Our wedding video experience was one of the easiest parts of the wedding process, and the one we are still most happy about (turns out, flowers last a day, but a video lasts a lifetime!). Haha. Our process began with a meeting with John who explained all of the options and gave us personalized recommendations. We chose to do a “same-day edit” (which we highly recommend) so John and his team Kevin, Chris, and Fernando interviewed us before the wedding and prepared some video of my wife and I (including some really cool done videos). The day of the wedding they were inconspicuous, but present. They managed to film the wedding, edit it, and combine it with the footage they previously had so that during the reception, we could show our guests the video–which was a really cool thing and one that our guests still bring up. The team was also very flexible in terms of allowing us to be a part of the process when we wanted, but using their expertise when we didn’t know what we were talking about (which was quite often!). Bottom line — wedding planning is a headache, but Smiling Toad is a vendor that is easy to work with and one that produces a great product and something that we’ll have forever.
We loved our wedding trailer and full length feature. Jon and his team were so kind, thoughtful, and easy to work with. They have an incredible price point for high quality work (I cried watching our trailer!) and we never felt overwhelmed by their presence, which allowed us to truly enjoy our wedding day! Highly recommend!
Smiling Toad provided us the most amazing short, trailer, and feature wedding film for which we could have asked. They crafted the most amazing three films (with the best music!) possible for us. I love music and gave a couple of notes but…being honest, expected to be disappointed in the music because I’m picky. And yet, they hit it out of the park! They did an incredible job, made us all cry when watching the videos, and we truly feel that our best wedding decision was getting a videographer in general–and hiring Smiling Toad. :)
I asked for a “Breakfast Club” themed wedding video. And they delivered. Perfectly. And it was still the classy tasteful high production video memory that my wife was looking for. And really that is all you need to know about why to hire John and the Smiling Toad team. Best decision ever.
But perhaps you want a bit more of the backstory…
My wife was pretty gung-ho about having a wedding video. As was our coordinator. I was a bit more meh. I mean, my feeling was always….boooooooring who would want to watch that again and again. So I jokingly started demanding something that I would like a wedding video that I would actually want to watch over and over again. You know, like the Breakfast Club (perhaps one of the greatest movies ever). So they secretly coordinated with the Smiling Toad team to weave in some Breakfast club references into the final video.
The team was great during the day — they were there, but you hardly noticed them. And when we watched the video we couldn’t believe how perfectly they were able to capture all the moments — big and small — throughout the day.
Turns out when you’re getting married the whole day is a blur and people are like I heard it was a ruckus and then they ask you to describe the ruckus. Well if you’ve got a video you can then relive the ruckus and all it’s glory. So now I’m pro wedding video. And the best part is you get to see that all of your friends how you want to see them. Enjoying the party. Dancing really poorly. Enjoying a cocktail or two. Celebrating and having a great time.
Does that answer your question?
The Breakfast Club
Amazing company that produced an amazing video for our wedding! John (owner) was great to work with throughout the whole planning process. They were willing to come down to the kankakee area to shoot our wedding and they stayed with us the entire time. Since we were far from their studio, John was willing to make time to have a phone conversation to discuss what we wanted in our video. Our wededing was in August and we got back our videos in a reasonable amount of time (~5 weeks). The highlight and trailer for our wedding was perfect and we could not be happier with the final product!!!
Above and beyond in every aspect. Highest level of attention to detail based on our preferences, fun to work with, patient with explaining the process to newbies with video. The product was heartwarming and perfect. Excited to have these films for the rest of my life. The most special way to capture the wedding day and our family and friends being all together celebrating!
After many hours of sifting through vendors to hopefully find the perfect videographer, we found Smiling Toad and hoped we made the right choice. There were only so many videos from all the vendors we could watch and there was something about this company that really caught my attention. From the beginning, John was very responsive and helpful with all questions and his team was very professional the day of the wedding. I still had NO idea how this video would all turn out…and WOW!! There were so many little details put into the video that just made it that much more special. We loved how they incorporated the ceremony and special moments during it. I could go on and on about how much we loved everything about the work done here…trust me when I say they were fantastic! We also at first were skeptical about even doing a video but hands down made one of the best decisions for our wedding by doing so. Thank you to John and his team for capturing what was one of the best and most memorable days we will never forget! We can’t wait to watch this video over and over again and throughout our marriage. Thank you!!!
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.
First off, get a videographer for your wedding. It was one of the best decisions we’ve made. Secondly, go with Smiling Toad! My wife and I got married at Salvage One this March. Smiling Toad was the most accommodating, customizing, affordable, and professional videographers we had encountered. The process prior to the wedding was seamless. John at Smiling Toad was quick to answer all of our questions and offer great options for music to include in the trailer and highlight film. During the wedding, the two videographers were extremely professional and skillful in their craft. They were not intrusive or “in the way” at all. At one point, I asked if the videographers left already, but they were just doing an amazing job of blending into the crowd! John was extremely prompt in delivering our videos after our wedding. Watching these videos brought back all of the feelings and emotions that we experienced during the wedding and allowed us to see so many of the moments that we missed in the excitement of the day. The wedding was captured in the truest of forms and done in such a beautiful way. We have received so many amazing compliments from our friends and family about our videos. Thanks again, Smiling Toad, for being a part of such a memorable day and allowing us to feel like we are reliving our wedding every time we watch your videos!
Initially I was a bit on the fence about hiring a videographer since we had confidence that our photos would turn out great, but I am so happy now that we decided to work with Smiling Toad. We just got our films back (trailer and highlight) and it has given me so much joy to watch them over and over again. I was also able to share the videos with friends and family who could not be with us on our wedding day and they’ve all commented that it helped them experience it in a way they just couldn’t by looking at pictures. John was very easy to work with coordinating everything and was very patient with following up when I wasn’t always quick to respond. I really liked that he asked questions to get to know us beforehand to make sure that we were comfortable on the wedding day and also that the end product would fit our style. We had two photographers as well as the two videographers from Smiling Toad, but everything went very smoothly and I never felt too crowded or like anyone was in the way. Kevin and Sandy somehow were able to capture the intimate moments without us feeling like they were invading our privacy. Overall I would highly recommend Smiling Toad to any engaged couples considering a videographer for their wedding.