Favorite Wedding Toasts

by Scott Johnson

Look, we get it—there’s a lot that goes into planning a wedding. Venue, flowers, dress, shoes, suits, seating arrangements, vows—you name it. It’s a tough, tough job having to plan all of this out—which is why wedding planners exist—but what about the maid of honor, best man or parent of the bride or groom who has to dig deep into their souls and find something that speaks to the character of their friend. That is a tough job—believe me, I had to give the toast for the founder of Best Made Videos.

I mean, if only they knew how hard it was to write a speech that somehow captured both heart and humor, then maybe just maybe, they’d understand the sheer amount of pressure we face in the months leading up to the wedding. What if it isn’t funny? What if it’s too mean-spirited? What if they cry too much? What if I cry too much?

Well, we can’t write your speech for you, but we can give you some tips we just picked up from The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Bridesand Wedding Crashers for good measure. First of all, this one is from Wedding Crashers—always, always, always come from the heart. Don’t try to be too funny—humor is absolutely important—but you don’t want to be too harsh. If in doubt, simply tell a story you have of the couple and how it showed they were meant to be. Other helpful hints include acknowledging the guests, talking about your connection, being positive and staying away from alcohol for your own sake and that of who you’re toasting.

You wouldn’t believe how many toasts we’ve heard, but we’ve somehow managed to whittle down our huge backlog to just three. So let’s check them out—oh, and prep the tissues.

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Veldee Wedding, 07/31/17, DeLille Cellars

You probably wouldn’t ever expect one of your parents to absolutely kill it with their toasts—that job is often left up to your best man or maid of honor who know the even more embarrassing details you wouldn’t want your parents to know about—but the Veldee wedding is something entirely unique for us. Not only is it absolutely wonderful in that it is the bride’s mom getting to “roast” the groom, but it is honestly one of the sweetest and most touching speeches we’ve witnessed.

As Kat’s mom starts off, explaining she and her daughter were digging through some old “love letters,” they found one written by the groom himself—check Kat apologizing to him for the ambush—which she most certainly brought to be read aloud. But before digging into the juicy letter, her mom describes how the two met—with Kat coming home everyday in 7th grade saying “there’s this annoying boy that sits behind me in class.” But, as her mom noticed, she would always be smiling when she was “complaining.”

As the years went by, he would invite her to school dances, prom (where they ended up being queen and king) only to be distanced by college…which is where this letter comes in. After a year of being apart, the letter was sent, and in it he writes, “Dear my beautiful, loving girlfriend,” before being cut off by he who wrote it saying, “let’s just end it there.” Alas, her mom continued, “Only a few weeks left until I shall depart this land they call Oregon in search of pastures anew for the summer time. My likely destination, your heart.”

There’s tons more to it, but you probably get the picture!

Sanchez Wedding, 08/28/16, Historic 1625

If ever there was a tear-jerking toast, this would be up there with some of the best. Sometimes a sibling is the best friend you’ve always had, and they stand up there with you knowing not only yourself, but also your significant other. So often times they have not only a great insight on your character, but also your fiancé. As is the case with our next vows.

“This is really difficult,” the bride’s sister begins, “she is the baby of the family. We have eleven years between us. I’ve watched her, I’ve babysat her from diapers to now. I’ve been protective of her through the many years. I’ve watched her blossom from a young lady to this beautiful woman right here.”

She then starts in on her time with the groom, “Then she met Jesus, who worked his way to our hearts through our stomachs. I mean, the guy can cook, you know, and we love him. He fed us,” which was met with a huge applause. Who can blame her for mentioning that—it’s the easiest way to anybody’s hearts.

Briggs Wedding, 08/15/16, Historic 1625

There’s a running joke amongst most best friends that they—without any doubt whatsoever—wish for their future children to be married and then they’d be in-laws. Very rarely does this actually happen—but we happened to be so lucky as to film the wedding of such an occasion. As the two moms start out their speech, they announce that this has actually been “25 years in the making, and we did it!” They then joke about how they think their kids thought this was simply their own natural chemistry, but they take all the credit for themselves.”

The father of the bride comes up next, joking about how he didn’t want to be surprised by any of his daughter’s suitors, so he “started the vetting process early. Basically, about birth, ok. There’s things you need to know: background checks, credit reports, internet search history, text messages. That’s not the important stuff, I wanted to know how long for Joey to be potty trained, ok. I needed to know if he shared his toys well with others. Did he talk back to his mom? He passed with flying colors.”

I mean, what are the odds. Take back what I said earlier about parents not knowing everything. They know somethings.

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Was your toast at the wedding particularly special? Did it reduce the room to tears or make the double over laughing? Let us know below!

Favorite Drone Wedding Videos

by Scott Johnson

Technology is getting pretty wild these days, especially drones. For a while, they were commonly associated with people doing stupid things with them—like the guy who flew one into the Space Needle—but now they’re being incorporated by cinematographers and videographers (like Best Made Videos) to add even more ways to shoot your wedding day. Though it isn’t cheap—some services charge several thousand dollars per wedding due to tech costs, the need for a trained pilot, and all the FAA regulations—it is becoming increasingly more accessible for a lower fee.

CNBC published an article in October digging into these new high tech weddings which include digital mapping, augmented reality photo booths, and other cutting edge technology to add an extra-geeky flair to your ceremony. And to think, all of this has become a reality within this century alone. What a time to be alive.

We here at Best Made Videos like to be with the times and have on staff our very own drone pilot, so here are some of our favorite drone-shot weddings!

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Salama Wedding, 05/29/17, Fairmont Olympic Hotel

From the opening minutes of the video it’s easy to tell the amazing benefits of drone photography as ours soars across the Sound towards the Ferris Wheel down on the piers. Before drones, you’d have to hire a helicopter to do this sort of thing, but with the advancements in technology, it’s so easy and adds such a cinematic feel to just about any video. Later on, a bird’s eye view of the the breathtaking St. Mary’s Coptic Orthodox Church in Seattle, will leave you stunned as it rises over its towering domes.

Moriarty Wedding, 08/19/17, Four Seasons Hotel

Just like the Salama wedding, the Moriarty’s video opens with a stunning shot of the city with the drone flying in over the water. For those who call Seattle home, this is an iconic shot. For those who love their home, this might just be the best way to open the video, especially if it’s the city where the bride and groom met. Using drones in the city is tricky, but here it shows the beauty and size of the city before it settles in on something a little more intimate.

Apigo Wedding, 08/27/16, Des Moines Yacht Club

Sweeping shots of beaches filled with driftwood and choppy water on a typical grey Pacific Northwest day opens up the Apigo Wedding out in Des Moines. Like the other videos, and in movies themselves, it helps serve as an establishing shot. You know exactly where it is, and it’s so beautiful to watch. Later on, as the wedding party poses for photos, the drone soars over for a high angle shot that wouldn’t have been possible with something like a helicopter. Drone shots like this are excellent reminders of ways to get massive wedding parties all into one shot while still looking sleek and formal.

Get Hitched, Give Hope - Highlight Video

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As drones become more accessible to more people, instead of just a rich techie’s hobby, it’s important to weigh the benefits of using one to enhance your wedding day. Here at Best Made Videos, we offer a drone package with a minimum of 2 hours at a rate of $200 per. For more information, please contact us directly for inquiries, if not let us know if and how you used drones to upgrade your own wedding!

Takisaki Wedding Video

Music licensed from –
The Music Bed – themusicbed.com

“Awwwww yay!! We love it! Thank youuuu so so much!! :)”

There’s something so quaint and fairy tale-like about one of our favorite wedding venues, Maroni Meadows. Located just outside of Snohomish and the tiny town of Cathcart, the five-acre venue can accommodate as many as two-hundred people and is ready to handle volleyball, bocce and a slew of other fun games and events. We just like it because how idyllic it feels, especially after driving out of the madness that is downtown Seattle.

For Julia and Kevin, like many others, it was the spot they wanted for their wedding—with their unique “island-on-the-pond” altar—and we can do nothing but agree. A beautiful July day—though in the midst of the forest it is hard to tell the sun was shining—started with high spirits, especially after Kevin received a Samurai Darth Vader! Smiles and laughs were abound as the bride and groom got ready with their closest friends and family, sharing drinks and coffee to get the day off to a joyous start. Their first look soon followed with the two completely isolated on a little wooden walkway with the forest behind them. It was touching and sweet that both of them just glowed with smiles.

The ceremony, with a sign declaring “pick a seat, not a side,” was a beautiful culmination of these two’s story with family there to celebrate both of them—not just who they know. We love venues and weddings that gut the age-old tradition of sitting on the respective side—after all, everyone will be family now. The bridesmaids, adorned in shades of purple, looked elegant across from the groomsmen without jackets or vests.

Julia’s vows, which were ranked among our absolute favorites just a few weeks ago, make us emotional every time we hear them. Reciting everything she loves about her groom—which is, well, everything about him—she completely bares her soul, making it absolutely impossible to not feel the same way. Kevin responds with some embarrassingly cute stories and moment’s that cement the two’s relationship and guarantees their success and happiness.

Following the ceremony, document signing followed while the rest of the guests made their way to the bar. Joining the rest of the party, the bride and groom posed for photos and sliced their adorable cake topped with lego avatars. Dancing followed, with twinkling lights strewn across the rooftops to illuminate the dance floor. Soon everyone else joined in for some of the best dancing we’ve ever witnessed. Very rarely do we see this talented of breakdancing, so be sure to watch to the end of the video to glimpse some talented footwork!

As the sun went down, fire pits were started for, you guessed it, s’mores! But, alas, the sun did go down and the night had to end. We want to wish nothing but happiness and joy to Kevin and Julia, it was an honor being able to do the video at your wedding.

– Scott Johnson

Venue – Maroni Meadows

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Favorite Wedding Venues Part 2

By Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Venues Part 2:

Welcome back everyone for the second half of our Favorite Venues article! Yesterday, we introduced you to the topic of wedding venues and just how important it is to find the perfect location for yourself and your guests. As all of us know in the Pacific Northwest, the month you pick your wedding to be is an especially tough choice—particularly if you’re hosting it outside—and even then a sunny July day could end up in rain clouds at the flip of a switch.

Don’t let that rain on your parade, though, because we’re here to give you some more of our favorites that might just influence you to do something extra special for your big day. Let’s finish it off!

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Novelty Hill—Januik Winery, Woodinville, Wa

If you’re not big on cities or churches, heading out to Washington’s very own “wine country” can lead you to any one of the dozens of vineyards that produce delectable wine all year round. But for us, Novelty Hill Januik Winery is our favorite. Promising “modern, intimate wedding celebrations,” the venue offers solitude and relaxation for the bride and groom after tying the knot and then plenty of space and games for the guests. Their Tree House serves as the Bride’s preparation room while the Cellar Room can be used for the document signing or the rehearsal dinner for up to 26 guests. It also can serve as the prep room for the men to get ready before the ceremony.

Their dinner menu is something else, however, as it promises everything from fresh oysters to Thai Style Meatballs, a Croque Madame, Porchetta, Pasta, Pizza, Albacore and more! The Ko Wedding, recognized from our Favorite Recipients Video, shows just how sleek and contemporary the estate really is. Beautiful architecture married with natural beauty of the region as seen in the Bolen video, is a truly rare combination—but those always make the best marriages, don’t they?

Historic 1625, Tacoma Wa

About 45 minutes south of Seattle, Tacoma has recently become one of the more favorable cities of the Pacific Northwest considering the skyrocketing prices for just a studio apartment on Capitol Hill. But on top of that, the Historic 1625 remains one of the best wedding venues in the city. The event space, which has seen a massive remodel, is built with slate floors, barrel-vaulted ceilings, and “dramatic lighting” to make for a wholly unforgettable experience even if you’re just there as a guest.

With the ability to accommodate as many as 350 guests, the gorgeous venue will supply all of the chairs and tables needed along with free onsite parking for guests, though it’s only just a few minutes away from downtown. Additional amenities include changing rooms for the bride and groom’s parties and air conditioning and heat depending on the time of year.

The Briggs and Sanchez weddings showcase how classy and unique the space it. At a glance, it looks like an old factory you’d pass by and not even peak in its big bay window—but if you did you would find an astonishingly beautiful interior that shows a real sophistication.

Saint Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, Seattle Wa

While it may be a little difficult to have your own wedding here if you aren’t a member of the Greek Orthodox Church, Saint Demetrios is nonetheless one of our favorite venues. We’ve featured the weddings held here before—primarily because it is such a unique venue and culture to witness firsthand--but it has officially earned its spot on a list!

According to their site, “Marriage is a ‘mystery’ that involves human love and divine love, the very sign and image of God’s presence with humanity.” It is a deeply spiritual connection that not everyone shares, but for those that do then this is absolutely the place to make it official.

However, not just anybody can get married here. Those who wish to wed there must not only be members of the church, but also be in “good standing,” have kept up to date on their pledges, and they are also required to complete a program of Pre-Marital Counseling, which is extremely common in regards to religious marriages.

The Tsoulouhas wedding beautifully demonstrates the majesty of the church, especially the painted icons that encompass the interior. Even the ceremony itself is a moving, spiritual experience with the melodic chantings and fascinating proceedings. The Fotopoulos wedding gives an idea of just how gorgeous the exterior of the building is with its lined bricks of alternating colors and mosaics all around the central nave.

Monte Cristo Ballroom, Everett Wa

Every girl deserves to go to the ball, or at least says Jim Carrey in Yes Man, so why not pick your big day to be at an actual ballroom. The Monte Cristo, which proclaims to be the “most all-inclusive wedding venue” in Washington, delivers on that proclamation as “Approximately 82% of what you need for your Wedding is provided in-house.” Promising to save you not only time, but more importantly money, there is an almost overwhelming amount of options to be decided upon.

You will receive private tours and tastings, access to wedding planners, a DJ, Butler, an entire culinary staff and just about the best service you’ll ever receive. The towering Foyer and Mezzanine, where your wedding and dancing will be held, is astonishing. While the elegant Ballroom gives a royal feel for your entire gusts with simply stunning interior design. Weddings like the McLaughlin’s are a marvel to watch, especially with the ceremony in front of one of the coolest old fireplaces we’ve ever seen!

It’s no surprise, as you’ll see in both the McLaughlin and McDonald weddings, that at the end of the day—the ballroom really is the best for dancing the night away. It rightfully earns its name with just a single look.

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That’s it, folks! While we could go on and on about all of the gorgeous venues around the state, we just wanted to give you a little flavor of what’s out there! Let us know if you got married at any of them below!

Favorite Wedding Venues Part 1

by Scott Johnson

Favorite Wedding Venues Part 1:

One of the best things about getting to film dozens of weddings per year is being able to visit the far corners of the beautiful state of Washington–as well as others–and witness all of the many kinds of wedding venues clients have chosen for their big day.

From lavish hotels to tranquil forests and idyllic orchards to ritzy golf courses, there is an almost overwhelming amount of venues we have shot at. Ultimately, the site of your wedding is one of the most crucial decisions you have to make in the wedding planning process. After all, venues can book up years in advance, so be sure to double and triple check right now if you already have places and dates in mind!

A recent article from Weddingwire does offer some helpful advice on why choosing a hotel is one of the best decisions you can make for your venue. For example, depending on the hotels in question, most will have different event spaces to hold your ceremony and reception. In addition, most hotels that offer wedding accommodations will also have a wedding planner on staff and you’ll be able to take care of just about everything all at once on-site. Most importantly--it provides convenience. You, your guests, and the wedding will all be located within the same building, preventing the need to worry about transportation to and from the ceremony.

You also don’t have to worry about your guests getting home safely

As always, this got us thinking: what have been our favorite venues over the past few years? Well we’ve boiled them down to our seven favorites and are splitting them up into a double feature!! The first set is below--and be sure to check out the rest tomorrow!

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The Edgewater House, Olalla WA

Just north of Gig Harbor, The Edgewater House is an absolute delight. Right on the waterfront, with the altar peaking across the bay, there simply is no beating this venue for a summer wedding. Providing staff and service that always exceeds expectations, the venue will do just about anything in its power to ensure your perfect day. From a greeting service, parking attendants, a shuttle service to the parking lot, and enough tables and chairs for over 200 people, there’s simply no way you can be disappointed by the amenities and customer service.

For those with money they’re just aching to get rid of, you can even arrive by seaplane, helicopter or boat and be greeted by champaign! Bonfires, s’mores packages and more are also available, though showing up to your wedding by seaplane sounds pretty freaking rad. Depending on the weather, you can even request your own firework show for your guests to view from the beach below!

We’ve shot several weddings there, but the Duprel and Staggs weddings both highlight just how gorgeous the venue really is. Both weddings, which were massive in size, had more than enough space to dance and party into the golden hours of the evening. The scenic location also offers endless spots to do stunning photoshoots and poses against a variety of backdrops. There’s just so much to love about this place!

The Golf Club at Newcastle, Newcastle WA

You don’t need to be Tiger Woods or Phil Mickelson to enjoy getting married at the utterly scenic and undeniably breathtaking Golf Club at Newcastle. Sure it might be all the way up on a hill, but one look at the view and you’ll realize it was all worth it. With a panoramic view that sweeps all across the region, encompassing Seattle, Lake Washington, and the majestic Olympics way out in the distance, it’s worth it alone just to drive up to see it for yourself.

But for your big day, the staff is ready to...caddy...to your needs with multiple settings for the ceremony, outdoor patios (with heaters for those chilly evenings) and even a Scottish bagpiper! Bridal suites are also available to those who want to get ready on site--and they even provide a Bridal Attendant to guarantee your complete satisfaction.

While the Schroder wedding is one of the most stunning weddings we’ve shot, the proposal of Connor and Addie also showcases much of what makes the Golf Club so darn spectacular. We just love the views so much, and even the interiors are as formidably beautiful. It’s certainly a hole-in-one in our books!

The Arctic Club, Seattle WA

Don’t be fooled by the name, you won’t be taking any polar bear plunges or chilling out on blocks of ice as this venue. Rather, the Arctic Club is one of Seattle’s finest hotels and boasts an exceptionally gorgeous event space called the Northern Lights Dome Room with an unforgettable ceiling that rivals ones you’d find in Europe. Formally a social club for men returning from the Yukon Gold Rush, the building is now part of the National Register of Historic Places!

Able to host up to 320 guests, the Arctic Club comes ready with a full china service, dance floors, silver service, and you even get a complimentary night’s stay if you book your wedding there! Also available is valet parking, custom decorations, floral arrangements and more. Plus, you get to pick from a prepared list of vendors and musicians to perform! To top it all off, their catering team is prepared to serve anything from a traditional dinner with menus to a buffet. Just one look at their menu–which includes such mouthwatering options as Scallops Nage, roasted pork, chicken, or sirloin, and even a “late night snack” of kobe beef sliders–will make your stomach growl.

The Cone wedding, back in September of 2016, showcases the immenseness of the dome and the sheer size of the event space. Speckled with gold and white, nothing says “royalty” like the literally-dazzling wallpaper seen during the photoshoots. If you want a luxurious wedding, you really can’t go wrong with the Arctic Club.

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That’s it for today! Do check back in later this week to find out even more of our favorite venues including a church and a winery!