Updated: May 25
5 Tips I've Learned Throughout My Experience in the Industry & Now as a Wedding Planning Bride.
I’ve been a wedding videographer for six years. I’ve had the privilege of capturing couples’ special days and turning them into beautiful keepsakes since 2015. It has been such a joy and I’ve loved every minute of it. Throughout my time as a wedding vendor, I have learned and observed a number of “do’s” & “don'ts''. I’ve always thought to myself,
“I should probably write these down or keep these thoughts handy for when it’s my turn to walk down the aisle!”
I’m excited to say that time, for me, has finally come! My fiancé proposed to me on my 26th birthday this past summer, and we have been wedding planning the past several
months to gear up for our 2022 wedding. Throughout these months of our engagement, I’ve finally decided to write down several tips from my industry experience, paired with what I continue to learn in my own wedding planning process. No matter where you are in the wedding planning process, I hope these tips help!
1. Decide what is important.
There are so many traditions, timelines, and faux pas in the wedding industry. From dollar dances to garter throws, to party favors and cake-cutting… the list goes on and on. Don’t get me wrong, all of these traditions are great; however, they are not the real reason people are gathering on your special day. People have come from near and far to celebrate you, your future spouse, and your commitment to one another. As you begin to plan your dream wedding day, make sure you are choosing elements that are important to you and your fiance to incorporate throughout your day. For example, to make the process more meaningful, Hunter and I decided to make a list of our non-negotiable items that we would like to have at our wedding. We love dancing and music–that was one of our first priorities. Not joking, we immediately booked a live band and planned out all of the musical touches we will have sprinkled throughout our day! Fun fact–our live band is comprised of two ushers and two groomsmen in our bridal party. Whatever your important elements may be for you and your future spouse, focus on those and don’t feel bad about it! It’s your special day, and you get to choose what is your priority!
2. Hire vendors that you enjoy.
Generally, when you choose your wedding vendors, you choose them based on their quality and service. However, I’d encourage couples to go another layer deep. If you have been in a bridal party before, you know that the bridal couple spends the majority of their wedding day with vendors. Similar to choosing the people you want by your side on your wedding day, you want to choose vendors whose company you enjoy. Choose vendors who you trust, and who will help your day be more fun and less stressful!
3. Keep the moment special.
As a videographer, one thing that is disheartening is when I am filming the bride coming down the aisle, and I see a dozen bright cell phone screens or even worse… an iPad leaning into the aisle to snap a poor quality photo. These screens will not only be an ugly distraction in your photos and videos, but it takes away from the special moment when the bride walks towards the love of her life. If this is something that would bother you, ask your officiant to make an announcement right before the ceremony about the use of cell phones during the procession and recession. I have also seen couples display a sign that explains that your ceremony is “unplugged”, this is a kind way to ask your guests to keep their devices put away during your ceremony.
4. Delegate, delegate, and then delegate some more.
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but I guarantee you are loved by countless people in your life! A lot of us brides have trouble delegating tasks. I think it is because we either have a very specific vision for said task and believe we will do it best, or because we don’t want to bother our friends and family members. An important announcement for all of you brides: people that love you, want to help. What I have done throughout my wedding planning process is thought of people in my life and identified their specific strengths. From there, I delegated tasks where their strengths were best suited. It’s important to note that not every bridesmaid or family member will be as involved or helpful as the next. Everybody has different strengths and capacities to help. One bridesmaid may be able to coordinate your entire wedding day single-handedly, while another might be in charge of keeping you and the other fellow bridesmaids fed and hydrated on the wedding day. Other ideas of delegating are asking a friend who has beautiful penmanship to help you write your addresses, or asking a family member to create the seating chart. Whatever it is, know that people love you and want to help.
5. Enjoy It.
My last tip is cheesy, but hey I like cheese so here it is, enjoy engagement. Simply put. This is a sweet season you will never get back with your soon-to-be spouse. Don’t let the stress overcome the joy and anticipation that comes along with engagement. Someone recently recommended that Hunter and I need to celebrate the checkmarks on the checklist. We just sent out our last Save-the-Dates, so I’m thinking we need to have a dinner date. :)
Long story short, weddings are one day events, and marriage is forever. No matter if every little detail is perfect or not, at the end of your wedding day you and the love of your life will be married. That fact is more beautiful than any expensive dress, elaborate flower wall or entertaining live band. The day goes by so quickly, so take it all in. Be like Jim and Pam in “The Office” and take mental snap shots throughout the day! Take moments to step back and truly enjoy your amazing day and the commitment you just made to your favorite person. Trust all of the thought, planning, and effort you have invested, and know that it will come together beautifully on your big day!
Huge S/O to Spotlight Media & the Fargo Monthly Wedding Guide for featuring me in their 2022 edition!