Wedding Season 2019 - That's a Wrap!
Updated: Oct 25, 2019
2019 has been a really big year for Oleta Lane Films.
My goal at the beginning of the year was to film ten weddings. That might not seem like a lot, but when I’m essentially a one-woman team, it is. I do everything for my business, from purchasing to marketing to filming to editing to delivering to meeting with clients. I don’t have an assistant!
In 2018, my first full wedding season, I filmed six weddings. Not bad for just getting my name on the board. Two of them were unpaid. One of them my hair almost got set on fire. But I still did it. So, my next goal, for my 2019 wedding season, was to up it to ten weddings. There were a lot of nights of anxiety and wondering if I could do it and wondering if it was worth it or if I should just give up. Lots and lots of reassuring and reaffirming words from my husband and my family and my friends.
The year started out promising! I had five weddings booked, so almost to my number from 2018. I had one scheduled for April, one for May, two for June, and one for August. As the year began, I was invited to film a styled elopement in the Cascade Mountains. I got frostnip on my toes (it took almost four months for me to get feeling back into them!), but it was worth it.
I receive SO MANY inquiries, you guys. So many emails of couples looking for a videographer. I would say I get booked every one out of maybe thirty emails. I totally understand couples are shopping around – I got married too, I remember the process – but it is pretty deflating to get passed over again and again, which actually makes landing a booking all the sweeter.
In the spring I booked two more weddings, one in July and one in September, which took me up to seven! Officially surpassing my 2018 number! I was stoked, but I really, really wanted to hit ten at this point. It was all I could think about.
In the spring, I received an inquiry for another wedding in July. The couple was nice and we chatted back and forth a bit and then I didn’t hear from them. No big. It happens. But then in July, I received a frantic email from the same couple saying that they’d forgotten to actually book a videographer and was I available?? For their wedding? IN FOUR DAYS! My husband and two of our best friends had made plans to go see a show at The Gorge that weekend, but the show was Saturday night and the wedding was Sunday. And it was on the way home. It sort of felt like, meant to be. I sent my husband home to Seattle with our friends and I took the car to the wedding in Snoqualmie.
So that was EIGHT! By the end of July, I had booked eight weddings. In August, I got another e-mail from a couple who were hunting for the “goldilocks of videographers”. I spoke with them briefly on the phone in August and suddenly found myself with my ninth wedding booked! I WAS SO EXCITED! I was only one away from achieving my 2019 goal!
I received another e-mail shortly thereafter of another fairly last-minute inquiry – this one for Labor Day weekend. The twist here was that my husband and I were having some of our closest friends over that weekend, including one of my absolute best friends, my own maid of honor, who would be driving three hours to visit. The other twist here is that my husband and I are moving to Australia in November, so this was very much a last hurrah with our friends, and booking this wedding would mean that I would miss about eight hours with my friends
You guys I lost sleep over this one. Do I book the wedding and hit my goal? Or do I pass on the wedding so I can spend time with my friends before we leave? Even just typing this out reminds me of how torn I was on the situation. In the end, my husband reminded me that my friends were way more important, and that I would really regret giving up this time with them. I knew he was right, and I truly felt the same way, but IT WAS REALLY HARD to turn that wedding down. I definitely cried.
My last wedding, number nine, was scheduled for September 21st. I had come to terms with it. I had ALMOST hit my goal, and I would just work harder next year. A week or so before the 21st, I got an e-mail from a mother-of-the-bride saying she had decided last minute that she wanted to add videography to her daughter’s wedding, and was I available?
The thing here was that this wedding was October 13th. This year, I began a new film series called Hello Baby! that follows pregnant families up through delivery and the newborn weeks. It’s turned out to be one of my favorite things to film, and it has really shown me that I’m in the right career field. I love everything about it. But the kicker is that my fourth and final birth had a due date of October 14th. Was I playing baby roulette by booking a wedding on the 13th when at the same time someone could be going into labor?
The wedding only wanted me there for six hours. What were the chances, right? Still, I wasn’t sure. I decided to ask the mother-of-the-bride where the wedding was. That would be my decision maker. The woman whose birth I’m filming will be delivering in Issaquah. If the wedding was close to Issaquah, I’d take it. If it was farther than thirty minutes away from Issaquah, I’d pass.
The wedding was in Issaquah. YAAAAS! I booked my tenth wedding! I did it! When I filmed that wedding, I had an assistant with me, a young lady who is also getting into wedding videography, and it was just the perfect way to end my wedding season. And my fourth mom didn’t go in to labor.
This year I was able to film ten weddings, do nine family photo shoots, and one architectural shoot. I'm definitely hoping to go twice as big next year!
THANK YOU to all of my amazing couples from 2019. It’s because you all have trusted me to capture hugely important moments in your life that I’ve been able to call this year a success. Below are some of my favorite photos from this year (just the wedding, families, and life side of things - baby photos will be a separate post), as well as my 2019 wedding highlight video..
We are moving our home base to Sydney, Australia for 2020, but I will still be filming and photographing weddings in the Pacific Northwest (opposite wedding seasons, baby!).
THANK YOU again to everyone – my husband, for literally *always* believing in me even when I’m crying on the couch into my cheese plate, my parents for reminding me that this is it – this IS what I’m meant to be doing, my closest friends for building me up and pouring me wine and being there for all-day texting conversations.
And thank you to my amazing couples and families from this year: Lisa and Nathan, Desiree, Matt, Jared, Erynn, Jamie and Richard, Anna and Nate, Dani and Patrick, Marisa and Drew, April and Graham, Haley and Linus, Cameron and Lena, Jamie and Ryan, Kelsey and Cody, Katie, Kevin, Morgan, and Hazel, Amanda, Mike and Maddie, Alyssa and Mark, Rose and Jesse, Kirsti and Josh, Katrina and Erik, and Kait and Derek.
Thank you to Jared, for being my second shooter. Thanks to Megan, for being my assistant at that last wedding! You guys, it seriously takes a village. I love you all! Here, enjoy some photos + videos, on me.
Bring it, 2020.