Every bride understands stress, from planning the wedding, to meeting with wedding vendors such as myself, making sure that your wedding guests are having fun to just making sure that every small detail goes off without any issue, stress if the biggest thing to overcome at your wedding.
Fortunately, I’ve filmed nearly 500 weddings in my wedding film career and as a professional that captures the day, I’ve pretty much seen and heard it all in my lifetime and I have collected a few great tips and hacks that you can use to help make the day go by super smooth and there is little to no cost in most cases. So, here are my list of “wedding hacks” if you will, lets get started.
Having Two Wedding Cakes
Yes, this WILL save you some time and money and this is the hack. Instead of having your baker make a 3-4 layer wedding cake for the cutting, have them make a dummy cake with only the top layer as a cake that you can cut into and feed each other. Beyond that, have them bake a sheet cake which is going to be cheaper in most cases and then the catering company can serve slices right from the kitchen. Some bakers do this and it’s something to consider when wanting to save a few extra bucks.
Buy from Brides Against Breast Cancer
One thing that I always tell brides is buy a dress from either a local shop to support local people or buy form a non profit like Brides Against Breast Cancer. Not only do they offer great used (but clean and in excellent shape) dresses, but you get a tax write off in the process. Also, the money you paid goes to help breast cancer research so it’s going to a great cause in the process! I highly recommend that you look into getting a dress from them.
Finally, you can save a huge amount of money buying used in the process. Think about it this way, you’ll spend $2,000 on a wedding dress that you’ll wear for half a day max, 12 hours or less, that’s $166 per hour, then you must clean it, store it and try to resell it later. Buy something less than half the cost and put that money towards a wedding film instead. (hint-hint)
Destroy Your Wedding Shoes
Well, not exactly, your new heels will look great, but you’ll want to scuff up the bottom of your heels as most don’t have a lot of grip, trust me, you don’t want to walk down the aisle and fall, take some sandpaper and give them a good scuff before the wedding day. In addition, after the ceremony, have some flip flops or sandals that you can slip on after the wedding photos/video session too, trust me, you’ll be much more comfortable for the reception!
Use Heel Attachments in an Outdoor Wedding
If you’re getting married in a field like Braeloch in Vinton for example, get a set of heel attachments for the ceremony. Heel attachments for those that don’t know are small plastic feet that are attached to the bottom of your high heels and they help give you support in soft wares such as grass.
They help prevent your heel from sinking into the dirt or grass and they help keep you elevates in the process. Ask for them at a place like Proms, Pageants & Pretty Things on Peters Creek Road in Roanoke.
A Spray of Perfume will Keep the Bugs Away
Did you know that many times during the spring and summer, couples will get eaten up by bugs such as mosquito’s and flies at the ceremony? I’ve seen many couples over the years be distracted by the annoyance of bugs at the service. Well, a wedding planner friend of mine told me years ago that some perfumes and women’s fragrances actually prevent them from bothering couples.
Perfumes that double as a natural bug repellant include Aromaflage. The bugs will stay away, and you'll smell amazing throughout the event. Victoria's Secret Bombshell perfume is also a mosquito repellent that you should take a look at as well.
The Marriage License
Don’t forget your marriage license on the wedding day. Over my years as we filmmaker, I’ve had three couples that actually forgot the license and they had to get someone to go back to the hotel to retrieve the paperwork for the pastor or officiant to fill out.
Hey, I get it, you’ve got SO much on your mind for your wedding day, just make sure that you bring the license with you so they can fill it out and drop it into the mail so the people in Richmond can get it processed quickly!
The Backup Plan
Listen, many couples want to get married outdoors here in Virginia, after all, we have some amazing backdrops of the Blue Ridge Mountains in our area. That being said, have a backup plan in case of rain. To give you an idea, of the weddings I’ve filmed the first half of 2019, four rained and had to be delayed or they had to stop, delay or relocate the wedding ceremony.
Always have a backup plan on your location, many venues will have an indoor and outdoor option, if you’re working with a wedding planner, they should be able to help offer suggestions.
The Spare Undershirt for the Guys
One thing that I’ve seen over the years is the guys and how much we sweat. As a filmmaker, I’m sweating all the time so I could only imagine how the groom must feel drenching in sweat. My suggestion is to have a spare undershirt for him for after the ceremony, something he can change into before the reception and put the tux button up back on.
Giving the groom 5 minutes to change into something clean will make him feel refreshed and much more awesome, ready for the reception!
Be Selective About Your Wedding Images
Generally, this would be the Bride and Groom, Bridal Party, Immediate Family and maybe one or two "whole side of the family" photos. If you are truly wanting photos with just you two and each aunt/uncle or extended family members, make sure to budget time to do so. And take attention to your photographers and videographers’ recommendation for the timing (and best light) needed to get the best photos of you and your new hubby!
The After-Party Point Person
I recommend that you have someone that you can have manage cleaning up the wedding reception and bridal suite after the wedding. I’ve left many weddings with couples themselves cleaning up the wedding venue and reception area and clean with little to no help. I remember I did this myself in 2003 when I first got married, while my wedding was nice, I was sweeping up the venue and collecting trash long after everyone left the Jefferson Center.
Having an after-party point person will enable you to relax and have someone else collect the wedding gifts, cards, clean up the venue, gather all the reception linens and related items that you brought. The last thing you want is to have your venue charge you for being later than midnight. That’s does happen from time to time, so be out by the designated time frame. Having a person in charge of that will help things greatly, trust me!
Honeymoon Bags Should be Pre-Packed
Something that you should do about 2-3 days ahead of time, pack your honeymoon bags and have them ready for when you leave. I remember filming a couples wedding recently and I asked them where they were going, Hawaii was the destination, but the groom was complaining about having to pack after the wedding. The couple was leaving the next day so there was little time to pack.
Well, being rushed creates stress, my advice, plan and keep the stress out of your wedding, reception and honeymoon too.
The Truth About Your Wedding
This is the truth about your wedding day, it will go by extremely fast for you. Having both a wedding video or filmmaker and a photographer is important to be able to visualize and in the case of video, relive your wedding day.
Beyond that, the most important advice I can give couples, just enjoy the day no matter what happens. In most weddings, there is always something that doesn’t go according to plan, sometimes it’s a small thing, sometimes it’s a bigger thing, like the wedding cake falling over or you have to move the ceremony indoors because of bad weather. But the truth is every wedding has something in some form or fashion that doesn’t go right.
Just have fun with your wedding day, laugh it off if something goes south, after all, friends, family and loved ones are there to celebrate your big day, not the wedding itself. If you are stressing over everything going 100% right, then you’re not thinking about the wedding the right way. Instead of impressing everyone with the “OOOoooo’s” and “Aaaahhhh’s” as some people do, just take a deep breathe, relax and have fun on your big day!
One secret I will always tell couples is that if you have fun, your bridal party will have fun and in return, it will come across in your images and video too.
Well, there are some of my best wedding hacks that I recommend you do if you’re getting married. They are easy to do and honestly, they might help you a bit on the wedding day too! If you enjoy reading my blog, be sure to check out my other great articles on saving money, providing you local wedding tips and tricks and my wedding advice too!