Film by: Maru Films

Photographer: Åsmund Holien Mo

Second shooter: Tone Tvedt

Location: Stavanger, Norway

Tell us about the Wedding Day

Lene and Russ decided on getting married in Stavanger, Norway. The place where Lene was born, grew up and where a lot of her family and friends live. However they themselves currently live in the States, where Russ’s roots lie, in the beautiful city of New York, the place where their relationship started…

But their love story already started in 2008 in South Africa, where Lene was representing Norway at the Miss World competition and Russ’s sister America. This is the first time they met, and already had an amazing connection. They separated their ways and continued with their lives. That was until Lene decided to go to New York on New Years Eve and contacted Russ. Ever since that day they have been together although not always physically, because they individually moved across the world several times. This long distance was very hard on the both of them but their strong love for each made them finally settle together in New York.

With their wedding back in Norway it was a great opportunity to get all their loved ones together and create an adventure for those coming over from all over the world. They decided to have a multi day wedding, hanging out with the guests on Thursday at a public concert (which they so much love doing). On Friday had did cruise through the Fjords on Friday to arrive on their wedding day on Saturday.

They both prepared in the Skagen Brygge Hotell in the harbour of Stavanger and had their best friends with them while they prepared for their big day. We decided to go to a very special location for their first look, with an amazing view of the mountains. The closer we got to the first look the the more nervous Russ became. So at the location he moved to the spot waiting for Lene to arrive. When they finally saw each other, they were so surprised and happy, it was such a beautiful moment.

After the first look we moved on to do the shoot on the same location, afterwards got on a boat to a small island for additional shoot time and finally onto a Natvigs Minde. This is a small island just outside the harbour of Stavanger, where they used to build boats. It has very characteristic old Norwegian buildings and was beautifully decorated. Because the weather was quite unpredictable, the ceremony was held inside a big white tent. Here they exchanged their very emotional and beautiful vows under the pouring rain. After that the reception, the dinner and the amazing party lasted until the early hours of the night.

What was your process like working with the couple leading up to the big day?

As they are living all the way in New York, we connected through skype. We always want to know a lot about our couples. So we have had a few conversations asking them a lot of stuff to get to know them and about possible locations to do a shoot. This way we can really create something very unique for the couple. At the same time we talked about our philosophy who we are and see if we have a very good connection.

In the end we will be there very close to them on such an important day in their lives, and they need to feel really comfortable around us. That way we can create our best work.

Talk us through filming this wedding

Filming this wedding was also an amazing experience for us. Lene and Russ are such an amazing couple, so kind, so considerate and they gave us the creative freedom. Their friends and family have the exact same mentality and it’s always great to be surrounded by such a vibe.

We really enjoyed doing the shoot, witnessing their vows, feeling every single emotion of it and being part of their party. These memories we will never forget.

Our films are about documenting the emotions, so we get really excited when the day is filled with it. The new environments also massively inspiring and puts our creativity to a higher level.

We also offer to shoot extra days, just to be able to do a shoot on a different location without interrupting the flow of the wedding day. Lene was really keen about shooting on top of the Preikestolen, which has an incredible view over the fjords.

We did this after the wedding, got up really early, hiked up the mountain, in the rain,  for over 2 hours. When we almost reached the top the sun was shining. But when we finally reached the top a big cloud came over and it started to rain massively, and unfortunately were not able to shoot the things we had planned. But we were able to film parts of them hiking up the mountain, as this is also something they really love doing. With our films we always try to go above and beyond to create the most engaging story.

When getting back to the drawing board and starting the post processing, we look into how we can tell the story in the best way possible. And finding the perfect synergy between music, environment, people and emotions.

How involved were the couple in the video?

Lene and Russ were both very involved in the video, and that also shows in the film. Like mentioned above, going up the mountain to do a shoot, not everybody wants to do that. But these are the things we really love to do.

Maru Films

What’s important to you to make sure you capture the feeling of the day?

We are not the videographer to just document the day, and make a straight film and that’s it. It’s our philosophy to capture and transfer the feelings of the day. We want the couple to look back at this video in 10 – 20 years and get that same feeling back, every time they watch it. Meaning that we have to make timeless films with real engaging stories.

How did you become a wedding filmmaker?

We are a husband and wife cinematography team living in Amsterdam. We have been together for over 12 years. Through our travels we felt the need to starting to document them through photo’s and video’s.

In 2010 we moved to Japan and started to video’s of car events and got invited to film events from big car manufacturers.

Then in the Netherlands in 2012 our friend asked us to to film their wedding, because they liked our travel and car video’s so much. To which we looked at each other and said, yes why not? Ever since we have been hooked, working on many weddings and commercial projects.

What advice would you give someone else wanting to become a wedding filmmaker?

Wedding filmmaking is a lot of work, but being able to create something so special for a couple is so rewarding. That’s what you want to do it for. But the best thing to do is, second shoot with other videographers, practice, practice and practice. Start shooting weddings yourself and be very critical.

Don’t care too much about the gear, because story is the most important element in a wedding film. Focus on that.

What video kit do you use?

We film with the Sony a7s, a very small and nimble camera which packs a proper punch. We love the fact that the camera is so small because it does not intimidate people and it’s great for travelling, while the quality is outstanding.

We do a lot of destination weddings and we are constantly looking at how we can make our gear more compact and lighter. Also removing tools we don’t need to tell a good story.

What are your social media handles?

Website: http://marufilms.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marufilms/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/marufilms/

Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/marufilms

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCQXIuk7sgdEC8VV1xcRzz0Q

What are the couples social media handles?

Instragram Bride: @leneegeli