With a little planning ahead, you can relieve SO much stress off your shoulders on your wedding day, because a stress free bride is a HAPPY bride! Here are 5 of my own personal tips that are sure to help keep you “calm & collective” on your best day ever.
1) Be sure to share your wedding day timeline with your vendors and communicate any last minute changes right away
It is so important to communicate your timeline with your vendors, especially your photographer and videographer (if you have one). Your photographer and videographer are probably the priority when it comes to communicating how the day will go with your vendors, because they will be following you around all day long. But it will also be helpful if your other vendors know how the day is flowing as well, DJ is another important one!
To always ensure I’m on the same page as my brides for their big day, I schedule a sit down meeting with them about 6-8 weeks prior to the wedding day and assist them with coming up with this day-of timeline. This way, we both know what to expect and I also make sure they know to communicate with me right away should anything change before the big day. I wouldn’t want to miss capturing something special because I wasn’t aware or prepared for the flow of the day.
2) Be realistic when planning the day, add buffer time
It can be a little challenging trying to guess on how long things might take if you don’t have much experience with weddings. The best way to go about this is to always over calculate on how long things might take. For example, getting your dress on, most people might think “oh that will only take me like 10 minutes and I’ll be ready to go.” That’s what you’d like to think right? Never have I ever met a bride that got her dress on within 10 minutes and was ready to go for formal pictures from there, there’s ALWAYS something that comes up that puts us behind plus trying to get photos of you getting your dress buttoned up will mean we may need you to go a little slower than normal. I typically try to allot atleast 30 minutes for the bride to get into her dress and ready to go.
If your ceremony is planned to last 20 minutes and then we’re going straight into family photos afterwards, let’s actually plan for 30 minutes because even when we plan for no receiving line, there’s always some family members that will come up to you right after the ceremony and want to hug and congratulate you. Which is completely fine, of course we’ve got to keep moving, we can’t get too far behind, but for reasons as this, your wedding day is still your wedding day and shouldn’t feel extremely rushed, it’s nice to have some buffer time should things pop up that throw us off timeline.
This is something that would be great to talk about with your planner, if you’re working with one, or your photographer. Even though we’re wedding photographers, we basically double as wedding planners as well! 😉 By that I mean having lots of experience in the industry and knowing how long things can actually take, your photographer would be a good resource for getting a quick estimate on how long a wedding day activity might realistically last!
3) Expect delays/things to not go exactly as you had planned in your timeline
This is a huge one! There is always something that comes up on wedding days that puts us a bit behind and we have to rework our flow a little bit to get back on track. Just know that this is totally normal and no reason to fret! If you’re expecting bumps in the road, it won’t hurt so bad once you hit them. Opposed to expecting to have a perfectly seamless day (although we aim for this!), little things may come up that we just have no control over and we just have to make the best out of it. Having a positive attitude about it and calmly coming up with a solution is so much easier than getting worked up over it and letting it ruin your whole day, I promise!
4) Hire a day-of wedding coordinator
I cannot even explain how much of a night and day difference it is to have a day-of coordinator at a wedding compared to not having anyone at all in charge of this. The day just seems to go SO much more smoothly! If you’re budget allows, it is such a great idea to hire one of these. Not only can they help you immensely with planning a really great, realistic full day timeline, but just having someone there to ensure the day goes as planned, that we’re staying on schedule and making sure all vendors are where they need to be and have what they need makes for a much more seamless wedding day and way less chances of delays or issues arising. Brides that hire a wedding day coordinator are 10/10 always way less stressed than brides that don’t!
Even if you can’t hire a day-of coordinator, it’s still helpful to even just dedicate a specific family member to be this person. I’ve seen brides assign their maid of honor in charge of being this person, but that doesn’t always work out as well since the MOH and bridesmaids are busy enough trying to get ready as well and are also very involved in the day. Choose a close friend or family member that you trust and is capable of remaining calm in stressful situations to be this person (mom probably isn’t the best option either, we want her to relax and enjoy the day too!)
If you’d like some recommendations on some local day-of wedding coordinators, below are a couple that I have personally worked with and felt left a really great impression!
Megan Adams with Arbor & Bloom Events
Abbey Stoutenborough with Inspired Weddings & Events
5) Be sure to eat a good breakfast
If you’ve got a long day ahead of you, be sure to start the day with a good breakfast. You don’t want to be starving right around the time when the ceremony is about to begin and then you’ve got an hour of pictures to take afterwards, especially if you’re planning a summer wedding, the heat is real. The hot sun during the summer time can drain you fast and if you’re running around on an empty stomach while trying to take photos, not only is that going to slow the process down because you won’t be feeling well but you’ll also probably be very hangry and wanting to rush through the most important photos of the day. Don’t let your appetite ruin it!
Girls, I totally understand wanting to look great in your wedding dress and to not look bloated or feel weighed down. You by no means need to stock up on carbs in order to call it a good breakfast. (But if you do, ZERO judgement here! I’m a carb queen 😉 ) Think protein, it keeps you fuller longer and doesn’t bloat. Eggs/egg whites, turkey sausage, whole wheat toast, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, these are all great lean breakfast options that will give you the energy to get through the day until dinner time without feeling bloated and weighed down. You can even snack on granola bars or a veggie tray before the ceremony and sip some green tea to help keep you feeling energized and good on the inside!
I hope these 5 tips have atleast given you some ideas on how you can take some steps to plan ahead and avoid feeling stressed and overwhelmed on your wedding day. That is truly the last thing you need to be feeling, you only get to do this once, make the most of it and enjoy it to it’s fullest!
Bonus Tip: You’ll also look SUPER great in your photos all day long if you’re constantly laughing, smiling and being the care free bride you should be! 😉