~ The Abbey of Allegretto, Paso Robles
Styled shoots are so much fun, even though they aren’t real… this couple was recently married and their chemistry POPS off the screen. I was inspired to film this shoot in a “sexy glamour” way. Normally, we videographers and photographers capture what is really happening, so being able to direct and have some “do-overs” was a dream.
Imagine a wedding taking place in and around an Abbey! Allegretto Vineyard Resort in Paso Robles has the most charming old world Abbey (chapel) that can host smaller weddings and stunning intimate dinners. CHECK OUT THE TUSCAN-INSPIRED RESORT, ALLEGRETTO… tell them Susan sent you!
Featured in Grey Likes Weddings Magazine
~ Meditation Mount
The sun, the wind, all of the elements… were paying attention. The officiant or shaman was blessing the ceremony site ahead of time with singing, chants, percussion, and sage cleansing. When it came time for John and Alyssa’s vows… they were silent. Silent vows! Their eyes sparkled so powerfully. A truly amazing communication spoke from their hearts. Eagles flew overhead. We were all transfixed in the moments.
See the video: https://vimeo.com/206484071
Ashley ~ Chanel Perfume
This bride, Ashley, stands out in a big way. She is so care-free and happy. You can bet the only thing on her mind is the exquisite NOW.
If you embrace your fantastic You, (even if you didn’t lose the 10 lbs and you’re not happy with your hair) the cameras will love you and the footage will turn out magical.
I made this short video because she was the perfect real-life bride for this Chanel ad.
~ STUNNING WEDDINGS IN PASO ROBLES, CA
If you are looking for an outstanding new venue that will make your wedding stand out … check out this astonishing resort in Paso Robles.
There is great travel praise for the beautiful new Allegretto Resort in Paso Robles and you will certainly be impressed by the stunning 171-room Tuscan-inspired design. Everywhere you look the grand open spaces make you want to take some time and explore the place. But peel back just one little layer of this resplendent onion and the depths of something more powerfully intended might knock your chakra socks off.
You may just want to sit for a minute… a lot. The place has a way of nurturing you, especially in your 14 foot-ceiling guest-room with the private patio opening to the grand courtyard. Pops of color at play throughout the resort reorganize into four specific guest-room palettes… mine was aubergine and I sank into its warmth immediately. I found myself peaking out from my sleep just for the pleasure of being with the space and then drifting back to dream.
Drawing upon the ancient ways of landscape and design, every item that has made its way to this gracious resort is part of an instrumental silent symphony, highly vibrational and not in the audible scale.
A massive slab of marble that was hand-picked from a mountainside in Italy, is now two Greek statues overlooking the 11,000-square-foot courtyard, each having the exact directional bearing as when they were pulled from the earth. Hand-made adirondack chairs in front of the resort are calibrated to create a flawless sitting experience. I didn’t want to get up. An enormous cross-section of a Sequoia tree with rings more than 2,500 years old will fill you with wonder.
So what you don’t see or hear, you could easily feel. It’s all at work and play in Allegretto’s diverse co-existence of elements and all for the purpose of creating a higher dimensional category that will elevate the human experience.
Your friends and family will love all the Paso Robles vineyards and the wine tasting opportunities will provide all kinds of fun. Tell them Susan sent you!
Incredible Views and Variety In One Location
Firestone Vineyards in Santa Ynez (Santa Barbara Wine Country) is so uniquely situated and layed-out for the bride and groom who want lots of variety within one location… I just had to write about it.
The First Look took place along side rows and rows of vines giving way to the occasional masterful oak tree…open and unobstructed. So glad I brought a drone!
The Ceremony, just a 5 minute walk from the main Tasting Room, was on a plateau and overlooked incredible wine country vistas.
Cocktail Hour, beautifully shaded and nestled against the Tasting Room on the upper lawn, has a meandering pathway that welcomed Ceremony guests to some lively libations and lounge style seating.
The Barrel Room for Dinner… wow, you’ve got to see this Barrel Room to believe it. The impeccably dressed, singular table must have stretched out 35 yards and was closely flanked by massive stacks of golden hued wine barrels. The statement of elegance was breathtaking.
Reception in the Courtyard, right around the corner, yet altogether different in its tone and design. It is totally outdoors yet has an indoor intimacy. Everyone was enjoying the finger-food desserts and dancing the night away to the sounds of the talented musicians of the “Vanity Fair Band”.
Rainbows… can be requested : )
A beautiful approach to composition and posing for Videos and Stills.
These are exciting times for marriage equality—but capturing memorable LGBTQ footage for wedding videography requires a novel approach to posing, which until now has been nearly exclusively oriented toward pairing a taller man in black with a smaller woman in white. What works for Jack and Jill won’t necessarily work for Jack and Michael, let alone Jill and Louise. The New Art of Capturing Love shatters the “old standards” of wedding and engagement photography by showing how inappropriate they can be for today’s diverse couples, then shares easy-to-implement poses and techniques that can be applied to any couple (and wedding party), no matter their orientations, to create lasting memories.
San Ysidro Ranch
Biltmore Four Seasons
El Presido de Santa Barbara
La Vista Estate
Montecito Country Club
Rockwood Women’s Club
Santa Barbara Courthouse
St. Regis Santa Barbara
All about Couture Weddings and Event Artistry.
Someone recently asked me which wedding venue was my favorite place to film? Hum… that’s a tough one.
The St. Regis Resort and Spa in Deer Valley Utah is astonishingly beautiful. Stunning mountains and gorgeous spaces. (I’d like to do my wedding here).
The Four Seasons Resort in Maui is just perfect all the time. Everyone is just so darn happy to be here! The event directors Karen Lincoln and Denise Black are excellent. (I’d like to do my wedding here : )
Saddlerock Ranch Vineyard in Malibu is over-the-top rustic elegance. Check out Ashley’s video.
The California Club downtown Los Angeles is super cool and urban chic. And those skyline views at night, wow!
Terranea Resort in Palos Verdes has that amazing ceremony site on the cliffs overlooking the ocean. Heaven.
My answer just might be… “The one I haven’t filmed yet”! Because the new places just sing out to me and all of the moments are pure inspiration.
The list go on and on.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
Beverly Hills Hotel
Bacara in Santa Barbara
San Ysidro Ranch in Montecito
The Biltmore Four Seasons
Firestone Vineyards ~ Santa Barbara Wine Country
Shutters on the Beach
Bel-Air Bay Club
Oviatt downtown L.A.
El Encanto Santa Barbara
Oh, those 5 diamond resorts!!!
Part 2 coming soon.
Let me share a little secret with you… some of these top venues have very cool unknown spots that are a bit off their regular wedding grid. Smaller weddings of 40 – 70…? Much less than you would think!
Take a break on your day if you need it!
I’ve been shooting weddings for many years now and there is so much to talk about. So I thought I’d start with this sound piece of advise that may help Grooms and Brides remember this is your wedding day.
The Day of your actual wedding is something you have planned for… for a very long time, no doubt. One thing the two of you have not anticipated is that it will be ONE HUGE PHOTO SHOOT… and it may get to be a little daunting. Especially for grooms I think. There are only so many real kisses, but you will be doing it hundreds of times for the cameras.
Here is a TIP
It is your day and you can have it your way. We will understand if you need to take a camera break. In fact, please do. Just say, ” guys, we need a ten minute break if thats okay “. Even if the schedule is demanding, do it anyway. I would. Take a walk, reconnect with your new husband or wife and take this time to get present. Getting in touch with your intention for the day will recharge your energy and spirit. And it will show up in an amazing way in the footage.
~ Videography for Weddings ~