Wedding tips are always helpful, right?
We received answers from about 15 brides on the question what they would have done differently, if they would get married now. Their answers were extremely varied. The text of this blog post was written a while back, but I update it regularly with information we have newly obtained. We have experience with more than 400 weddings and we like to share that information with you. So this blog is also with a lot of tips and experiences from our Mon et Mine couples. Tips to make your wedding more fun, easier, more relaxed or more personal.
A quick summary?
Alright. If you don’t have that much time: in summary, the following points came up a lot:
- Take your time with your wedding planning. That way you make sure everything is done right.
- Think carefully about your schedule. A lot can go wrong here.
- Try to plan some quiet time for the two of you.
- Have as much as possible arranged by professionals (if you have the budget for it).
- Take more “Mon et Mine” time (of course, we totally support this :) ).
- Travel less during the day and think carefully about your means of transport.
Take plenty of time to plan your ideal wedding
Gaby’s biggest tip? “Don’t plan too tightly like other couples often do, so you can consciously enjoy yourself! “. Gaby and Remco had decided to get married abroad. Although you will spend a lot of money because of the travel and the location, you have the advantage that you have a wedding weekend instead of 1 wedding day. That’s extra moments with the people who mean the world to you.
A wedding can be quite a project, you may have noticed. Because you often have to deal with many different vendors, it is important that you know exactly what you want. But even if you have a shorter planning period, it is completely possible to have a nice and personal wedding.
Tip: after you have decided to get married, start gathering information immediately. Especially when you get married in the spring or summer.
A tip from one of our brides: “I might have wanted a slightly longer run-up in terms of planning, but that suited us just fine; a last minute wedding with quick turnarounds. At the last minute it did mean that we had to let go of a few things regarding the styling and that some things were not properly communicated (for example, there was a lace sheet for the cake table and there were ceremony stools that fit the style instead of the ones that were used). So if you have specific styling requirements, make sure it’s in writing when someone takes over the styling.”
I have experienced myself that certain styling elements were photographed by the bride and then those photos were stuck on boxes. That way, the master of ceremonies knew exactly what the bride meant in terms of styling. This is very useful when you have very specific ideas.
Better think about the schedule and times
A few of our couples emailed us saying they had made a mistake with the preparations: “Because the hairdresser was running late I felt like I had to rush during the make-up and putting on the dress so I was a little less conscious of that.” She also indicated that perhaps she should have had the hairdresser come to her home. This is often possible at a (small) additional cost and it allows for fewer moments of travel on the wedding day.
Preparations often take up a lot of time anyway. You can easily spend two hours on make-up and hair. Another bride emailed that in hindsight she might have wanted to have fewer people during the preparations themselves. So during make-up, not all your friends, sisters and mother (in law), but preferably as few people as possible. It was quite a busy morning because of this and if you want to be hospitable and make coffee and tea… Think beforehand if you like having people around you at the moment or not. You know yourself best ;)
Are the rooms filled and/or cozy?
Another tip was: “at the drinks party to make it more central. At one point, everyone walked to a different spot and it was a shame that “the moment” was gone.” We also experience this sometimes during the party night. If there is a large dance floor it can be quite difficult to fill the space. Especially when the party room is indoors and it’s a warm summer evening, with no air conditioning. Consequence? Groom with his friends outside and the bride with a small club of people inside, on an empty dance floor. There are many possibilities, also for the DJ: he or she thinks along with you and plays for example first some quiet music and when it cools down the party can still start.
Extra wedding tips: dinners often run over!
So try to plan well here, especially if you like a good party.
It would not be the first time that a dinner was overrun. This is usually because the speeches, which are often there anyway, run late. There really is a difference between reading something out loud for 5 minutes vs actually telling it on the wedding day. Automatically the party starts later. We read in the questionnaire that it is a good idea to think about the approaching end of the evening. “Afterwards the evening went on and on and there was no time for the delicious cake table of Heerlijk & Hecht. ” Another couple also mentioned the fact that the dinner went on longer than planned, which meant that the dance party was shorter than planned.
In any case it is useful to schedule half an hour between the dinner and the party for a refresher. This is a good time to freshen up (or change clothes) and it also gives the caterer / wedding location more time without having to postpone the party.
More relaxing time for you two during the wedding day
A wedding day can be quite chaotic. Or maybe that’s not the right word, but the idea that the day flashes by is certainly true. So we encourage you to think about little moments for the two of you. For example, right after the first-look. A bride and groom said: “(Almost everything went well, but) if we had to choose something, it would be the ‘first look’. This was perhaps not planned very well and was therefore a little chaotic. The idea was that I would tap his shoulder and he would turn around. But the bystanders interfered and as a result he turned around before he did. If we were to do it over, we would have done it without bystanders. A moment to ourselves.”
And that cliché about the day flying by is true. We recently experienced the wedding officiant saying to the couple after the ceremony, “stand up for a moment, look around you. These people are all here for you. Enjoy the moment!”. Wonderful! Because indeed, you are marrying each other and it is okay to enjoy yourself every now and then ;)
What about that first look?
We always try to discuss with you what you want for your first look: do you want to have guests with you? Or with you two? Do you guys want to meet at the front door or see each other in the garden? Anything is possible. But you should really take some time off for just the two of you.
I just mentioned the refreshment moment after dinner: highly recommended. Like half an hour between reception/dinner and dinner. Because if it was a hot day, this is also a nice time to freshen up.
Have your wedding arranged by professionals (with whom you have a click)
We are in favor of wedding planners and master of ceremonies. Not every wedding planner, of course, but we know a few top ones. They can make your day a lot easier in terms of planning. I think about 2 out of 5 of our couples hire a professional for this. It is therefore striking that we still received a number of responses about having professionals at your wedding. For example, about wedding planners: “Get a wedding planner. Afterwards I would have done this again, professionals know how it should be done. This gave us peace of mind. ”
And the other suppliers?
Also, 1 of the grooms wrote: “The bridal car was nice (bit cramped but very nice) but the driver was terrible. If I had known that this man could not keep his mouth shut and talked so much, I would never have booked him”. And I do remember that ride. The bride and groom were enjoying each other for a moment, but the gentleman started to make countless silly jokes (which you might not want to hear just before your wedding ceremony).
Another bride wrote that she absolutely recommends keeping a transcript of all appointments. Either via email or a handwritten summary from the supplier. She experienced that the night before her wedding day there were not enough rooms left in the hotel (even though they all had reservations) so guests had to be placed with relatives last-minute. You don’t want to go through this the night before you say “Yes.”
Who’s going to take care of everything for you?
Sure, you can arrange a lot yourself. But about the styling on the day we were told that couples would have liked to outsource more afterwards. And that’s very difficult sometimes. But if you don’t do it, you run the risk of being too busy arranging things yourself and that is not advisable, just before you actually get married. A good wedding planner is definitely an option.
Do the details matter? Take extra care with everything.
However, when asking friends to be your master of ceremonies, here’s another tip: “We had already gone through a lot of things with our Master of Ceremonies, but I would now like to go through some more details with them and also with the family that was present. Not everything that was thought of, came out well, like for example that the camera during the video ceremony was placed way too far away, there were not enough rose petals so it doesn’t have much effect on the pictures and we would have liked all the guests to be standing in a long line next to each other instead of in a bunch when we arrived. But those are all insignificant details, which fortunately didn’t bother us for a second on the day itself.”
Avoid “musts” and make choices
What I find remarkable is that it seems like couples are making more conscious choices about what they really want on their wedding day. For example, Gaby wrote: “I would really advise against brides and grooms being led by ‘musts’ from family. Or that they do something because it is the way it should be done. Do it the way you want to! It’s your day, you pay quite a bit for it, so make it the way you want it! Relax, enjoy and shine!
Kelly actually wrote the exact same thing. I asked her what she was proud of: “(I’m proud) that we didn’t let ourselves be influenced by ideas or emotions of family regarding for example the guest list. And that we dared to ask a about borrowing a car as a wedding car. And that we ‘just’ chose a cake from the Hema.” Because that’s also possible: making choices for things that don’t immediately scream “wedding”…. a different type of dress, a different kind of photographer, a “normal” cake, your own car as a wedding car… A lot is possible and you really don’t have to choose everything “standard wedding”.
Kim: It’s your day, the guest is a guest for a reason. Less is more, and this often gives you more space to really tackle and personalise the things you do.
Petra also gave this as a tip: “Really think about what you want, because it doesn’t seem important, but it might be later”. A wedding day is often a unique day in a person’s life and a lot of money and time is involved. Then it is nice when the day becomes like you want it to be. This can be done by consciously thinking about what you want beforehand, being open and honest about this and then making choices.”
Caroline writes about those choices: “Above all have fun and really make it your own day. Don’t be so stuck on expectations or what ‘should’ be done. Choose a location that suits you and arrange that first, then you can plan the rest around it with less stress. Don’t forget to have fun planning it! Let your friends surprise you. Don’t hold on to any particular image of perfection but focus on the few things you really want to get right. I left all the decorations etc to others for example, and really only focused on the location, invitations and dress (and photographer of course!).”
Group photos or not?
Those family or group photos are often a bit of a must…. It is not very nice to have them made, but there is a chance that your guests will still want to have their picture taken with you and will ask for it at different times. So this is one of the few obligatory things that we really support. One of our brides wrote about this:
I personally find it very nice to see that couples (and in this case brides) very consciously choose what they want or do not want on their wedding day.
Ai, no video…
Two couples also indicated that they would have liked to hire a videographer afterwards. Our tip is to look for this in time. A good videographer costs money, but then you have someone who can really make something beautiful that you will enjoy for years to come. And if you only want a sound recording, use a small camera somewhere in the corner. If you would like suggestions for a videographer, please email us. We’ve had a lot of great collaborations and are happy to share the top ones with you.
Less travel during the day
We sometimes find that the couple has a wedding location, then drives to a reception location, and then also has a dinner and party location. This means you spend a lot of time in the car and that is not only inconvenient for yourself, but also for your guests. A few couples wrote about the travel on their day. “In retrospect we would have done everything closer together. But in the end it was also special to go back and forth with the wedding bus”.
Keep in mind that traveling for people with children can also be tedious. Especially if those children are very young and still have a strict sleep schedule. We have experienced once that the company was in total about 4 hours in the bus during the wedding day and that caused quite some family grumbling. The most important tip of one of our brides was not to go to too many locations and especially not far away from each other. Then you are more concerned with travel than with the moment. Sometimes I secretly wish everyone would book a location like Het Roode Koper. Or at least a location where you can do everything.
I don’t think I mentioned that granny got lost once, because she put the wrong address in the route planner. The church ceremony started three quarters of an hour later! And at Kelly & Tom’s, we didn’t make it very clear beforehand where we could park for the photo shoot: this resulted in lost minutes due to parking, which is just a waste of time. That’s a tip from them and a tip for ourselves ; )
More Mon et Mine at your wedding
Yes, we also got a couple of emails back with a tip for couples to think about a loveshoot before their wedding day. This is what our couples wrote:
“Book a loveshoot. Then you have some more experience with posing so you are more relaxed at the wedding itself and know better what you can do for beautiful pictures”.
“With hindsight we would probably have done an extra investment, by booking a loveshoot in advance so you are more used to being photographed together during the wedding shoot. Now maybe everything passed us by during the shoot in the morning. We can imagine that you take more initiative and are more free, when you have already been photographed together. “
The same couple would also have liked to have a part of their wedding party recorded. And that’s why, if you’re on a budget, we recommend to first invest in hours and decide later if you want a bigger wedding album or not. After all, those hours never come back.
Petra also indicated that she would have preferred to have her entire wedding recorded. Of course, you have to make choices somewhere, but if you don’t have the party night photographed, you won’t have the guests who are only present in the evening on the photo anyway. If you have any doubts about which hours are the most useful for you in terms of photography, please consult us. We like to think along.
The photo shoot as a relaxed moment: choose the right moment.
There were also two additional tips regarding the wedding photography, namely scheduling the photo shoot in the morning or after a relaxing moment. The shoot in this case was planned too close to the official moments so there was some tension during the photo shoot. If you schedule the photo shoot just before lunch or after cake cutting for example, you will have more time to relax. They also gave the tip to look for an indoor location in time for when it rains. Because even in the middle of summer, you never know for sure if it’s going to rain or not.
And a few final brief wedding tips to make your wedding unforgettable
Good sound:Make sure that the sound during the ceremony is properly arranged. This was not the case with us so the people in the back row could not hear it well.
Nice exit: (In retrospect, I would have preferred) no stars (during our party night) but something else fun and easy to clean up (that was our thought behind it). The weather was far too nice so you couldn’t see anything but we had no alternative. I didn’t care at all but it was an idea that didn’t quite work out.
Shoes: Put on your best shoes for the photo shoot, don’t go for comfort! I would like to nuance this tip by saying that you can also change your shoes once in a while, which keeps them nice and prevents blisters, but in the pictures where the shoes are visible you put them on.
Ceremony Seating: Think about where your family members will sit during the ceremony. That way, you avoid having your humble grandma sit in the back, instead of in a place where she can watch nicely.
Beforehand: Do a pre-tasting of the food, so there are no surprises.
DIY: Kim further indicated: “Look for elements that really make your wedding your own. For example, in the decorations, small personal details, type of cake or appetizers. A little DIY or a new love on the marketplace is easily found. “
Bouquet toss: Don’t forget to toss your bouquet, remains a classic.
Let it go: Don’t fixate on the weather forecast, it’s how it is!
Want to read more useful tips about wedding photography? Then read this blog on“when to schedule your photo shoot“.