March marks the biggest month for Australian weddings and chances are you will be attending not just one or two, but a handful of these joyous occasions. But imagine being involved in 1,000 weddings.
If you think Katherine Heigl in 21 Dresses knows a thing or two about weddings… meet Rachael Bentick. As bridal coach and director of one of Australia’s most successful studios Inlighten Photography, Rachael has been involved in over 1,000 weddings in the past 10 years.
“I really have seen it all – the good, the bad, the ugly and the very ugly,” says Rachael. “From horrific wedding disasters to the most romantic moments you could ever imagine – each wedding brings with it a new assortment of matrimonial surprises.”
So what does one learn from 1,000 weddings? Here, Rachael reveals all… and you might be surprised.
You should never plan your wedding on Pinterest. This Mecca of all things weddings is a little bit like a McDonald’s ad – with its perfectly sculpted, wax-like burgers that, let’s face it, don’t exist. Nothing sets a bride up for failure like a good old pair of ‘pinterest goggles’ – convincing us that we can DIY anything and everything from six-tier wedding cakes to million dollar wedding receptions. It can of course be a wonderful tool for inspiration, but beware: it also sets the bar for some wildly unrealistic expectations!
Seeing your bride or groom before the wedding won’t doom the marriage. This tradition (or superstition, rather) has been ferociously upheld for so long that you would be forgiven for believing it came from the bible. Believe it or not, seeing your spouse before the ceremony won’t result in a horrific and ill-fated unhappily-ever-after. In fact, couples get to spend so little time together on the day that going for a stroll or spending some downtime before the wedding is almost always a good idea.
Having your pet in your wedding makes for pretty great photo ops. Who doesn’t love a dog in a bowtie? Pets can make for some seriously fun additions to wedding photos, so if you have a (relatively well-behaved) pet consider getting them involved! Besides, why should one of your beloved family members be left out on such a special day? It only seems fair!
Nobody cares if the flower arrangements aren’t perfect. This also goes for wrinkles in the brides dress. So many couples worry endlessly about trivial details that simply don’t matter. At the end of the day weddings are about coming together and celebrating a wonderful thing – marriage. Don’t sweat the small stuff and you’ll thank yourself later.
Madonna tunes are the best for getting guests on the d-floor, because once the girls are up the boys will follow. Think Holiday and Like A Prayer. And the best songs for clearing the dance floor? The Macarena, Chicken Dance, Who Let the Dogs Out and Gangnam Style.
It’s not just about the Bride anymore. Yep, you read correctly. Weddings aren’t purely devoted to forging picture-perfect memories-of-a-lifetime for the bride and the bride only. In fact, brides are becoming far more cooperative and accommodating than they used to be, ensuring that everyone involved has a good time. While the modern wedding is of course still very much about the wedded couple, the needs and wants of the guests are fast becoming the focal point of the day.
Nothing ticks people off more than long speeches. There is no better way to put off guests than a never-ending procession of speeches from any would-be-toaster that can hold a microphone; from the best man, from mum, from granddad, from the bride’s third cousin, from the groom’s elementary school teacher… You get the point.