When you’re planning a wedding, you make hundreds of decisions. There are big ones like deciding the venue, date, and choosing your vendors. But when I was planning my wedding, I totally underestimated how many little decisions there were to make! I thought once I picked my vendors, chose our color scheme, got our bridal party attire, and sent out invitations that the wedding would basically be planned. LIES!! Those were only like 2% of all the things I had to do and all the decisions I had to make! Should the groomsmen’s pant legs be tapered? Do I want tall and short centerpieces or just one height? Do I want flowers on my cake? How many flowers on the cake? Buffet or plated meal? Dangly or stud earrings? Bridesmaids’ hair up or down? What exact wording do I use on the programs? Who will be handing out the programs? Do we even need programs? So many questions just about programs!
As you can see, I got a little overwhelmed with allll the decisions that have to be made when you’re planning a wedding. So in an effort to maybe help all of you out there struggling today, I wanted to share the 3 best decisions I made about that day. Looking back after all the craziness, there were 3 things that I was so glad I did!
I did not want to have a First Look. I wanted the traditional ‘doors open, bride is revealed, groom sees her for the first time, and they both weep’ moment at my wedding. There was no way I was having a First Look! Then, as I was planning my timeline and working with my photographer, she mentioned the benefits of having one. Daniel and I talked about how it would give us more portrait time, ease our nerves, and give a few moments on our day that were just us. After this discussion, Daniel said he still didn’t want one, so we decided no. Theeeeeenn I kept thinking about it and thinking about it and eventually we both agreed to do a First Look. As both a photographer and a bride, I cannot recommend this enough. Daniel and I did a First Look, took a few portraits, and then took our bridal party pictures. Honestly, it just calmed us both down so much and we both talk about how it made the day feel more like a celebration. We got to see each other in an intimate, private setting with no one staring at how we were reacting and then we hung out with all of our best friends who were so happy for us! And to prove that it doesn’t ruin the walking down the aisle moment, Daniel still cried 🙂
Yes, yes, yes!! We decided to ask our guests to put away their devices and enjoy the worship service happening in front of them. A big reason for doing this was because we wanted to respect God and the holy covenant we were making to each other, but lots of people do it simply because they don’t want everyone’s phones out in all their photos. Not convinced yet? I was able to look at everyone in the face as I walked down the aisle…not into the lens of their phone or tablet or camera. My high school friends smiled at me, I saw my longtime family friends tearing up, and was able to have a 2-second telepathic conversation with my mom because no one was recording me. No one was worried about capturing the moment for themselves, because I promised to share our photos and video with them all. Everyone was able to be fully present for those 30 minutes. Unplugged ceremonies preserve the holiness of the event, allow your guests to enjoy the ceremony, and makes the whole time feel more intimate. I am really happy this is becoming more popular in today’s weddings!
Hired a Videographer
In my opinion, this is often one of the most overlooked vendors at weddings. Lots of people think a videographer is optional, or isn’t needed if you have a photographer. Let me tell y’all right now: THAT IS WRONG. Obviously, I think a photographer is essential for your wedding day and I stand by that, but I think a videographer is too. Just a few hours after it happened, I had already forgotten what I said in my vows. I forgot the toasts, prayers, and laughs exchanged at our reception. I couldn’t wait for the video to come back so that I could relive all those moments! Every year, we watch our video on our anniversary. And I watch our highlight video a lot more often than that!
If you are like me and wanted a video, but didn’t want to break the bank on it, check out the website ThumbTack. You can find a videographer for less than $1,000 who will do a great job. For me, I just wanted video, I didn’t care too much about the quality. We splurged on our photography because that was a top priority for me (and I am really glad we did because those photos are filling lots of houses). I was fine with a videographer who did it as a side job, but I saw the value in hiring a professional photographer. Ideally, we would have had the budget to have both be professionals but sometimes you gotta make the tough decisions. My mom and Daniel needed some (a lot) of convincing to hire a videographer, but I think we all can agree that knowing that day is preserved with both photos and video lets us relive it anytime we want.
Here is the highlight video from our wedding! Still crying every time I watch it.
I really hope that helps you think about the many, many decisions you have to make when planning your wedding! If you have any questions or want to hear more about my reasoning, I would love to talk to you. I am here to be a resource for all of you as you start your marriage.
If you’re already married, what was the best decision you made when planning? What advice do you have for all the brides out there?
Photos by Costola Photography
Video by Herb Logan Videography