Blog Archives

What you think you know about wedding videos, and why you’re wrong.


Wedding videos…more often than not, the “low man on the totem pole” of wedding planning and budgeting. But why?! After spending a good chunk of my life working as a filmmaker, and a lot of those films being wedding related, it seems fitting that I explore (explain?) the dark underbelly of wedding lore that is “Myths of the Wedding Video”. Let’s dive right in…oh, and I am using the words “videographer” and “filmmaker” interchangeably ūüėČ

“Wedding videos are cheesy.”

Yes, they can be…especially those videos from the infancy of wedding video, let’s say 1990. But really, haven’t you been on the world wide web lately? Wedding videos, or wedding films as I like to call them are ahhhmazing! These films are story driven, time-shifted, chock full of beautifully recorded images (at 24 frames a second!) and crisp, clean audio. Yes, it’s like a movie, but it’s your movie of your best day ever. And, I bet, that those who had the fore site in 1990 to have their weddings videotaped, still LOVE their wedding video. I have 16mm footage of my mom playing with some puppies as a little girl, and it puts tears in my eyes…can you imagine if I had my parent’s wedding footage? I would cherish it because of it’s cheesiness, and because it’s MY PARENTS..on their wedding day, all dressed up, with their family members! So telling of a different era, so nostalgic… Anyway, go grab some popcorn, some kleenex, and watch a few current highlight films by some of the best in the business…I guarantee you will be laughing, crying and wanting to grab a drink with the newlyweds…and you don’t even know these people!

“You only watch your wedding video once.”

My brides and groom’s say they watch their videos on repeat, and find something new every time. I’ve received texts from clients, years later, that they are sitting in an airport, missing their better half, and watching their highlight film…and sharing it with a few lucky others at the gate;) ¬†I’ve read Facebook messages that Lily was watching Mommy and Daddy’s wedding film, and is obsessed with her parent’s first dance. The wedding film will become more important after many years. Friends move, loved ones pass away, and there is nothing more sentimental than seeing and hearing those that meant so much, enjoying your best day. So yes, if you hire a really good filmmaker, you will watch it many, many times.

“We have a really good photographer, so we don’t need a videographer.”

Okay, I don’t get this logic…photographs are one moment, they are evocative, can be absolutely gorgeous, and still. Very still. They do not move. Would you watch the Superbowl in a book? Would your favorite Broadway musical be just as fab in paperback? NO! So why in the world this rationalization for ONLY hiring a photographer got started, IDK. First looks, cheers-ing with your bridal party, VOWS, TOASTS, FIRST DANCES–these are all intensely AUDIO/VISUAL moments. Yes, you need a good photographer and a good/great filmmaker for this once-in-a-lifetime event. I sometimes feel like a genie, capturing all this wedding goodness, all these moments that move, and bottling them up…and then I carefully open the bottle, and go through every piece, listen to every word and create a priceless memory in sight and sound…I have the best job!

“Video is really obtrusive.”

If you hire someone who is inexperienced and/or “only about the video”, yes, they really can be obtrusive. But, I have also seen DJs, photographers, catering staff and even Aunt Peggy with an iPad, being obtrusive at weddings. You need to hire a great team. Find people who work well together, have creative chemistry and are in it for you, and your day. The technology involved in making a wedding film has become significantly smaller, we are more often than not we are mistaken for photographers. I love having great, compact tools (and yes, we filmmakers have A LOT of gear!) and leaving a minimal footprint…wedding filmmaking ninjas is what we are. My favorite compliment? “I didn’t even know you were there, but you got everything!”.

“Your wedding video should cost less than your wedding photos.”

IDK where this idea came from either, but no, really, your wedding video should cost as much or more than your photographs. Why? Between fast lenses, great audio recorders and mics, dreamy off camera lighting, monopods, gimbals…oh my, we usually have more gear and that equals a lot more $$$. Along those lines, finding and training assistant videographers is a job within itself. Video is tough, with a very broad skill set, and most videographers find live events like weddings to be very challenging. It’s “run and gun” shooting, while remaining calm, cool, collected and smiling, and making sure you get beautiful footage. And get your audio. And stay out of the photographer’s shot, and jockey for yours, all while wearing a black tie appropriate outfit that you can crawl into the flora and remain presentable. Did I mention, it’s a very broad skill set? ūüėČ That being said, second shooters for video are usually paid more than seconds for photography. Reason #3:¬†Remember the “beautifully recorded images (at 24 frames per second!) and crisp, clean audio!” from Myth#1? Yes, 24 frames per second, and we edit each of those 24 frames. Our editing time is extraordinary, especially when we are telling a story, color -grading, audio-sweetening, using segue’s and time-shifting your wedding film. We are laser focused when we edit. I cannot binge watch the latest season of OITNB, or catch up on “This American Life” podcasts while I edit, unlike my photographer friends. #imnotjealousatall #whoneedstobecurrentonnetflixanyway? #lovemyphotogfriends

“The camera adds 10 lbs.”

Some people are camera shy, some people don’t like the way they look in photos or video, but there are many ways around this myth. First of all, the camera does not add 10 lbs. When you hire an experienced filmmaker, they know the best angles and they know lighting. I also know that when I am editing, I am VERY aware of the most flattering moments, I am there to make you look and sound great. I’m also really good at making people comfortable in front of the camera, even true camera-phobes. I think it’s really important to get to know your filmmaker before your wedding. At least FaceTime, Skype, or chat on the phone…if you are in town, let’s go have coffee or a cocktail. Get to know the people who are capturing your memories, and make sure you like them…do they make you smile? Do they want to know your story? Do they know/care that you or your betrothed might be camera shy? Tell us…we want to know! ¬† Back to those 10 lbs…my honest opinion is: YOU NEED TO BE IN THE PICTURE! What I mean is, please don’t let this most amazing day go undocumented because of your insecurities. The adage to brides is “This day is all about you!”, but honestly, it’s not. It’s about commitment, love, honest emotions, and families coming together to celebrate all of the above. On this one day, everyone assembles for you and your beloved, they dress up, they show up, and they toast, dance, mingle and have a great time…and when it’s over, all you have left are your photos and your video. Nothing will bring you back to your wedding day like a wedding film. So, get over the myth of the 10 lbs. and book your filmmaker.

“Your photos will suffer if you hire a videographer.”

No, not if you hire a good one, and by that I mean a good videographer and a good photographer! ¬†I LOVE photography and I LOVE my photographer friends. We hang out, we have fun at weddings, enjoy creating beautiful things together…we are professional and respect each other’s art form. Get referrals from your videographer and your photographer, hire a team with great creative energy. If I have not filmed with a photographer, I will reach out a couple of weeks before the wedding so that we can discuss how we work. If they pose a lot of shots during photo session, I ask that I am given a spot in the timeline for a short video session. If they are more candid, and motion driven, we work right alongside and direct when needed, like “Hey you two, look at each other….You’re Married!” I love these moments in video, because it’s a new, honest emotion that I have captured; it resonates because it’s real. ¬†Please remember, this day is about the two of you, making the biggest promises of you life, not about photos, flowers, signature cocktails, or even wedding films. If you have the slightest inkling that any of the wedding pros that you are leaning towards do not work well with others, consider this a big red flag. We should all be there to capture this gorgeous day for you, not to build our portfolio, get that sick (and most likely, woefully unsafe) drone shot, or get on the preferred vendor’s list at your venue. We work with each other, protect each others shots and have your best interests at heart. ¬†And, if you love candid photos, you will love your wedding film…it’s full of genuine moments, in sight and sound.


“Video is so easy. Just hit ‘record’!”

I guess if you want your wedding to look like security footage, you could “just hit record”. A good wedding film is art. It takes a talented cinematographer to capture the video, to compose those 24 frames per second. You need a sound engineer to place the microphones discreetly, get a feed from the band, make sure the levels are correct, and have redundancy for them, just in case. You need a lighting designer to make sure everything is glowy and gorgeous, and that the details “pop”. A grip is necessary to carry the bags loaded with cameras, mics, cards, cables, filters, batteries, tripods, monopods, light stands, lights-you get it, this is some heavy stuff. Muscles required. An editor will take everything that has been captured so lovingly, and carefully piece it together, like the best puzzle of your best day. This will take them a long time, because they will agonize over choices-soundbites, music, order, best detail shots, pairing the groom’s reaction shot with the perfect crescendo in the song..which then changes the timing for another shot, so the editor begins again. All of these artists, come together as one person, in your wedding filmmaker. It is not easy. It can take years to learn and become and expert at the tech, the emotions, anticipating moments and nailing the shot. But it is so worth it.

“We aren’t the ‘wedding video’ type”

So, you don’t like beautifully captured moments, full of the people that you love the most, in a gorgeous setting? You don’t want to have this day, when you both had great hair and killer clothes, surrounded by your best friends, partying your a**es off, to relive? You don’t want a record of the time you dropped a chunk of change to say “I do” in the presence of your dearly beloved, and the great things they said about you while toasting the night away? You don’t want to hear your vows again? Yes, you do. Every wedding deserves a great wedding film. You are the type.

“Our biggest regret is not having a wedding film.”


Wondering what a wedding highlight film looks, sounds and and feels like? Here’s Alyssa and Dave’s, filmed at the Tubac Golf Resort and Spa. They can relive their “happily ever after” for a lifetime, and then some… Enjoy!

Read more →

Black Sheep Filmworks as featured on Style Me Pretty!

Captured by Black Sheep Filmworks, this Tucson, Arizona wedding celebrated a couple who went to high school and college together – but didn’t actually meet and fall in love until years later
They attended the same high school and college, but never met until post graduation, when both were in Chicago. With the groom’s brother playing matchmaker, it all came together and before they knew it, they were saying “I do” back where it all could have started, in Tucson, Arizona. And back at their hometown, they celebrated in a BIG way – with Black Sheep Filmworks capturing the chic style, the sweet kisses and even the fireworks! See it all right this way!

¬†From Black Sheep FilmworksOh, Annie and Sean…so swoon-worthy! From that incredible Monique Lhuillier wedding gown, to those red-soled Christian Louboutin’s for BOTH bride and groom, to suspended floral rings to FIREWORKS, Annie and Sean had one of the most chock full of “eye candy” weddings ever.

Annie and Sean both grew up in Tucson, attended Sabino High School, and the University of Arizona… and NEVER met each other! They both moved to Chicago after graduating from the U of A and it was Sean’s brother that introduced them. Sean stated that he was “Going to marry that girl” after their first date, so obviously, fate finally stepped in and these two gorgeous Tucson lovebirds finally found each other!Love letters that Annie and Sean had written to each other were opened on the day, and read aloud, privately. This was incorporated into their highlight film, as per Annie’s request, and it really connects you to their love story. Not only are they beautiful, with great style, but they are “Oh-SO” in love. Their family and friends (close to 250 of them!) came from all across the globe to take part in this soir√©e.

Special touches filled Annie and Sean’s wedding. From red soled Christian Louboutin’s for both¬†bride and groom, to the placement of a Mexican lasso during the ceremony, to a wishing tree instead of a guest book, no detail was overlooked. Sean even surprised Annie with fireworks during the reception. This was truly a gorgeous, spicy, “beaming smile” wedding… Bravo, Annie and Sean!!!


Hair + Makeup
I Do Hair & Makeup Artistry
Willo Art Photography
Event Design
Frostings Event Design & Rental
Floral Design
In Full Bloom Floral Studio
Wedding Dress
Monique Lhuillier
Christian Louboutin
Frostings Event Design & Rental
Read more →

Your wedding is not “too cool” for a wedding video

After filming and editing weddings for just under 25 years, I have to say something. I’ve stayed quiet, kept my head down, created fab films for ahhmazing couples, but I must call you out. Yes, you. The newly engaged, or the engaged-about-to-walk-down-the-aisle, who are “not having video.” I hear it often, when I ask ¬†the engaged “Who is your videographer?”, they look slightly annoyed, and even puzzled by the question. “Oh, we aren’t having video…but we have a great photographer!”, as if the photographer is going to fill this motion picture void with their¬†wonderful photos. FYI: they won’t, because they can’t. Photos cannot tell the same story as a visual medium that walks and talks,¬†and the biggest regret of newlyweds, according to a recent poll, is the lack of a professional wedding video. Video is no longer cheesy, and it’s no longer a luxury. It’s like a documentary film, but better, because it features you and your family and friends. In your best clothes. You won’t realize the power of it until the day after your “big day”. That’s when you will thank your lucky stars that you found your¬†creative filmmaking genius, paid them a chunk of change and now have more memories, in sight and sound, than you realized was possible.

Here are a few misconceptions about wedding videos, and my thoughts.

Video is obtrusive.                          

It used to be, with big lights and even bigger cameras. But thanks to the DSLR revolution, video cameras are the same size or smaller than a standard still camera, and sometimes they are the same camera. Their ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†low light capabilities and beautiful imagery make them the perfect choice for stealthy filmmaking. So many times I hear “I didn’t even notice you guys and you got everything.” Modern wedding filmmakers are¬†like ninjas, with cameras.

Video is cheesy.

It used to be, with heart wipes, selective color and slow motion (oh, wait, slow-mo is back in, but I digress). The wedding video is now the wedding film, and it truly is like a movie. Most wedding videographers¬†are really documentarians, who want to show the events of your day as they happened, but in the most emotional, timeless and entertaining way possible. I have a very detailed questionnaire that I send to my clients before their wedding, and it really shows me what is important to them. Who the key family members and friends are, the fonts used on invitations and signage, what music you love and¬†hate, anything special to you two, and your wedding day. The knowledge of your personal stories and the details of ¬†this “best day” make it easier for us to get involved and pull the most honest, emotional moments from hours of footage. I also love to meet before the wedding, over coffee or a cocktail, and¬†get to know you…if not, a chat via skype or facetime can make us all friends.

Video is a luxury we can’t afford.

When all is said and done, all you will have left from this most ahhmazing day is your wedding video and photos. Make room in the budget! Forgo the wedding favors, over-the-top decor, have one less dinner course and get a REALLY GREAT WEDDING FILM. ¬†Find a filmmaker in your area (I’m happy to help as I know the most incredibly talented people all over the world), look at their work, read their reviews, and email or call them. Get comfortable, see if they make you smile, and if their work makes you laugh, cry and feel connected to these people that you don’t even know. If it does, hire them. You will be so happy that you did.

I’m/My beloved is camera shy.

Most people are, but the good news is, it isn’t all about you, or your beloved. Well, it kind of is, as the betrothed, but it’s really about how people react to you. It’s how everyone gets misty during your vows and cheers during your pronouncement and recessional. It’s about your favorite great Aunt in a dance-off with your best man. It’s about the toasts. It really is about the toasts, because without a professional videographer, with really good audio knowledge and equipment, those toasts are going out into the ether, never to be heard again. This is one of the many reasons you cannot leave the wedding filmmaking to your cousin and his iphone (bless them). The video may be passable to good, but the sound¬†will not be, and the audio¬†is at least one half of what makes a great wedding film. So, don’t worry about being camera shy. SO many of my clients say the same thing, and are put totally at ease on the wedding day. We are fun, we want you to have fun, and we want to record the fun. No stress, only good times.

Photographers and Videographers don’t get along.

Not true. I love my photographer friends, and they refer me A LOT. We work well together, have innovative energy, and make sure everything is documented in all its glory. We are artists, and enjoy the creative process.

So you, you the “oh, we aren’t having video” types, I beg you to reconsider. Check out a few of the highlight films here, from couples just like you, who didn’t want video at first. Thankfully, a smart wedding planner, a lovingly controlling Mother-in-law-to-be, a Dad who likes to record every moment, someone who knows the power of the wedding video, intervened. You, and your most wonderful day are not “too cool” for video, in fact, it’s just the opposite. Your wedding will be so heartfelt, beautiful and timeless, it will make an ahhmazing film. ¬†Call or email your best local wedding filmmaker. You will be so happy you did.



Read more →

Skyline Country Club: WOW for this Wedding Video!

Shimmery, sparkly, and golden….with liberal dashes of laughs, epic dance moves and FIREWORKS made Christy and Clark’s gorgeous wedding¬†f√™te at Skyline Country Club AHHHMAZING! Oh, that dress, those flowers, the way Clark looked at Christy when she first ascended the staircase…WOW! We even had a little rain (see if you can spot the lightening in those awesome storm clouds ūüėČ but the weather held and gave us gorgeous light. This entire day was perfect, and I don’t often say that. Many thanks to Christy and Clark, to their family and friends…you were charming, welcoming and not shy on the dance floor. Great night, great light, great love…the black sheep thanks you for sharing this beautiful day…BRAVO!!!

Many thanks to the following dream team of wedding rockstars…xoxo to all!
Venue: Skyline Country Club-Michelle Schuyler
Officiant: Jack Garbo (Clark’s godfather)
Event Coordinator: Victoria with Meagan Crain Events
Photographer: Amanda Rockafellow
Make-up/Hair Stylist: Raemi with I DO Hair and Makeup Artistry
Wedding gown: Pronovias/Gigi Bridal
Florist: Urban Stems
Guitarist and Band: Dr. Eduardo Costa and TreJa Vu Band
Photo booth: Amanda Rockafellow

Read more →

“I DO” at Tanque Verde Ranch:Let the Wedding Adventure begin!!

What I really love about Tanque Verde Ranch, besides the horses, mountain views and towering cottonwood trees with juvenile great horned owls nesting in them (yes, watch the video, second shot) is that you can make it your own. You can have a rustic, western themed wedding, or you can have an sleek, stylish affair with tons of glam. Or, you can aim for the middle of the two, and in true Annie Oakley style–Bull’s-eye!! This is exactly what Erica and Carson achieved this May at the ranch.

“Let the Adventure begin” proclaimed the card banner draped over the great fireplace in the Saguaro room, and that motto worked well for the whole weekend. This was a destination wedding, and family and friends were treated to horseback rides, hiking, golf outings and a few mandatory massages after all of the fabulous outdoor fun. The wedding day was sunny, then cloudy, and then…rainy! Which is really odd for mid May. Erica looked at the rain on the window, and became teary. I thought she was upset that their outdoor ceremony could be rained-out. Not the case. Erica’s Mom had passed away last year, and she LOVED the rain. Erica was sure that her Mom was there, in spirit and in rain drop form. We had a very sweet first look, a romantic, drizzly photo session and then a gorgeous outdoor ceremony at the Cactus View. The travel theme continued, as Carson and Erica had a sign post at the end of the aisle with exotic locales from Tongariro Park, New Zealand to Lake Como, Italy. My favorite part? THE VOWS…holy crow, these two went all out writing their own vows and their was not a dry eye in the house! My other favorite part? The fans that became paper airplanes that were flown above Erica and Carson as they recessed down the aisle–they even made sure the tips of the planes were blunt, so that no one lost an eye. #safetyfirst

The cocktail hour was full of signature cocktails, a giant postcard to take selfies in, and lots of yummy appetizers. The reception began with the introduction of the happy couple, lots of toasting, and then it was time for the first dance. It began slow and romantic, and then went into a salsa number with twirls and a great lift…everyone oohhhed and aaahhhed. The dance floor was packed, as was the cigar and bourbon bar out on the back patio. This #carsica #lovesnotcomplincated wedding at Tanque Verde ranch had this black sheep never wanting to leave this old homestead. No worries, we will be back. #fallweddings #styledshoots #tanqueverderanch #weloveithere

Read more →

Engagement videos: Yes, you should say “I do”!

My ahhmazing wedding and event planner Rackel Gehlsen approached me with the most romantic engagement proposal…well, not FOR me, but for me to film. Ranjith wanted to propose to his beautiful girlfriend Grassia, and he wanted it to be epic! And a total surprise to her! Under the guise of a business dinner, Ranjith brought Grassia to Hacienda del Sol. She thought they were getting a tour of the newly renovated suites before dinner, but she had no idea how her life was about to change!

With fabulous photographer Chris Richards at my side, we went about hiding in a cactus patch outside of a stunning suite at Hacienda del Sol. I had mic’ed Ranjith prior to his “popping the question”, so that we could capture this moment, in sight and sound, in all its glory. With Dr. Costa playing their favorite song on the guitar, about a million rose petals, Perrier-Jou√ęt champagne and candles blazing, Ranjith got down on one knee and sweetly asked Grassia to be his “one and only”. She said YES!!! Rackel then brought in two surprise guests, Grassia’s pups, and the night was off and running. I interviewed Grassia, and even though she was a bit shocked, she was SO happy, and grateful that we had captured this moment, and their thoughts right after the big moment. Ranjith had penned a poem entitled “Latindian Dharma” for Grassia, which was sweet, emotional and funny. Brie Dumais designs created beautiful paper products, and made the event that much prettier! Black sheep filmworks was honored to be a part of this surprise, and I’m sure there are many more to come. We will be filming Grassia and Ranjith’s wedding in March, 2017, with this same dream team of wedding pros. It’s going to be great…I’ll keep you posted!!!
So, if you are planning to “pop the question”, get in touch with Rackel Gehlsen, She will make the engagement of your dreams a reality! And black sheep filmworks will be there to make a magical video that you can post, share and pass on to future generations. Let’s do this!!!

Read more →

Hacienda del Sol::a tale of two weddings, part 2

As promised, another gorgeous wedding film taken at Hacienda del Sol, in balmy Tucson, AZ. Elena and Nate’s big day made us laugh, cry, dance and marvel at all of the romantic moments. Elena is a very talented interior designer, so the details in this wedding are rather jaw-dropping Her grandfather made her bracelet and both wedding bands. The guest book was a quilt made by her grandmother. The table centerpieces, old blue insulators, were collected by her grandfather and held candles, while the metal pieces that held the insulators were made by her cousin (Rudy Lucero). Not to mention lawn games during cocktail hour, and a Moscow Mule as the signature cocktail AND sparklers!!! Great night, so much love and history. BRAVO!!

Many thanks to the following wedding rockstars:
Venue: Hacienda del Sol
Officiant: Hugo Rodriguez
Event Planner: Jeri Fitzgerald
Photographer: Something Blue
Make-up/Hair Stylist: Artisan Salon
Florist: Villa Feliz
DJ: Fantastic 5 (Phil Montes)
Cake/Desserts: Lena’s Custom Desserts
Photo booth: Roland Bosma

Read more →

Hacienda del Sol::a tale of two weddings-part 1

Talavera tile. Cafe lights. Blooming cacti. Events under an open southwestern sky. Hacienda del Sol has long been one of my favorite venues…every time I have the chance to film there, I see something new, find a new backdrop or a photogenic spot that I didn’t know existed. It’s quite a magical place, with rustic charm, incredible food and drink and gracious customer service. Built in 1929 as a “home away from home” boarding school for girls, it is a historic jewel. The likes of Spencer Tracy, Audrey Hepburn, John Wayne and Clark Gable have all signed their names in the guest book. While Hacienda del Sol has added numerous amenities since 1929, it has never lost it’s southwestern flavor and understated elegance. I almost feel like I am walking into a sacred space when I enter the front archway. The grounds are lush and lovingly tended, and much of the original character remains. No wonder it is known by some as “The Soul of Tucson in the Heart of the Foothills.” I have had the privilege of seeing many hearts set aflutter at this utterly romantic inn throughout my years as a wedding filmmaker. In the next two weeks, I will post two of my most recent favorites to my blog; hence, a tale of two weddings.

Let me introduce you to Diana & Casey. Their wedding at Hacienda del Sol last October was beautiful, funky and full of song. Casey sings and plays a mean guitar. The entire day was filled with music, from the Sonoran Dogs playing during the ceremony, cocktail hour and reception, to DJ Rahm from Satyr Entertainment emceeing, to Casey playing a song at the end of the evening. Even the first dance song “If I Needed You” by Townes Van Zandt was sung live by Joel and Ivy Ricci. The trumpet resonating through the courtyard was ahhhmazing!

The southwestern ambiance of Hacienda played a big part in the theme of this wedding. The watercolor inspired invitations featured the front gates, while Talavera cowboy boots graced the top of the wedding cake. The table numbers were black and white sketches of desert creatures, and Diana’s gown switch before the reception to an off shoulder, cotton, southwestern inspired gown and cowboy boots was the perfect touch. Just like the gentleman toasting the couple says, “Tonight, they are both winners”. So true. Thanks Diana & Casey for letting us share such an ahhmazing day with you and yours. Exceptional. Loved it….BRAVO!

AND Bravo to the following wedding rockstars:

Venue: Hacienda Del Sol

Venue Coordinator: Rachel Allen

Event Planner: Meagan Crain, MC Events

Photographer: Kelly Rashka

Filmmakers: Black Sheep Filmworks

Cake: Ambrosia

Florist: Atellier de LaFleur

DJ: Satyr Entertainment

Band: Sonoran Dogs

Read more →

Destination: Tucson

wedding donkeySaguaro...where else would I put your wedding rings?Oh, that Tucson Sun!patron bottle

Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased. I was born and raised in Tucson. I grew up swimming in our backyard pool from March through November. Flip flops, shorts and a sweatshirt (which I normally ditched by noon) were my cold weather outfit. Hiking to Seven Falls with a backpack full of my Humanities homework¬†was my¬†weekend hangout as I attended Salpointe Catholic High School.(GO LANCERS!) Many days were spent in the glorious sunshine on the U of A mall,¬†writing scripts and honing my camera skills…and possibly checking out the Rugby team (BEAR DOWN ARIZONA!). Tucson is a very special place to me…it’s my hometown.

After graduation, I left Tucson. I couldn’t wait to leave. Bright lights, big city…LA, San Francisco, cable tv shows, studio services, feature films…it was fun. But it was hard. Feast or famine. So I came back. I couldn’t wait to get back. The mountains, the monsoons, the Mexican food, oh, and my family that I missed terribly. I met my hunky English hubby, started¬†Black Sheep Filmworks, rescued an Australian Shepherd, a brown tabby cat and an Australian Cattle Dog. I also gave birth to two of the finest human beings you will ever meet, Alexa and Aidan. Okay, so maybe I’m a little biased. ¬†Tucson is the place that chose me from the get-go. And the place I chose to call home when I had a choice.

YOU have a choice as well, where to hold your wedding. That most ahhhmazing day with your dearly beloved(s)….why choose Tucson for a Destination wedding? ¬†Here¬†are¬†my top five reasons:

5. The Scenery. Search¬† “Tucson, Arizona” ¬†in google images and you get choices: Mountains, Skyline, Sunset, Downtown and University of Arizona, all of which are spectacular,¬†especially the mountains and the sunsets. All sunsets with high wispy clouds are pretty, but when you have a sunset with gorgeous color AND a huge saguaro in the background, that’s ICONIC.

4. The Venues. From¬†The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain¬†to the¬†Arizona Inn¬†to¬†Hacienda del Sol, just to name a few, Tucson is full of ¬†world class resorts, spas and inns that want to pamper you and your guests with loads of Tucson hospitality. The views, the food, the pools, the golf…just basking¬†in the warm Tucson sun, it’s AHHHmazing!

3. Margaritas. From prickly pear to mango haba√Īero, you won’t find a better specialty cocktail. Enough said.

2. The Wedding Professionals. Or the Wedding Vendors, or “Friendors” as my friend Brie Dumais of¬†Brie Dumais Designs¬†likes to call us;) Hands down, some of the most talented, creative, fun, hard working, kick a** individuals you will ever have the pleasure of being around. From florists to photographers, event planners to filmmakers (!) Tucson’s talent is extraordinary. And we all like each other.¬†We will scramble up a hill loaded with cacti and maybe a gopher snake or two (don’t worry, they’re¬†non-venomous ;)) to get that dream shot of you and your beloved. We are used to this 100+ degree “dry” heat. We don’t over direct and under produce. Golf carts, Quarter horses and dirt bikes were probably our first mode of transportation, or our most recent, so we’ve got you covered. We know Tucson, we love it, and we want to share it with you and your besties.

1. The Feel. No place in the world feels like Tucson. It’s a sprawling city (over 227 square miles!)¬†in the middle of four mountain ranges under a huge sunny¬†sky 350 days a year, but it still feels like a small town. When I meet a new client, somewhere in my portfolio, you will know someone. 6 degrees of separation with Kevin Bacon? It’s about 2 to 3 degrees of separation in Tucson. ¬†From¬†The Arizona Sonora Desert Museum to the Mission San Xavier del Bac, Tucson is full of natural beauty, wildlife, and history. And really nice people. Come to Tucson for your Big day, home of the best¬†sunsets, warm sunshine, spas, saguaros…oh, I could go on and on. Okay, maybe I’m a little biased…

Want to see a destination:Tucson wedding in all its glory? Alison and Jelani, otherwise known as ALizona and Uncle Jeli ;), brought everyone out from Houston and beyond for an incredible wedding at the Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain.¬†From some gorgeous royal blue Badgley Mischkas, to lobster mac n’ cheese, to sparklers, to some truly epic dance moves, THIS was a night to remember!
Thanks Alison & Jelani…and ENJOY!!!


Many thanks to the following wedding rockstars:
Venue: The Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain  Event Coordinator: Madison St.Clair
Photographer: David Sanders  Filmmaker: Black Sheep Filmworks  Florist: Posh Petals  DJ/ Band/ Musicians: Simply Three & DJ Andrew  Photo booth:Clear Choice Photo Booth

Read more →

98 Percent of Brides Regret this Choice after their Weddings

Re-printed from Huffington Post Weddings by Ariane Fisher

Not getting a wedding planner was my biggest regret. Nope, second biggest.
Like most brides, I looked forward to my wedding for 4 reasons:

‚ÄĘ I was marrying a man better than I ever could have dreamed for myself
‚ÄĘ The Big Day was a creative outlet for my DIY dreams
‚ÄĘ Friends and Family were coming together from all across the country
‚ÄĘ Biggest. Party. Ever.

After the wedding, here is what I had to show for it:

‚ÄĘ Gorgeous photos
‚ÄĘ A preserved wedding gown
‚ÄĘ Stories from friends and family about it being the best party, not just wedding, they had ever attended

Cue the regret. Like most brides, I budgeted for photos, but not wedding video. Like 98 percent of brides who make that decision, I regretted not getting a wedding video.

The photos bring back great memories, but let’s talk first dance. My fiancé surprised me with dance lessons soon after we were engaged. We spent months with a choreographer learning our first dance. We were in our own world on that dance floor. It was like the whole world melted away as we waltzed to Louis Armstrong.
In my mind, we were going to dance it again every year on our anniversary. We would never forget the steps. Our first anniversary, I was away on a business trip. Our second anniversary was the due date of our first baby. By the third anniversary, the steps were long forgotten.

Now let’s talk family and friends. Big family. Lots of friends. About 200 people flying in from all over the country. The award goes to Australia. It was the last family gathering for both of our grandmothers. The last one. No one wants to think about it, but it’s real.

It was also one of the last times we were to see one of my husband’s good friends. He died just a couple of years later in a snowmobile accident. We partied with him til 1am that night. Good times.

Lastly, the party. Oh the party. The live bar band. The Jack Daniels, for which I took so much crap in my last post. Yes, I drank at my wedding. Yes, I drank a lot. So did all the guests. Except the kids. They were running around with straws up their noses. It was a blast. We all had a great time.

And photos just aren’t enough to hold on to years later.

Follow Ariane Fisher on Twitter:

Read more →