Grover Films

Ric & Rose

Grover Films Won The Bay Area Wedding Videographer of the Year Award!

Richard GroverComment
Wedding Videographer of the Year Award

We are so honored to have won the Bay Area Videographer Association (BAPVA) award for the Best Event Videographer of the year!! It's a huge privilege to be selected by fellow filmmakers for this award. Every film submitted is judged from a professional standpoint. They look for skilled storytelling, excellent audio quality, and beautiful cinematography that is both consistent and compelling. This group constantly pushes us to be our best; they help us hone our skills and encourage us to push our limits as filmmakers. We could not be happier to have been chosen by such a talented group of cinematographers as the Bay Areas best!

Below you can watch some of our recent award winning films. 


Leyla and Matthew’s Estate Wedding in the Redwoods ~ Short Film

Richard GroverComment

This day brought with it every kind of weather: sunshine, fog, wind and torrential rain! It was beautiful, dramatic and unlike any other day! This secret venue only hosts a handful of weddings each year. It's located just off the coast between Santa Cruz and San Francisco, so it is quite a gem. We absolutely loved filming there! The fairy circle of redwoods, the house surrounded by a little lake and the fern filled forest were adored by guests. When our host drove us to the top of the mountain on a four wheel drive only dirt road, we were gobsmacked by the spectacular sweeping views and dramatic fog rolling in around us. 

Leyla and Matthew couldn't wait to get married and celebrate surrounded by their supportive friends and family. They were really excited to be able to look back and see the two of them, their love, and the beautiful outdoor setting all come together on film.  They loved the unique setting and their planner, from Coastside Couture, did a fantastic job of using all the space to let people spread out and enjoy themselves. Leyla and Matthew had two ceremonies, one in the redwood fairy circle and a traditional Persian ceremony. These were followed by a lovely cocktail hour and a big beautiful dinner under white canopies to protect everyone from the rain that came pouring down in the evening. 


It's a rare and special treat for us to get behind-the-scenes pictures, so we can't help but share these beautiful photos from Bethany Carlson! We can't thank her enough for capturing these moments for us! They really bring back all of the fun we had that day and remind me of just how crazy the wind was on the top of that mountain. It was almost as incredible as the panoramic views! 


We truly had an exceptional team of vendors. Leyla and Mathew's wedding was a whirlwind. It was packed to the gills with things we wanted to capture and rather extreme weather conditions that everyone had to adapt to. With this team the day flowed seamlessly. Coastside Couture did an outstanding job bringing all the details together and making sure people were warm and dry, and that everyone was happy all day and night.  The florals by  Seascape Flowers were beautiful, as usual, and they stood up in the rain!  We worked alongside Bethany Carlson, their photographer, all day. She was super fun and her photos turned out stunning! To see her photos check out her website where you can find this wedding and more of her exceptional work. You can also visit the publication of Leyla and Mathew's wedding on Junebug Weddings! And you can find the rest of this wonderful vendor team below. 

Venue:  The Island Farm | Photographer: Bethany Carlson | Videographer: Grover Films  | Coordinator: Coastside Couture | Florist: Seascape Flowers | Catering: Urban Organics | Cake: Studio Cake | Officiant: Wedding Ceremonies by Azin | DJ: DJ Zhaldee | Makeup & Hair Artist: Mimi & Taylor | Lounge Rentals: Pieces by Violet | Rentals: Stuart Event RentalsRoyal RestroomsLa Tavola LinenAbbey Party Rents | Transportation: Corinthian Transportation


The Perfect Speech | Advice on Giving a Wedding Toast

Speech AdviceRose SniatowskiComment

You have selected some of the most important people in your life to speak at your wedding. It's a great honor, but it's also a lot of responsibility and they may be feeling a bit of pressure. So I have written this blog for them, to help them navigate the process of preparing a speech. 


Seven Tips for Giving a Toast People Will Love

We have all seen a speech fall short of what the speaker was trying for, a joke that is met with silence or a story that just didn't seem to have anything to connect it with the reason everyone is together. A lucky few of us have witnessed someone deliver a flawless speech; a speech that captivates a room, bringing tears to our eyes and smiles to our faces; a speech with depth that we can all relate to, or one that teaches us something that brings a new understanding to the way we see someone or something. 

I have had the pleasure of hearing many speeches over the years. Not just once, the night they are given, but over and over again as I edit them, and analyze them for content in our films.  What I have learned is that there is no "one thing" that makes a good speech, but there are a few factors that good speeches usually share. You can find my seven tips and some of my favorite speech moments below. Feel free to pass them along. I hope they help you get inspired! 

1. The speakers focus on the couple.  This day is about two people (the bride and groom), who they are and what their love means. So make your speech about them. It will be meaningful to everyone attending, because it's the two of them that everyone is there to celebrate with. This is your chance to give all their loved ones an inside look into who they are and what they mean to each other from your unique perspective. 

2.  The speakers are genuine and true to who they are.  Be yourself. You were chosen to speak because of who you are and how important you are to the bride and groom. So let who you are shine, not by focusing on yourself (or your relationship with the bride or groom) but by showing the relationship you have with them through your stories and insights about them as individuals and as a couple. Talk about what you love about them as people. Mention the qualities that make them special to you. 


I haven’t seen Kristie and Brandon much together but I can tell they are meant for each other. They ground each other and they help each other grow. And you know that feeling when you are with a couple and in their silence their love for each other is really palpable, like you can just feel it. That’s something that Kristie and Brandon have. When they are together they don’t have to say anything at all. They don’t have to be cheesy or perform any grand gestures. And that’s what makes their relationship so amazing and true. They are a united front now, an unstoppable force, and I’m so excited to see their present and their future together.
— Kristie's Childhood Friend & Maid of Honor

It's okay if you don't know one of them well or if you haven't seen them together a lot. You can even admit it to the group like the speaker above. It is part of being true to who you are and the relationship you have with the bride and groom. Honesty is something people love and will pull them into your speech. 

If you feel like you don't have enough insight or information about them as a couple you can take a few moments, before the wedding day, to talk with the bride or groom about their relationship with the person you don't know well. All it usually takes is a couple of pointed questions like: How do they make you feel? How have things changed in your life since you met your fiance? What do you love about him/her? 

These types of questions usually result in heartfelt answers that can easily be incorporated into a speech. You can put them in your own words and add your own insights to make the speech truly yours.

3.  The speakers keep the speech relatively short. You will have more impact on the group you are speaking to if your speech is clear, concise and doesn't meander. 3-8 minutes is a great goal. It's a good amount of time to let everyone know who you are and how much you care about the two people who have brought everyone together. It's enough time to tell a quick personal story about the couple only you know, or touch on how much their love has taught you or inspired you. Also, it's not so much time that you are likely to lose your train of thought or allow your audience to get bored and stop listening, because their tummies are beginning to rumble. 

Do you have the inside scoop on something that happened when the bride and groom just started dating? A cute story about how excited they were about meeting, or going out with the other person, can be really fun and touching. This is a great opportunity to share something only you, or a handful of people, know about their budding love. 


There’s this one story, I’m going to embarrass Sasha a little bit... One time, after about a month of dating Marcel, Sasha comes home just on cloud nine. So happy, so full of joy. And she literally did this: she was prancing around my room saying ‘Marcel, Marcel, Marcel. Marcel Marcel, Marcel.’ Point is, she was so in love and so happy she couldn’t even control it.
— Sasha's Maid of Honor

4.  The speakers usually have notes. Not everyone has a full speech written out, but most have something. So feel free to have notes, even short ones. A word or two to remind you of your opening and the way you want to close. If you can, have your notes on something that doesn't crinkle or crunch so you can avoid the distracting the sound it can make in the microphone. 

5.  The speakers have not had too much to drink.  I hate to mention this one. It may seem obvious, but I thought I'd bring it up, because I have seen a little liquid courage spiral into a bit of a mess. So watch how much you drink. You know yourself, and if a bit of a reminder would help, you can always ask a friend to regulate, if you need it. You know it's an important moment, so I'll leave it at that. 

6.  The speakers toasts are personal, sentimental and flattering.  Sentimental is great, emotions are great. It shows you care. So if you tear up, don't worry. Remember it's okay to take a minute to compose yourself, if you need to. It may feel like an eternity to you but everyone else will be loving it.

Also, remember that not everyone attending always knows both the bride and groom well. It's likely they don't know them like you do. This is your chance to help their guests gain insight into who the bride and groom are. Make sure what you say is flattering and doesn't hurt anyone's future impression of them. Think about whether the story you are thinking of telling will be funny to everyone or just you and the boys (or girls). A good ribbing can be funny, but you need to know your audience. Make sure what you say is appropriate for everyone to hear - mothers, fathers, and grandmas included. 

As a general rule, stories about the relationship struggles of a person's youth and past relationship failures do not go over well. Nor do comments about the low points of the bride and grooms relationship, or how you "weren't too sure it would work out but here they are". This is a happy occasion and a place for celebration, so keep your content positive. 


I cannot think of a more amazing place to be tonight, than watching my little sister marry her best friend.
— Laurel's Sister, Carolee

7.  The speakers have a natural flow that leads to raised glasses and a toast to the couple.  Set yourself up to remember the "toast" part of your toast. It's surprisingly easy to forget. The best toasts tend to be those that have a good ender that segues into everyone raising their glasses. It's helpful if your last comment or story naturally celebrates them and their love. 


I just have to say, that from the moment she met John, it was so obvious that the two of them were going to get married, and start a beautiful blond little family together one day. It’s just been such a joy getting to know John, and his family, and I am so honored to be here today. So I’d like to raise a toast. To Katie and John, I wish you a lifetime of happiness. We are so honored to be a part of this, congratulations.
— Katie's Sister

To get more inspiration watch a variety of wedding films. To see ours, you can watch the one above, visit Our Films page and our blog. We have lots of great moments captured there for you to pull ideas from. 


A special thanks to Susannah, from Susannah Gill Photographic Storytelling, for sharing her beautiful photos with us. She and her husband are incredibly talented, not to mention super fun to work with. You can find more of their work here.  

Amanda & Darren’s Pebble Beach Wedding Film

Richard GroverComment

Amanda and Darren's wedding was held at a beautiful private estate in Monterey, California, overlooking the bay. Their wedding had that perfect balance of fun and relaxation, while maintaining a seemingly effortless sense of elegance and beauty. Everyone got ready on the property. This made for a very relaxed and intimate morning full of laughter and touching moments. When the guests arrived at this stunning venue they were blown away by the view. After a very emotional ceremony, and touching speeches, they all danced into the night. 

 

"Wow!!! These are so beautiful! Totally beyond anything I could have imagined. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being such a huge part of our day. 

Howwww am I supposed to get anything done? All I want to do is watch these videos. I want to hear my sister's voice and see myself dancing with my dad and listen to Lori pour blessings over us both. It is so amazing how moving this film is and how awesome to have the ceremony and speeches captured forever. Thank you so much for everything!"

~Amanda

 

Venue:  Private Estate in Pebble Beach, California | Coordinator:  Allison, Engaged and Inspired | Photography:  Jihan Cerda Photography | Videography:  Ric & Rose from Grover Films | Flowers:  Seascape Flowers | DJ: Lukas | Catering:  Paradise Catering