Think back through history, to the couples that were, simply put, meant to be. Your list should be laden with the greats from Cleopatra and Julius Caesar to Grace Kelly and Prince Rainer III, Lancelot and Guinevere to Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler. Throughout the month of L-O-V-E, Be U Weddings will be seeking out Chicago’s lucky in love couples and bringing you the best of their wedding advice and key marital tips. We thought who better to kick start the month with than the masterminds behind capturing the power of love in video, XO Pictures. This husband-wife team is skilled at finding the story of your day, then making a stylish and emotion filled film to last throughout time. Owner and husband, Tom Buttaccio show’s us just why he and wife Jenny are #meant2beChicago.
Photo Courtesy of Greenhouse Loft Photography
Q. When did cupid shoot you both down with his arrow?
A. Jenny and I met at a friend’s house during a party right around Thanksgiving 2004. We were playing a game with a big group of people where you argue your ideas out-loud and I was immediately attracted to how cute and funny Jenny was while playing the game. I had fun trying to get her upset by disagreeing with her during the game. I think that’s where we both discovered how strongly opinionated we both were. To this day we still argue over who has the best sense of humor. I went home totally smitten by Jenny after meeting her for the first time. We both lived in Chicago’s coolest, far-north neighborhood, Andersonville. Our apartments were only one block apart. About 6 months after meeting for the first time, we started dating and hanging out non-stop. We were with each other constantly…and loved being with each other
Q. How long was the engagement? When and where did you marry?
A. We met for the first time in November 2004. We started officially dating in May of 2005. I proposed to her in December 2005 (with a tattoo of her name on my left arm). Our engagement lasted for almost a full year. We were married on November 4th, 2006 in Jenny’s hometown of Winona, MN. We had a small wedding with 75 of our closest friends and family members. It was one of the most beautiful autumn days I can remember in my life.
Photo Courtesy of XO Pictures
Q. Did anything surprise you during the planning process?
A. I was pretty well prepared from having filmed weddings since 2003. But I was amazed at how “out of my body” I felt during the ceremony. Even though I have acted and performed on stage as a drummer since I was about 11 years old, I was so self conscious, standing up there with everyone staring at me.
Q. Did you have any sticker shock? If so, what category surprised you the most?
A. We had less than $10,000 for our entire wedding day, which is one of the reasons why we got married in Winona, MN. We were very careful to stay within our budget and therefore we were not surprised by any prices. I think no matter what amount a couple can afford, they should know their realistic budget range. It’s also important to prioritize how you will spend your budget. For me, spending the bulk of your budget on the memories of your day so that you never forget the sounds and images of your wedding is most important. Jenny and I have AWEFUL photos and VIDEO, and it is one of the biggest regrets we have.
Q. What do you wish someone had told you prior to planning the wedding?
A. I wish someone told me to have an Ativan on hand nearby to ward off all the extra nervous energy. I think I would have also been more at ease if we had done a “First Look” and seen Jenny prior to her walking down the aisle at the Ceremony.
Q. And the best advice you DID receive about the wedding day? How about the planning process?
A. Try to be in the moment and just enjoy the day. Look at each other often. As for planning, don’t try to do everything yourself but rather, ask for help! We were fortunate to have many friends and family members pitch in for our big day.
Photo Courtesy of XO Pictures
Q. I am sure you cannot pick a favorite but can you share with us one of your videos oozing with some L-O-V-E?
A. One of my favorite pieces is a film I created for a beautiful couple, Preeya and Brian. As with many of XO Pictures’ films, parts of their story have a really magical, almost surreal feel. I wanted to make the beginning of their film feel almost like a lucid dream. This was made possible by the emotion of the groom, and the wonderful speech delivered by the father of the bride. Some of the feel of this piece was inspired by Preeya and Brian’s decision to have a portion of Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” read during their ceremony. When I create my films, I am always looking for more than just pretty imagery. I am looking for story. When I edit my films, I keep in mind that beauty fades…but love and the story of a couple’s beginning will last forever.
Video Courtesy of XO Pictures; Preeya and Brian “Made for each other” and meant to be.
Q. I noticed that you didn’t share a lot of wedding photos with us. Is there a story behind that?
A. We hired a photographer for our wedding, but his photos lacked any sort of emotion, and he over-photo-shopped everything. I regret not being able to hire a better photographer and cinematographer. My goal with XO Pictures is always to shape a piece that will stand the test of time, and impact family, friends and strangers alike.
Whether capturing love eternally from behind the lens or basking in glow of their own true love, Tom and Jenny are surely meant to be. What other Chicago couples make our month long series on love? That’s one secret I’m keeping for now, #meant2beChicago more to come!
Need to hear more on the importance of capturing your day on film? Tom will be speaking at the “Bridal Bootcamp: Big Day 101“, Saturday, February 23rd, at Mignonette Bridal, 1747 W Belmont, Chicago, a cliff notes style event for the newly engaged.