There are no shortage of enhancements that you can apply to your wedding that give it a unique and personal touch; A Special Pair of Signature Cocktails, Uplighting, Monograms — the possibilities are endless — and sometimes overwhelming!
Below are some 3 planning traps to avoid in your pursuit of customization and a few, more cost effective, solutions for you to consider!
Skip the Centerpieces
One option can be both costly and wasteful are elaborate centerpieces and tablescapes. At nearly every wedding and event we go to, after the lights come on and everyone has said their goodbyes, we see the couple and/or their loved ones left behind cleaning up the centerpieces or favors that were not taken. Some couples elect to have the DJ announce who “wins” the centerpieces, but regardless of announcements, take our word for it that very few take them.
Plus, let’s not forget, beyond the inherent expense and cleanup duty, a 3 tiered aquatic centerpiece might have an initial wow factor, but it quickly loses its appeal when it becomes difficult to converse with a family or friend from across the table because of the obstructed view. Instead of investing in something that has a short lifespan and will inevitably end up in the dumpster, we highly recommend a Photo Booth, customized gifts for your wedding party, or even a highlight film that has infinitely more longevity! BTW Do not for a SECOND, think that a more conservative approach to your centerpieces is “cheaping out”. The less is more approach has been the trend in the nicest venues and spaces for years now! (see below, Belle Mer in Newport RI with and without Uplighting)
Beware a Large Wedding Party
There are many benefits and drawbacks to having a large wedding party. Larger wedding parties do bring extra energy which can be an asset when working through various parts of the day. Big Wedding groups can also help to pack a dancefloor. Despite these assets, there are also drawbacks such as: an increased need for transportation, tighter getting ready spaces and lengthier Photo and Video sessions.
On your wedding day, you need to be a little selfish. It is afterall, YOUR wedding day. We can absolutely understand that many people want to be a part of your big day, but there are some unforeseen logistical issues that can arise with large wedding parties. Check out the big 3 below.
Most venue wedding suites, and even hotel rooms are just not equipped to hold your 10 closest friends, 2 moms, 3 aunts, a ring bearer/flower girl, a makeup artist, a stylist, a videographer, and a photographer (or two). All of those folks, accompanied by all of the dresses, accessories, and Panera Bread bagel trays leaves little in the way of space. If you can avoid this scenario, great! But if you cannot. this is something you HAVE to accommodate for. For example, the people getting ready with the couple may need more than one space, especially when the more important parts of the getting ready are being filmed and photographed! The more cramped the room, the harder it is for your vendors and loved ones help you reach your vision for the big day, and the more stressed you become. On your wedding day, trust us when we say that no one wants to feel like they are being packed into a subway car after a Red Sox game! So please make sure you have the appropriate room for the amount of people you have.
Remember Limos? You don’t see them very often anymore, but they did have a functional purpose back in the day of gigantic wedding parties! Everyone has to get to the getting ready spot, to the ceremony, then to the venue and then safely somehow back to their hotel or maybe their home (if they live nearby). That’s where the Limo used to come in handy! More people going to and from the getting ready space means more cars, or the additional expense of getting people to and from the venue via bus, limo, or otherwise. It is very important to plan for the transportation aspect of a large wedding party. That being said, if you simply have a large family and need the wedding party to be huge, a party bus is sometimes your best solution!
Photography at a wedding is very much like Filming a documentary. It’s a very niche talent to be able to effectively create beautiful artwork in a live, unrehearsed atmosphere. It is both challenging and thrilling! Of course, as an experienced Photo team, we aim to control as many variables as we can, but we are also prepared to play a Photojournalistic role and capture what is naturally there.
Due to human nature, and personalities being what they are, a larger wedding party adds many more variables to the equation. People need to be corralled and encouraged in order to take the best Photos. People also need food, water, breaks, mimosas etc.
But let’s cut to the chase: the people in your wedding party will be in your formal photos. This undoubtedly means that your formal photos/ videos will take substantially longer with a larger party, and if your photos run late, it’s usually at the expense of your intimate/couple’s portraits, which no one is very happy about. There are ways to work around this, such as making sure you have 2 Photographers to expedite the formals and organize the special moments of the day. You also would be wise to think about adding additional time to your Photo shoot. Finally, always keep in mind the cast of characters that will be in your wedding party and plan for their needs where you can — but make sure it is not at the expense of your wedding Photography/Videography Keepsakes!
Tik Tok – Good and Bad
Our goal is to have your Wedding stand out as a timeless classic. We’re happy to keep it trendy and help you put a time stamp on your special day, but do not forget that some things are a fad and others are not as they appear to be!
Over the last couple of years, we hear more and more suggestions from couples based on what they have seen on Tik Tok. Honestly, some of them are great! Everyone likes a good “icing” now and then! Its also amazing how social media has resurrected songs from the past and brought them back to the forefront! There are undoubted benefits to the Tik Tok craze, but please keep in mind who is attending your party and what kind of messages certain things can send to your family and friends! These are people who do not get to see you as often as they used to. Let’s make sure they leave the party with the right impression!
For example, It only took a year before people realized the 1st drink/last drink fad that Tik Tok popularized wasn’t such a great idea. Another aspect to keep in mind is that everything looks cool when you throw in some epic background music, and energetic transitions to action packed cut shots. What you don’t see is the actual reality of the situation in real time. Take, for example, the “table rush” that so many couples are trying to implement into their timelines in 2023. On Tik Tok, followers see this fast paced, awesome way of getting a photo with every table at your reception. On occasion, yes, you absolutely will get a few shots here and there from this type of game, but it’s hard to say who will actually looking at the camera or who has salad in their teeth. (Sorry, Uncle Joe). There’s a rushed nature to a lot of this that can certainly create excitement — and honestly is a great idea if you want to pump the crowd up a little before opening the dancefloor — but these games not to be relied upon as a consistent way to get great shots of your loved ones. There are simply better ways to get good fun Photos (like a Photo Booth).
Solo Last Dance
Or another example is the “solo last dance” with everyone outside waiting for the send off. This is a trend that sounds so good if everything goes right, and it certainly can be done with the right amount of planning! HOWEVER, there’s a big fact that the 34 Second Tik Tok reel won’t tell you. In order to pull off a solo last dance and subsequent send off (in either order) your reception has to end about 20- 25 minutes early in order to get everyone outside, waiting with sparklers. At some point in the equation you also have to complete an entire dance and set up the Photo/Video team to capture both the indoor and outdoor components and do it all before your time runs out at the venue. Another thing about the solo last dance, is that most Photo/Video packages end before the party ends. If a wedding reception is 4p to 10p, its likely that the Photo/Video timeline is 12-8 or 1-9. This is not only for budgetary and timeline reasons, but also because nobody wants to dance after 8:45 with a spotlight on them and a camera in their face. The DJ greatly appreciates when the Photo/Video team takes a hike as they immediately see the folks who did not want to be on camera start to make their way to the dancefloor. This means that unless you get an extended package, the solo last dance would not even be an option for most couples to have filmed and photographed.
Be you, do what you want, don’t be fooled by content creators who are really doing this many times just for people to click the like button. Trust the professionals you work with to guide you to the wedding of your dreams!!
For more info, to share your thoughts or to inquire about our Team of Wedding Specialists, please use the contact form below.