The goal of planning a wedding is to make it what you’ve dreamed of. To make it beautiful. And meaningful. And fun. You don’t dream, after all, about the stuff that fills up YouTube. In short, you want your wedding to be perfect. And we’ve all been to the ones that aren’t.
Here are 3 tips to help assure your wedding isn’t the next one to get 10,000 hits for all the wrong reasons:
1. Wedding planners are a huge boon and you should use one if a) you can afford her/him and/or b) if/when your friends list your good points, fastidious organization is never among them. But even if you’re the one who alphabetizes your shoes by brand, it’s simple really: you’re not an expert in planning a wedding. They are. Also, they are (or should be) going to have nerves of steel and a soothing calm way about them. If this is neither you, your maid of honor nor even your mother, hire a planner.
2. Remember your guests and give them a break! Marriages have become more fun affairs down the years. From a reception where no one is quite sure what to do next, we’ve evolved to tightly orchestrated entertainment. What gets tricky is just how much fun you should have during your big day. Stealing a few hours away in the middle can seem like a shared giggle, but it can also backfire in a hurry.
Picture this wedding we were witness to. The ceremony over, the happy couple disappeared. The guests drove to the reception venue, accepted cocktails and hors d’ouevres, stood around and talked…then eventually just stood around, checking their phones and their watches. About an hour and a half after the ceremony the happy couple showed up–VERY happy. In fact, she was hanging out the top of the limo, veil flying, war-whooping and totally smashed. It’s also become a little too common, we think, for the new Mr. and Mrs. to vanish for an hour of sheet-dancing. We know all about the “exhausted by the time you hit the bed on your wedding night” thing; but if you can manage, save it for post-reception. You have guests waiting (plus you wanna get back into that dress a 2nd time??). Figure out how you can all enjoy the day, connect with all or most of them, and keep things moving.
Which brings us to Tip 3:
3. COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE, COMMUNICATE – Thankfully, fun’s being injected in places like the formerly oh-so-serious arrival and introduction of the Wedding Party. But here’s the thing. If your photographer and your videographer don’t know you’re going to do that – don’t know that the groomsmen will be doing a chorus line or that you’re sharing a special dance with your grandfather – that your dog is coming for an hour or that the DJ is singing Sinatra to the groom’s great-aunt; or that your entire reception is Irish-themed or even how many and how long the toasts will be, you’re risking missing capturing a wedding highlight. Most DJs today know they’re not just DJ but M.C. To them falls the job of coordinating the entertainment and making sure the videographer isn’t changing a battery or the photographer hasn’t made a run to the bathroom when the toasts suddenly start.
The good DJ keeps his eye on everybody at once (as do the good photographer and videographer!); and never starts the next big thing till he knows the major players are in place – not just those participating, but also those recording the event. But… YOU leave nothing to chance. The local wedding industry is a fairly small circle: if your DJ recommends a videographer, chances are they’ve worked together before and communicate well. But whether they know each other or not, don’t leave the business of communicating what will make your wedding unique to anyone else (ever played Telephone??) – not EVEN the wedding planner. Be sure you have looked your providers in the eye to discuss the major occurrences planned for your own, one-of-a-kind wedding. A good videographer for instance will go over a shot list with you so that nothing is left to chance. Then and only then can you relax and have a GREAT wedding day! And with surprises kept to a minimum, it will be great 🙂