During one of his stops as a ski instructor in Flachau, Wouter had a GoPro camera with him and started creating his first videos. He learned video editing through YouTube tutorials at the beginning. "Even back then, I noticed there was a high demand for videos in the tourism industry." This led to his first collaborations with ski schools and tourism organizations. Later, he attended a seminar in Manchester with a friend. The first wedding shoot happened rather accidentally and didn't go smoothly: "I was completely overwhelmed at the first wedding. I was just thinking, 'What on earth is 'Brautstehlen' (stealing the bride)?” The many Austrian wedding customs were completely new and quite challenging for the Dutch native. Despite the rough start, he persevered and developed a great passion for videography and photography. His work has now taken him to places like Florence, but he particularly loves capturing emotional wedding moments in the Salzburg region. In recognition of his outstanding work, he received the Austrian Wedding Award in Silver in the "Video" category in 2019.
Wouter takes me on a journey through a wedding day. Before the ceremony, during the preparation phase, he has more room to unleash his creativity. "Once the wedding begins, there is less freedom. The ceremony and the rest of the schedule are like a train that you have to get on and ride until the end." To ensure he doesn't miss the train, there is a meeting with the couple a few days before the wedding. The schedule must be clear, especially if many customs are involved. "Customs can beautifully frame the day but also constrain it time-wise. Sometimes, couples hesitate to skip customs. Less is often more in this regard." Each couple should design their wedding the way they want it to be, making it their most beautiful day. When asked if he has a "favourite wedding moment," he recalls a wedding that was filled with relaxation. Everything came together perfectly: the guests, the location, the other service providers, and the couple. "Everyone was in a great mood, relaxed - it was a genuine and honest celebration together."
The biggest challenge: finding the story. Each video has its own narrative, centered around the couple. In this process, Wouter follows a fundamental rule: maintaining consistent quality. "If you try to reinvent yourself with each shoot, it ends up in chaos." The video takes shape during the most labor-intensive step, the editing, like a raw diamond being polished into a brilliant gem. The ultimate goal is for the end product to capture and authentically immortalize the emotions of the big day. "Each video is, therefore, unique, even though the style is similar." However, Wouter's creativity doesn't stop at videos. Since the fall of 2022, he has been providing bridal couples and their guests with the opportunity to preserve the big day through an audio guestbook called "O'foon." The elegant vintage phones capture heartfelt wishes, touching words of gratitude, and amusing moments, preserving them tangibly and vividly for the future. An eye-catching addition to the wedding and a practical tool for Wouter to incorporate audio tracks into his videos, allowing emotions to literally speak for themselves. His "O'foon" earned him a Gold Award in the "Innovation" category at the 2023 Austrian Wedding Awards.
Good collaboration is essential not only with the couple but also with other service providers. "Especially the photographer and videographer should be able to work hand in hand on-site without getting in each other's way, even if they don't know each other. Generally, wedding service providers in our area are very professional." For double bookings, Wouter has support: "I have people I can rely on 100% in those cases." Collaboration is also crucial for the two-time father outside of weddings, at home. Wouter and his wife, Wietske, developed the "O'foon" together, and they both take care of their two sons. Their next project is shared office space in Eben, which he shares with two fellow videographers. So, Wouter’s unlikely to get bored. When it's time for a break, he loves to take his family, hit the road, and recharge their energy for the next projects together.
If you want to get an overview of wedding service providers in our region, feel free to visit: Salzburger Mountain Weddings.
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