We met videographers Laura and Alan of This Modern Revelry at the brilliant Un-Wedding Show and were blown away by their wedding films. They are so vibrant and full of energy – and once they showed us the incredible film they’d made of their own honeymoon, we realised we needed to feature them right here on the Patchwork blog.
Laura and Alan started This Modern Revelry after a friend’s wedding – their friends hadn’t found a videographer they loved and asked them if they’d help capture the memories. Laura says they are a ridiculously fun couple and deserved a super fun and cool, modern film. And that’s where it all started! That was in 2016 and it all took off so quickly for the couple because they produce something totally different from traditional films – within 6 months they’d both quit their jobs and were working together full time on making these incredible wedding films.
We wanted to know all about this California road-trip we’d seen brought to life in their gorgeous film. Watch it now, then read on!:
So whereabouts exactly did you go on honeymoon?
We flew to San Francisco and road tripped our way through California and Nevada. We hit up San Francisco, Monterey, Carmel by the Sea, Santa Cruz, Big Sur, Yosemite, Death Valley, Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Downtown LA and Santa Monica – in three weeks.
What was it that you wanted from your honeymoon. Were you looking for adventure or relaxation?
It’s really hard to get us to sit still on holiday and I think out of the entire three weeks there was only one day where we sat by the pool and just relaxed (that was at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, literally one of the best places ever). It’s safe to say we definitely didn’t get much relaxation but that’s kind of how we like it – we drove through sand dunes, valleys, forests and over mountains – we saw redwoods, visited Alcatraz at night, walked along beaches, pushed ourselves to the limit hiking in Yosemite, flew in a helicopter through the Grand Canyon, ate the most ridiculous amount of amazing food and so much more.
How did you go about planning your epic trip?
We planned it all ourselves – although we did get a lot of help from Katy @ChadwellTravelled who is a travel advisor at Century Travel, based in Austin and one of my best friends. We knew the kind of route we wanted to take and a few stops along the way, but Katy gave us awesome tips – where to stay, where to eat and she called up all of the hotels on our route before we travelled and wangled us some awesome gifts and upgrades along the way and it was so much fun to be congratulated when we checked in!
Why did you decide to film your honeymoon?
As we’re videographers it was kind of a no-brainer – but you know what? It’s so important for everyone to capture these life moments. We see it all the time, how crucial it is to be able to see and remember the best time ever, whether that’s at your wedding, your honeymoon or just your life in general. Hell, even just a day trip to the beach.
We loved filming it, although we’re a bit sad that we were lazy over the first few days while we were in San Francisco, so you’ll see there’s not much from that part of the trip – but once we got into the swing of it we really enjoyed it! The only difficulty really is getting shots of us both together! You just have to find a place to prop the camera, or stick it on a tripod (the Joby Gorillapod is great for this – hello wedding gift list!) and make sure you get something of the two of you.
Any top tips for couples if they want to try and film theirs?
1. Don’t care about what anyone else thinks. If they give you a sideways look when you’re both running around and living your best life – whatever – you’ll LITERALLY never see them again in your life.
2. If you want to do it – commit. I don’t mean film so much that you’re not enjoying yourself but push yourself to get the camera out and just take short clips – that’s exactly what we do!
3. The best camera is the one you have with you – don’t feel the need to rush out and buy something super fancy. The majority of the shots you see in our film were shot on the cameras we shoot weddings on BUT there are a fair few shots taken on a little point and shoot and iPhone too!
What were your honeymoon highlights?
I don’t even know where to start with this one – there were so many! That’s kinda the awesome thing about this trip – every day was totally different, even from the climate to the landscape, food and vibes.
Some of the wildlife experiences were super exciting – we saw Sea Otters in Monterey which made me squeal. They were so cute I could have watched them all day long. Also when we were driving through Big Sur we decided to stop and walk down to a cute cove. As we got there it was sunset and some dolphins swam on by. That was pretty amazing.
Death Valley was the most mind-blowing place, the Neon Boneyard in Vegas was super cool and some of the hotels we stayed at were AMAZING (I’m talking Palihouse Santa Monica and the Ace Hotel Palm Springs).
For us getting to the top of Yosemite Falls was 100% worth the 6 hour climb. And when I say climb I mean CLIMB. It pushed us both to our limit (which isn’t saying much, we’re not fit AT ALL) but hitting the top was the best feeling ever.
Top 5 places to visit in California?
Sorry – I definitely couldn’t keep it to 5 so 6 places have crept in – although technically Vegas is Nevada so…
San Francisco was great full stop. Cool city, awesome vibes and great food. We biked the Golden Gate bridge, visited Muir Woods (go early you won’t regret it), took the boat to Alcatraz at night, wandered around the Mission District and visited the Japanese Tea Garden. Oh and the open top bus rides in SF are AMAZING – they have live guides who are hilarious and it was well worth the money as it can be a hard city to get around without using Uber after Uber.
Santa Cruz and Monterey were really cute stops and the aquarium in Monterey is so great! The boardwalk in Santa Cruz was so retro cool, if you’re into bright colours, kitschy vibes and old school arcades then you’ll love it.
Death Valley was so not like anywhere either of us have ever been. Driving through there was like being on a film set non-stop. (The food was not great though so be warned). Also, Racetrack Playa was totally worth the treacherous drive!
Las Vegas – Neon Boneyard was a must see and Lago in the Bellagio served up one of the most delicious dinners of our entire trip! We loved Las Vegas so much and the hotels were so fun to explore.
Palm Springs – our vibe 100%. Everything was ridiculously gorgeous and the Ace Hotel there was just a freaking dream. If you’ve got any love for mid century modern aesthetics this place is a dream.
LA – Santa Monica was our favourite. We skateboarded down the boardwalk and ate awesome Mexican food. The Griffith Observatory was super cool too but it was closed the day we visited – another reason to go back! Top tip for anyone planning a honeymoon – always check what days things are open! We loved the kitschy Santa Cruz boardwalk and were so lucky because the day after we visited it was closed.
Honestly – we hear people say so often they would never do the same trip twice – and normally that would be the case for us too. This trip is different though, there is SO much to see and do – we’d totally do it all over again in a heartbeat!
Thanks Laura & Alan! If this has inspired you to go on your own US honeymoon, start with our Route 66, San Francisco or Las Vegas honeymoon fund templates. Or create your own trip entirely from scratch!
And if you haven’t checked out This Modern Revelry’s films yet, stop what you’re doing and go watch.