A Word With Love + Brain Films Wedding Videographer

It's no surprise that Courtney Arcese, a kind, genuine, passionate, and full-of-life kind of girl, is a wedding videographer. Founder of Love + Brain Films, Courtney, like my photographer Jake, quietly and nearly invisibly snuck around us all night, capturing every amazing moment like a fly on the wall. What sets Love + Brain's work apart, though, are their music video-esque wedding films that go above and beyond your average wedding video. Maybe that's why they call them digital heirlooms.

Before I dive into my Q&A with her, here's a look at our big day, captured by Courtney. You'll catch a glimpse of my wedding planner Jove, our amazing photographer/hair + makeup duo from Love + Wolves Co, my friend and cake-maker Alana, my awesome family and our amazing friends.

How did you get into filming weddings?

I started filming weddings after I tied the knot in 2012. I had previously produced independent travel video content, but after I got married (and loved the whole planning process and wedding industry) I quickly made the jump to wedding videography. Fortunately, I had a few friends tying the knot that year and they trusted me with capturing their big days. That gave me a crash course into what is needed for filming a wedding.

After I had a few films up my sleeve, I made a website and put myself out there! Networking and collaborating with other industry creatives has really been the key to my success, and it’s been a growing business ever since. We’re now a team of ten (eight videographers and two editors), filming weddings on both East + West coasts.

What inspired your approach to a music video-like format?

I think there is something super personal and private about ceremony vows between a couple and reception speeches from friends and family. In a social media world with excessive amounts of sharing, I believe keeping some IRL moments away from public domain is special.

I totally get wanting to show one of the biggest days in one’s life on Facebook and Instagram, but what if you don’t want the random person you went to high school with to know every word you vowed to your beloved that day? That’s where music video films are a perfect balance. You capture the day and all of its glory through a highlight of moments, but you leave the super personal stuff to the raw footage (of course it’s still important to have on camera! We hand that over in the raw footage). Besides, with so much content on platforms like Facebook, no one has the attention span for a video longer than 5 minutes. Wedding music videos are absolutely the way to go! ;)

What’s your biggest priority when you’re behind the lens?

Honest, candid moments. When a couple forgets that the photographer and videographer are even there filming, that is THE BEST. Seeing a couple interact naturally not only allows for the best kind of footage, it’s the most honest, which makes for a beautiful wedding film. But it doesn’t always work out that way, and that’s okay too. If we need to loosen an uptight couple with a few bad jokes to get smiles, we do what we need to do to encourage those candid laughs after the courtesy laugh happens.

What do you love most about this job?

The couples. "Seriously, how did we get so lucky?" is what I ask myself very often. As I’m editing the work of weddings from my team, I’m constantly blown away at the creativity and style of the couples that hire us. These unique people are picking us to capture their wedding love story and that’s quite a big responsibility. I love seeing the dresses our brides wear and the tablescapes they design with their planners. This job allows us to film people at their most happiest and best dressed; it’s difficult to not enjoy that opportunity every weekend.

What’s the most challenging/stressful part of the job?

Weddings are one of the most important days in a couple’s life. And that’s serious stuff. As fun and exciting as it is to travel around the U.S. and film people celebrating and having fun, it’s important that we’re taking this job seriously. Because we’re a bi-coastal team, wedding footage is being moved from coast to coast via “the cloud” (our editors and videographers live in different parts of the world). My biggest fear is loosing a couple’s footage after a videographer uploads it and is unable to re-download for our editing team. Thankfully, that has NEVER happened, but it is absolutely one of my biggest fears to be unable to deliver a wedding film. Fingers crossed this will never happen in the future too :)

I met Courtney (and almost all my wedding vendors, including Jove, Alana, and others) when she filmed my husband and I as a fake bride and groom in a styled wedding shoot. Here we are getting faux married nearly a year before our actual wedding.