Jessica Rotenberg Photography: Photos for Families Who Don’t Like Being Photographed

Dear Jess,

Having had my family photographed many times throughout the years, and feeling awkward every time, I was bought in the minute I read your tagline.  You mean it’s possible for these not to be awkward and dreaded?!?  Hellz yeah.

Then it came time to shoot this video and I saw that it was actually legit.  Not a session, not staged, not uncomfortable, and everyone was happy.  Just doing their normal Sunday thing.  What did we love most?

  • That there were three dogs and two guinea pigs involved.  We love humans, but we really love us some cute animals.
  • Everyone was so completely comfortable.  From what they wore, to what they did.
  • YOUR. PICTURES.  I loved so much seeing the final images from that morning.

Plus, I must admit I’m kinda a fan of the final video :)


Freddie + Leslie: A Fearrington Wedding

Dear Freddie & Leslie,

The Fearrington has quickly worked it’s way up to the top of two lists for BDLB… 1) Reception venues most often visited, and 2) Favorite wedding venues to capture.  Thanks for yet another chance to spend the day there, and better yet a completely different view of it.  Your family, your story and the sweet words said about both of you all day makes this one of our absolute favorite videos ever created.

Some of the highlights…

  • The beautiful and unique way you sent your wedding rings throughout all your guests for their blessing.
  • Leslie- your sister’s toast speaking to the power of examples that have surrounded you both while growing up is one of my favorite messages, and we’re so glad we could use it to help tell your story.
  • All those joyful faces on the dance floor!

With much appreciation for trusting us to capture this incredible day,

The whole Big Dog Little Bed team!


Brad + Emily: A Duke Chapel Wedding

Dear Brad & Emily,

While the two Brad’s (the groom and our lead videographer) got a bit confusing at times, it was TOTALLY worth it.  Our second Duke Chapel wedding of the season, and yet another gorgeous September reception at the Fearrington.  But more important than that, both Brad and I agreed how much we loved spending time with you both as a couple, starting with coffee at Cocoa Cinnamon earlier this year.  Emily’s thoughtful and sweet demeanor (reinforced constantly throughout the big day in addition to all the preparations), and Brad’s upbeat and joyful personality made this wedding feel more like play than work!

Our favorite parts?

  • Brooke’s beautiful service.  More and more convinced that having close friend’s officiate your wedding is the way to go.  And on top of that, she gave an equally wonderful toast at the reception!
  • The toast made by you two.  I’ve so rarely seen a couple give a speech at their own wedding, yet it was the most incredible way to share your story with everyone there!
  • All the small details that I know you both (and your families!) put so much time into.  Especially the family photos- so many people were gathered around them throughout the night reminiscing and sharing stories with one another!

Now on to the video!



Kait + Jay: A Downtown Raleigh Wedding

Dear Kait & Jay,

We’re always pumped to work with folks who specifically mention our company name in their first email.  In fact, we’ve never had anything less than a GREAT experience with those fellow dog lovers who found us that way :)  So it was no surprise that Kait & I spent a while sharing about our pups the first time we met at Panera.  I’m pretty sure a first meeting shouldn’t go any other way.

And in that same meeting you mentioned you would be having food trucks at your reception… and we left with our fingers crossed that we’d get to be there to capture it :)

Our very favorite parts of the beautiful day you two got hitched in Raleigh?

  • KAIT’S DRESS.  I didn’t tell you this that day, but about 5 years ago I took a picture of a wedding dress displayed in the window of a vintage store in Boone, North Carolina.  It was the most beautiful, and unique, dress I’d ever seen.  I couldn’t have been more shocked to show up on August 31 to see it hanging up downstairs :)
  • Your sister’s toast.  All the toasts were good, but a brilliant combination of sincere best wishes as well as entertaining back stories.
  • The pictures you had on display at the chapel.  Pictures of you two, as well as plenty of older photographs celebrating the marriages of others in your family.
  • The food trucks :)  A first for us, but hopefully not a last!

Now the place where you can see it all.  We hope you enjoy this as much as we do :)



Melissa & Dave: A Downtown Raleigh Wedding

Dear Melissa & Dave,

Never before have I seen a greater surprise from a bride to her groom on their wedding day.  And never before have I seen a group of grown men so excited about their college mascots making a guest appearance.  Our favorite parts?

  • All the beautiful details decorating the reception, most handmade by Melissa!
  • Mr. and Ms. Wuf’s guest appearance.  Especially Dave’s reaction.
  • Not one, but TWO beautiful dresses!

For the rest you’ll have to check out the video…


Kristin & Jeff: A Downtown Raleigh Wedding

Dear Kristin & Jeff,

The moment I learned you were having a live bluegrass band at the reception, I knew we were going to have a blast at this wedding.  Our favorite parts?

  • That it was officiated by not one, but TWO of Jeff’s siblings.  And that they’re both priests who traveled in from Europe.  Incredible.
  • The gelato you had to go with the cake!  The first time at a wedding I’ve almost abandoned my veganism so I could sneak some of the dessert…
  • Your entertaining family.  Both sibling toasts make me laugh every. time. I watched them while editing.  Plus the little surprises I’d stumble upon when watching all the raw footage… you know what I’m talking about :)
  • The incredible Raleigh sunset we were able to capture!

Love you both more than the live music, the perfect venue, and getting to spend this wonderful day with you,

Janice (and the whole BDLB team!)


Holly + Magnus: A Duke Gardens Wedding

Dear Holly & Magnus,

We’ve filmed weddings at Duke Gardens before, but never both the ceremony and the reception.  But boy did you two do it right.  From the beautiful pictures in the gardens, to a ceremony next to a fish pond, to a gorgeous reception right behind it.  All of that followed by one of the most entertaining dance parties we’ve ever been a part of.  (And I say a part of because it was hard to resist not jumping on the dance floor for at least a second… I blame Brad.)

Your families and friends were so wonderfully vibrant, full of life, and awesome to capture.  I’ve never ended a day with so many pictures of children.  Beautifully hilarious pictures of children.  Our favorite parts?

  • Amelie.  Not only did she love being in front of the camera, but she even teamed up with Brad during the toasts to help shoot.  She asked lots of questions, was eager to learn, and I think she might have a future in video production…

Holly & Magnus 4

  • The different pictures you had decorating every table.  Some were funny, some were adorable, and they all shared more of the relationship that led up to the wedding.  Loved them :)
  • Those cakes!  We’ve never seen a display like that before, and it was beautifully unique.
  • The band.  We love a good live band, but these guys were great.  Even better that they invited some guests to come up and sing with them!

With so much appreciation for inviting us to be part of such a wonderful celebration,

Janice (and the whole BDLB team!)

Christine & Laz: A Duke Chapel Wedding

Dear Christine & Laz,

You know when you’re recommended by one of your favorite couples it’s bound to be a good thing.  I was certain of it after we had coffee at Beyu last year and you two were so open in sharing your entire story with me.

The day we officially booked your wedding went into my calendar as ‘Christine & Laz!!!’.  I didn’t even realize I had added three exclamation points until a couple months later.  Shows you how excited I was :)  I’m so glad to finally share this video with the world.

Our favorite parts?

  •  Your incredible vows that narrate the video.  Written in the form of letters to one another.  Beautiful.
  • Duke Chapel.  We’ve been dying to shoot a wedding here, and you gave us our first chance (and we’re excited to shoot one more in September!)  It was every bit as wonderful as we hoped it might be.
  • The reception!  First time we’ve ever shot on a roof in the middle of our favorite city.  Win and win.
  • YOUR. DRESS.  I can’t resist a great big dramatic dress.  So fun to shoot, and you rocked it.

We hope y’all enjoy this video as much as we do :)

Love you both more than the giant bowl of tofu they made me at The Pit and Christine’s laugh (combined),

The whole BDLB team