What to Expect on Your Wedding Day

To most people, planning a wedding is not something you do more than once in your life. It is for this reason that one may not know what to expect on the actual day. After having filmed hundreds of weddings, they all seem second nature to me. Let me break down what you can expect to happen on your wedding day from our experience.



The bride and bridesmaids will need much more time than the groom and his groomsmen to get ready for the day. For them, it’s as easy as putting on some pants, a clean shirt with a tie and they are ready to go. Sorry ladies, it’s not fair, but it is true. Hair, makeup and getting into those dresses is no easy feat. It takes time. Be sure to account for how much time your makeup artist and hair dresser needs to give you the attention you require. So many weddings run behind schedule because hair and makeup went over the expected amount of time. Your photographer and wedding videographer will need time to gather those detail shots in the morning. If you are trying to figure out when they should come, consider when you want to be finished getting ready and count back about one hour. That should be plenty of time to get those stunning shots. Most professionals don’t want shots of you until your hair and makeup are mostly done anyway. If they arrive too early, they will likely get all the shots they need and then just be waiting around for the hair and makeup to be completed. Give yourself enough time, and give the professionals about one hour or so to get all of the finished details.


Pro Tip: Make sure the area you are getting ready in has good natural light and is free of clutter. For more details about this, check out our blog post 5 TIPS FOR GETTING THE BEST WEDDING PHOTOS AND VIDEO.



The first look has been growing in popularity over the years. We love filming first looks because they provide fantastic and emotional material for your cinematic wedding video. If you are more traditional and want to see your better half for the first time at the altar, first looks with parents or siblings are another great alternative. Having a first look has other benefits as well. Doing this allows your photographer and wedding videographers to have significantly more time with the bride and groom to capture more creative shots. Filming the first look by itself provides great footage, but doing the first look also gives you so much more when you aren’t under a time crunch and can spend time being more creative with your professionals. If you hired professionals, they will help you to set up the first look by finding the best location and providing you with directions on what to do. They should NOT interrupt the moment once it begins. Nothing ruins an intimate moment quicker, than having someone give you orders while you are trying to have that private moment. Professionals will guide you into that moment and then just let it happen. If you haven’t decided which vendors to hire yet, ask them how they like to facilitate the first look. If this moment is important to you, pay attention to what they say. If you don’t like their answer, keep looking.


The photo shoot is the time between the ceremony and reception OR the time after the first look where the bride, groom and bridal party go with the photographer and wedding videographers to get creative shots. Typically an alternative location is selected to set the backdrop for your photos. This could be a park, museum, a lake, an urban area or any other unique location. This is a time for the group to have fun and be creative. It’s important that the vendors you hire have personalities that go well with yours. This time should be fun and enjoyable for everyone. Make sure that your wedding party is prepared to participate in the photo shoot. They should leave items such as beer cans, purses or other items that you don’t want in your photos on the limo or out of the photo shoot area. It is unlikely you would want those items in your images forever.

During this time, your photos and video will focus on the entire wedding party and then the primary focus will be on the bride and groom alone. Think about what kind of photos you will want of the two of you. This is where those creative shots come from. Try to have fun with each other and with your vendors. This part of the day should be stress free.



Now we should talk about the main event. The moment when the bride and groom get married. This is the moment most people get nervous about. There are two typical common types of ceremonies.

The first type of ceremony is the traditional religious ceremony. Think of a catholic mass in a big church with a priest and all the pomp and circumstance associated with an official wedding. There will be music and a walk down the aisle. The father of the bride will hand her off to her husband to be. The minister or priest will read a homily. The entire process will be at least an hour or so. This type of ceremony is much like attending Sunday Mass, with a marriage stuck in the middle. There will be a celebration at the end and the bride and groom will walk back down the aisle as husband and wife.

The second type of ceremony is the non-traditional or non-denominational one. These are growing in popularity. They usually involve a friend or a hired officiant that is not done in a church. These are many times outside or in a space at the reception venue. These ceremonies are much shorter and usually last around 15-20 minutes. It gets right down to the point and everything revolves around the bride and groom without the typical religious celebration. This kind of ceremony is usually more intimate and personalized for the bride and groom.

Whichever kind of ceremony you are going to go with, be aware of the time. The traditional ceremony will be much longer than the non-traditional one. If the non-traditional ceremony takes place at your reception venue right before the cocktail hour, you won’t have any time in between. Both types of ceremonies are great, but they add a different dynamic to your entire day.



Now it’s time for some fun. Think of the wedding reception as a big party. That’s really what it boils down to. Everyone is there to eat some good food, mingle with friends and family and just have a great time. You may elect to hire a DJ or a Band for entertainment and there are certainly other things you can have there to entertain your guests like photo booths, video booths, candy station, caricature artists, cotton candy machines, Nitrogen ice cream … and the list goes on.

The nuts and bolts of a wedding reception are usually the same across the board.

  1. The guests will have time to mingle and grab some drinks during the cocktail hour.
  2. The wedding party will be introduced and entrances will happen. These can be fun with music and creative dance moves from each couple.
  3. The bride and groom will share their first dance while everyone looks on with a sappy smile.
  4. The bride and groom cut their cake and feed it to one another as if they have forgotten how to eat cake.
  5. There will be a few speeches from the best man, maid of honor and sometimes the parents. Be prepared to laugh and also cry.
  6. Dinner will be served and everyone will enjoy about an hour of dinner service with great food.
  7. The father of the bride will share a dance with his daughter and the mother of the groom will share a dance with her son.
  8. Everyone parties and dances until the lights turn on and the venue respectfully asks you all to leave.


This may all seem obvious, however the reception is not something to worry about. Your vendors and the venue are quite skilled and facilitate these events. At this point, you should feel comfortable enough to just sit back, relax and follow along. The most important thing of all of this is to note that your wedding day and particularly the reception will be over in the blink of an eye. Try not to worry about anything during this time and just soak it all in. Enjoy every minute of it surrounded by your most favorite friends and family. When you have a reliable wedding videographer, you can have peace of mind knowing that your team is recording all of these great events so that you can just enjoy the night and relive it later on the big screen.