I've been filming and editing weddings for the past four years now. After seeing over a hundred weddings from the pre planning to the last song I have garnered all these opinions on weddings that I never wanted to have. I figured I might as well throw them down as a guide for others. These are for future brides and grooms as well as guests. I'll just go in order. Here we go..
If you are getting married you should have a first look. For all of you completely in the dark, a first look is when the Bride and groom see each other before the ceremony. Some people don't do this because someone a long time ago said it was bad luck. When I meet with the bride and groom beforehand this is the only piece of advice I ever give.
Why does it make a difference?
If you have a first look then you can take all your portraits and formal photos before the ceremony. If you don't get these pictures done before hand that means you will spend all of cocktail hour taking pictures. When that happens the bride and groom don't get to enjoy cocktail hour at all. Instead of relaxing with your bridal party, eating food and sharing drinks you are standing like a mannequin and constantly screaming family members names? "Where is Uncle Mike? We need Uncle Mike." Then Uncle Mike shows up but now the groom walked away because he thought his side of the family was done. You're in both sides of the family now buddy. It's not fun. Instead of having to cram fifty different pictures in an hour you can just get them all done beforehand.
You also stage the first look in a cute way. Sure it can seem cheesy and over dramatized but that's exactly what a wedding is, cheesy and overly dramatic. See video below for an example of a first look.
Side note: If you hire a photographer and they don't ask for a list of all the relative and friend groupings you want to have pictures of then you should hire a different photographer. Having a pre made list cuts the time in half.
I don't really have many opinions on this. Do it however you want. I don't like church ceremonies because I don't like religion and I don't like sitting around bored for forty minutes but if that's your bag then have at it. It's your wedding. My one piece of advice would be that the processional should be all serious and formal. The recessional can be fun.
I'd say about 75 percent of toasts suck. If you are the best man or the maid of honor and have to give a speech here are some big time DON'TS.
At the wedding I worked last week after the first dance the MC got on the mic and said "okay now the bride and groom would like to invite everyone to the dance floor to share a dance with them". Not one person moved. Everyone stayed in their seats. The MC got on the mic and said it again. Then had to get on a third time and said "come on people, don't be scared come on up to the dance floor". I wanted to yell at everyone at the wedding. Just fucking dance! I hate dancing because I'm terrible at it but you have to go to the dance floor. Just bring a drink and stand on the outside and sing along to the song. Don't stay put in your chair like you're too cool. Weddings are mainly judged by whether or not people danced. So never be afraid to dance.
Don't request songs from the DJ. Most DJs tell you they don't mind requests but they are lying. DJs spend so much time putting together their playlists. The bride and the groom fill out 'do not plays and 'definitely play'. They tell them not to play a certain genre. Usually its "don't play any country", or "don't play any rap". If the dance floor is full and people are dancing then 100 percent do not go request a song. The DJ is crushing it so let them keep going. One time I was standing by the DJ, the dance floor was packed and this guy came up and requested a Nirvana song. The DJ said "do you think people are going to want to listen to this?" Guy said, "Well I don't know but I like it". "Do you think people are going to dance to it?" "uhhh". More people request songs like that than you'd think. The main culprits are old couples who want to hear their wedding song. Like DJ's are just going to slow it down and bring the entire party to a halt so an old couple can dance by themselves. Its crazy!
If you aren't married or engaged just go to the damn dance floor. You don't have to actively try to catch the bouquet. It's okay. You can just stand in the background. Girls are STRAIGHT UP PETRIFIED to go to the dance floor. But then everyone will know I'm single. This is so humiliating! And what if I don't even want to get married. This is so stupid. You'd think you're inviting them shit themselves in public. Then the bride gets on the microphone and is like "Stephanie where are youuuu?" then the MC says "Yeah get yourself up here single Stephanie!" Guess what? Now they actually are embarrassing the fuck out of you. Should have just walked up right away.
I'd suggest not doing the bouquet and garter toss because it's just awkward and antiquated but if it happens at a wedding you're at just go walk up there and stand around.
IF YOU ARE A GUY DO NOT GO TO THE DANCE FLOOR. This happens at almost 50 percent of weddings I have worked. One guy always thinks he's hilarious and runs out there like "hahaha I'm a guy! Look at me! I'm not a single lady but I'm acting like I am! Haha how funny am I?" It's so awful and un funny.
Don't clink your glasses and make the bride and groom kiss every two minutes. I love when the bride and groom have the MC say "okay everyone get there clanking out because the bride and groom will only be honoring that with a kiss this one time."
I think that is all I got right now. I'm definitely forgetting stuff. Maybe I'll do a part two at some point.
Oh here's a good one. If the Grooms father is in the hospital and he dies in between the ceremony and the reception. Don't tell him, or anyone until after the wedding. Makes for a really awkward party.
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