For some reason, having a videographer is not always considered a “must have” for a wedding the way a photographer is, but I completely disagree with this. When we were first planning our wedding, my husband and I kept getting told the day would fly by and be over in the blink of an eye (and that is so true! the whole day really does FLY by!), and it became extremely important to us that we have a videographer there, not only to capture our ceremony and reception, but also to be there with us while we were getting ready and during our “first look” to commemorate all of the little moments. For all of these reasons, having a videographer became one of the most important vendors of the day for us. When I first started researching Chicago videographers, I watched countless highlight films, and the ones I liked best kept being those from Smiling Toad – Not to mention they have rave reviews everywhere, so I felt confident booking a vendor that was trusted by so many other brides. If having a video of your wedding is something you care even remotely about and they are still available for your date, book Smiling Toad immediately. We booked two people from the Smiling Toad team to film our day, and over the course of our wedding day, I couldn’t even remember seeing them much. They stayed in the background capturing everything, which was perfect, considering I didn’t want to see big cameras and lights in my face every moment. After our wedding, the video that John (the owner, who is amazing!!) created for us was just perfect – it captured us and our story, which was exactly what we wanted, it was more than reasonable in pricing, and John and his team were just 5-star in every way: their demeanor, responsiveness, the process, and even the turnaround time – we were actually surprised to see the video as early as we did. What we most appreciated is that they were really focused on creating a superior end product; everything else was secondary to making sure that happened (and of course, to making sure we were happy throughout). With a lot of other wedding vendors you can get bogged down in all the details and it feels a little more nitpicky about the money – But with Smiling Toad, it’s all about what will enable them to get the footage they need to create their exceptional videos. Working with them (John, the owner especially) just felt so genuine; I felt like he truly cared about my wedding and the final product, and it really showed it in every way. Even the end video he provided had not only the wedding highlights reel (which was what we most wanted); they also edited portions from our wedding (getting ready with our bridal party, our “first look”, taking bridal party shots around the amazing city of Chicago, our ceremony, reception, speeches, and dancing) and set them to music, like mini chapters from a movie. It’s all so fun to watch! My husband and I were so happy that we booked a videographer because we never could have remembered every moment, and now we always can.