Estelle and I met years ago through random Belfast connections and as we’ve stayed in touch sporadically through the years, a lot has happened! Estelle married a lovely guy called Reuben and together, they started a wedding film company that has made the Northern Irish industry stand up and pay attention and is now leading in other kinds of film production also. I really loved this interview and I know that you will, too!
How did you get into wedding videography?
Reuben and I first met at Stranmillis, where we were both training to be teachers. We had some mutual friends and long story short, started catching up over a post on Facebook during our first year as teachers. Both of us were determined not to be teachers for much longer! It was inevitable that Reuben would end up working in something film/media related. It was in his blood..his grandfather used to make Super 8 films! We put everything into setting up Show and Tell (even our inheritance- supposedly a deposit for a house) and I continued to teach while Reuben worked hard to establish the business. At the time, Show and Tell seemed to be a naff ‘teacher term’ but it couldn’t be any more perfect as over the past four years, many stories have been shown and told.
What are some of your favourite moments from your time filming weddings?
We have too many to mention! We have had many adventures, to name a few- a wedding in India, with bride and groom entering on an elephant; a bride walking through the small, windy streets of Positano whilst being cheered on by all the locals shouting ‘bella, bella!!’ on her way to the church to get married; a traditional ‘Celtic Blessing’ ceremony on a remote Irish beach on the west coast- which happened to be the couple’s 41st ceremony around the world. (Check out Two People, One Life if you want to be inspired!) Personally, at every wedding, my most favourite moment is when the groom first sees his bride. I can’t help but grin from ear to ear and sometimes there’s even a little welling up!
And what is your favourite memory from your own wedding?
When my Papa walked me down the steps to the beautifully decorated barn we got married in, to one of my best friends playing a special song on the cello. I stood at the top of the aisle between my Papa and Reuben, thinking ‘I did it! I promised myself a long time ago that I would only marry a gentleman like my Papa. I’m sure, even though it was a tight squeeze, nobody managed to hear my mumbled vows through all the tears of joy!! I was actually getting married..!
Any tips for couples choosing a videographer?
I know that for many years a ‘video’ was something that could definitely be missed when ticking off the lengthy and expensive checklist. It was often cringey watching back a wedding video and hearing your own voice made you want to sew your lips together! But times have moved on and people have started to see the advantage of having their wedding filmed again. There is a growing number of people offering their services in a new way. You have: the ‘romantic, all about the happy couple and watch back with tears’ video; the ‘let’s make eejits out of ourselves and watch back with sore bellies’ video; the ‘documentary/ fly on the wall and watch back , reminiscing about the funky style and how small the kids were’ video. Watch a lot of videos- most people have them online for people to view. Decide which style bests suits you. Whatever videographer(s) you choose, you have chosen them for their style, experience and creativity. They are the professionals, so let them surprise you with a precious memory of your day. Sometimes, it can be hard for brides (and grooms.. and mothers of the bride… and best men… and bridesmaids) to let go of the control! Of course, in your ‘get to know each other’ sessions inform them of what cannot be missed but other than that, let them do their job. I think it’s important to have some sort of connection with someone you will see a lot on your big day, and who you will likely be paying quite a lot of money for. Get to know them and have a laugh with them during the day. The more they get to know you, the better your story will be told!
Being in front of the camera can be daunting. Did you find that?
As a bride, myself, I tried not to get too sucked into the panic of how I would look on the day. Although it was difficult not to allow everyone else around me to transfer their stress to me. However, I did have quite poor health at the time and did lose a little sleep thinking that I would have big, oozing cold sores sat on top of fat, swollen lips.
The important thing was to in fact stay calm, get enough sleep and be relaxed. These top tips are sure to make you the most beautiful and happy bride there could be!
Try to look like yourself, including as close to your natural skin colour as possible!! If you aren’t confident in applying your own make up, chose somebody who is good at enhancing your natural features for you.
Get a dress that fits you and is comfortable to wear ALL day. When people don’t feel comfortable, they can’t relax. When people can’t relax, it will usually show in photos and films.
My suggestion is to have a practice with the photographer, especially. You will know what to expect and know how they work and what they will expect from you. This offers you the chance to get to know each other and on your wedding day it won’t be awkward!
We have found that the best footage is often the candid, behind the scenes shots. So.. if you see a camera pointing in your direction, do NOT awkwardly manoeuvre yourself into a position which you think is most flattering and pose a cheesy grin. Continue enjoying your day and forget the camera is there!
With regards to the pressure of others and how the world thinks you should look, IGNORE it! Tell them you are doing things YOUR way and their opinion does not matter to you. I once read an article about how various cultures around the world viewed ‘perfect beauty’. It was amazing to see the vast differences in how people perceived women to be beautiful. The only person you want to please is yourself. And you want your husband-to-be to recognise the woman he fell in love with when she walks down the aisle!
There may be a few minutes in the day when your videographer and/or photographer will direct you for a few shots. Listen to them and do as they’ve asked, no matter how stupid it may seem. They do know what they are doing and are usually skilled in making films about two people in love!
What is the best thing about marriage, for you?
I never imagined that marriage would get better and better with each year. Love your other half and put them before yourself. Our marriage so far has taken us on many adventures. There’s been ups and downs but we both know that we cannot become complacent and lazy. The truth is, marriage is hard work. The more work you put in, the better it will be! I love that I get to share every minute (the good and the bad) with my best friend. I love that I exist along with him and we come as a pair, whatever we do (including work!) I love that our daughter knows and loves her daddy as much as her mummy. I love that he has just called me downstairs for some lunch. Perfect timing!
Reuben and Estelle have so much amazing work to choose from, but this video was the first of theirs I saw and it has stuck with me ever since. Enjoy!
Check out my other Bride Blog posts.