5 Big Mistakes To Avoid When Planning A Wedding.

You’ve said “yes!”, you’ve set the date, and suddenly your mind is spinning with ideas, anticipation, and excitement. Planning a wedding demands a lot of time and energy, and sometimes beginning the whole process can be the hardest part. Where to begin? What to avoid? What will you wish you knew? Everyone’s wedding is different and everyone goes about planning a little differently, but we’re here to give you a few pointers to keep you efficient, calm, and focused on the fun.

1. Not setting a budget first.

This may seem obvious, but it’s easier than you think to fall into the trap of “figure it out as we go.” It’s important that you and your partner are on the exact same page budget-wise, with a little wiggle room built in, in case you fall head over heels in love with that caterer who’s just a little too pricey. You want the money you put in to be spent with care and consideration for both you and your guests. Limitation can be a great tool for fostering creative ideas and solutions.

2. Micromanaging.

This day matters to you, and you want to safeguard against disaster to an extent - but don’t get carried away. Your guests are there to celebrate you and your partner above all else. As long as everyone’s relaxed, happy and fed, you’re doing great. Don’t sweat the small stuff - so what that your lilies are one shade off or the napkin rings aren’t perfect? Fixating on little details and missteps will only take you out of the moment.


3. Ignoring “golden hour.”

For those of you unfamiliar, golden hour - also known as “magic hour” - is a term used by photographers and cinematographers for the lapse of time right after sunrise and right before sunset, when light takes on a beautiful, soft golden hue. Photos and video illuminated in this light make for stunning portraits and group shots. Make sure to talk to your photographer & cinematographer about golden hour, and set some time aside for photos. You’ll be grateful you took a moment to capture the joy of the day in this special gust of magic light.

4. Cutting out video to save on cost.

Video may seems like a disposable perk, and it’s something many couples decide to cut out to save money. Is video really important if you have a great photographer? Here’s the thing - while photos last a lifetime and are beautiful artifacts of your special day, months or years later nothing compares to video. Video can transport you right back to the experience, moment to moment, frame by frame, and with one additional magical element: audio. The little details, sounds, gestures, and looks captured on video are things you and your partner will cherish for years to come.

5. Trying to please everyone.

Most likely friends and family members will have more than one opinion on exactly how you should get married and celebrate. The people that know you best are only trying to help, but sometimes comments from the peanut gallery do more harm than good. So long as your guests are fed and have a place to sit, they have everything they need. Stressing over how to please everyone will only set an uptight vibe and stop you from letting go and enjoying yourself.

However you decide to organize your wedding planning, remember there are no rules and no one “right way” to do it. Whatever tools you need to help keep you organized and calm under pressure - use them! Don’t try to fit into a certain mold or follow a certain formula. Keep an open mind, ask questions, stay open and communicative with your partner, and most importantly - do whatever you want!

A First Look: Is It Right For Us?

We all know how the classic First Look happens. Couples stare adoringly into each other's eyes, arms wrapped around one another before a beautiful landscape. Yes, there’s nothing quite like being in front of a camera at your absolute best, especially with the person you want to spend the rest of your life with. So, what’s not to love? That depends who you ask. But don’t worry, we rallied up some arguments for both sides of the First Look debate, to help you decide for yourself if a First Look is right for you and your partner.


PRO: Timeless family artifacts.

On the one hand, First Look moments are incredible, timeless artifacts of not just your wedding day, but of the love you and your partner share right here, right now. Devoting camera time to just the two of you lets you preserve your love for each other in a beautiful, intimate setting. This will provide some compelling pieces for your videographer to work with in telling your story that will stay in the family for years to come.


CON: Posing for the camera.

Some people have no problem showing off in front of the camera, while others feel uncomfortable being the center of attention and being expected to “strike a pose.” If shots like these seem contrived to you, that’s ok! No reason to push yourself to pose after the First Look, especially on the morning of your wedding. If you’re looking to face your fears, however, find a company that makes you feel listened to and encourages you to have fun. At Aurora we like to let our couples sit in the moment, soak it in, and let your emotions determine what we capture (with maybe a touch of guidance.)


PRO: Relax - you’ve got those perfect shots.

The last thing you want to be thinking about on your wedding day is whether or not you're capturing enough good imagery, that's your videographers job. Doing a First Look can allow you to relax throughout the day knowing you had a fantastic portrait session before the ceremony that will stay with you forever. For us, we use your portrait sessions to get adorable cinematic sequences that will hold your wedding film together. With a First Look & portrait session done, you can really feel free to engage with your guests and your wedding party for beautifully natural candids throughout the day and on the dance floor!


CON: You want that moment at the altar.

There is something undeniably magical about seeing your fiancé for the first time on the day of your wedding, waiting for you at the opposite end of the aisle. If you’ve always dreamed of meeting eyes with your soon-to-be at the altar, then by all means! For a lot of couples, no photos are worth missing the once-in-a-lifetime feeling of that sacred moment. That being said, we have found that no matter what the reaction at the altar is JUST as breathtaking in couples that have chosen a First Look or not.


PRO: Start the day together.

Many couples say they’re glad they did a first look - if only to get their tears out of the way! Your wedding day can be an emotional whirlwind of excitement and gratitude, fun and reflection. Even if you think you’re prepared for the chaos, a First Look can serve as a special time for your and your partner to spend together the morning of the wedding. Whether that means crying till you laugh or laughing till you cry, there’s something about coming together in the morning knowing you’ll be hitched before the sun sets that can go along way to keeping you balanced and present all day long.


CON: Another thing to do?

On the other hand, there’s a lot going on the morning of your wedding, and there’s a fair chance the last thing you want to do is worry about getting ready in time for a shoot. Maybe you have a morning ritual, like meditation or a jog, that you know you need to do to start the day off right. Maybe it’s important to you that you spend the morning with your family and closest friends. Whatever you need to get energized, balanced, and excited for the day is what you should prioritize - no matter what.


So, is it right for you?

Only you and your partner can decide. If you’re on the fence try making a pros and cons list of your own, ask married friends what their take was, and browse some of our films (below) that feature a First Look to see if any of them inspire you. Most importantly, listen to your gut, and don’t judge yourself for deciding yea or nay. The most important thing you can do on your wedding day is to enjoy every passing moment. Memories will last, but you're only in the moment once. Dive in and enjoy it!