Some wedding day advice to keep everything flowing smoothly here are 15 wedding do’s and wedding do nots.
1. Keep your family photos limited to the most necessary players. Generally this is grandparents, parents, siblings, siblings spouses, and siblings children if applicable. If you get into doing all the cousins and all the aunts and uncles you tend to go from 15 minutes of family photos to more like 45 minutes.
2. Word of caution if you open the bar before the ceremony by the time you get to dinner people will be feeling their drinks. Things might get a bit sloppy a bit earlier than anticipated if there is more than 5 hours of an open bar.
3. Lawn games are awesome for the afternoon and cocktail hour. While I do appreciate some of the older traditions and even enjoy some of the wedding games the dollar dance just doesn’t feel right in our current time. You have invited your guests and they have brought you a gift (often money) and people do not carry much cash anymore. It can be very awkward to do the dollar dance.
4. Enjoy your guests photos by using a common wedding hashtag. Create a Instax/Polaroid photo-booth table but please do not leave the disposable cameras on the tables. They do not give you useable footage and they look cheap.
5. Please do not hide out for cocktail hour if you are not being photographed go socialize with your guests. It will not effect the first introduction of you as a couple if you still want the formal introduction. I promise people will still clap and cheer and you will have already been able to spend time with the people who are most important to you which is what a wedding is all about.
6. Even if you have cupcakes or doughnuts you should still cut a mini cake. The photos are awesome and I think the experience is something you remember. That said a tradition that has phased out is the bouquet and garter. If you have a ton of single men and women and think that it would be awesome go ahead and do it. It seems to me that it is usually an uncomfortable experience for the guests.
7. Kissing is encouraged on your wedding day–know not everyone is a “pretty” kisser and that you probably do not want all your photos to be kissing. More importantly french kissing does not look good on camera…I promise.
8. Parents enjoy reminiscing–and you have a history together that is fun to show people. A slide show is fine at the intimate rehearsal dinner where you are not interrupting the flow of the wedding or embarrassing the couple to lots of guests. The photo album can be displayed at the wedding because it doesn’t disrupt the party and not everyone will look at it much less all of the pages.
9. Personalized vows are awesome–but depending on how well you write you might want to keep some of the more traditional stuff in there too–just modify it some.
10. Do talk to your wedding photographer about the images you “must have” and go over the family photos list. Do not micromanage them on your wedding day–they are the expert who knows where the light is right and they generally have a system for working through family formals. If you have talked about things ahead of time everything should go beautifully.
11. First looks are awesome–they relieve the stress and anxiety of the day–they allow you to go into the marriage as a unit–and they make for an extra hour of spending time with your family and friends at cocktail hour. If for some reason you do not want to do a first look be sure that you are confident your wedding photographer moves efficiently and time things properly so you do not leave your guests at the venue any longer than an hour.
12. Heart felt cards are awesome on wedding days–they set the tone, remind you why you are marrying the other person, and make for cute pictures. Just a word of caution do not give away the whole story in your card—save the finale for the stage.
13. Take a selfie–not when the professional photographer is working but at some points in the day be sure to snap a few selfie pics. Encourage your guests to put down their ipads, cell phones, and cameras because you have a professional to take those shots. Have an unplugged wedding–so everyone is truly present in the moment.
14. Having some sort of abbreviated anniversary dance is still nice especially if you have a couple who has been married more than 40 years. It is great to recognize them and just take a quick picture with them. Do not at any point in the evening open the mic up for anyone to use. Keep the microphone strictly for the maid of honor and best man toasts….generally it gets long winded and sometimes even awkward depending on what is said.
15. Parent dances are great–sometimes people do both the mother and father dances at the same time. Word of advice pay attention to length of the song that you choose–anything over 2 minutes is too long you are loosing your audience. If you do choose a song longer than 2 minutes have the band or DJ cut it short to 2 minutes and 15 seconds.