Top 10 Tips To Make Your Wedding Absolute Perfection

Words by Ash Florence

There’s nothing more special than being invited to film a couple’s wedding. You’re in the inner circle. You’re there for the tears and laughs, the last minute ‘eeks!’, the ecstatic moments just after ‘I do’, and even the moments where the whole team comes together to make sure the dress doesn’t get wet when the weather packs in… I love what I do and I have learnt so much over the years. I figured it’s only fair to share with you some of what I think are the biggest lessons I’ve learned from it all. So, here goes… my Top 10 (give or take) Tips to Make Your Wedding Absolute Perfection. Enjoy!

Your wedding will probably go by in a flash. You’ll (hopefully) be having the time of your life! But you can only be in one place at a time so of course there will be a tonne of stuff happening that you don’t get to see or enjoy at the time. The excited reunions of friends and family who haven’t seen each other for years; the tears of happiness wiped away as you step down the aisle or your best friend seeing you put on the dress… of course these moments might be snapped in a photo but film lets you see, feel and actually experience everything that was going on around you. After all, you’ll have put so much effort into planning the most fun and memorable event, so why not see it through the eyes of your loved ones?
It’s one thing to see a picture of Nanna smiling at the reception. It’s another thing entirely to hear her cackling away and teasing your dad about his choice of shirt. If a picture tells a thousand words, then a film tells a million. When you’re watching your film decades from now, you’ll be seeing and hearing loved ones and reconnecting with your memories of them in a way that flicking through the album just cannot match.
Flip that sentiment around and imagine how fun it will be years from now to look back on all the cute littlies dressed up to the nines (and probably covered in icecream) running around having the time of their lives. If you’re into nostalgia, you don’t get much better than that!
Where a photo captures a moment in time, a film brings thousands of those moments together and tells a story. It’s so much more than the images – it’s the music, the lighting, the pacing, the words carefully chosen to be woven throughout. When you invest in a film, you’re commissioning a piece of art that is entirely unique. A (good) film won’t be cookie-cutter. Every element of it will be crafted to reflect you as a couple and to capture the mood and emotions of your celebration. That’s the only sort of film we’re in the business of making – films that are original and intimately personal to you. That’s why none of our films look or feel the same. Take these two, for example. Both of these films are our “Classic” but other than the length, there’s nothing similar about them. And, btw, I don’t play favourites – I’m in love with both of these films!
Slade and Kallie
I’m always up for a chat about why you should have a wedding film. If you’ve got any questions at all, get in touch and let’s talk! You can head over to the Contact page, or go right ahead and book in a time for a (free) chat Here.

Remember, it’s ALL about you so throw away the ‘rule book’!

Remember, it’s ALL about you so throw away the ‘rule book’!

Take it from me, (and read back over this if your Aunty Maureen is giving you grief and you need moral support), it’s your day and you get to make the rules:

  • Your dress or suit can be ANY colour you want! It’s the 2020s after all…
  • There are ZERO rules when it comes to wedding parties – have as many or few bridesmaids/groomsmen/
    brideslads/groomsmaids as you damn well please (and that can include having none at all, if that’s not your thing)
  • Don’t like cake? Don’t spend hundreds on one that you won’t even enjoy – maybe do a champagne tower instead, or have chocolates
  • It’s okay to want to arrive at the ceremony together – you can walk down the aisle together!
  • Your partner might be a total style icon and the person you go to every morning to ask how your outfit looks. If that’s the case, to hell with your betrothed not seeing your dress or suit until the wedding day – go shopping together. On the other hand, if the first look down the aisle is the most important thing to you, then double down on the secrecy – make sure that any gals you take along to fittings don’t accidentally share a little too much on the gram and ruin the surprise!
  • If you love dancing and can’t wait to do a first dance, great! Go all out and learn a killer routine and pick a track that’s going to get the whole crowd itching to join you on the dance floor. On the flip side, if you normally hate dancing and feel super un-co, don’t put pressure on yourselves. You do not have to do a first dance AT ALL!

Look, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture.  If making a decision about something that’s going to happen on the day is starting to feel stressful, check in with yourself and ask whose expectations are in the mix and as much as you possibly can, prioritise YOU.



Light matters

I’ve filmed and photographed weddings in all sorts of places, from gorgeous Clevedon and Waiheke wineries, sprawling private estates, Tuscan villas, intimate restaurant gatherings to grand old Victorian libraries.  There’s one thing I know for sure – the more natural light, the better.  Everyone looks better under gorgeous soft natural light than under harsh artificial lighting. That’s just fact.

So keep this in mind, especially when you’re choosing a spot to get ready.  When you’re checking out potential venues, think about where you might be spending the most time and look around to see whether you’re near windows/doors.  If it’s a house where a bridal party might be getting ready during the morning, you’ll want those photos to be good – they’re photos of your closest friends that you’ll want to cherish for a lifetime, so why not make sure that you’re picking a place that gives the photographer and filmmaker the best shot at making everyone look their absolute best? So check for big windows and skylights.  Also, if you want that gorgeous shot of the dresses hanging up, you’ll need a big window.

I 100% recommend talking about light with the venue manager or planner you’re working with.  Ask them what their experience of the place has been in the past.  If you’re visiting on a bright sunny day, ask them what’s it’s like in bad weather.  Honestly, you’ll thank yourself for this when you see the beautiful end result – the photos and film you’ll get to keep forever.


Shade matters even more

Shade matters even more

Everyone crosses their fingers for a bluebird day for their wedding but we all know that a hot sunny day, especially in New Zealand, can play a bit of havoc with our plans for the night. Hot and dehydrated guests are far more likely to get a bit carried away once the drinks start flowing. If there’s no natural shade, invest in some umbrellas, a marquee or a gazebo – it will 100% be worth it.




Keep the people fed. Hungry people are more likely to turn into drunk/sloppy people and that’s just not ideal.


Marie Kondo your space and avoid clutter

Marie Kondo your space and avoid clutter

This is a kind of left-field one that people often don’t think about, which means it’s extra important that it’s on this list.  It’s very likely that a lot of photos and film footage will be taken in the place(s) where you’re getting ready for the wedding. Sometimes, these are hired houses, which are pretty minimalistic and therefore quite easy to keep tidy and clutter free. But it can be tricky when you’re getting ready in your own home or the house of a family member.  Your film and photos will look so much better if there’s no clutter in the background.  If you know you’re going to be getting ready mostly in one room of the house, take pretty much everything out of the room and only bring back in what you definitely need. Pay attention to what’s on the walls. Do you love the decorations/art? If you don’t want it featured in every single one of your wedding prep pictures, then banish it for the day! Appoint one person to be on the lookout for clutter and mess during the day.


if the shoe fits...

if the shoe fits...

This hopefully goes without saying but for the love of your feet and all things holy, get your shoes as early as possible and wear them in! (And I’m talking to all the bridesmaids out there too!) A little wee blister can absolutely throw your mood on the night and seriously mess with how you feel on the dance floor so don’t let it happen.

On the day, make sure someone trustworthy has plasters handy.  Get heel grips and those squishy little inserts sorted well in advance.  And don’t shy away from changing it up throughout the day! You could wear a pair of stunning stilettos for the ceremony and then change into the most outrageous gold sneakers for the party. (If you’re confused, refer back up to Tip #1 – there are no rules!)




Look, I just have two things to say here.  First, only ask someone to do a speech if you REALLY want them to speak. No tradition (e.g. father of the bride speaks but not mother of the bride) should get in the way of you doing what feels most special to you on the day.  And second, KEEP THEM SHORT. Seriously, if you ask someone to do a 5 min speech, I can guarantee they’ll try to speak for 10.  Be strict. Tell people they have 3 mins (knowing they’ll probably all go out to 5).  If you have an MC, give them instructions to keep people in line. This can be done really well – and often hilariously – nothing like a little bell coming out when mum’s picked up another glass of wine and starting on page 3 of her notes.


Champagne towers

Champagne towers



The guest

The guest list

Okay, this can be a tricky one for so many reasons (not to mention your mum telling you that you simply MUST invite Doris who was your neighbour when you were 4 and who would be devastated not to come).

There’s often not a whole lot of wriggle room when it comes to family.  And close friends are a no-brainer.  But there’s that murky grey area of people in your life (and there are a LOT of them) who you’re just not sure about inviting. A great starting place is to ask ‘will that person be in my life in 10 years?’ If the answer’s yes, that moves them into the ‘invite if there are enough spots left’ pile. If the answer’s no, then hopefully that gives you a bit more certainty about leaving them off the list for now.


Please be

Please be seated

There’s this weird social anxiety about sitting in the front row.  I see it at weddings all the time! Empty seats up the front make for pretty weird film and photos so encourage people to fill the seats from the front first. You can get your celebrant or MC to wrangle people or even ask some friends to act as ushers as people arrive.


Final check in

Final check in

Ask yourself whether you and your partner (and your collective dreams for one of the most special days of your lives) are at the centre of your decision making. Refer to Tip #1!

What are some of your top tips? You might be in the thick of the planning process or recently wed. Wherever you’re at, I’d love to hear your thoughts! Drop a comment below