For awhile I had planned not to post this highlights films publicly; at first because the New York Times forbid it until their story was published, and later because Michael Olexa, the groom, lost his battle to colon cancer on August 15, 2012. After I finished editing this piece on the 10th, I had uploaded it privately for Angela, Michael, and their families to watch. Now watching it over, I am touched again and again at the amazing love they had for each other, and I realized that the world needed to see, through Michael and Angela’s story, that love truly “never ends” (1 Corinthians 13:8, as read during their ceremony). Before watching, please read Michael and Angela’s love story as published in the New York Times.
Michael & Angela
Natalie Grant “In Better Hands”
Director/DP/Editor – James Lee
Shooters – Youmin Woo (designtowoo.com) & Joshua Lee
On the sultry afternoon of August 2nd, 2012, Angela Sclafani and Michael Olexa proclaimed their love for one another before 30 close family and friends at the beautiful Knob Hill Golf Club in Manalapan, NJ. What was particularly special about this wedding was that the venue and all services, including that of James Lee Films, were donated through the non-profit organization Wish Upon A Wedding, whose mission according to their FAQ page is to “[provide] weddings and vow renewals to couples facing terminal illness and serious life altering circumstances.” At the time of the wedding Michael had Stage 4 colon cancer, but that did not stop him from saying his vows while standing before the witnesses and kissing his lovely bride to seal the deal. It was a joy getting to know someone as kind and loving as Michael, and I know that he will live on in the memories of many.
Photography was provided by Janice Celeste of c2 Photo Video, audio and DJing by Entertainment Xtreme, and planning/coordinating by the wonderful Agnieshka Burke of Pumpkin Coach Events. Everyone was a delight to work with, and I am so glad that our crew had the opportunity to participate in this wedding. Thank you Youmin, for giving your time to shoot yet another awesome wedding with me, and thank you Josh, for helping us out. Youmin and I couldn’t have done it as smoothly as we did without you.