Considering an Engagement Video? These Are The 8 Things You Should Avoid

By Madeleine Luckel
Photo: Alex Iby / Unsplash

There’s an engagement video out there that I, and all of my friends, have seen at least more than once. I do not personally know the couple featured, nor do many of the friends whom I just referenced, but I’ll admit this video is referenced in conversation more times than you would expect.

The basic plot of the video is as follows: The bride asks the groom where they should get married. A couple of farcical wardrobe changes and far-fetched suggestions ensue until they ultimately decide to get Maui’d. While the video is clearly trying to be somewhat light and funny, its bigger purpose was to hype up the couple’s upcoming destination wedding in Hawaii. And considering the fact that it practically went viral amongst my friend group, the Maui’d video succeeded in this respect, but it also led to the question: Is this what soon-to-be-married couples are doing now?

Engagement videos are an entirely optional aspect of any wedding—not to mention, an expensive one, too. But as a wedding trend, they seem to be on the rise (at least for now). But how far should a couple go when putting these engagement videos together? How much humor versus sincerity should it include? And perhaps most important: Is making an engagement video necessary at all? For those interested in putting together a short clip before their big day, below, we outline eight common mistakes to avoid if you choose to say “I do” to making an engagement video.

1. Being Overly Mushy
This is probably the most prevalent problem with engagement videos. Yes, you are in love and getting married, and your loved ones really are very happy for you! But that doesn’t mean that you can wax poetic on your relationship, film it, and then expect all of your cousins not to make fun of you come Thanksgiving. A good rule of thumb is to think of what you would enjoy—or not enjoy—watching and film something along those lines.

2. Making the Video Too Long
It is one thing to go deep for a few seconds on why you love the person you’ve chosen to spend the rest of your life with. (You should, it’s your moment! And if you can’t do this, well, you have a bigger problem on your hands.) But it is another thing to discuss your relationship for a solid five minutes and think anyone else will care. Short and sweet go together for a reason.

3. Doing Things in the Video That You Wouldn’t Normally Do
Are you a professional ballroom dancer? If so, then maybe you’ll want to incorporate some dance moves into this video. If not, stay away from the ballroom histrionics in slow motion. Act naturally and highlight your innate talents.

4. Jumping the Shark
In the pursuit of a memorable video, don’t lose sight of good old fashioned common sense. Is the concept of this video becoming increasingly far-fetched? Then it’s probably time to take a couple steps back. When in doubt simplify, simplify, simplify.

5. Forgetting Who Your Audience Is
If this video is going to be seen mostly by people you know very well, then you probably don’t have to spend too much time telling the story of how you met. Like a good piece of analytic writing, everything said in the video should tie back to your overarching point, which is either promoting your wedding, telling your love story, or just trying to make your friends and family laugh.

6. Including Only One Side of The Family
Make sure both family parties are mentioned an equal amount in your video. Even if one side played a slightly larger role in your relationship, don’t spend a disproportionate time discussing them over the other. It will only add unnecessary stress and tension before the big day. Trust me.

7. Treating the Video Like It’s a Blockbuster Movie
Avoid spending a lot of money on hair and and makeup. Looking put together is one thing, causing viewers to repeatedly wonder why you bothered to get your hair styled into a princess-worthy up-do is another.

8. Worrying Too Much About What Other People Think
In the end, this video, like other aspects of your wedding, is incredibly personal. If you dream of making a video with a somewhat non-sensical plot, and getting a makeover just for the occasion, then above all, you do you. The biggest mistake would be letting what other people think get in the way of the happiness of you and your significant other.