I admit it. Jill Duggar's wedding video made me cry. But it wasn't the wedding itself. Did you notice how much of the two-hour special was actually devoted to the wedding? Thirty minutes!
If you think about your wedding day itself, it's really the culmination of months of effort -- from you and your friends. In Jill's case, she had over 200 volunteers helping her on the big day!
In fact, the first 13 episodes of this season have been dedicated to Jill, Derrick and their wedding planning. Out of 14 hours of TV time, only half an hour was the actual wedding. Simply put -- their wedding story was not about their wedding.
The real story of Jill Duggar's wedding, and everyone's wedding, is the epic journey you and your fiancé take together from the proposal all the way through the honeymoon.
Perhaps you've already noticed during your own wedding planning -- you and your fiancé go through challenges that are mini-windows into the years to come. From your moms making demands about who is in the wedding party to the challenges of sticking to a budget, you two make decisions that will culminate in the big celebration of your new life together!
Not sure how to capture your own story? Take a look at the show's storyline to inspire your unique, personalized wedding story:
Episode 1: Duggars and Mothers. This episode highlighted the relationship of Jill and Derrick with their moms. For your own wedding video, soon after the engagement, take both of your moms out for brunch. Whip out your smartphones and interview them for your own wedding video. Ask them to share a story about when you were young and offer advice to your future spouse for your marriage.
Episode 2: Jill and Derrick go on a hike. Go on an adventure with your fiancé. Take along a camera and make sure to document the day. Interview each other about why you chose that adventure for that day. In the years to come, as your schedules get filled up, it'll be amazing to remember the days when you had time for private excursions.
Episode 3: Duggar sized wedding planning. Jill and Derrick go cake tasting and venue shopping. There are so many details to consider when picking a venue. Take along a camera to film your reactions to the places.The cake tastings are a super fun part of the planning that you get crazy silly with whomever you bring along. You could even post these ideas to your private wedding planning Pinterest board to get input from your wedding party.
Here's a video blogger bride 50Peach shot of some of her cake tasting. The best part is her funny family.
Episode 4: Jill and Ben shop for wedding bands. Woah talk stressful. I remember from my own wedding, my darling hubby waited til the week before!
Check out the wedding planning madness right before Megan and Mike's wedding:
Episode 5: Engagement photos. Jill and Derrick posed while Jinger snap their portraits. Engagement photos are a great way to get comfortable with your wedding photographer. It's also a great opportunity to create a video save the date!
In this video, Joe and Lindsay shared the story about how they met, while their photographer took gorgeous photos by Lake Michigan. The story was combined with the photos in a save the date video to share with guests.
Episode 6: Jill says yes to the dress. Wedding dress shopping is a once-in-a-lifetime event! Make sure you get lots of photos and videos of your dress fittings. This is special time alone with your best friends and family. Great time to interview mom about her memories of you dressing up as a little girl.
Episode 7: Duggar girls go glam. Jill and her sisters did the hair and makeup trials as well as bridesmaid dress shopping. This is a perfect time to have your best friends film some tips for your fiancé. They can give pointers about what to get you for your first anniversary and how to get out of the doghouse!
Episode 8: Duggar to-do's. While the bridal party went shoe shopping, the younger Duggars handmade some wedding gifts. If your family is doing something special for your wedding, even if you're not there, make sure they film it. You can always include it in your wedding video later.
Episode 9: A week off from Jill's wedding!
Episode 10: Duggars in cuffs. This was marriage preparation in full swing. Jill and Derrick went through rigorous trials of marriage prep - like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich while handcuffed together. Most couples do go through some sort of marriage preparation, even it's simply babysitting a niece or nephew. Make sure to get some video of your naughty little nephew sticking ice cream on your fiancé's nose. His reaction will tell a lot about your future.
Episode 11: Wedding countdown. It's on. This is when most of us have a bachelorette party. In the case of the Duggars, not so much. But if you do have a bachelorette, now's the time to whip out those cameras and catch all the embarrassing scenes!
At Savannah's bachelorette, she had a lot of friends who were not able to make it to the destination wedding in Cancun. they took full advantage of her last nights of freedom!
Episode 12: All about Jill. This episode was all about reliving Jill as a little girl. This is the time when you can interview your grandma and oldest friends for stories about you growing up. You can also have your fiancé interview their own family. Long after the wedding, you will truly appreciate those interview with your grandma's. These scenes are even something you can edit together to show on the wedding day itself.
Episode 13: The wedding! This hour episode only contained 30 minutes of wedding scenes, but it sure included a lot of fantastic interviews with family and friends!
At Mark and Casey's wedding, they included tons of interviews and fun with the guests. One of my faves!
Bonus: Jill and Derrick did not film their honeymoon, but there's no reason not to! Bring along a handheld camera or leave room on your smartphone for lots of photos and videos. No wedding video would be complete without the honeymoon.
In this video, Mai and Sheldon took trips to London and the Maldives to create their own mini-reality series wedding recap. They included the shower all the way through the honeymoon.
Ariane Fisher writes at the WeddingMix blog about all things DIY wedding video. To get useful tips for turning those photos and videos from your wedding planning, big day and honeymoon into a fun memento, follow her blog.