I truly believe that wedding days are living, moving, breathing phenomena. They are here and gone in the blink of an eye. However, I also believe it is important to set yourself up for success and to ease any stress ahead of time so that as you float through your day you aren’t focused on the details or the flowers, not on the cake or the music – but you’re focused on the union, the marriage that is beginning. I want you to experience – not just plan – a marriage more beautiful than your wedding day. If you put these tips to work, you’ll be on your way to a stress-free day!
#1 Strategically Schedule Events for Less Stress
Your ceremony time will direct how the day will lead. If it’s early, great, you can do your photos in between that and cocktail hour, but if your ceremony flows into your cocktails, well, you should probably consider a first look. My goal? To have everyone present for as much of the cocktail hour as possible.
Why? The answer is two-fold. One, you are paying for it, so you might as well enjoy it. Two, it’s one of the only times you get to greet and be present with your guests stress free. Work with your photographer, find out how long they need for certain things, schedule travel time, and add a little cushion!
#2 Prepare Ahead of Time
When your photographer shows up, you want them to get right to work. How do can they do this? By having you prepare ahead of time. What should you prepare? Well, anything you want to be photographed.
For my brides, I tell them to have their: dress, shoes, jewelry, full invitation suite, all of the rings, any family heirlooms, and any other bridal details they want to be photographed. When I start shooting, I begin with styling the details that help tell your wedding story. If you don’t have things ready, I’ll be wasting time tracking them down (when I could be making them pretty and shooting). The more prepared you are, the better– for you and for me!
#3 Communicate Clearly for a Stress Free Day
Need your grandma to the church early? Want your wedding party to hang around after the ceremony? Need your college buddies ready for a shot during cocktail hour? Tell them!
Make sure you communicate the schedule clearly and that everyone who needs it has it. This helps us not waste time tracking Uncle Jim down or grabbing Bobby from the bar. Photos move much faster, and when that happens you get to your party sooner. You’ll also be less stressed, I promise. Being an over-communicator during this time will pay off!
#4 Make Time for Photography
I urge my couples to do first looks for multiple reasons. First, it gives you the chance to soak it in, embrace it, and experience the emotions without hundreds of pairs of eyes on you.
Second, it allows us to knock out the posed photos so we can cruise through the festivities with candid shots that you’ll love.
Lastly, it gives me the chance to sneak into your reception during cocktail hour and photograph all of the hard work you’ve done! From florals to seating charts, gift tables to cakes, when you give me 20-30 minutes of uninterrupted time to photograph these details, all of the work and money you’ve spent making your vision come to life is documented and preserved!
#5 Just be Present
Wait, what? You don’t believe it when everyone tells you that a wedding day is a total whirlwind? Well, it is. Take moments where you stop, hold each other’s hands, and intentionally take in the moments. When I shoot portraits of my clients, I make sure it’s private and I tell them, “This isn’t just time for photos, this is a time for you to be fully present. To hug each other and feel the warmth, to look into each other’s eyes and lock that memory, to kiss like you’re 15 and never kissed before…” You get the idea.
I hope these tips for a stress free wedding day help bring some peace to your wedding planning and allow you to truly soak in every moment with you and your spouse.
See more of Darby and Garrett’s wedding day at The Grand Lady here!
Venue: The Grand Lady
Planning + Design: Simply XO Events
Videographer: Cloud Craft Studios
Catering: SoHo Catering
Floral: Lovelily Flowers
Beauty: Think Brink Beauty
Band: Intensity Bands
Strings: Terra Vista Strings