Each wedding day is unique and yours will be too. Vastly different people, families, places, customs, personalities all converging on one day. Having experienced 100+ or so weddings as a vendor and guest here are my two cents to help you have a smoother and more fun day.
Get Ready in the Same Building as Your Beloved
Getting ready in the same building as your soon to be spouse is extremely helpful, especially if your ceremony and reception are at two different venues. Who has the rings or the marriage license? What about gifts or cards? When and how will you exchange them? Does grandma have the broach for something borrowed? Wait where are the flowers being delivered? Who has the boutonnieres?
By staying in the same place you eliminate many of these questions and worries about who has what.
If you can take it step further, have the entire day in one location like we have seen at The Willowdale Estate or Holliston Historical Society. Their getting ready rooms are beautiful and large, which brings me to part 2 of this advice.
Get the Deluxe Suite or Rent a Big House
How many bridesmaids and groomsmen do you have? We commonly see between 5-8 on each side, which is a lot of adult humans that need to get ready to look their best!
Think of all the things you need: Room for hair and makeup, a place to hang delicate dresses and suits, somewhere to put your lunches, gift bags, champagne and whiskey glasses, tons and tons of bags and things everywhere.
You will need to have as much space as you can reasonably afford for all of that. Do not underestimate how much time you will spend in these spaces getting ready and taking unforgettable videos and pictures. Surround yourself with enough beauty and space to decompress so you can mentally and physically prepare for the rest of your day (and life).
This does not mean you have to go break the bank on the presidential suite. Look into house rentals on websites like AirBNB where you can find amazing deals. (Helpful hint, be sure to message your host ahead of time and tell them you will be getting ready for your wedding and they will go the extra mile.)
Write Your Own Vows (If Your Religion Allows For It)
Audio is 50% of a video, so the more personalized you get, the more meaningful your video will be to you, your friends, and family.
While we already conduct brief interviews that allow you to tell your stories of meeting, falling in love, and getting engaged, the more audio we can collect, the better. Listen to these two personalized vow snippets and tell me they aren't the sweetest things you've ever heard.
Feeling nervous or having writer's block? Here are a few vow writing tips.
If you cannot write your own vows because of religious reasons I highly recommend memorizing the vows your officiant will have you recite. This way, you can focus on each other instead of trying to repeat the words back in perfect order. And here's a fun idea, if you're having a first look, prepare a couple sweet or silly words to share with each other then!
Have an Unplugged Ceremony
Your uncle bob sucks at taking pictures and videos, there I said it. You have spent good money on your photographers and videographers and there is nothing worse than your guests unintentionally ruining our angles with their smartphones blocking our view. To avoid this, have what is called "an unplugged wedding." Post signs at the entrance to your ceremony or include a note on the program kindly asking that everyone refrains from smartphone and flash photography. Trust us, we have you covered.
Have a Bit of Live Music
Live music sets the mood and brings your guests into the atmosphere of the day. Whether that is some acoustic instruments at your ceremony or cocktail hour, or a full out band for your reception, live music makes for an unforgettable experience.
Choreograph Your First Dance
My last tip is definitely not for everyone, but I would recommend it for anyone who's feeling nervous or excited about their first dance. Wait, I guess that is everyone?
If you love dancing but you're not sure what to do, bring your song of choice to your closest dance studio and ask for some choreography. They will plan it out and teach you the moves one by one.
If you don't like dancing you will want to do this even more, unless you enjoy swaying awkwardly in front of 100+ people. You don't have to pull a Dirty Dancing on your guests, but learning some basic steps and how to twirl will go a long way and ultimately make you more comfortable out on the dance floor.
Don't forget to practice, practice, practice so it becomes muscle memory and you can have fun without overthinking it. Your dance lessons will make for a super fun date night, and let's face it, you need a super fun date night amidst all this planning.
I know there are a million and a half articles floating out there about what to do or what you must do on your wedding day. So I hope you take my advice for what it is, advice. Feel free to use or ignore as much or as little of it as you want. The most important thing is that you honor the person you love and celebrate as you see fit, and of course capture all of that on video ;-)
Still not sure you need a video to capture all your amazingly beautiful and diligently planned moments? Let us count the ways why you do.........