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Ok, let me admit this from the start: I'm not a wedding professional (and I don't play one on TV). I'm just a guy who's been around the wedding and event industry for over 22 years, working with the many, many businesses you're going to use for your weddings. Over those years I've heard countless stories of how couples, like you, miss the opportunity to really enjoy your weddings. I'm not referring to the wonderful colors and details. I'm referring to the experiences that you and your guests will have throughtout your wedding day.
You've probably heard from friends, family, and online contacts that your wedding day will seem to go by in an instant. It's true, but I believe it's because you spend months and moneths planning, and often agonizing, over the details and then... poof, in less than one day it's all over. In comparison to the hours and hours you've spent planning it's easy for it to fly by like a movie in fast-forward. So, how do you make it an experience that you and your guests will remember (in a good way, of course)? Here are a few of the collective ideas I've learned from some of the best wedding pros in the business.
1.If you love the planning part, that's great.
Make all of the choices, but neither you, nor anyone in your wedding party should be working on your wedding day. Don't be afraid to hire a wedding coordinator, at least for your wedding day, if not the whole process. You'll be more relaxed and you'll be able to actually take in the wonderful sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the day. This will help everyone because a stressed wedding couple means a stressed wedding ceremony and reception. Besides, you've spent so much time making the wonderful choices of food, music, decor and more, you really need to see the fruits of your labors come to life.
2.If you don't like something you've experienced at someone else's wedding... don't do it at yours.
Think of your guests when you're making your decisions. I realized that it's your wedding day, but if you've ever been a guest at a wedding and you've found yourself questioning some of the timing and choices, step back and try to see it through the eyes of your guests. For instance, make sure you leave enough time for photos as your guests came primarily to see you, not each other. They're looking around the room for both of you so they can express their good wishes and their thanks for allowing them to share in your day. Don't disappear for too long.
3.Rethink that "do-not-play" song list for your band or DJ.
Will it actually ruin the day if they play the Electric Slide or YMCA? If your guests fill the dance floor, laughing and singing along, isn't that better than stressing over a 4 minute song? You don't have to dance along. Your guests have spent time and money traveling to and attending your wedding: let them have their fun.
4.Have professional video.
I'm not saying this as an infomercial, I don't shoot video, but I also didn't have it at my wedding almost 30 years ago and, boy, I wish I did. How cool would it be to show my kids the sights and sounds of our wedding? From reciting our vows to dancing our first dance to the awkward toasts... what would I pay to see those now? A lot more than it would have cost to have it back then.
The video is not for you. It's for you to share with others now and for generations to come. And the videos of today today are so much better than what I might have had. They're so much more creative and really the movie of your wedding. Not having video is one of the biggest regrets after a wedding.
Mostly, I hope you take time to, literally and figuratively, smell the roses. Yes, your day will fly by, but the memories you make will last a lifetime. As I approach my 30th anniversary, I wish you the same happiness we've experienced. The road hasn't always been smooth, but it's one I wouldn't trade for the world.
Alan Berg has over 20 years of experience in the wedding industry and has authored three books, "If Your Website Was an Employee, Would You Fire It?", "Don't Paint the House" and "Your Attitude for Success."
Learn more at alanberg.com