My sister and I have talked about weddings for as long as I can remember.  My mother was the organist at our church and it often fell on us to act as junior bridesmaids, ring bearers, flower girls, or just as cute faces in the crowd when the big day came for one of our parishioners or a family friend.

Dreamy organza dresses with long lace veils, off the shoulder satin, or big poufy hoop skirts a la Gone With the Wind were always topics of discussion when we were kids.  We planned everything right down to the type of music we wanted, and how we wanted to be photographed when it was time for the all-important kiss.

There was no way to foretell all the changes that would develop in the worlds of bridal fashion and photography, or how our preferences would change over time.  My sister married before I did, and far from having a huge wedding with white doves and candle lighting, she and her fiancé opted to elope on a holiday weekend, and skip the fuss altogether.

Now it’s my turn, and while I’m opting for a few high-tech touches such as drone photography, I’m still concerned about saving money as much as possible.  I turned to my go-to shopping site, Groupon, and found the perfect reception dress at New York and Company.  (Taking advantage of a Groupon deal saves as much as 70% off dresses that are already on sale, and you can save even more when you sign up for special codes and exclusives.)

Finding the dress was easy, but booking an experienced drone pilot took more research.  I learned it’s not as simple as strapping a GoPro to your nephew’s drone, even though he swears he can handle the job.  An experienced drone photographer must have extensive knowledge of how to operate the craft, coordinate movement around the wedding venue, and most importantly – have a safety plan and insurance.  Every operator needs to have personal property and liability insurance for their commercial Unmanned Aerial Vehicle or UAV.  No matter how they brag on their safety record, if they don’t have insurance, don’t risk it.

Now that the big day is approaching, I’m confident my sister and I will look back over our early plans with peals of laughter.  But I’m sure that when we see the aerial shots of the family standing by the lake with the sun setting in the background taken by the drone, it’ll take our breath away.