Wedding days are one of the most important events of our lives and as such can also be one of the most stressful. In previous blog post found here
I explain why hiring a wedding planner takes most of that stress off. But here I will give you a few more ideas on how to make your day go off without a hitch.
Organize, Organize, Organize!
It doesn’t matter if your wedding is a small intimate affair or a huge blowout bash you can never be too organized. Create to-do lists, for yourself, your fiancé, those helping out with day-of coordination. There will be so many tasks to take care of that dividing these up will help everyone enjoy their day more and give you some time to relax and be present in the moment.
Choose a wedding photographer you have a real connection with
Budgets are important but spending 10 hours with someone you enjoy may be more important than that $500 you’d be saving going with a less expensive option. Your photographer quite possibly will feel like a built-in friend by the end of your wedding day, they adjust hair, buttons, spend time interacting with you and your family all day long. The photographers that really value and connect with you will not only remember your family members names they will also be able to predict when mom is going to laugh or cry during speeches, or when you and your new spouse are going to be sharing a sweet little glance or belly laugh over something funny. A well-seasoned photographer is definitely worth a budget adjustment.
Choose the 2 or 3 things that are the most important to you
Maybe it’s photography or food or the venue etc. then allocate more of your budget to those things so they are AMAZING. The things that mean the most to you should be top notch so you’re super satisfied at the end of the day. You can always save money in other areas by DIY projects and call in favors from friends and family.
Have the first look then couples portraits…and maybe bridal party photos before your ceremony
Factoring in a first look is a fantastic and highly recommended plan for all weddings these days. There are many reasons to have a first look but the one that tops my list is the alone time couples get to just be in the moment together before all the madness begins. It also helps alleviate wedding jitters which are totally normal for some and non-existent for others, every couple is different. Planning to have first look, portraits and any other bridal party or family photos prior to your ceremony will open up your timeline and have your guests thanking you for not leaving them waiting for hours during cocktail hour while you are away having them done. Things will overall be less rushed.
Do what YOU want (and don’t forget about the person you’re marrying)
From the moment you get engaged there are going to be so many opinions flying at you about what you should do, where you should get married, what dress you should buy and so on. My best advice to you is to plan your wedding according to what you and your partner want. Plan events that you think are awesome and avoid the ones that you aren’t so thrilled about. Just because it’s a tradition doesn’t always meant that it’s the right thing for your wedding day so break the rules and start your own traditions – even if they may seem silly just go for it! This day is about you and your significant other so make sure you are both on the same wavelength about what you want for your day. And on that note: do not let one party overshadow the opinion of the other, make a joint effort to chose a venue, photographer, decorations and infuse the day with a style that honors you both as individuals and as a couple. With this, also remember that although your friends and family matter, and we all love them, they do not necessarily get to have an opinion on what you and your partner choose for your wedding day. The only two opinions that matter are the couple getting married.
Go with the flow, don’t get hung up on the small stuff
Maybe something doesn’t come together the way you thought it would with the flowers. Maybe someone is late or got stuck in traffic. Maybe someone forgets to bring the marriage certificate to sign. And maybe, just maybe, someone leaves the rings at the location you got ready and doesn’t discover it until moments before you are supposed to walk down the aisle. After many years of being a wedding photographer I have seen many scenarios play out and the couples that have a go-with-the-flow attitude on their wedding day are also the happiest and joyfully enjoying their day. Any number of things can happen that are not part of the plan, and trust me, nearly every single wedding has at least one thing that goes amiss, it’s your job to let those things go like water off a duck’s back.
The day goes so quickly and things will take longer than you think all day long
You gave yourself an hour for hair and makeup…think again! A 20-minute ride from where you got ready to where the ceremony is…make that 45! Everything that happens on your wedding day needs a realisitc timeline cushion. The best advice I can give you is to make a timeline and stick to it! Your wedding timeline can be a great resource to have when working with a wedding photographer and other vendors. You will have so much going on that without a timeline things can run askew and way behind. Most wedding planners and photographers will help you stick to your timeline so you get to the ceremony on time and get to enjoy time with those that came to celebrate your marriage.
There will be some big doozie tasks so take care of those first
Guest lists, making a budget, choosing a wedding planner, choosing a wedding venue and choosing a wedding photographer are at the top of the list of things to checked off your list first. Why? Because people make plans, money goes easily if you don’t stick to a budget and vendors book up (sometimes even years out!).
Consider a single venue
There are many reasons to consider a single wedding venue and saving drive time is just one of those. Another great benefit of choosing a single venue is having extra time for photos and time with your guests.
Use reliable and recommended vendorsSelecting the right vendor can be a time-consuming process but getting it right and doing your best research is key. Ask your wedding planner and photographer for referrals, take time looking at a vendor’s portfolio of work and take the time to meet in person. You should feel a connection and be comfortable with any vendor you choose.
Choose someone to pay or tip the vendors. Choose another person to MC or a family member to help the photographer gather people for group photos (I can attest that this is a wonderful and time-saving thing to have). Again, make to-do lists to keep people on task. Don’t be afraid to ask friends and family for help. You guys should be able to enjoy your wedding day and stay stress-free!
Hire a wedding planner!