16 Details Overlooked When Planning a Wedding
Hey this is Brittney Marvin, and I’m a staff videographer and editor for McElroy Weddings. I’ve been editing weddings for 6 years and have shot over 30 weddings this season, and thought it’d be appropriate to answer bride’s and groom’s questions before arriving at a wedding. If you have any questions about planning your wedding, email me at Brittney@McElroyfilms.com and I will respond with a blog post within one business day.
Having a thorough schedule is one of the most important things when planning a wedding. Preparing a detailed schedule at least a week in advance will help your vendors and bridal party plan where and when they need to be. This schedule will help the wedding run a lot smoother.
2. Pictures and Video
You get what you pay for when booking a photographer and videographer. At one wedding that we shot, the photographer didn’t show up till 10 minutes before the ceremony ended. He was very hung over and explained how “he had been in a car accident and was rushed to the hospital”, while it was very evident that he had not. The couples that only book cheap photographers and videographers usually later regret it, because of the quality that is delivered.
3. Importance of pictures and video
Many people overlook the importance of capturing the dainty details of getting ready for a wedding. Although it doesn’t seem like it’s that important, this chapter of the wedding can make or break your final product form your vendors. Remember, this is one of the most important days of your life, getting the necessary shots will be all you have left when it’s all said and done.
4. Distance between bride and groom’s location
When planning a wedding it’s easy to forget about the actual location that the bride and groom will actually be getting ready. It’s important, if at all possible, to have both parties getting ready nearby. Having the groom and bride close makes it easier for the florist to deliver the flowers, photographers and videographers to get the necessary shots of both parties.
This schedule should include the details of when the bride’s hair is being done (if it is being done at a separate location provide an estimated arrival time for when she will be back), makeup appointment, and when the limo/car is going to be picking up the bride, bridesmaids, groom, and groomsman.
6. Research the Priest and the Staff of the Church
Before booking a church, find the restrictions and regulations (if there are any). Some priests won’t let photographers move around, use a tripod, use flashes, etc. If there are many restrictions, it may be better to find another church that doesn’t have as many.
7. Lighting in the church
Lighting is one of the most important elements in a ceremony. The lighting can affect the quality of the pictures, video, and service that your guests will be witnessing. If there is not a lot of lighting, including natural lighting) your pictures and video will come out a little darker than you would probably like it to turn out.
The scheduling in this chapter should include when the groom, groomsmen, bride, and bridesmaids are supposed to arrive. There are many different ways to conduct a ceremony, therefore a brief summary or title will suffice (i.e. Catholic Mass, candle lighting, and any other special event that is added into the ceremony)
In order to make formals move along faster, giving someone the task of rounding up people is important. This person is preferably someone who is not in the bridal party, who will know the family that is on the shot list. If you are thinking of doing a full family shot, assign more than one person. The photographer that will be booked should either have you write out a standard shot list of just principle shots that you definitely want to have taken. Be sure to assign a trusted bridesmaid to help the bride with her train, flowers, veil, and bustling. The venue’s staff is supposed to help with this, but they don’t always do this.
10. Order of Formals
Formals are one of the most important chapters in a wedding. Getting the family pictures done first have always made for a happier wedding party. It’s hard for grandparents and parents to have to stand waiting, and stand more for formals. Before hiring a photographer, make sure to ask what order formals are done. If the bride and groom arrive earlier then the whole wedding party, then taking a couple shots of just the couple is acceptable.
Scheduling formals isn’t always the easiest task. It was stated earlier that it is important to make a shot list, or see your photographer’s shot list. After a shot list is made, make sure that the people you designated to find family and friends have a copy printed and ready. Giving your bridal party each a copy will help formals move smoothly as well.
12. Again Time!
Every couple is different, but some prefer to be able to go to their own cocktail hour. Instead of curtailing formals, move cocktail hour back so that the couple can have enough time to do both. If you would like more time for your formals then cut out cocktail hour for the bride and groom. They will both be able to see their guests throughout the night at the reception. Remember to plan accordingly!
Planning a cocktail hour is important, because this is when your guests will have a chance to eat a little and relax. If there is not enough space for people to mingle and eat, your guests will become uncomfortable. Don’t forget when planning this hour that the space you’re looking at not empty, will soon be filled with all your guests and possibly tables of food.
14. Order of Formalities
Try to get speeches/toasts, prayer, parent dances, first dance, cake cutting, and bouquet toss/ grader toss done and over with earlier in the night. Don’t necessarily have them all back to back, but sprinkle them in throughout your courses. The sooner the formalities are done the more guests will get to see, and the more footage you will receive after the fact. If you wait too long guests will leave and you will run out of time with your vendors.
15. Vendor Treatment
To get the best work out of your DJ, band, photographers, and videographers feed them towards the front of when your guests are served. The sooner that vendors eat, they can take a little break and get back to work to open the dance floor, and to get the rest of the important footage. The photographers and videographers aren’t supposed to shoot while guests are eating, so this provides a good time that they can eat.
The reception is one of the most important parts of the wedding that needs to have a detailed schedule! Without the schedule your vendors won’t know what is happening when and where. Letting your vendors know what things are happening, when, and what order helps them prepare before the events happen. The best way to kick off the night is with the first dance (after introductions of course). After the first dance the first course can start to be served as the toasts and speeches are given. After the first course is being cleared the parent dances can happen next. When the bride and groom are done with the final course they can finally cut their cake! Getting all of this done in the beginning means the dance floor can be opened up and everyone can start dancing already!