I’ve been a wedding photographer now for seven years and what I’ve learned over the years is that weddings are stressful, but they don’t have to be. Planning and prepping are key to having a successful and stress-free wedding, but what should you do? Below are my top five tips for having a stress-free wedding day.
Hire a day of coordinator.
If I just had to give one tip this would be it, wedding coordinators are a HUGE relief and take so much stress off you. It’s honestly the one thing I wish I did at my own wedding, and I had a very small 65-person wedding. Coordinators are the go-to person on your wedding day, taking the stress off you. For more information about day of coordinators check out Paper Hat Wedding’s post about what a wedding day coordinator does.
If a day of coordinator isn’t in the budget for you, don’t fret. Designate a go-to person who can take care of things for you. If you’re having a master and mistress of ceremony, I would suggest having them take care of things. They can help with finding specific people for family formals, communicating with vendors, set up and tear down and keeping everyone on time. Create a list of responsibilities and have a copy of the wedding timeline for them to make the day go as smooth as possible.
Have a solid timeline.
Timelines are SO important to keep your wedding day running smoothly and stress free. If you have a coordinator they will help create the timeline and keep everyone on track, but if you don’t ask your photographer to help create a timeline for your day. When building your timeline you want to schedule everything from a first look with dad, touch ups, transportation time to the venue, etc.. Be realistic about how long everything is going to take and add in a buffer before the ceremony in case things run behind schedule. Make sure your wedding party knows the timeline and that family photos are announced (make sure the family in the photos know they are in the photos) so time isn’t wasted trying to find people for photos.
Have a backup plan for weather.
Most of my couples live in Michigan and let me tell you the weather can change three times in one day easily. Having a backup plan for any outdoor event such as a ceremony and even photos is so important to keep your day stress-free. Look for an indoor location or covered outdoor location that you can use in case of rain. Keep an eye on the forecast the week of your wedding, but don’t obsess and be upset over it. I’ve photographed so many weddings where it was going to rain but it ended up being a gorgeous day. Rainy wedding days are just as beautiful as sunny days, trust in your photographer to get beautiful wedding photos and don’t be afraid to get a little wet!
Have your wedding day essentials kit packed and with you all day.
I always stress the importance of having a wedding day essentials bag. You just never know what is going to happen and being prepared is going to reduce that stress. I’ve had to sew brides and bridesmaids into their dresses, handed out blotting paper for hot summer days, and even gave up my last tampon to a bridesmaid. I wrote a post with 20 wedding day essentials that most couples don’t think about. I would designate a member of your wedding party to be in charge of the kit of essentials for the whole day, so it doesn’t end up across town in someone’s car when you need it.
Wedding planning is crazy but prepping yourself before your wedding is the best way to insure your day is stress-free. These are my top three things to do to prep yourself:
- Have a hair and makeup trial. It’s important to know exactly how long your hair and makeup appointment will be for your timeline. It’s also important to make sure you are happy with the results before your day so extra time isn’t wasted getting everything the way you want it. As a good tip I would add an extra 30 minutes onto however long your stylist says the appointment will take - it gives a little buffer to insure you look amazing on your day.
- Break in your wedding shoes. There is a LOT of walking and being on your feet during your wedding day and no one wants to spend it in pain. Do yourself a favor and spend some time in your shoes a few times a week leading up to your wedding. You’ll thank me later.
- Have a checklist for everything you need to pack for your wedding day/honeymoon. If your heading straight into your honeymoon from your wedding night make sure you have everything you need: passport, clothes, hairbrush, etc. packed and ready to go. For your wedding day make sure your rings, jewelry, vows and whatever else you need are all packed in a bag that is going with you.
Not everything goes according to plan, and that’s totally okay! At the end of the day it’s important to remember what this day is about – celebrating your love for each other! Your wedding day will come and go in a flash, be present in every moment and enjoy every second.
Looking for a wedding photographer? Let’s connect and chat about your day!