Posts tagged Birmingham Weddings
Insider's Tips: Tip #54 - Don't make your wedding guests have to eat at Waffle House!
Photo courtesy of  Spindle Photography

Photo courtesy of Spindle Photography

Back on the Insider's Tips: Tip #37, I talked about the fun trend of the After Party.  But you don't have to do an After Party to offer your guests this wonderful new creation of the Late Night Snack!  

Just imagine at your reception, your guests have had dinner and now everybody is partying and having a good time.  It gets to be around 10 and out comes the LATE NIGHT SNACK!  It is not only perfect timing but delicious as well!  All guests are happy with their tummy's full!  You might dance a little more before you make your grand exit.  And as you drive away, your guests will be thanking you for the delicious snack before the party ended! (And the fact that they don't have to stop at Waffle House, or some other all night establishment, on the way home, therefore saving them from a terrible stomach ache the following morning!)

Insider's Tips: Tip #52: I was not paid for this endorsement
Wedding Planner Rachael Grammer with Two Hearts Weddings & Events.  Photo courtesy of  Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography

Wedding Planner Rachael Grammer with Two Hearts Weddings & Events.  Photo courtesy of Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography

So if you have been one of the loyal and avid readers of these posts, you know that so many things can pop up during your wedding planning and on the day of.  Things that you might not ever think of unless you go to a lot of weddings and hang out in the background.  We do.  We see most everything that happens - the good, the bad and the ugly.  

Just the other weekend, the band was complaining about their stage not being big enough and not having the electrical requirements that they needed.  How's your knowledge of power requirements???  I don't know about you, but on my wedding day I wanted to be the bride, not an electrician.

What if you change the time you want to leave your reception?  Who is going to have the number of the car company to tell them the new time?  Sure you have it in your wedding book, but where is the book? 

Short a corsage from the florist?  You can't leave that one grandparent without something to wear!  Who is calling the florist???  Who is stressing about this?  You will be!

Imagine the photographer trying to take all of the family pictures, but where is the family?  Uncle Bob is over there, Aunt Sally is still getting ready, Aunt Sue went to sit down in another room.  Who will be yelling trying to get everyone to be in the same room at the same time?  Yep, you again.  

Wedding Planner Ann Marie of  Tres Beau Weddings  featured here by  Allison Lewis Photography

Wedding Planner Ann Marie of Tres Beau Weddings featured here by Allison Lewis Photography

There was one reception that I heard about where the venue had to make a rain call while the ceremony was taking place at a nearby church.  No big deal, right?  Well the florist was already set up and wasn't made aware that the rain call had taken place and everything (but her flowers) were moved inside.  Fortunately she decided to run back by the venue to double check everything 30 minutes prior to the guests arriving.  She was able to redecorate everything before the couple arrive for their reception.  

Photo of Anita with  AK Brides .  Photo courtesy of  Stacy Richardson Photography

Photo of Anita with AK Brides.  Photo courtesy of Stacy Richardson Photography

I wonder what you can do to help ensure that these things don't happen?

If the couple had hired a professional wedding planner, none of this would have been an issue.  

Don't make your friends, your mother, (or you) have to deal with this stuff.  You don't want to be interrupted while you are taking pictures or getting dressed in your beautiful wedding gown - hire a professional wedding planner to handle everything for you.  You will just have to trust me on this one - it will be worth the money!!!!

By the way, each of the examples are from an actual wedding.  We even had one this past weekend where the reception site's power was knocked out by a storm right before the wedding.  No power, no AC, nothing for the entire night.  Who do you think had to deal with that?

Insider's Tips: Tip #48 - Squeeze on in
Photo courtesy of  Allison Lewis Photography

Photo courtesy of Allison Lewis Photography

We recently saw the best arrangement for the parents during the wedding ceremony. To better help you understand what I am talking about, this was a formal church ceremony, the groom's father was the best man, and there wasn't a center aisle.  

So both sets of the parents (bride and groom's) were sitting on the same aisle. But instead of being on the sides, they both scooted to the middle and sat next to each other.  How great is that!  We think it showed a wonderful sense of unity between the families.  Some brides and grooms are not as lucky.  And besides for a lot of weddings, the groom's mom has to sit by herself because her husband is standing with their son on the alter.  Great for pictures and video too!  

Insider's Tips: Tip #47 - Wait
Photo courtesy of  2 b Photography

Photo courtesy of 2 b Photography

This tip is actually another one of John's.  Don't we love it when he chimes in from time to time!  

John says to not make any major decisions - like buying a dress, booking a venue, etc., the first week after you get engaged.  Take a little time to enjoy your new sparkly ring.  There is so much excitement right after an engagement, but don't let that excitement cause you to make bad decisions.

Booking the first venue you see, or the first dress you put on because you just sooooo excited and can't wait to start getting ready for the wedding, it might turn out to be a bad thing.  Take the time to make an educated decision so that you won't have any regrets. I doubt many venues or dress shops will give you a refund if you change your mind.

And you know what else would help...hiring a professional wedding planner.  They will be able to lead you in the right direction!  AND save you money in the process!  

Insider's Tips: Tip #45 - Jesus is watching you!
Photo courtesy of  509 Photo

Photo courtesy of 509 Photo

Ok, here is a tip that you won't find anywhere else.  

Please remind your wedding party (and yourself) that although prayers during the ceremony are a time that most of the wedding guests have their eyes closed, the video camera is still running.  All adjustments to dresses, pants, body parts, etc. should wait until the ceremony is over. Jesus (and the videographer's camera) are watching! Probably not something you want on your video...

Insider's Tips: Tip #43 - Prevent Guest Book Disasters

Whether they are feather or fancy or black or blue, many times they will not write if they are new.  (ha - it rhymes!) I am talking about pens with your guest book.

Every bride has this fancy pen with her beautiful guest book for people to sign, but the pen never seems to write.  Time is taken up by everyone looking into their purses for a pen that will write.  I don't know if the problem is with the type of paper in the guest book or if the pens are just too new, but issues arise.  I guess it could be that they run out of ink.  

I know with a new Bic pen, I have to scribble it a little before it will start to write.  I would assume the same would work with the fancy pens.  If it doesn't have enough ink, you could provide more than one pen for people to use.  I really don't have a good solution - maybe some wedding planners will chime in.... after all, I am just a videographer, a very observant videographer. 

Wedding Planner, Rachael Grammer, from Two Hearts Wedding Planning, had this to say, "We always advise getting a nice fountain pen instead of the typical feather adorned ballpoint pen that is sure to fail at the worst time. There are some beautiful fountain pens out there and how fun to carry that special pen in your purse long after your wedding day... talk about a wonderful reminder of the best day ever!"

Insider's Tips: Tip #42 - Holy Moly, it's hot outside!!

Please remember that we live in one of the hottest states in the summer!  Outdoor summer weddings are beautiful, but they are HOT!  A couple of cute wash bins full of ice and water bottles is a nice thing to do for your guests.  

Put them by the guest book, by the ceremony location, wherever you can.  If a guest arrives 20 minutes before to get a good seat and the ceremony is about 30 minutes long, they will be sitting out in the hot heat for almost an hour before the reception starts.  So buy a lot - you won't waste it!  The alternative could be guests passing out due to the extreme heat.   

An alternative to water it a cute lemonade stand or even lemonade favors! It is a great way to put your unique spin on the favors while replenishing your guests' thirst!

Photo courtesy of  Allison Lewis Photography

Photo courtesy of Allison Lewis Photography

Insider's Tips: Tip #41 - Incorporating Family Heirlooms into the Wedding Day

This next tip I am pretty excited to share!  I think we have seen it only a handful of times, but it is high-impact.  

Not too many times do we see a bride want to wear her mother's vintage wedding dress, but taking the dress and having a seamstress turn into into a short, cute party dress for the wedding rehearsal dinner = brilliant!   

The dress pictured below was worn for the 2nd half of the reception. The bride took her mom's dress and remade it into a short dress, so she was ready to dance the night away!

You can also make a beautiful handkerchief made from your mother's wedding dress.  

There are so many ways to incorporate meaningful heirlooms into your wedding day. It just takes thinking outside the box! Maybe a vintage broach bouquet should be a topic soon?

Insider's Tips: Tip #40 - How to pack the dance floor at your wedding!
Photo courtesy of  Amanda Pair Photography

Photo courtesy of Amanda Pair Photography

Whether you like it or not, you and your groom are responsible for getting people out on the dance floor.  Well, at least partly.  You can have a great band or DJ, but your guests want to see you out there having fun.  

I am not saying that you have to physically drag everyone and force them to dance.  We have seen when planners guide their couple to the dance floor, the guests start to dance.  When they see you having a great time and dancing, they want to come out on the dance floor too.  

One more bonus:  Your photographer and videographer can capture some great memories because everyone is out there dancing and having a great time!  

Insider's Tips: Tip #39 - Who really wants all of that leftover cake?

Quick and easy tip of the week:  The later in the wedding reception that you cut your cake, the less will be eaten.  A lot of the older crowd will leave once the cake is cut, so your crowd will thin out just a bit, but do you really want 5 layers of cake in your mom's freezer?  So why not have your introduction, go straight into the first dances (bride and groom, daddy and daughter, mom and son) and then go cut your cake.  Then you can party with the band and do what you want to do!  

Insider's Tips: Tip #38 - where is your minister after the wedding?

Yay, you're married!  Wonderful, let's start the celebration.  But wait, where is the minister?  You need him to sign the marriage license.  Ugh.  Read on to find out about this cool tip we saw recently at a wedding.

The couple and minister signed the marriage license right during the wedding ceremony! It was perfect!  Right after the couple lit the unity candle, they signed it.  And it was done.  No need to chase after anyone after the ceremony.  Cross it off your to-do list.  Plus it is a great time and place for a photo/video opportunity! 

Photo courtesy of  Unplugged Photography  /  Rabbi Barry
Insider's Tips: Tip #36 - How to NOT look like you have tarantulas on your face (and other wedding day fears)!

Everyone does false eyelashes for their wedding and why not, the results are amazing!  I really can't believe the difference! But make sure you hire a professional makeup artist; they really know what they are doing and won't make you look like you have a tarantula on your face! 

Jackie Robinson with RawwBeauty uses DUO adhesive lash glue which is a latex glue so it comes off easy but at the same time won't come off when you are wearing them.  After you've been dancing the night away at your wedding reception, you can just pull from the outside to the nose like a bandaid to remove them. They won't pull out your lashes and it won't hurt. 

If you are careful and remove the way she suggested, you can use them again when you want to feel gorgeous!

Wedding Day Hair and Makeup by  RawwBeauty  / Photo courtesy of  AL Weddings

Wedding Day Hair and Makeup by RawwBeauty / Photo courtesy of AL Weddings

Insider's Tips Tip #35 - Don't let kids ruin your wedding ceremony!

I love kids.  I love kids in weddings.  I love the unpredictable nature of kids in weddings.  But I'm also a mom.  And here is my mom advice.

When you first get engaged and you are picking out your wedding party, a lot of times you will have beautiful nieces and nephews that you want to be included.  Sometimes they are a bit young, but even if they cry all the way down the aisle, they still are cute.  And you have to include them.  Completely understandable! But we need to make a plan for their day.  

Photo courtesy of  Dee Moore Photography

Photo courtesy of Dee Moore Photography

We all know a wedding day is a long day.  Sometimes the wedding party is arriving at the church 5 or 6 hours before the ceremony time for getting ready and pictures and things.  It is necessary for this extra time as there is so much to be done before the ceremony starts.  But it is so hard on the kids and their moms.  Especially if mom and dad are both in the wedding party.  What about if the go-to grandparent is your parent too and is in the wedding party.  There is no one that can deal with the kids.  Can you imagine your mom, in her beautiful dress that is not meant to be bending down and picking up kids, trying to bend down and soothe her grandbaby... It is stressful.  And it is your wedding day, you don't want anymore stress!

That is what this really is about - the stress level and how it can be helped.  This is not about not having kids in the wedding (I want to make sure that you understand my point here).  It is about preparation.  

During a long day at one of our weddings a few years ago, the family was prepared.  It was a large family with lots of nieces and nephews and everyone (even the parents) were included in the wedding party.  They came prepared with 4 babysitters for the day.  It was awesome!

The babysitters arrived at the church with Happy Meals for all of the kids (because remember the finger foods you and your bridesmaids might be enjoying, might not appeal to the little ones).  And if the poor kids can't have a nap on such a long day, can't they at least have something to eat that they like???  These babysitters were also playmates that didn't have to worry about getting dressed with makeup on to take lots of photos!!  

And don't forget a wedding ceremony can be extremely long for a little one.  I love the trend of letting the littles walk down the aisle and go directly to sit down with a loved one.  It is the best of both worlds.  

You don't want your sister to have to juggle hold her child while wanting to celebrate with you on your wedding day. Plan ahead!  Thank goodness for the babysitters!!  It allowed for a stress free day for everyone. 

Insider's Tips: Tip #34 - Don't have a choreographed 1st dance

Another tip from John:

Photo courtesy of  Amanda Pair Photography

Photo courtesy of Amanda Pair Photography

Unless you are trained ballroom dancers, then the choregraphed first dance is for the audience, not for the bride and groom.  The first dance should be a time that you as a very new couple can look back on the day and talk about it.  Look around the room and see your reception and anticipate the evening.  

It is not a time to be counting, one, two, three, four.  One, two, three, four.  You wonder how we know that you are counting?  We can read it on your lips in the video.  We can see that you are not caught up in the magical moment of the first dance, but you are trying not to fall down or trip.  

The traditional sway, aka the middle school sway, is a classic for a reason.  Anyone can do it.  And we can get better footage because you are spending your time looking into your husband's/wife's eyes.  You only get one first dance, fill it with romance.

Insider's Tips: Tip #30 - Avoid shuttle disasters

Are we there yet?

This is a pretty simple tip that I am sure most of you can figure out why it is important.  If you are hiring a shuttle service for your guests and bridal party, please make sure that the driver is actually from the area of your wedding, not the area that you might be planning the wedding from.  

Photo courtesy of  David Boyd Photography

Photo courtesy of David Boyd Photography

The driver asking directions from the guests is "ok" early on in the day, but after everyone has had a cocktail or two, then it is not that effective.  The driver should really know where he is going.  And remember, this actually happened at a destination wedding one time.  Ugh.

Insider's Tips: Tip #29 - How NOT to cut your cake!

Practice the cake cutting.  Cut, cut, stab (as I like to call it).

Many years ago we had a couple that was cutting the bride's cake and the groom absent-mindedly fed himself cake before feeding it to his new bride.  It was pretty funny then (and now)!  If you want to see a clip of it, here it is.  Please keep in mind that it is just raw footage so it won't be the masterpiece you are expecting from us!!!  And really do yourself a favor and skip to :45 into the clip.  

We understand that you don't cut this sort of cake every day and it is kind of weird to have to cut it with your hand here and his hand there and wait for the photographer to take the picture.  BUT IT IS JUST CAKE; JUST CUT IT HOW YOU WANT!!!  Guys, please do keep in mind that your bride's mouth might not be as big as yours and don't feed her a bite that you would take, but maybe half of the size.  

No one ever knows how to cut the cake without instruction, which is fine.  Just wait until your instructors have moved away until you start cutting the cake.  That way your pictures and video won't have half of the serving staff in them. 

Here is an instructional article that we found that may provide some assistance before the wedding.  

Insider's Tips: Tip #28 - How to preserve the family heirloom, handkerchief, on a wedding day
Photo courtesy of  Daniel Taylor Photography

Photo courtesy of Daniel Taylor Photography

Many times brides are lucky enough to carry a special handkerchief from their grandmother or great aunt or some loved family member.  It is often their "something old."  Brides normally carry it with their bouquet of flowers.  

Recently we saw the bride give it to her groom to put it in his pocket.  This is a great idea for two reasons.  One it doesn't get ruined if the flower stems rub and stain the delicate handkerchief.  And secondly, it is very sweet that the groom offer his bride a cloth if she starts crying during the ceremony!  

What a neat idea!

 

Insider's Tips: Tip #26 - Phones on a wedding day

Can you hear me now?

Photo courtesy of  Unplugged Photography

Photo courtesy of Unplugged Photography

This week's tip is from John, so it will be short and sweet and not too wordy.  Give your cell phone to a bridesmaid early in the am of your wedding day.  I would hope that if someone NEEDED to get a hold of you, then they would first try someone else.  But you don't need to deal with having to answer the phone and give directions or times while you are getting your hair done or putting your dress on.  

An idea from the lovely ladies with Engaged, A Wedding Library said maybe even record a cute message saying you are in the process of becoming the NEW Mrs. ______ and give them another number to call.  

I would also like to add that this also applies to the mom of the bride as well.  

Insider's Tips: Tip #24 - Wedding Dress Help

Another great tip from Cathy Kelly at The White Room.  Whoever is helping the bride put her dress on, MUST NOT be wearing colored nail polish.  Clear or a french manicure is acceptable.  Otherwise you can get streaks of color onto the white dress!  Yikes!  Can you imagine getting ready for pictures on your wedding day and your mom's freshly painted nails scrape against your dress?  The next thing you know, you are trying to find something to get the streak of nail polish off the back of the dress.  Remember this does apply for bridal sessions too!  

Photo courtesy of  Simple-color.com

Photo courtesy of Simple-color.com

Crochet hooks are a must if you have a million buttons on the back of your dress!  It will save hours!  Not really, but it seems that way!  And maybe Wal-Mart has a two pack because I personally think it is a good idea to pack an extra in your overnight bag for your honeymoon night.  Not only will your groom not be a big fan of having to undo 25 little tiny hooks, but I also doubt that he will be very patient in this process.  

We have clients that chose for the wedding planner or a mom to unhook the little buttons (leaving the zipper untouched) before leaving the reception.  By that point in the evening, no one will ever notice that you have the hooks unhooked.  It is just unnecessary stress for your groom to have to deal with it.  

Insider's Tips: Tip #23 - Referrals

"He said, she said."

I don't read all of the traditional wedding blogs with tips and checklists and all of that.  I read it when I was planning our wedding, but really not since, so I hope you won't find any similarities.  The point of the Insider's Tips is to try to post things that you might not have heard of/thought of/seen before.  

With all of that said, my next tip might be one that you have heard about before.  But it is really important, so I wanted to post it.  

I think we have established that it is hard to pick out vendors for your wedding.  You don't know who to trust or who will do a good job.  If you have a friend that has recently gotten married, then she is a great resource.  But don't overlook the great resource that one of your already booked vendors can be.  

Now of course, I love receiving referrals.  A very large portion of our business comes from referrals, so I don't take this lightly.  But I really love giving referrals to brides.  After all, this is our world.  We work with a whole lot of people - we know the quality professionals to refer you to.  Anyone can spend a million dollars on advertising claiming to be the best whatever, but just because you have money, it doesn't mean that you care about your work or your clients.  Double check with a few of your wedding vendors to see who they can recommend.  

Photo courtesy of  Stacy Richardson Photography  - gorgeous bouquet by  HotHouse Design Studio

Photo courtesy of Stacy Richardson Photography - gorgeous bouquet by HotHouse Design Studio