Tianne & Yam Ki — The one person I love eating with the most


With some pret­ty hilar­i­ous door crash­ing games, three tea cer­e­monies, wardrobe changes, and a last-minute first look — all with­in a span of five hours — we had to be on top of our game and one step ahead of all the fun in order to make Tianne and Yam Ki’s same-day edit come togeth­er in a way that show­cased all the mag­ic of their day.

We first met Tianne and Yam Ki last Octo­ber. Although it’s some­thing we’re more used to now, they were the very first cou­ple that booked us before any­thing else (need­less to say, we were hon­oured). They flew in from Wash­ing­ton D.C. and told us that they were pret­ty set on hav­ing their recep­tion at the Bel­lvue Manor in Toron­to, but they didn’t have a date booked yet. They sim­ply knew they want­ed their wed­ding day to be in July, and asked what we had in terms of avail­abil­i­ty. We’re so lucky every­thing fell into place — with­in a few weeks, we were offi­cial­ly their wed­ding cin­e­matog­ra­phers, and from the small glimpse we got of their day from that first meet­ing, we knew theirs was going to be a very spe­cial wed­ding film.

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Because they live in D.C., we resort­ed to e-mail and Skype to get to know who Tianne and Yam Ki real­ly are, and over the course of a few months, we became expo­nen­tial­ly more excit­ed to tell their sto­ry.

What we found out: Tianne and Yam Ki are a fun-loving cou­ple who love to eat out and try restau­rants just as much as they like to cook up their own tasty cre­ations at home. They play per­fect­ly off each oth­er and are so much fun to be around. When they flew into Toron­to to shoot their How We Met shoot with us, they delight­ed us with sto­ries from ear­ly on in their rela­tion­ship — all of them hilar­i­ous, and near­ly all of them hap­pened on the week­end in which Yam Ki first met Tianne’s par­ents.

As we left Tianne’s par­ents’ home that day, we got a clear­er pic­ture of what sto­ry we want­ed to tell. From our very first meet­ing, they told us that Chi­nese tra­di­tion would play a huge part of their day, even though they con­sid­er them­selves to be more of a mod­ern Chi­nese cou­ple. In the weeks lead­ing up to their wed­ding, we knew that that  had to be the premise for their entire film — the tran­si­tion from tra­di­tion to mod­ern. We want­ed to show their fam­i­ly cel­e­brat­ing their union, and then progress into the begin­ning of their jour­ney togeth­er.

Chinese Wedding Games Chinese Wedding Games Chinese Wedding Games Tianne watching games on iPadTianne Toronto Chinese Wedding

How would we do this? We start with the theme of fam­i­ly — Yam Ki tells us of the first time he met Tianne’s par­ents. As their film moves into their actu­al wed­ding day, we estab­lish the idea of their rela­tion­ship as a jour­ney when Yam Ki tells us of the first time they met. We play this against tra­di­tion­al Chi­nese door-crashing games in which Yam Ki and his grooms­men must over­come a set of chal­lenges from Tianne’s brides­maids to gain entrance into her home and see her for the first time. As Yam Ki makes his vows “in front of their friends and fam­i­ly”, we see these very peo­ple at their tra­di­tion­al tea cer­e­monies — this is the point where we tran­si­tion into Tianne and Yam Ki’s new jour­ney togeth­er. She changes into her wed­ding dress for her cer­e­mo­ny, and we see the West­ern tra­di­tion come into play as she heads off for her first look. The film ends with a glimpse of just how charis­mat­ic and fun the two can be as they per­form their chore­o­graphed first dance togeth­er, fam­i­ly and friends in the back­ground.

Tea Ceremony Video Tea Ceremony Toronto Cinematography Tea Ceremony tyk-13

We had a basic out­line of this idea drawn up for their same-day edit, and when Yam Ki sent us a copy of his vows a few days before their wed­ding, we were so hap­py that they fit with our vision. We always say that half of a wed­ding day is what we plan, and half of it is what comes to be. We knew what sto­ry we want­ed to tell and planned as much as we could, but it was up to fate to let all the pieces fall into place per­fect­ly. Going into the day, we didn’t know we were going to do a first look — it’s some­thing that just came to be, and we had a com­plete­ly dif­fer­ent plan for how to end the film. But it hap­pened, and it was per­fect, and so we went with it. Because cin­e­matog­ra­phy was such an impor­tant part of pre­serv­ing their mem­o­ry, Tianne and Yam Ki were com­mit­ted to doing what­ev­er it took to make the best film pos­si­ble, and that gave us a lot of dif­fer­ent cre­ative pos­si­bil­i­ties and made the unplanned — like an impromp­tu first look — all the more mag­i­cal.

First Dance Choreographed

We’re so hap­py with how this one came togeth­er. While edit­ing dur­ing their recep­tion, we were so excit­ed with the way the sto­ry was shap­ing up that we just kept edit­ing away, and before we knew it, we had some­thing that was almost six-minutes long (we still wouldn’t be able find a frame to cut out of it if you asked us to, though)! So, give it a watch and, as always, let us know what you think!

  • KarenSin­dayen

    How do you guys do this in one day?! INCREDIBLE! I was at this wed­ding and when this video was shown there were no dry eyes at my table. You’ve weaved a beau­ti­ful nar­ra­tive and real­ly cap­tured the essence of these two and their rela­tion­ship. Bra­vo!

    • Thanks, Karen! It takes lots and lots of plan­ning lol One rea­son we love doing same-day edits is see­ing the reac­tions of 200+ guests at once — there usu­al­ly aren’t many dry eyes!

      Thanks for check­ing out our small cor­ner of the Inter­net!