5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Planning My Wedding
Hey! We're Matt & Erin. We're photographers and videographers who got married way back in 2014, way before we began photographing and filming weddings. When we got engaged, we didn't know what in the world we were doing. None of our friends were married or engaged yet, and the last time we were at a wedding was in the 90s when puffy dresses were cool.
Now that we've worked at over a hundred weddings, we could EASILY plan a wedding. We know what works and know what doesn't. We know how long it takes to put a wedding dress on. We know how long family pictures take. We know what time your ceremony should start.
We made this list so you can learn from our mistakes and recreate our happy accidents.
1. Choose a Photographer And Videographer Who Fit Your Personality
What we didn't realize when we booked our photographer and videographer was how much time we'd be spend with them on the wedding day. We spent more time with them than we did with anyone else, including each other.
The wedding day floods you with emotions. You'll be excited, nervous, happy, scared - All at at the same time. It's so important to choose people who can support you, keep you calm, and most importantly, not annoy you.
Sidenote, are you still looking for a photographer and videographer? Because we happen to be amazing at helping our couples feel incredible, calm, and not annoyed.
If you'd like to get to know us and see more of our work, you can fill out the contact form at the bottom of this post!
We take a limited number of weddings per year because we care so much about building a great relationship with our couples. We're taking only 10 more weddings in 2020, and we'd love to talk with you and become friends.
Okay, now back to our regularly scheduled blog post.
2. Look Up Your Date's Sunset Time
Okay so we don't know how this slipped past our radar, but the sunset time didn't even cross our minds during the 9 months we were engaged. We planned our sparkler exit for 7:00pm. The sunset was at 8:00pm, which meant we had a sparkler exit when it was still bright outside. We also bought sparklers that only last 60 seconds so by the time we walked out, most of the sparklers were burnt out already. Yeah, learn from us hahaha!
We've also shot a few outside ceremonies that started after sunset because the couple chose the ceremony time without realizing when the sun would be down. Don't let this happen to you!
Every couple's wedding timeline is different, but we typically suggest to our couples that the ceremony be finished a little over an hour before sunset. That should leave you plenty of time to get family pictures, bridal party pictures, and you and your fiancé's couples pictures finished before sunset, all during beautiful golden hour.
3. Get a To-go Box of Food
Everyone told us, "You'll hardly eat your wedding food." And we said, "No way, we paid way too much for this food to not eat it." The wedding day came, and we did in fact hardly eat our wedding food.
To avoid letting late night hunger stop you two from enjoying your wedding night, see if your caterer can pack you a to-go box of food. You don't realize how hungry you are until you're finally sitting down for nearly the first time that day.
Another option is to stop for some food! One of our couples from 2018 stopped at Whataburger after their exit, and we came to film them sharing a milkshake and playfully throwing fries at each other.
4. DON'T Check the Weather
You'll want to. You'll really, really want to. But listen, in all of our years of filming and photographing weddings, we know firsthand that the forecast is wrong just as often as it's right, especially in Florida. Obsessively checking your weather app 10+ times each day leading up to the wedding is not worth the ups and downs you'll feel. First it'll be sunny, next it's back to rain, then back to sun, now it's 90% chance of lightning - And there's still 7 days left before the wedding day. Nope, don't do this to yourself.
Obviously, whether you look at the weather or not, sometimes it will rain, but that doesn't mean your day is ruined!
This is Shay & Nate.
Shay chose her wedding date because she looked it up and saw that for the previous 5 years in Destin, Florida, that day was sunny and 75 degrees. But on their actual wedding day, it was pouring like Erin and I had never seen. Shay was obviously upset at the time, but we were able to comfort her and tell her, "Your dress is already wet. Your makeup is already running because of your tears. Let's just go out in the rain and have fun and not let this rain ruin your wedding."
Here's the wedding film we made for them!
Have a contingency plan for sure (especially if your ceremony or reception is outside), but remember that you can't change the weather but you can choose to enjoy your wedding day no matter what it looks like outside.
5. Don't Forget: This Day Is About You Two
It's important to honor your family, but remember that this wedding is about you and your new husband or wife. Mom wants you to wear her out-of-style veil. Dad wants you to change your wedding date because there's a football game on that day. Grandma doesn't want you to have a first look. Uncle Dick wants an open bar.
Love them and respect them, but make sure you two are making wedding decisions that are best for you as a couple.