the line of “cinematic-beautiful” and true documentary. Early on we wanted to just get all these really cool shots and wow people. But as we got older and had families of our own, we started to recognize how meaningful true emotional moments are at weddings.

HWB: What is your advice to couples for getting wedding videos they’ll treasure forever?

JM: A lot about telling couples’ stories in a meaningful and personal way comes from personal details and little mini-stories that the couple has. Any time that a couple can show their love for each other — a lot of times that is through a letter that they read for each other on their wedding day — it adds so much meaning. As they get older and they start having kids, for those kids to be able to hear what Mom and Dad’s voice sounded like and how they felt about each other on that day…those are the types of moments that we encourage our couples to think about. If they don’t do any of those things the video ends up being event, to event, to event.

Beyond that, when we are shooting it is really about the couple having a blast and us not getting in the way. If the couple can be themselves and really have a great time, we will be able to capture those moments naturally.

Video: 31 Films

HWB: What shots do wedding couples tell you they liked the most?

JM: When the couple gets introduced to the reception we will usually film a really wide angled shot following right behind them, and for them it relives that reveal of the room and reveal of all their closest friends and family cheering them on. Also getting time with the couple typically after the ceremony to get romantic footage that isn’t super posed, but is just them being together, is important. I think couples really love when they see those shots and we take a lot of pride in being able to get great magical moments within three minutes!

HWB: In your opinion what makes 31 Films really stand out as a wedding videographer?

JM: We pay really close attention to story, and how we edit that story together really helps us stand out. When I say story, I mean capturing the emotion of the day, the love between the couple, the families and how they all interact. Most brides say that they look at other filmmakers, and their stuff looks great, but they don’t really feel the way they do when they watch our films. There is so much that goes into filmmaking so it’s hard to say it’s one thing, but at the end of the day, I think it really comes down to how we put the story together in an emotional way that’s not overly-epic, but is true.

Like what you see? Wipe those happy-tears away and schedule a consultation with 31 Films today!

 

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Guest Post: Photographer Rachael Binford on Her Favorite Wedding Photos

We’re thrilled to welcome Houston-area wedding photographer Rachael Binford, primary photographer and creative director of Binford Creative Photography, to the blog! Rachael is a self-described art lover who is obsessed with capturing candid wedding photos and preserving memories. We love her natural photography style and how she catches the personalities and joy of each wedding couple on their big day. We asked Rachael to highlight five of the most unforgettable wedding photos she has taken in the last few years and explain why she loves each of them. Keep reading to see her amazing photos and her thoughts on each of them in her own words!

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First Looks — A first look has to be one of my favorite memories from a wedding day. It’s a break from tradition, so it’s not for everyone, but the reactions captured in the photos are SO worth it! The excitement is almost tangible as the bride walks up to the groom! And once the groom turns around, the reactions are absolutely unforgettable. Laughter, tears, and the most radiant glows imaginable, first looks are so intimate, raw, and unpredictable!

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Aisle Reactions — As the doors open, the guests stand and the bride emerges. I immediately turn to the altar, where the groom either has the brightest smile of his life or is trying as hard as humanly possible to contain the flow of tears. If that’s not enough to melt your heart, the parents are usually right there with him, turning from the groom to the bride. It’s like you can visually see their hearts bursting with happiness.  Witnessing these first glances reminds me of just how powerful love is.

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Ceremony Recession — This is the first time we get to see all of the couple’s anxieties or stresses melted away and just living in the overwhelming moment of pure bliss. They’re married!

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Details — I love photographing a couple’s wedding day details. So many people have put endless amounts of creativity and energy into them and it makes me smile when I see couples use these touches and opportunities to let their guests know how much their presence means.

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Grand Exit — They’ve planned, they’ve said, “I do,” and they’ve partied. Now it’s time for one more big hurrah and one last chance for a powerful candid moment — a moment that captures all of the couple’s emotions throughout the day! Whether it’s sparklers and a romantic dip, tossing confetti and laughing like crazy, or arms victoriously thrown in the air while spraying guests with Champagne (my personal fav), I always get the impression that the grand exit is reflective of the entire day in just a few moments. This is how the couple is beginning their life together.

These photos are just a snapshot of of Rachael’s work. If you want to learn more about working with her and her team to capture unforgettable wedding photos, be sure to schedule a consultation with Binford Creative soon!

Photos: Binford Creative Photography

 

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Venues We Love: Hotel Galvez & Spa, Plus EXCLUSIVE Booking Offer

Hotel Galvez

Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Galvez & Spa

You guys… We are SO excited to set our sights on Galveston this week: specifically, the gorgeous Hotel Galvez & Spa, aka the “Queen of the Gulf,” aka the most storied resort on the Texas coast, aka one of our favorite spots for destination weddings (at a destination VERY close to Houston proper)!!

OK, so here’s the scoop: A couple of weeks ago we were thrilled to randomly select bride-to-be and I Do! Wedding Soiree attendee Paige as the winner of our awesome Hotel Galvez Romance + Spa + Brunch Weekend Getaway GIVEAWAY. She was pretty thrilled, too (“OMG, I’ve never won ANYTHING before, I’m so EXCITED!!” were her exact words).

This week Hotel Galvez is back in our spotlight again, and we’re showcasing just how fabulous your event — whether it’s your dream destination wedding, engagement party, bridesmaids’ weekend or bachelorette escape — can be at this one-of-a-kind historic property.

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Photo: Lindsay Elizabeth Photography

Our most beloved Hotel Galvez celebration spaces? Let’s start with Centennial Green. If you read our magazine, follow our blog and/or get with us on social, there’s no doubt you’ve seen pix of beautiful wedding ceremonies on this spectacular expanse of lawn stretching out toward the Gulf of Mexico just off in the distance.

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Photo: Courtesy of Hotel Galvez & Spa

For indoor wedding ceremonies and regal receptions, the historic Music Hall is an enduring Hotel Galvez favorite—maybe it’s the ornate arches…or the soaring ceilings…or the dazzling chandeliers? Maybe all three??

Hotel-Galvez

Photo: Adam Nyholt

And for tropical pool views AND indoor elegance, we swoon for weddings that take advantage of both the Terrace Ballroom and Veranda. Seriously, can you imagine anything more awesome than “I do’s” on the lawn, followed by cocktails overlooking a beautifully landscaped terrace, segueing into a feast focused on Gulf seafood and Southern favorites, accompanied by your nearest and dearest?

Akil Bennett | Houston Wedding and Portrait Photographer

Photo: Akil Bennett Photography

Oh — and one last bit of good news as you fall into your Hotel Galvez wedding fantasy: Get your Hotel Galvez wedding contract signed by April 30, and you’ll score your choice of ONE of the following fabulous upgrades, just for being a Weddings in Houston reader (not available on previously signed contracts)!

  • Dark Mahogany Chiavari Chairs
  • Gold Chargers
  • Champagne Toast
  • Sunday Brunch for 6 Guests
  • Large Poolside Cabana for 6 Guests

Haven’t visited Hotel Galvez in person yet? Now’s the time! Click here for contact information, and schedule your Hotel Galvez & Spa tour. And make sure to tell them you found them on the Houston Wedding Blog!!

Galvez-Select Studios

Photo: Select Studios

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Navy, Gold & Ivory Wedding at Chateau Cocomar

A last-minute email and some amazing luck ultimately brought Gabrielle and John together forever. Gabrielle had been using Match.com for nearly two years. John had been active for only two weeks. Gabrielle was “over it,” but John was certainly not over her. After ignoring his emails, Gabrielle decided to go out on a limb and respond to John before canceling her subscription to the dating app, and she sure was glad she did! The couple was inseparable from that first date on. “He literally was my last date off Match. Little did I know it would be my last date period,” Gabrielle says.

Fast forward: Gabrielle and John celebrated their perfect wedding day at the stunning Houston wedding venue Chateau Cocomar, which perfectly captured Gabrielle’s theme of “elegance and glitz with a sprinkle of over-the-top.” But, in typical Houston fashion, the skies opened up and drenched their dream venue. For an instant the couple’s luck had seemed to fade…

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But don’t worry, this story has a happy ending! The team at J’Adore Events was able to save the day and seamlessly pull off the wedding of Gabrielle and John’s dreams, with a regal navy, ivory and gold wedding color palette, a five-tier wedding cake, and treats featuring the couple’s favorite snack—popcorn from The Popcorn Bar!  “I wanted a wedding that pampered my guests and had them wanting for nothing,” Gabrielle says. It’s safe to say she succeeded. Congratulations, Gabrielle & John, we wish you a lifetime of love!

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Photos: Beauty in Art Photography | Venue: Chateau Cocomar | Consultant & Planning: J’Adore Events | Catering: Cafe Natalie | Registry: Bering’s | Favors: The Popcorn Bar

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5 Tips for Creating a Custom Cocktail Bar with Magnolia Bay

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Photo: Memories By Maygan Photography | Design: Magnolia Bay Custom Bar Services

It’s no secret that one of the most crucial parts of the modern wedding celebration is… the booze. If you’re like many contemporary Houston wedding couples, you’re likely considering creating a signature wedding cocktail that represents your distinct personalities and tastes. Your guests also might crave a little liquid courage as they hit the dance floor, and, of course, everyone needs a libation for the many toasts and cheers that honor the joy overflowing on your wedding day.

The team at Magnolia Bay Custom Bar Services are experts in making your wedding beverages and drink presentation key parts of your overall wedding theme and reception celebration. As full-time firemen and cocktail connoisseurs, Marshall Boyd and Jason Myers founded their company to bring banquet bar services “to a new level,”  Myers says. Unlike traditional bar services, Magnolia Bay creates custom and hand-built wedding bars, themed wedding cocktails, wedding reception drink packages and more, to create a celebration experience your guests will never forget! We asked Myers for his tips on creating the perfect wedding cocktail concept and bar. Scroll down for a taste…

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Design and Photo Courtesy of: Magnolia Bay Custom Bar Services

1. Hire the pros — Serving, planning and presenting alcohol is definitely something best left to the professionals. “I tell people to ALWAYS ask if the vendor is licensed through TABC and what insurance they carry,” Myers says. Magnolia Bay is fully TABC-licensed and fully insured. Count them as one fewer thing you’ll have to worry about on your big day!

2. Get personal — Did you and your boo bond over a favorite beverage, meet in a special city or fall in love at a favorite restaurant or bar? Try and incorporate those aspects of your relationship into your signature wedding cocktail or bar! “Our services are customizable to fit YOU,” Myers says. “So many clients tell us they have been told ‘no’ by so many companies, that they gave up. We tell couples to give us an idea of what they want, and we build from there.”

3. Go big! — “Don’t show up to your own event and realize you should have done something more,” Myers says. He recommends that wedding couples write down all of their ideas and then take a step back to consider how their dream cocktail concept can fit within their budget.  

4. Consider your wedding “brand” — Your custom wedding bar and drinking details—for example, the cups, napkins, koozies and decor—are the perfect place to show off your wedding logo, monogram, hashtag, color palette and theme. We love how Magnolia uses marquee letters and chalkboard art to personalize each cocktail concept! They also dress to impress. “We aren’t your standard banquet bar service that shows up in black and white uniforms,” Myers says. “When you work with us, you get hand-built bars that go with the look of your event, you get staff uniforms that go with your event, you get quality drinks, one-of-a-kind service and a one-of-a-kind experience.”

5. Think outside the big day — “Always ask the venue if they allow outside alcohol vendors,” Myers says. Many reception venues do require you to purchase alcohol through their vendors, but let’s be honest, there are plenty more opportunities for unique spirits, fine wines and exciting wedding-theme cocktails throughout your engagement and wedding weekend. If you’re crazy for these craft cocktail bars, consider using them at other events like your engagement party, rehearsal dinner of day-after brunch!

2017-03-09_0012 Design and Photo Courtesy of: Magnolia Bay Custom Bar Services

If you’re ready to create your custom cocktail bar, or simply want to learn more, be sure to schedule a consultation with Magnolia Bay Custom Bar Services. Cheers! 

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