Posts tagged Wedding tips
Insider's Tips: Tip #58 - Making the day easier for grandma
Photo courtesy of  Amanda Pair Photography

Photo courtesy of Amanda Pair Photography

This next tip comes from a conversation that I had with a Mother of the Bride.  She was the planner for the wedding and decided that the wedding day timeline was just too long, especially for the grandparents (having to arrive 2-3 hours before the ceremony for pictures).  

Don’t get me wrong, timelines are essential on a wedding and they are always longer than people (the groom) realize at first.  Let’s say you are getting married at 6:00, you need to be hidden away at 5:00, so his family will do pictures at 4:30, your family at 4:00, the bridal party at 3:00, you and your groom at 2:00, so that puts you getting dressed around 1:00, if your hair and makeup is already done. Whew!!  

For little ones and our older family members, this is an especially hard day.  This mother decided that since the couple was doing a 1st look (to get all of the photos over with before the ceremony) that they would save the grandparent pictures until after the ceremony.  It would also increase the length that the grandparents would be able to come to the reception!  Every wedding should do this!

Insider's Tips: Tip #57 - Think of others for your leftovers
Meredith Ryncarz Main Street Productions Insiders tips wedding videography.png

Simple tip this week!  Depending on your venue, caterer, etc, you (really the mother of the bride) might end up with TONS of leftovers.  Remember to clean out your fridge/freezer the week of the wedding.  You will need a place to put all of that yummy food that you didn’t get a chance to even eat!

Better yet, donate the food to a homeless shelter.  Yellow Bicycle Catering automatically does this!  And while I am sure that there are some regulations regarding food temperature, etc, that you might want to check out, it sure would be worth it, wouldn't it?

Insider's Tips: Tip #56 - How to have a guest book you will actually look at!

You know those really old and outdated guest books that half of the time are a second thought to you during wedding planning?  It doesn’t have to be that way! These days your photographer can make a cute coffee table book out of your engagement photos that can double as your guest book.  You just have to leave extra room on each page for your guests to be able to write something special to you.

Kelli Taylor of Kelli + Daniel Taylor Photography had a great idea to go along with this.  She counsels her bridesmaids on the wedding day to each pick a different page to sign.  That way when guests are looking through the book they already have examples of what they are supposed to do!  

Brilliant!  And the best part?  It won’t be put in a box somewhere for you to never look at (like mine)!!

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 #51: You people make me want to scream!!!
Photo courtesy of  2b Photography

Photo courtesy of 2b Photography

We are videographers.  We are cinematographers.  We are film makers.  We are video ninjas.  Whatever you want to call us, fine.  We are passionate about the work we do.  The work speaks for itself.  

When you are searching for a videographer (and you should be!!!), look for someone that you connect with.  I feel that you should have an emotional reaction to our work.  Brides call/email us crying because they just watched the clips on our website.  That’s an emotional reaction.  Our brides actually LOVE their wedding film more than their photos most of the time!!  I know, you can't even imagine that now, but it will happen.  That's the part that makes me so crazy.  Just trust me and let us do our job. 

I hear it over and over from bridesmaids and others.  "I just got married last month and I didn't hire a professional videographer for my wedding."  It's unfortunate because you can't go back and redo your wedding day.  If the company you hire knows what they are doing then you are going to get a priceless treasure from your wedding day.   

A few years ago a bride's grandmother got very sick the day after the wedding and never recovered.  We had captured some great footage of her at the wedding.  We were able to use every piece of usable footage as a tribute to her grandmother. We even had natural audio of her grandmother laughing.  I don't know if you have ever lost a loved one, but to be able to remember how they looked and sounded is such a gift.

The above example was used to help you understand that a wedding video not only will capture the things that you understandably find important  - your wedding ceremony and vows, your first dance, the funny moment during cake cutting - but it will also capture the things that you might not realize how very important they will become.  

Insider's Tips: Tip #49 - Party Bus!

We love a party bus!  It arrives at the church and takes the bridal party to the reception safely to enjoy all of the wedding festivities, aka, alcohol.  We love riding on the party bus - you just really never know what footage you will get!!!  

There are many great reasons to hire a bus, shuttle, etc.  You have the obvious, carting around the wedding party, that may or may not be drinking.  Helping out of towners get to the destination without getting lost. All great things!

But remember after the wedding - after you and your spouse leave the reception.  The wedding party that may or may not have been drinking, may or may not be able to drive themselves from the reception back to the hotel.  It might be a good idea to have the party bus come back and pick everyone up to take the back to the hotel.  That way everyone gets home safe and sound.  

Here is a party bus by Rare Transportation! It's off in the distance, but it's there. 

Photo courtesy of  J.Woodbery Photography

Photo courtesy of J.Woodbery Photography

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 #46 - How your old wedding flowers can bring happiness
Photo courtesy of  Allison Lewis Photography

Photo courtesy of Allison Lewis Photography

Did you know that you can bring happiness to other people's lives?  Yes, you can!  At the end of your wedding, you can donate your wedding flowers to a great service in Birmingham called Perenity Flower Ministry.  They will distribute the beautiful arrangements to Birmingham hospice patients.  Ask your florist about this wonderful service.  

This article (click here) from is an interview from the founder of Perenity.  It is from Christmas, but trust me, this service is year around.  

Your flowers brought you so much joy on such a perfect wedding day, why not let them bring joy to a very sick patient?

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 #44: Potty Time!
Photo courtesy of  Morgan Trinker

Photo courtesy of Morgan Trinker

It is clear that I don't read all of the wedding websites out there - I really have no need.  But I think this might be an original idea.  Most sites might have too much class to cover this topic, but I feel that it is vitally important.  

Before you put on your wedding dress, please remember to go to the bathroom!  Of course you will have to revisit this "topic" several times that day therefore you will have to have an entourage to help you in the bathroom.  All I am saying is that if you can remember to go beforehand, then that is one less time that you have to "bond" with your bridesmaids.  After all, what did they really sign up for anyway...


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 #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 #37 - An alternate way to have fun at your wedding!
Photo courtesy of  Jerrod Brown Studios

Photo courtesy of Jerrod Brown Studios

Years ago, we did our first wedding with an After Party.  The bride wanted a nice ceremony with the grandmother-approved reception.  She had lot of family and friends that wanted to wish she and her husband well. And that is what they got.  They visited with everyone, cut the cake and threw the garter.  Done.  

Then the younger folks and the photographer and videographer jumped in our cars and went to a separate location for the After Party. I think it was at B & A Warehouse.  And that was really where the fun began!  They had karoke, snacks, and an open bar.  Definitely not grandmother approved, but it was what the bride wanted.  What a way to compromise.  And for the record, we actually delivered two versions of their video...

We have seen the After Party for many reasons - lots because of grandparents, but what about if you just can't afford to have an open bar for that many people or if you just don't want to invite that many people to your reception but because of family issues, you must.  Compromise.  

The After Party doesn't have to be 300 guests.  Invite who you want and think outside the box.

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 #31 - Actually look at your groom, really.

Everyone knows that they are going to be nervous on their wedding day.  Standing in front of 100s of people trying to repeat the words that the minister is asking you to do, without embarrassing yourself, is very nerve racking.  And I am not trying to add something to your list of things to do, but it is actually something that you can take care of before the wedding day.

When you guys sit down with your pastor, ask him/her to include in the vows and ring ceremony for you both to face each other first.  Let me try to explain.  Because this seems like an easy one - the natural way is to turn to someone when you are speaking to them, but when you are up there and the minister is feeding you your "lines" you start talking to him and forget to turn to your spouse-to-be.  Most of the time there is this awkward wanting to talk to your spouse, but you are looking at the minister for the next line.  All the while we are getting video of the back of your head (because let's remember the church's restrictions on camera placement) instead of your faces.  Same goes with the rings.  We want you to turn out so that the audience can see what you are doing.  

The perfect, easy solution is coming up!  We have heard this done many times and it sounds very natural.  This is what the minister should say,  "Now Suzy, face Billy and repeat after me."  Easy as that! It works perfectly and your photographer and videographer will get great shots of your face as you say the most sacred of vows.  Trust me on this one.  

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!