I tell Will all the time that I don't just feel like your photographer; that at many weddings I feel as though I'm a wedding planner, a bridesmaid AND a photographer. We are with you guys all day, helping you with last minute adjustments or calling the florist when they forgot something before you find out so you don't lose that genuine smile and get a twitchy eye lid from the stress during your photos. It's not intentional that I become your best buddy and right hand man throughout the day (well kinda it is :) ), but by now, I've seen a lot of random things happen and have learned how to either plan the day around the stress or help relieve some of it when I'm around.
So, with that stress-reliever-helper-thought in mind, I've created a little list of things that I wish someone would have told me when I was planning our wedding.
5 Tips for Creating a Stress-Free Wedding Day
1. Plan extra time into your day for hair and makeup This is a biggie. I feel like this kind of dictates what the brides stress level will be the rest of the day. If your hair and makeup takes an hour or 2 longer than scheduled, everything gets pushed back: getting your dress on, the first look, photos...possibly even the wedding. So be sure to schedule your appointments for hair and makeup earlier than you think you will need to. And if several girls are having their hair and makeup done, be sure to line up enough makeup and hair artists for the time you have allotted.
2. Ask for help Wedding planning can be extremely stressful. Don't go into it with the mentality that you have to do it all yourself. If you can't hire a wedding planner ask your friends and family for help with decisions and vendor referrals. This saves so much time researching, plus you already have a recommendation from them on which vendors to check out. A lot of couples have already felt the stress planning a wedding causes, so they are more than willing to spill the beans on the ins and outs of what made things easy or difficult for them.
On the day of the wedding, if you can't afford or don't want to hire a wedding coordinator, that is totally fine, but don't try to do everything yourselves and don't put that on your parents either. It would be nice if they are able to enjoy the day too. Instead, delegate jobs to friends and members of the family. Everyone there is excited for you and will usually do whatever it takes to make your day perfect and stress free for you and your groom.
3. Choose a photographer that makes you feel comfortable I can't imagine anything more awkward than spending one of the most important days of your life with someone you don't click with. Research and choose a photographer that is fun and makes you feel like you can be yourself. The more comfortable you feel, the better your photos will turnout because you will have a genuine smile and relaxed posture. We are literally with you ALL DAY, so be sure to choose someone you could see yourself being friends with.
4. Don't worry about the little details that didn't turn out right I can't even tell you how many cool brides we have. You guys have never flipped out about anything little going wrong (flowers being the wrong color, cakes not being right, centerpieces missing, not getting the last minute touches done). But, I can see how it would be easy to do. And, seriously, it happens at pretty much every single wedding I've ever been to. On my wedding day Mom told me, "No one but you is going to notice if something isn't perfect." And she was right. Actually, I don't think I even noticed anything was wrong.
Forget the petty stuff and just enjoy that one day that you get to be a princess. That one day you get to have all your closest friends and family in one room together. It's a dream come true!
5. Savor each moment! (this one doesn't really involve stress but it's important) I swear wedding days fly by when you are the bride and groom. There's something magical about having everyone you love together, laughing and dancing in the same room. You won't want to miss those moments. Take time during your ceremony (just a brief second) to look around at all your loved ones, there to see YOU! Be sure to hug your guests that made a special trip to spend this very important day with you. Enjoy every second and take it all in because it's over in the blink of an eye. Luckily, you'll have photos and possibly video that will allow you to relive the moments of the day (and usually even see the moments you missed).