FTPV (from the photographer's view point)
Here are our Top Ten trend's which, in our opinion, should become traditions. You plan it we'll capture it.
1. Inspiration Boards. We scour tons of wedding photography on the www, and lately we've been noticing the photographers are displaying color coded photos. Some of this is a result of their photoshopping skills, but we believe it started with an inspiration board, sometimes put together long before the proposal.
2. Say something. We don't like it when the reception starts with an announcement by the DJ who may or may not know the wedding couple and who, inevitably mispronounces names. Someone familiar should welcome the guests to the party. A parent, the groom and/or bride, a pastor. We've heard all of the above and it warmed our hearts and we don't know most wedding couples personally. It makes for a great beginning.
3. Gift/Info Bags. This can be the place for favors, and then all the info for wedding day. Maybe flashlights for getting back to their cars. Umbrellas. Breath mints. After honeymoon address. Info on the photo-booth, dollar dance,* when the bar is opened, a babysitter in hotel room or lobby, and/or when those mini cheeseburgers will be served. Think mix between "Oscar's" and birthday party favors.
*Seeing as how guests most likely already brought a gift to the occasion, how 'bout donations to the bride and groom's favorite charity for a dollar dance twist.
4. Late night snacks. Ok this is almost a must. Pizza. Cheeseburger sliders. Another round of Hors d'oeuvres. A candy/s'mores bar. How 'bout coffee and breakfast rolls? Maybe nachos & salsa. This helps in various ways, it gives the alcohol a breather, it says, "Stay awhile longer, we still want to party."
5. Wedding Week-ends. S t r e t c h it out. How 'bout a Welcome Party for out of town guests Thursday evening? Encourage the wedding party to invite a guest to the rehearsal dinner. Add a bit of entertainment on Friday night; take 'em out to the ball game and buy them some peanuts and cracker jacks, go bowling, supply lawn games, start a bon fire. How about Sunday morning brunch & church? Invite guests to stay at the same hotel, and party all week-end.
6. First Look Photo Display. Well you know how we feel about "first look" If you indulge us, we'll display photos from earlier in the day on our 17" laptop. Always a crowd pleaser.
7. Change of clothes. The bride sometimes dons a more danceable party dress, but why shouldn't the groom get to shed the tux and slip into something more comfortable? At the least, kick off your shoes.
8. Kid's Table-space/Entertainment/Photo-booth We're having such fun offering this as special feature. We don't actually give instant pictures to the guests (we do give them a website) but we have some pretty cool props, backdrops, wipe-off boards, and plenty of groomsman ideas. Make sure the bride and groom get their picture done, as well. Crayons, bubbles, silly string ... give the kids some fun and/or a babysitter.
9. Interactive Guest Books. Stamp and address postcards with your address. Use the engagement pictures to create a guest book. Ask for more than signatures. Get a large frame and have it matted...guests sign the mat, you place your favorite photo in it after wedding. Set out a computer so guests can friend you on facebook. Start a newly married blog and have everyone "follow" you.
10. Exits. Before you know it the night is over and like your grand entrance we love to see a planned exit. It doesn't matter what people throw--rice, rose petals, confetti, bubbles, sparklers (we don't recommend actually throwing sparklers) or paper airplanes, and it doesn't even matter if you actually leave right at that moment, but make a grand exit.