10 Ways to Have a Visually Stunning Wedding (for Cheap)


A pro photographer weighs in

a couple standing together under mountains

As a wedding photographer, I have captured hundreds of weddings, and have always enjoyed myself at each one. I see a lot—from the glances between family members, to the way your eyes light up when you see one another, to the decor and finishing touches that you put thought, time, and energy into. And actually, when it comes to that wedding decor, if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that all the beautiful details in the world won’t necessarily mean you’ll have a visually stunning wedding.

But, hold up. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t go all out for your wedding decor. Decor is amazing! But I’ve seen every kind of wedding, from backyard to ballrooms with over three hundred guests. Every wedding has been beautiful and special, full stop. But to make your wedding planning easier, I wanted to let you know that you don’t have to spend money on details to make your wedding beautiful. In fact, you could say that my motto is, “No details, no worries.”

The wedding planning process can be completely overwhelming. You have so many decisions to make—from venue, photographer, catering, decorations, theme, and picking who you actually want to be part of your wedding celebration. After picking out the main components that make up your wedding day, you may just be burned out. And picking out decorations isn’t your top priority or even in the budget. Because let’s face it: having a wedding is expensive no matter how DIY you get.

So that’s what spurred me to write this post. I’m here to let you off the hook of worrying about decor and details, and to share what I’ve learned from the hundreds of weddings I’ve captured. Here’s how to make your wedding stunning, without a vase in sight.

a couple standing in light togetherunnamed (1)unnamed

how to have a beautiful wedding

1. prioritize natural light: This made number one because it doesn’t cost a thing and requires very little planning in the grand scheme of things. From the getting ready stage to the reception, you should think of the light. For getting-ready photos, I always recommend my couples to get ready near a window with available light. I recommend this because everyone looks better in natural soft window light, and of course your wedding photos will look better with natural light.

It’s also important to take into consideration the light for the other aspects of your day. If you plan on having a summer wedding, you probably don’t want to schedule the ceremony for high noon. Not only will you have harsh light, your guests will likely be very uncomfortable.

2. Outdoor Venues = PERFECTION: Outdoor venues generally require fewer decorations because the space makes up for the lack of decorations, and venues with outdoor spaces need very little decoration because the prettiness of the venue provide the ambient decor. The wedding details you do pick out can be based on the scenery of the venue. If your venue is pretty without any decorations you don’t need to spend weeks picking out flowers. Also, venues with outdoor spaces provide better light opportunities for your photos.

3. Rethink the ceremony: Things don’t have to be perfect or traditional. Most ceremonies don’t lass more than fifteen minutes these days, so spending tons of time on how to decorate your ceremony space is not necessary. Visually, the most interesting and intimate weddings I’ve captured involved a nontraditional ceremony setup. Think blankets on the ground, mismatched chairs, have guests create a circle around the bride and groom. There’s lots of ways to rethink the ceremony space to create a more intimate and visually appealing ceremony that will look great, with minimal money or energy.

4. Confetti is everything: At the end of the ceremony, confetti or flowers always make for better photos. The guests have something to do and it always creates awesome reactions when the couple walks down the aisle. Be sure to have the officiant to remind guests to toss the confetti as you walk down the aisle because I’ve been to lots of weddings where the guests don’t remember to throw the confetti (super bummer). You can find lots of wonderful biodegradable options available on Etsy, and bigger-sized confetti is great because it takes longer to reach the ground (and if there’s any kind of breeze, it will decorate the space for longer). Confetti is also great when used on the dance floor—I recommend handing out more of the stuff once the dancing begins.

5. CAREFUL WITH THE OPEN FLAMES: Another visually creative idea that lots of people want is a sparkler exit, however this often results in a bit of an unmanageable situation (alcohol + wedding guests = someone gets lit on fire). I suggest doing a sparkler first dance. It brings all the guests to the dance floor and make for a beautiful backdrop for your first dance, and people are still sober-ish, which means way less fire risk.

6. Guest activities: Having activity options for your guests provides your photographer with options for capturing your guests candidly. Corn hole, horseshoes, and tug of war always make for great photo opportunities. Plus, it’s a great icebreaker for uncomfortable guests. A bonfire with s’mores is a late-night activity that also makes for great photo opportunities.

7. First looks make for great photoS: This can be a very emotional and candid moment, which makes for great photos. Not only is it the first look, it might be the only time the two of you have alone, together. Also, by doing a first look you usually can squeeze in more of the formal photos before the ceremony, which means more time to enjoy the cocktail hour.

Couples wanting to go the traditional route can choose to do something special and still keep true to the tradition of not seeing each other. You can choose to read vows to each other by being separated by a wall, doorway, or nature (tree). This can be just as emotional as seeing each other also provide great photo possibilities.

If you don’t like the idea of either of these first look options there’s also the possibility of setting up a first look with your father or mother. Some of the most emotional photos I’ve taken are a parent child first look.

8. Unplugged weddings really are better: Ask just about any wedding photographer and they will agree: guests with cameras are a big problem. But no one wants to put their smartphone down at a wedding (not even the parents). I’m astonished how many people are taking photos during the ceremony instead of enjoying the moment. Because of this, I would highly recommend an unplugged ceremony. You definitely will have to tell your guests and parents multiple times. Put it on invitations, put it on your website, put it on a sign at the entrance of the ceremony location, and have the officiant mention it before the ceremony begins. Then once you hammer it home, let your photographer take the pictures, and your guests truly be in the moment.

9. Ask your photographer for advice: Wedding photographers have different approaches to capturing a wedding. You obviously hired this person to capture similar images you’ve seen in their portfolio, so definitely ask for their advice when it comes to putting together the timeline.

A natural light photographer will more than likely want at a ten-minute window during the last part of sunset because this is when the light makes for stunning photos. If your photographer is big on using flashes, he or she will have different opinions on when things can be scheduled. If you make it a collaboration, you will always end up with better photos.

10. Airbnb over hotels: Most hotel rooms aren’t visually appealing for photos. They all look the same and usually have poor lighting conditions. I recommend getting ready at home, a family member’s house, or an Airbnb. Getting ready in a space that has meaning to you makes for better photos. A private home or Airbnb will more than likely have more spaces to work with, so if one room isn’t good for photos you can easily move to another.

did having a visually stunning wedding factor into your planning process? what worked for you, and what didn’t? what other suggestions would you add?

Dustin Cantrell Photography

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  • Laur

    Hard for me to imagine “rethinking the ceremony” in order to get better photos. Our ceremony location was about tradition and meaning for us, not the “visual appeal”…interesting to read about how a photographer looks at things though!

    • Rebecca

      I thought the advice referred to not spending a lot of effort decorating your ceremony when it’s often a fairly short part of the whole wedding – so focusing on meaning and tradition instead of decor for that part.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Ugh, yes!!! I picked both our ceremony and reception venues based on places that were meaningful to us, and there’s no way I would have given that up for pictures of everyone sitting on blankets! I mean, if that’s a person’s top priority, there’s nothing wrong with it, but I would have really appreciated more tips on making the most of whatever venue a person IS using, rather than basically suggesting that we should all get married in enchanted forests or something!

  • PeaceIsTheWay

    As a non-photographer, these tips on having a great photo op are interesting and appreciated. It’s sort of cool to think back and realize “ah-ha! that is why our photographer had me stand near the window!” Having a visually stunning wedding was actually not one of the top priorities for me and husband, though; it was more important to us that our wedding day FEEL amazing, than LOOK amazing. (Obviously, looks and feels can be closely intertwined, but our goals for the day were feelings, and those drove our aesthetic selections – fairly sure I first got this idea from Meg’s planner!) Luckily, our photographer was wholely understanding and encouraged us in this, and I may be biased but I think the resulting photos glow with the irrepressible joy of marrying the love of your life, surrounded by loved ones who reflect and multiply that joy. So my main suggestions are to marry someone you are head over heels in love with, and to embrace the day – especially how you want it to feel, and how you want to remember feeling. All that said, I totally see the appeal of artsy couple shots on the edge of storm swept cliffs, and have wondered if a professional photo shoot wouldn’t make a cool date idea someday:)

    • AP

      Yeah, I tend to agree that “visually stunning” is a complicated wedding priority. My husband was a wedding photographer for several years before we got married, so having great photos was one of his top priorities. It wasn’t one of mine, though (I’m much more of a “feels” person!) We didn’t really arrange our ceremony differently to accommodate photography, but we spent A LOT more time than I wanted taking sunset portraits after the ceremony. I feel like some of the emotion of the day was dampened by the “photo shoot” with our photographer while our families were back at the reception dinner celebrating without us. To be fair, those photos came out gorgeous, but my favorite ones are from the ceremony, when we weren’t even aware of the camera and were just focusing on our vows and each other. I guess in that way we were able to compromise, emotional ceremony and “visually stunning” photos after. But it wasn’t my ideal.

    • AmandaBee

      I hear what you’re saying, though as someone who loves photography and unfortunately ended up with very sub-par wedding photos, I can understand wanting good images of the day. We were over-the-moon happy and I have great memories of how we felt that day, but our photos don’t really communicate much of that because our photographer really struggled with lighting and framing the shots (particularly our ceremony photos, most of which are unusuable). I wish we’d spent just a bit of time figuring out things like where to stand and how photos of the ceremony would be lit/framed – or in a perfect world I wish we’d hired a more experienced photographer, but that just wasn’t in the budget. Because despite our love and happy fuzzy feelings that day, all you can see in half our wedding photos is the back of someone’s uncles’ head cutting off the frame.

      TL;DR – being in love doesn’t automatically mean good photos. If images are important to you, don’t feel like you’re being shallow for spending a little bit of time focusing on how things will look, particularly working with your photographer on setup.

      • Totch

        Seconding this. I don’t think any one commenter is trying to say that wanting great photos is shallow, but there is a bit of strain in the comments around the idea that making decisions based on appearance is valid. We’re all getting married to share a deep and meaningful bond with our partner and guests. It’s OK to also want great photos!

      • PeaceIsTheWay

        I definitely don’t want to imply that others are shallow for prioritizing stunning photos, or that there is some kind of trade-off between being in love and wanting awesome photos of your wedding!

        • AmandaBee

          Oh, I don’t think you did! I do know that when I was trying to be the Super Chill Bride, that was a mindset I somehow adopted (like it was looks vs. feelings and not both!). And while I think our photos were rough in part because we had an inexperienced photographer and a challenging venue, I wish we’d spent just a smidge more time thinking about the photography so we’d have a better record of our ceremony and some of the key parts of our reception.

          So my comment was more directed toward someone who might be planning a wedding and wondering if they should spend time thinking about the visuals. I definitely fell a little too far toward the “not worrying about it” side of things.

      • AP

        Thanks for this perspective:) It helps me understand my husband’s point of view a little better!

  • Katharine Parker

    Am I alone in sort of enjoying people taking photos during a ceremony? I understand that people don’t like looking out to see Aunt Greta’s face hidden behind an iPad (this is all of my aunts), but there is something sort of nice about the candid, unprofessional, imperfect photograph, and that your guests are invested enough to want to document this special moment. Guests get different shots than photographers do, and I think there is room for both things at a wedding.

    • Amy March

      It’s also nice for your guests to be permitted to take photos. Like many of these suggestions, they sound great if your priority is your wedding looking good. Not so much if you have other priorities (everyone sitting on blankets on the ground might look pretty but it’s not particularly considerate).

      • Eenie

        I like it when the officiant tells everyone to take a picture of the couple towards the start of the ceremony if they want one, and then asks that the phones be put away/on silent. It gives the people that really like having their own photo of the couple a nice spot to take the photo, but it lets the rest of the ceremony professional photos be phone/camera free.

        The professional photos are awesome, but I feel like 95% of people end up with a candid guest photo for their profile picture the next day since professional photos take time to process. If you ask for no photos during your ceremony (like we did), you won’t get that really early candid ceremony/procession photo. Again it all comes down to priorities!!

        • Totch

          I might see if my fiance will go along with this. We’re asking for no photos during the ceremony mainly because of feeling/vibe (I know it’s possible to be present while taking a photo, but that’s not my experience of our people). Having one photo moment to get it out of your system makes sense for that.

          But we’re also fairly private people and not on social media much, and it’s just a practical assumption that if folks have photos they’re bound to post them. We’ve already agreed that we’ll live with pictures of the reception going up on social media, but wanted to keep the ceremony private.

          I totally agree that amateur shots can be amazing, and I understand why folks want them. So part of me really loves this idea! But tbh, “no photos during the ceremony” feels simpler than “OK, you can take a photo now, then phones away, and please don’t post those, but once we get to the reception you can do whatever!”

          • Eenie

            Yeah, I think your situation is a little different. We advertised the no photos during the ceremony because we would make all of the ceremony photos available online from our photographer – and we followed through on that even though I hate having photos of myself on social media. We STILL had some people sneak in some candid photos which was fine because they did it extremely discreetly, and it didn’t distract us.

            If you want no ceremony photos posted, your best bet is to go with a very hard line no phones/cameras at all. I think no online ceremony photos will be a harder thing to accomplish, but I wish you luck!

          • Totch

            We’re making the same promise that all photos will be shared with guests after, we’ll just be doing so through a Google Drive album or something similar. Online and on social media are way different!

            For our engagement photos, we posted like 3 on Facebook to satisfy our families, and then sent them a link to the full album. We’ll do the same for the wedding, understanding that folks will post their own reception candids and may take our photos and post on their own profiles so it won’t be quite so private.

          • Jessica

            Maybe this is a different category, but people have been pretty respectful of our wishes in terms of posting pictures of our kid online. I think if you state your desires clearly, firmly, and kindly most people will honor them. (“For privacy and in respect of this solemn union, we ask that no photos of the ceremony be posted online or via social media. Thank you!”)

          • Totch

            Yeah, my brother went this route regarding photos of his kid and my family was downright scandalized! As you can guess, I’m #teambrother… but it seemed like part of the issue was that some people felt the request was a value judgement (because they just love the baby so much they want to share!).

            Watching that unfold made us realize that we need to be meeeeeggggaaaa chill when saying “hey guys, no big deal, it’s not A THING, just no photos for these fifteen minutes.” It’s also part of why I am tempted to green light people for a pre ceremony phone photo session.

          • Jessica

            If it helps at all — we made a private facebook group for close family/friends only where pictures of our son could be shared. We asked that any other pictures on social media have at least one other person in the picture with him. It’s kind of a weird rule, but: 1) apparently internet creeps prefer pictures of kids/babies alone; 2) we figured it would cut down on the number of pictures overall [as I go thru the 20 photos to find one where I like how I look, because baby looks cute in every single picture!] and 3) we figured if we were going to be creating an “online persona” for him, it might as well be “kid who is loved and surrounded by grown-ups.” We explained our rules/position to close family, and so far other friends/parents who are only taking pictures of my kid infrequently have asked permission before posting.

            tl;dr We explained our reasoning and gave some outlet for picture-sharing while staying within our values, and it has worked so far.

          • Totch

            The adults idea is a really good one that I’ll keep in mind for myself! I’m probably going to stay far away from giving advice to my brother, though. He gets enough already.

            (Btw, their solution was an app called tinybeans, which is invite only and photos cannot be downloaded from the app. In case anyone else is navigating this.)

          • rg223

            Ooohhh sorry, but this is very much a YMMV – people not respecting our photo posting policy in regards to our son has been a HUGE issue in our family (and our policy is “ask first” – it is not difficult to follow or even particularly prohibitive!). You have to know your people on this one.

          • AP

            This is exactly why we didn’t allow photos during our ceremony- we’re private people and didn’t want them getting shared online. (And we have family who wouldn’t respect our wishes not to post them, so it seemed like the best prevention was no pics at all.) Reception photos were fine, though!

        • Kara

          Our friends did a giant selfie after the ceremony (right before they
          walked back down the aisle), and they had all the guests stand up and
          join it (like 50-70 people).

          It was fun to have a shot of everyone.

      • CMT

        I don’t think it’s inconsiderate to ask people to put their phones away delay that Instagram post for just 15 more minutes. As a guest I’ve always thought it was rude when people sitting next to me would be snapping away during the ceremony instead of paying attention.

        • Amy March

          I think it’s okay to do, it was just part of a general feeling of the whole article to me- I just don’t love “visually stunning” as a primary focus.

          I think if you know your guests would like to take photos, it’s nice to not make a big deal about banning them. If it’s really important to you that they not, perfectly fine too.

      • emilyg25

        We had a religious wedding and asked guests not to take photos in accordance with the religious tradition, even though we got married outside instead of in a meeting hall. It had nothing to do with looking good.

        • louise danger

          yes! our church has a strict “the ceremony is a sacred moment” policy about photography, so while we were going to ask for people to leave their devices turned off anyway, the policy from the church is a nice beefy thing to be able to point to if someone fusses.

      • AmandaBee

        The ceremony is the one point of the wedding where I think bride/groom preferences trump that of the guests, and there are many non-appearance reason that someone might not want people on electronic devices during the ceremony. I don’t think it’s inconsiderate to ask people to put their phones away and be present for a few minutes. They can get a billion photos at the reception.

    • Sarah

      I was all about the unplugged ceremony, but my fiance was with you. His argument was that he loved taking IPhone pis at other people’s weddings, so why would he not want people to do it at ours. I gave it. Although, my mom is particularly pushy with her DSLR- so I have money on whether she gets out of her front row seat, stands in front of our very expensive professional photographer, and proceeds to take pictures standing in the aisle during the ceremony. I wouldn’t put it past her.

      • PAJane aka Awesome Tits

        I attended a wedding where it was in the photographer’s contract that anybody with a DSLR or other professional-level camera had to stay out of her way. (I wouldn’t dog the photographer, but I was notified ahead of time, because I have a DSLR. This was a great excuse to put it down and just dance all night.) Anywho, you could probably collaborate with the photographer to wrangle your mom and her camera during the ceremony.

      • Kat

        Ugh this is so my mother. She drags along her “nice camera” to every wedding and try as I might to explain to her that they paid a ton of money for a professional photographer and she should just relax and enjoy the party, she insists on taking eight million photos. We’re going to a wedding in a few weeks and I’m already plotting where to hide the camera. :P

      • AP

        I once watched a family friend with a DSLR at a wedding follow the photographer around all night, getting right up next to/behind him, trying to capture/mimic every shot he took. Except she had no idea what she was doing, and I heard later that her flash ruined a lot of his photos and people didn’t know where to look- him or her.

    • Sara

      I don’t mind the candid shots and in fact enjoy them, but I do mind it being distracting for other guests. I have been to a couple weddings where there were pushy guests that jumped out in front of the photographer or got in the aisle when they shouldn’t have. I would rather people stay focused for the 20 minute ceremony rather than worrying about their instagram post.

    • AmandaBee

      We asked for an unplugged wedding for a few reasons, among them: flashes from guest cameras can really screw up professional photography, I’ve been at more than one wedding where people were using their phones for things other than photography and that was really rude and distracting, and my family is not always considerate with photography (lookin’ at you, family member who blocked half the room’s view at my graduation to snap a billion photos that I never saw). We didn’t care how it looked, but we really wanted people to be present and considerate of others. Unfortunately, in the age of smart phones I’ve learned that you can’t make people be considerate with their devices, so often the next best thing is to just ask them to put phones away.

    • EF

      i really, really liked some of the pictures my friends took during the ceremony! i also really like the professional pictures. i definitely think you can have some of both.

      also, as a super introvert and huge instagram user, taking pictures doesn’t take away from the moment for me. it helps process it, really. so definitely a know-yourself-and-your-people thing.

    • NotMotherTheresa

      Yes!!!! Honestly, I liked the pictures my guests took every bit as much as I liked the ones from my photographer–if I would have insisted on an unplugged wedding, I would have missed out on a couple of great shots! Obviously, some of it is a know your people thing/know your wedding thing…if I’d hired some super incredible $15k photographer, or if knew some of my guests were the types to try to stand right at the altar with a giant glowing iPad or something, I probably would have taken a different approach to guest photography! But as it was? I knew my guests were reasonable people, and that my photographer was of the “good, but not necessarily brilliant” variety, so it seemed like a good gamble.

  • Totch

    I really like the idea of this article, but the focus was a bit different than I expected. I was hoping for tips on how the wedding you’re planning can show up well in photos, rather than suggestions for which weddings are the most visually stunning.

    I think our wedding has some pretty common traits: we’re getting married inside, not during the summer, and the reception is scheduled for dinner so natural light isn’t an option. The tips the piece gave are great for folks who already find outdoors and sparklers and stuff appealing, but when the headline advertises a budget how-to it’s a bit disappointing to see that the advice is limited by needing to have planned a certain type of wedding.

    • Amy March

      I think it’s really interesting if you’re right at the start of planning- yes, if visually stunning is your goal, think of it when you’re making the big decisions. Tips for ways to enhance what you already have in the works would also be interesting (although some are easily adaptable, like a photogenic activity or getting ready by a window). Maybe that’s just the difference between what wanting good pictures means to a non-photographer and what visually stunning means to an expert.

      • Totch

        Right, I don’t mean to say I don’t think the piece has merit. If it were framed as ‘a professional photographer’s favorite wedding attributes’ I would feel totally differently. But you’re right that it felt a bit more proscriptive/for people just starting out.

        I’d love to see a similar piece that’s more ‘how to make the most of your wedding photos’ where you wouldn’t need to plan the wedding around the photos quite so much.

    • AmandaBee

      Yeah, I would love to see a companion article that addressed some modern wedding photography challenges and how to deal with them, particularly for a budget wedding. So you have an uninspiring venue with bad lighting because it was the only one that could fit your guest list with your budget – what do you do with that? Or, in our case, noon on a summer afternoon is the time you chose for other reasons. What are some ways to work with what you’ve got?

      Sparklers, confetti, etc. are nice but often not allowed or possible. So, what are some less well-known options? How can you work with what you’ve got?

      FWIW: the point about natural light is a good one. Though our wedding photos were rough, the ones we really love are all outdoors. The awful ones are all inside, with flash. Maybe you’re indoors during the ceremony for various reasons (hello, crappy Midwestern weather), but see if you can do a first look or at least some family photos outside if those are important to you. Look around and see if there are good places outside for photos – we were lucky to get married in a cute neighborhood, but a nearby park or even the brick side of a building could look cool.

      • Totch

        Totally! And I don’t want to rag on this piece because I’m sure it’s helpful for some. But they said “outdoor venue = perfection,” and you said “take a second to get outside, even with bad weather it can be worth it” which felt much more constructive. This is probably our situation, and we’ve bought a massive umbrella because we’re hoping to get some cute rainy shots! A companion piece with ‘make it work’ moment tips would be great.

        • AmandaBee

          Tip, having been in that situation: if your venue is local or you otherwise have access to it, walk around before the wedding and mentally bookmark nice places to grab a photo that are easy walking distance. If your ceremony and reception are in different places you could also stop somewhere in between. Ours was all the same room, so we took photos at a park (luckily, a couple blocks away) and on some of the streets nearby that happened to be photogenic. It did not take too much time, and we really enjoy those photos the most.

        • NolaJael

          I think this article would be helpful for those picking a photographer too. When you’re looking through their portfolio, if they have a hugely disproportionate representation of outdoor stuff and you’re planning an indoor wedding, you might want to temper your expectations as to how their eye and skills will translate to your situation.

    • Katharine Parker

      Yeah, this seems like “how to maximize good photo opportunities at your wedding.” Not a bad idea, for different for me from “how to have a visually stunning wedding,” which isn’t necessarily about photos. A lot of these tips do seem to boil down to “have a great photographer”–if your photog isn’t up to snuff, having a first look or everyone playing cornhole or tons of confetti everywhere isn’t going to magically transform photos that are technically mediocre.

      • Totch

        You’re right that visually stunning doesn’t necessarily mean visually stunning in photos! I think I was making that leap because of the photographer’s perspective, but I’m sure these tips are also good for irl impact.

        • Katharine Parker

          Yeah, you’d get a very different view from a florist, or an event stylist focusing on rentals, or a caterer focusing on beautiful food. All worthwhile views that vary depending on your priorities for what you want your wedding to look like.

          • Totch

            And depending on culture! Experienced this yesterday at our tasting, when the restaurant manager was like “so you want the red tablecloths, right?” And we were like “Maaaybe white. Red is a lot?” And he kept insisting that red is not only lucky but also looks way better (Chinese wedding reception).

            It’s lucky and that’s fine, but a lot of folks would fight him on it being more visually appealing! … We’re undecided.

    • emilyg25

      My biggest tip would be to find a photographer experienced in photographing weddings in locations like yours. So ask to see a portfolio of an indoor wedding.

      • Dustin Cantrell

        I agree.

  • This…….post……is….GENIUS. #thankyou

    • Dustin Cantrell

      Thanks!

  • This makes me a little sad, because most of these aren’t options for us. No outdoor ceremonies in the UK, we’ve got minimal natural light (gap between ceremony and sunset is, well, sunset), no confetti at our venue, no way to have a non-traditional layout, no space for non-traditional guest activities… We will have lots of tea lights, and we might get permission to use sparklers (which are totally an open flame and high risk with drunk people, probably even more so than candles – even drunk people don’t tend to wrap their bare hand around the hot end of a candle).

  • As a wedding coordinator, my least favorite part of my job is corralling drunk wedding guests for a sparkler exit and EVERYONE seems to want them. Why the hell do I have to tell adults not to “lightsaber” fight with lit fireworks? I say a little prayer to Beyonce every time so that no one catches their hair on fire.