“Couples hire me to recreate TikTok trends”: Meet a full-time wedding content creator

“Couples hire me to recreate TikTok trends”: Meet a full-time wedding content creator

Vanessa Buonaguro quit her job as a civil engineer to make wedding videos inspired by social media. She charges upward of $1,500 and is being hired by couples around the world

The TikTok-era has spawned its very own bridal industry vendor: the wedding content creator. Vanessa Buongonaro is a Burlington native who quit her job in engineering and now works full-time attending weddings and editing her footage into short, social-media inspired videos, for a base rate of $1,500.

The impulse to fastidiously document one’s wedding seems to have been with us since time immemorial, but in the era of TikTok, our methods have changed. With the advent of #weddingtok, brides are trading in formal portraits for quick clips of speedy outfit changes, choreographed first dances and marriage-themed lip syncs. The trend is now so popular that it has spawned its very own bridal-industry vendor: the wedding content creator. After quitting her job in engineering, Vanessa Buonaguro works full time filming wedding highlights and editing her footage into short videos based on TikTok and Instagram trends—for a starting rate of $1,500. She’s based in Toronto, but her business, Dear Diary Social, is taking her to faraway locales like New Zealand and Italy in addition to wedding venues in the GTA. Here, she breaks down her job, which trends are most popular and whether weddings get boring if you attend one every weekend.

For anyone who isn’t familiar with the TikTok wedding scene, what exactly is a wedding content creator?
Basically, it’s my job to use my phone to capture as much video as possible on the wedding day—like a hired best friend who’s a bit more technologically advanced. I’m literally the couple’s personal paparazzi, and I especially look out for cute bits of conversation, random “I love you” moments and anything funny, like that relief on people’s faces when the official photography ends and they can stop smiling. Afterward, I send the couple all the raw footage right away. Usually, that’s anywhere between 700 and 1,000 videos and photos. Then I spend about 48 hours editing, and depending on the package the couple opted for, they’ll get three to five edited videos that are either compilations or recreations of something that’s trending on TikTok.


and just like that she’s MARRIED #weddingcontentcreator #torontowedding #weddingmusthaves #weddingday #ontariowedding #weddingtiktok #torontobride #2023bride #newtrend #sofia

♬ Anna er best – Anna Nikoline⭐️

What are the popular trends right now?
My most requested type of video is an aesthetic recap of the day: a compilation of all the most magical moments summed up in 30 seconds or less. The second most popular is wedding dress transitions. That’s when the bride starts off wearing her PJs and then there’s a quick, fun cut and suddenly she’s fully made-up and wearing her wedding dress. Those ones can be tricky—there’s a lot of choreography that goes into it. I practice those with my friends and family to make sure I can get them right on wedding day.

Related: Inside a vibrant cross-cultural four-day wedding celebration

Are most of your clients influencers, or are normal people doing this as well?
About 90 per cent of my clients aren’t super active on social media. I’ve had maybe three to five TikTok influencers or celebrity brides, and the rest are just people who want their memories documented on an iPhone. It lets them get quicker access, so they can start reliving their wedding the very next day.


This is Love’s Story (the bride’s name is Love, so naturally 💕) #weddingmorning #weddingcontentcreator #weddingtiktok #weddingmusthaves

♬ Love Story (Taylor’s Version) – Taylor Swift

So you’re saying it’s not all about #weddingtok?
Honestly, most of my clients just want short highlight reels that they can watch over and over. They’ll ask for a recap of the entire day or of just the ceremony or just the reception. Lots of couples want to recreate social media trends, even if they don’t put them up online or turn them into TikTok videos in the end. Most of my couples scroll but rarely post. It’ll be interesting, though, to see what Gen Z wants when they start getting married. I feel like they’ll be more invested in the social media aspect.

How does your role fit in with wedding photography and videography? Would a fight break out if all three were going on at once?
Working alongside other vendors who are team players is not an obstacle. We all share the goal of making the couple happy. With a photographer, you’re getting magazine-worthy photos that you couldn’t take on an iPhone. With videography, you capture the more formal and beautiful parts of the day. And then I’m getting those behind-the-scenes moments. Sometimes clients do see me as a cheaper videographer, but I try to avoid that by making it clear that my videos are short-form clips.


Replying to @Michmaster EASY WEDDING MORNING TIKTOK: start the trend when you’re about to leave your bridal suite (aka your last video as a MISS👀) then fast forward to your JUST MARRIED selves and show all that true happinnes 🤗💍✨ Little happy dances are always a bonus MRS. 😁 #weddingtiktok #weddingmorning #weddingday #weddingcontentcreator

♬ Beyonce x My Husband x Casa Di Remix – CasaDi

How did you get into this line of work?
In 2020, I was a civil engineer. When Covid lockdowns hit, I decided to start a TikTok page about restaurants in Toronto, just as a hobby. One of my videos blew up, and the page became popular enough that I decided to quit my engineering job and pursue TikTok full time. Then a bride came across my food content and was like, “Hey, I like the way you shoot. Can you do my wedding?” While I was filming that wedding, the person who planned it hired me for her own. Then I started sharing information about my work on TikTok, and I gained 10,000 followers in less than a month. Now, that’s where I get the majority of my new clients. I have 50 bookings so far this year, and not just in the GTA. I’m set to go to Portugal, Mexico, Jamaica, New Zealand and Italy.

Sounds like quite a whirlwind.
It definitely feels unreal. This career basically fell into my lap.


Replying to @Chelle the bachelorette 😂 #bloopers #weddingfail #weddingcontentcreator #funny #friendgroup #bridesquad #2023bride #behindthescenes #weddingtiktok #friends #twosidestoeverystory #socialmediavsreallife #tiktokvsreality


Are you someone who finds weddings emotional? Or does that wear off after a while?
Everyone keeps telling me that at some point I’m going to stop crying, but I honestly don’t think that’s ever going to happen. I don’t know—the speeches, the way couples look at each other, that genuine happiness—I tear up every single time.

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.