Much like what photography offers, videography for a wedding or event provides the host opportunities to relive their special day again and again and again. However gone are the days of cheesy video effects and basic step by step accounts and in their place are documentary style wonders that view like a music video. Emotional. Brilliantly captured. Real.

Toronto-based James Frodyma Wedding Films came into event film making after five years of previous experience directing documentaries, television commercials and numerous short films. Coming from a background outside of event film-making allows for a unique approach to both filming and editing your personal story. Here Frodyma shares his top 4 tips to obtaining that unique approach.


One of the first things that Frodyma does as a cinematographer is meet with the clients over lunch or coffee to have a conversation about everything from where they grew up, how a couple met to where the clients see their life going after the wedding or event.

"While one of the best parts of this job is often befriending your couples" James Frodyma says, "the main motivation for us to get together is for me to really get to know them and hear their story".

Opening the chapters of your life and personality gives the cinematographer an opportunity to build a profile of what kind of client he will be shooting for. Are the clients adventurous or are they more low key? do they love the spotlight or prefer a more subtle approach? Each of these pieces of information gives the cinematographer clues as to how to approach the wedding or event and what style of shooting and editing best matches their personality. Building a strong profile is the first step to creating a film that is unique to the client and visually stunning.


Filming a wedding or event from a documentary approach means that the day is filmed as it happens and the cinematographer lets things happen in front of the camera organically.

"I don't try to interfere or try to manufacture emotions on your day" Frodyma explains, "I'm simply there to document real events and real emotions as they happen".

With the exception of specially allocated time (for example formal wedding photo sessions), documentary style shooting 'from a distance' has its benefits. The documentary style cinematographer makes sure that from the moment they hit record, the clients aren't even aware that they are being filmed. This is the best way to ensure that the client is relaxed and more natural, which will always look better on camera. It removes the pressure of having a camera in your face.

"And, well, the footage and end product speaks for itself" Frodyma says.

Kevin + April, a day to remember from james frodyma on Vimeo.


One of the most underutilized times during a wedding day is the photo shoot session where the photographer normally takes charge. Most cinematographers simply shoot some "behind the scenes" footage of your photographer leading the session. But taking advantage of your cinematographers' presence on-site will provide an opportunity for him or her to shoot something that will really WOW people.

"I recently shot a wedding for a couple that were interested in doing something special and we came up with the idea of a bridal reveal to her groom before the ceremony," says Frodyma, "We took some time to plan out a route where the Bride would walk to meet her Groom for the first time. This was an idea specifically meant for their wedding film and we were able to set up and execute a beautiful scene where the couple met for the first time".

Meeting with and talking to your cinematographer about your own personal ideas and desires for your wedding memories will create a unique and memorable scene for your wedding film.


Nothing can sabotage your wedding film faster than poor planning. It's important that whomever is documenting your wedding or event -- whether its a cinematographer or photographer -- has a clear idea of what is coming up next. This is even more crucial during a reception when it comes to filming. An appointed person -- whether it be a family member, person within your wedding party, the MC or ahem, the wedding/event planner -- should be informing the cinematographer a few minutes before any specific event takes place in the reception. This is because the cinematographer will need time to get into position to ensure that they are ready to roll. For cinematographers this includes time to turn on their microphones, recording devices and setting up their cameras to catch the event from multiple angles.

With no notice, there's a risk of catching your cinematographer flat footed and having them missing a crucial part of your event. It's not worth the risk especially when you consider how easy it can be to keep them in the loop. A clear, precise itinerary coupled with a point person ensures that no moments are missed.

Sharing your personal stories with your cinematographer, keeping them appraised of your plans and giving them the time and opportunity to get creative will allow for your cinematographer to capture compelling story lines and offer you a film that's as unique as your memories.


As an event film maker with years of previous experience directing documentaries, television commercials and numerous short films, James Frodyma Wedding Films comes equipped with a small team of dedicated filmmakers with strong technical and creative backgrounds. Using the latest in technology, their style focuses around documentary film-making which allows the to catch those special moments in an unobtrusive way. Every feeling, every emotion is caught naturally as their cameras blend into the background. Attention to detail, vivid imagery and compelling story lines are what they strive to accomplish in each of their films. Thriving on the joy they have brought to their clients in the past, James Frodyma Wedding Films look forward to bringing you that same joy.



All images from Atelier Aimee

As you know by now, when it comes to weddings, This Planner is head over heels for gowns that are unique and defy traditional styling. Enter Atelier Aimee Montenapoleone -- the haute couture wedding designer from Italy who has been creating works of art for Brides across the globe since 1961.

From uber romantic (think delicate French lace and fresh shoots of roses) to the oddest of concepts, Atelier Aimee can be found in boutiques from Milan to New York and as far away as Tokyo.

Question is, are you daring enough to seek out Aimee for your wedding day?






Tabletop by Designing Trendz

Recently This Planner was discussing table decor with a client and when I suggested having Chargers on the table he raised his eyebrows.

"What are those for?" he asked, "to make the table pretty?"

Well yes and no.

Charger plates have enjoyed quite a boom in use over the last decade. While in the past Chargers could have been viewed as "luxury" decorative elements for tabletops, over the past decade Chargers can be seen on tabletops at every type of event from weddings to in-home parties.

But while Chargers have increased in popularity, many hosts don't have a thorough understanding of just what the role of the Charger is. Yes, it looks quite pretty on the table. But it does have a purpose other than being decorative and there is etiquette involved.

Chargers (their name is derived from the French word "chargeour" which means 'to load') serve two main purposes. One purpose is dress up a formal tabletop by adding colour and texture. Chargers should always match your colour scheme and/or your event's overall theme. Chargers come in a wide variety of colours and materials from plastic, wood and bamboo to glass, metal and mirror. This leaves endless possibilities when it comes to tying in your Chargers with your theme.

The other purpose of Chargers is to catch spills or food residue. The first few courses preceding the main course rest on top of the chargers and serve as an under-plate, catching anything that may fall. More often than not, if you use a Charger those fancy-dancy linens will stay quite clean!

The etiquette regarding chargers? Well first of all, you don't eat off of them! No food should ever touch the charger! Chargers should be set approximately one inch from the edge of the table between your silverware and should already be on the tables when guests arrive. While it's not appropriate to have food directly on the Charger, it is perfectly acceptable to rest your folded napkins on its surface.

Etiquette is also in place with regards to the removal of chargers. Technically, historical etiquette states that the Chargers should be removed from the tables before the Main Course. Nowadays however, hosts choose to keep the Charger in place for the Main Course and all courses prior. This modern practice is viewed as acceptable however modern etiquette states that the Charger should then be removed prior to dessert.

Charger plates add that extra oomph! to any event decor and with that added style comes an understated, humble practicality. Some of This Planner's faves?

Photo from Johnathan Adler

Photo courtesy of OMG DIY Wedding

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