Videographer to film Ontario couple's wedding for free after experience with homophobia
Kelly Roberts and Mallory Arthur were met with blatant homophobia while planning their big day when they were told by the owner of Caramount Pictures that her company does not film "homosexual weddings," but thankfully their story has a happy ending.
After Roberts shared a screenshot of the email she received from owner Cara Hamstra on Facebook and asked for recommendations for LGBTQ+-friendly videographers, she was met with an inundation of love, support and suggestions.
Several videographers also reached out to the couple offering to film their special day at a discount, including independent wedding videographer Nick Maxwell.
"My girlfriend saw Kelly's Facebook post looking for a new videographer, and I decided I needed to do something. At the time there were a few hundred comments on the post, but very few of them were from other videographers," Maxwell told blogTO.
"I figured that while the support everyone was giving was amazing, Kelly still hadn't actually found their new videographer, and I wanted to change that. I commented on her post with a link to my videography work, and offered her the discount."
Maxwell said he was upset by the way Arthur and Roberts were treated by Hamstra, especially since a wedding is supposed to mark one of the most joyous occasions in a person's lifetime.
He was concerned this terrible incident would overshadow their big day, so he decided to reach out to them.
"I really just wanted to do my bit to support them. There were tons of people offering videography, and it wasn't going to be an easy choice for Kelly or Mallory to make. I wanted to make it easy for them, so I offered it for free," he added.
He also said his younger sister is LGBTQ+, and he can't imagine her having to experience the kind of discrimination the couple was faced with.
Later that day, Roberts announced on Facebook that she and Arthur had booked Maxell to film their big day.
Coincidentally, Maxell said Roberts and Arthur were already looking at his work and were hoping to book him when he first reached out to them.
"Since Kelly and I announced that I'd be filming her wedding, I've had tons of other videographers and photographers reaching out to offer their help. Many of them have offered to come and help shoot on the day, or offered assistance with editing, planning, etc.," he said.
"It's amazing to see the community stand up and offer their support. I hope if there's anything we take away from this, it's that good people are out there willing to help."
Maxwell said numerous couples — both same-sex and heterosexual — have reached out asking to hire him for their wedding since yesterday, many of whom were originally booked with Caramount Pictures and are now looking to rebook.
As a result, he's offering a 20 per cent discount on any of his packages for couples who want to rebook, and he says he "hope[s] they can have their weddings stress-free and full of love too."
"In the end, I hope the couple doesn't even think about this incident on their wedding day," Maxwell said.
"There has been a lot of rightful anger pointed at the other videographer, and I don't want that to overshadow their special day. Weddings are supposed to be a celebration of love and joy, and I hope that by the wedding day, that's all Kelly and Mallory are thinking about."
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