Mandy Ansari Jensen posed with her sisters the day of her wedding in Cancun. They faced an iPhone in full wedding glam and lip synced a famous Kardashians line: “Never go against the family.” She shares, “We could not stop laughing." These moments of levity and laughter during the sometimes-stressful process of planning and getting ready for a wedding are why Jensen likes TikTok. As an influencer, lifestyle blogger, and brain behind Girl & The, creating content is her job. But, during her wedding planning process, it served as a reprieve.
“The last six weeks leading up to the wedding were really tense—signing so many checks, so overwhelmed with tasks,” she shares. “Creating videos was a moment of reprieve and laughter and fun. It gives you fun moments to be humorous, playful, and a little bit childish.”
Nicole Pellegrino, producer of Betches Bride podcast and director of TikTok content for Betches, was in a similar position when she got married last September. She knew she had to create content because it’s expected of her, but at the same time, she made sure it was pure fun. “My main priority on my wedding day was to enjoy it with my husband, but I was like, ‘I’ve got to make sure I get some good TikToks out of this day,“ she says. “I am still making TikToks from my wedding, and it was over a year ago.”
TikTok has blown up in the wedding industry. From fashion advice to planning and beauty tips, social media’s new favorite platform is full of inspo. But, most brides and grooms are not professional content creators—and that’s the beauty of the TikTok!
“It's such a fun, equalizing platform that really does promote unique content over individual influencers,” says Kennedy Bingham, a bridal stylist known on TikTok as Gown Eyed Girl. “You'll see a lot of big creators, but mixed in with non-creators who are just posting moments from their lives. In a way, it makes it feel like a more personal platform.”
If you’re feeling inspired to get some good TikTok content from your own wedding, but not sure where to start, fret not. The experts are here with advice.
“I got into TikTok during the pandemic. I remember I was kind of dabbling in it as I started planning [my wedding] for fun. Everyone was doing those dance videos,” says Pellegrino. “But then I was like, ‘I have a lot of time on my hands; why don’t I start sharing my own experience planning weddings? It will be fun and might help other brides.’”
Both she and Jensen say this idea of “giving back” to the TikTok community that gave them so much inspiration and so many tips for planning was one driving force. But, there’s been a lot of personal gain for them as well. For Jensen, making TikTok videos helped combat the “post-wedding blues.” Professional videos and photos can take months to be ready, so looking through all the phone footage and making and sharing videos was a fun way to keep the wedding excitement alive.
For Pellegrino, it offered a creative outlet and a more casual and humorous way to share wedding memories than the traditional wedding video. “It’s like a modern day photo album or wedding video—something funny to show the kids one day.” And, Jensen agrees. “Video shows personality a little more—there’s something about getting live moments. It kind of just shows a more unfiltered version of the day,” she says. “You see expressions in real time, and you may catch things you didn't see. I was just looking at a video and someone in the background fell on the dance floor, and it was really funny. The photographer doesn't always know what you think is funny.”
How to Plan Your TikToks
There are different levels of intensity with which you can approach a TikTok plan for your wedding. If it’s of utmost importance to you, you can take a page out of the influencers’ books and structure a game plan with actual hired help. Or, you can take a more relaxed approach. Here’s what to know about each method.
Outline What You Want
Jensen went all out for her TikTok plan; she had a spreadsheet where she logged favorite videos, trends, and sounds that she knew she wanted to use. Pelligrino did something similar on the TikTok app, using the collections feature. They both spent time scrolling the app looking at bridal trends and non-bridal trends for inspo. Jensen followed #bridetok and #betchesbride, for example. You can also follow the Brides TikTok account! They both recommend having at least a rough vision for your TikToks going into the wedding day, bachelorette party, or whatever event it may be. This way, you can let people know ahead of time what to expect, and have all your sound bites ready. Pellegrino even told her wedding planner to budget extra time into the day’s schedule for TikTok shoots.
“I learned a lesson at my bachelorette,” shares Jensen. “It was hard to wrangle people to do lip syncing TikToks. I really wanted to be present, and there were 19 girls. I needed to make sure I knew what content I wanted ahead of time. The bachelorette was more impromptu and had more recap videos.”
Hire an iPhone Videographer
Jensen hired someone specifically to gather phone footage and help her with her TikTok creations on the wedding day. “I wanted to be sure I had everything captured from an iPhone perspective. Even though we had a photographer and videographer, I actually had someone who was a social media content creator basically capturing behind the scenes,” she says. “We started planning two months ahead of time with the content creator. There were times when she’d pull me aside and say, ‘Okay, we need this clip.’ It helped to have a second set of eyes [from someone who] is savvy in social media. The photographer and videographer are not thinking social first.”
Ask Your Videographer or Photographer to Help
Hiring a social media content creator may be too much for the average bride or groom, so a step down would be to ask your photographer or videographer to take some phone footage. This is what Pellegrino did. Of course, you do run the risk that they may not have the eye for TikTok. “I lucked out that my videographer was a young 20-something-year old who was social-media savvy,” says Pellegrino. “I told my videographer to gather a bunch of phone footage on the day of the wedding. That’s where my best ones came from.”
You can also give your photographer your own phone. That way as they take professional photos they can snap some on the phone as well giving you instant content for your TikToks.
Lean on Friends
Lastly, you can rely on your guests to get you the footage you need. Let people know ahead of time what you’re looking for and set up a shared album for people to upload to. Jensen does highly recommend, though, that you hand your own phone to a trusted guest for the night and task them with capturing memories on it. She says it’s much easier to just have it all on your phone rather than trying to wrangle people to upload their content in a timely manner.
“I tapped friends and bridesmaids in a group chat. If they are excited about it, it’s not just me,” says Pellegrino, adding that even friends who were not TikTok users got into it because they knew it was important to her. “They’re amazing friends; they showed up and were willing to be in them for me. The day of, my friend and I did a transition video of before after hair and makeup. She was a trooper because it's a short 10-second video but takes a lot of time. A lot goes into it. They ended up being more on top of it then me sometimes.” Jensen also adds that she made sure no one who did not want to be on camera felt any pressure to participate.
What Kinds of Videos to Make
“I really love [TikToks] that highlight what the couple feels was special about the day. You can tell when someone is posting because they want to share something that made them laugh, or made them cry. And, it makes us feel like we were a part of their special day, too,” shares Bingham. “And of course, I'm always a sucker for a dress video!”
Jensen and Pellegrino enjoyed taking non-bridal TikTok trends and incorporating them into their wedding videos. For example, Jensen recently used the viral “It’s Corn” song for a wedding recap.
“There are a lot of wedding day TikToks, but I remember saying, ‘I want to try and be original and do ones people haven’t really done,”' adds Pellegrino. She made one with her bridesmaids using a voice over from the show “Scream Queens,” saying “These are my minions.” (It was filmed by her 10-year-old sister and flower girl). She also shared tips on wedding day nails, rehearsal dinner outfits, and her bachelorette trip to Tulum.
Jensen did makeup transition videos and even showed her now-husband getting powdered up. She says her makeup and hair artists were on board and enjoyed doing the videos.
Take a No-Pressure Approach
All the experts agree on one thing: the best videos happen when you’re having fun with it. “There were some videos we wanted to do, but the day went fast and we didn't do it,” Jensen shares of her bachelorette party. “And, that's okay. Some things don't happen. Be present and don't be disappointed. Pivot and remember that social media should be fun.”
These are words of wisdom expert TikTokers agree with. Social media has seeped into every aspect of our lives, so it’s important to remember your wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Don’t miss it because your mind is on TikTok and Instagram.
“I totally get the desire to post videos highlighting different parts of your wedding day—hey, you spent a lot of time planning it! But I think the issue comes when you become consumed with creating content. Especially, if you're not actually a content creator,” says Bingham. “There's absolutely validity in wanting to capture your day, but there's also beauty in allowing the day to play out and capturing raw moments with your loved ones.” Adds Pellegrino, “First and foremost have fun with it, don't just force it or do it because you think you should."
- Make a plan ahead of time so you know the kind of content you need.
- Gather inspiration online, but come up with original ideas, too.
- Dedicate someone to capture it all on your own phone.
- Edit in the TikTok app if you are not video savvy. InShot and VideoShot are two other editing programs you can use.
- For lip syncing videos, have another phone play the sound while you record on a different phone.
- Your regular video camera is higher quality than in app.
- Take stills while you shoot video.
- Don't overthink it and have fun!