Recently we were driving home from a wedding and Alex asked, “Do you ever wish Brides would ask you for advice when they plan their weddings?” My answer was an overwhelming YASSSSS! Along with your wedding planner and officiant, your photographer has probably seen more weddings than the average person. We’ve had a front row seat to the behind the scenes and the mishaps. Even though you didn’t ask, today we are giving you our two cents! Now for his blog debut, check out these wise words from the other half of Chandler Rose Photography (My husband).
Hey guys, Alex here.
For the last ten years I have been programming church services. This includes planning when certain things happen and how they look, like singing, lighting, music, etc. And since joining Haley in the photography world last year I have been to A LOT of weddings.
As someone who is analytical (Strengthsfinder 2.0), maybe to a fault, I sometimes get distracted during services and ceremonies. I think about what I would do different, I notice when things don’t go they way they were planned, and I can tell when thought and planning have gone into creating a great experience. The following are a few things that I think can help create a better ceremony for you and your guests.
1. PLAN WITH YOUR GUESTS IN MIND
It is true that your wedding day is all about you. No argument there. That being said, you also invited friends and family to join you. Some of them might have traveled from out of state, taken time off work, or sacrificed their weekend to celebrate with you. Why not give them a great experience? Plan the ceremony from their perspective.
Ask these question to guide your planning: What do I want them to feel as soon as they walk into the venue? What music should be playing before the ceremony? What are they sitting on? How long will the ceremony be? Is there something for their young children? Is there a way to include your guests in the ceremony proceedings? What will your guests do immediately after the ceremony, or while you take photos? and finally, Would I want to come to my own wedding?
2. DO A TECH REHEARSAL
The officiant is finishing his opening remarks, he directs the guests to be seated and a song starts playing. Quickly, the bride turns toward the sound booth, with fire in her eyes, and the song abruptly stops. That’s because it’s time for a reading, not a song. So some sister-in-law steps up to the mic, but it’s not on. The poor tech is still recovering from his previous mishap. Clearly things aren’t going well.
All this can be avoided with a simple tech rehearsal and a service order/run-down sheet. Let's be real, and call wedding ceremonies what they really are, performances. I don't mean to say “it's all an act”. But, think about it. Players take the stage on cue, hit their marks, and say their lines. Why not at least give everyone involved a detailed order of all the “scenes”? Clearly stating who does what, when and what happens next. With that in hand, after testing all mics and recorded music before hand, the ceremony can be distraction free. After all, that's one less thing for you to think about while you're standing on the platform next to your soon-to-be spouse.
3. MAKE IT PERSONAL
You and your fiancé have some things unique that make you, YOU. Use that, in any way you can think of, in your ceremony. Find a way to make it personal, different than every other wedding you’ve been to in the past few years. Make is different than the weddings you’ve seen on Pinterest. Maybe it’s a song, a decoration, or a moment in the ceremony, but find a way to make your ceremony unlike any other wedding. (eh-hmm confetti canons, anyone?) Rules are meant to be broken, don’t be a slave to a the classic template and structure. Celebrate YOU!
- Allow space for the photographers to move around in aisles/seats.
- Consider an “unplugged” ceremony.
- Great light lends itself to great photos. Dark church = dark photos.
- A large bridal party may mean someone is standing in front of something that is not so pretty.
- Remind your party to walk slower than normal, and SMILE!
- Have a wedding planner or family friend who can be in charge and keep things moving.
Yeah, we know you weren't asking for advice, but what if you actually did! We'd love to hear your thoughts and talk to you about your upcoming wedding. Leave us your comments or contact us here. Can't wait to hear from you!