This January marks the 7 year anniversary of our photography business.
Within those 7 years, we have photographed over 100 weddings, either together or with other photographers. We’ve seen it all! And as all the newly engaged couples begin planning and dreaming for their wedding day, I thought I’d share 10 ways to help keep stress low on your wedding day. Most of them are accomplished during the planning process so grab a notepad and take notes.
10 Practical Ways To Relieve Stress On Your Wedding Day
- Pick a location that can host your entire event, from getting ready all the way to the reception. Traveling from one location to another can add so much stress to a wedding day. Traffic, arriving late or getting lost, or even your mode of transportation breaking down en route to the ceremony or reception. Yes, these all have happened! (Bonus: Having everything at one location also maximizes your time as you don’t have to allow for travel time in your timeline.)
- Be very selective when it comes to choosing your wedding party. Do not choose bridesmaids or groomsmen out of guilt or obligation. Make sure they are the kind of person who will have your best interest at heart and will happily serve you on your wedding day.
- Plan a realistic timeline. This is something your wedding planner and photographer should work together on for you. If you don’t have a wedding planner, make sure the photographer you hire can help you realistically plan out your timeline. The DJ or caterer will help you plan your reception. But the photographer needs to help you shape the day from the getting ready, to the ceremony, and through the portraits. (This is so valuable I should expound on it more – check back for a blog post with more details on this item.)
- Schedule at least 10 minutes alone with your spouse on the wedding day to slow down and soak in what this day means to the two of you. I usually recommend finding a secluded spot right after the recessional.
- Consider doing a First Look and taking all of your pictures before the ceremony. From our experience, the last thing clients want to do after their ceremony is take photos. They just want to go celebrate! (Bonus: your hair and makeup is more fresh before the ceremony too!)
- Work with vendors who have your best interest in mind and who work well with other vendors. The working well with other vendors is usually about having your best interest in mind. So, do your homework! Don’t just hire someone who is exceptional at what they do. Hire someone who is exceptional at what they do and who is also kindhearted and thoughtful. Both are necessary when it comes to emotionally charged wedding days. (Tip: read their yelp pages or ask to speak with a previous client.)
- If you can afford it, hire a wedding planner. If you can’t, here are my recommendations. Reread and execute #3 above. Schedule a date 2 – 4 weeks before your wedding date as your wedding day deadline. Everything must be complete by that date! It is so easy to put little things off, but they quickly add up and will leave you frazzled during your wedding week when you’ll want to be stress free and enjoying all your family and friends who are in town for your wedding. (Trust me, I’m speaking from my own wedding day experience here too!) Lastly, think of someone right now who knows you well, loves you a lot, and knows how to get a job done. Ask that person to be the point of contact for all wedding day decisions so you aren’t aware when things don’t go exactly how they’re supposed to go. (Tip: everything won’t go exactly as you planned it.)
- Hire a good day DJ who can keep the party flowing and the energy alive. There is nothing worse then awkward pauses during the reception or a song that kills the dance floor. Again, do your research!
- About a week or two before the wedding, go on a date with your fiance. Decide together what you need to let go of, what needs to be delegated, and how you’re going to enjoy your wedding week together. And resolve from that day forward, to stay a team and not let anything come between each other or get in the way of your wedding day happiness.
- All venues require the entire place being cleaned up by a certain time or there are most likely penalties. Likely of the financial kind. Your caterer or rental company usually helps with the big stuff. But if you’ve brought anything in yourselves, done anything DIY, then you’ll be responsible to clean all of that up before the end of the night. Have a clean up team in place of friends or family who want to help you so you can leave at the end of the day with a peace of mind that you’re not going to return from your honeymoon with overstay or damage fees. This includes a trustworthy person to handle any of your personal belongings and your gifts. (Tip: Be sure to send a thank you to anyone who helps you.)
You may not find these doing a Google search or in your favorite wedding magazine, but I promise they all come from experience. A couple from my own wedding day, but most were inspired from the experiences of our clients. Weddings are emotionally charged events no matter what steps you take, but there are many practical ways to stay stress free and keep those emotions on the happier side (with a little bit of nerves mixed in, of course!).