Leigh & Neal

Leigh Valentine and Neal Papevies were wed in late July, 2012. Their day was unlike any other. I think their trailer is the perfect amalgamation of the events of a wedding day. It is personally definitely my favorite trailer to date that we have ever produced. This couple was down-to-earth, jokey, but serious at the right moments. It was clear immediately that the bride and groom are also best friends, with a lot in common. The groom cried when the bride walked down the aisle, but the bride kept her cool. Their families and friends from out of town in Atlanta traveled up to Highlands, NC for the party. It was a reception that never died out because it was essentially a destination wedding. Their live band was spirited and packed a whole lotta sound and energy.

Despite filming in Asheville, NC often, we had never been as far west as Highlands, NC. It was beautiful on this particular clear July day. A mountain wedding in the heart of the summer without a thunderstorm is a rarity. It only sprinkled for a few minutes in this case. The church was picturesque. It was First Pres on the mainstreet of the small tourist trap. The reception was at Wildcat Country Club where Leigh’s parents are members. Wildcat was a great destination. It had a huge dance floor that was put to excellent use (especially by the groom and his new father-in-law). That reception must have had every kind of meat imaginable. Just picture your favorite meat and then every other kind of meat you can think of. They had even more dinner options beyond that. Incredible. These were families that truly were grateful to be celebrating together. Neal’s mom, in her interview, remarked that if she could have personally designed Leigh she would not have been more perfect for Neal and their family. We were glad to work with Abby and her team from Abby Smith Photography out of Atlanta, GA.

I really enjoyed editing the footage but everyone was having such an exceptionally good time, that it made it difficult to cut the clips down to the best-of. The groom really danced it up. We were impressed with the ease that he broke into really physically challenging dance moves over and over again. The bride was a great sport to go up on stage and dance with the band. During their exit, the warm staff from the club offered everyone cookies as a take-away.

My favorite moments in the above trailer are the motion graphics I developed for the beginning. I really like the text block I set up with the hummingbird. It was an attempt to be out of the box from our typical videos. After watching 500 days of summer recently, I had been dying to find the right couple to use that intro from the movie. “This is a story of boy meets girl.” Their request was Home by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros. That’s a quirky song that is hard to attach to a couple unless they had requested it. So glad they did. Leigh and Neal refer to Highlands as their, “home away from home.” I had a standard fade into “Try a Little Tenderness” but the transition was awkward. I was trying to go from a serious shot of Neal as Leigh walked down the aisle with her dad to Neal and Leigh laughing at the alter. The flow and tone was off, so I re-edited to include a fade-to-black and a false ending after she walked the aisle. I mixed in some vinyl record scratches, and a DJ transition to get us into the Otis Redding coda to Try a Little Tenderness. I tried using Otis, but by today’s standards that older 1960s version lacks the punch of say even the later Michael Bolton rendition. Since that song was their first dance song and it had so much energy at the time, I ended up using The Glee TV show version with the character Mercedes on the solo. There was so much great dance footage that I left out, but it was an attempt to keep this video short enough that people will watch through to completion. Other coo moments that were naturally created are when Neal walks down for the First Look and Leigh’s mom and bridesmaids can be seen with their faces pressed up against the sanctuary windows watching from afar. Neal’s little niece was pretty cute too as the flower girl. The bride and groom clearly adore her.

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