When people discover I’m a wedding photographer, one of their first questions is, “Have you ever had a bridezilla?” I haven’t. Not even close! And I think it’s because my brides have done the work to manage their stress well.
MANAGING WEDDING DAY STRESS
I can’t stress this enough. Even if you’re a professional event planner, you don’t want to spend your wedding day managing the details. You can trust your vendors to take care of their areas, but there are still SO MANY DETAILS that need to be ironed out the week leading up to the wedding. Please, delegate! Ask friends and extended family members for help with place cards, favors, errands. And here’s another thought based on what we’ve seen– Don’t delegate a list to your mom on the day of the wedding. Allow her to share in the joy of being the mother of the bride. She has a lot of out of town friends and family she’d like to spend quality time with, she’d like to spend time to look her best, and she has so many emotions as she watches you get married! She should be free from responsibility on the wedding day– even if she insists otherwise 🙂
2. APPOINT A WEDDING DAY CONTACT.
If budget allows, hire a professional wedding planner. There is nothing that will keep your wedding more stress-free than a reputable planner. Planners think through problems, solve them, and work with all vendors involved. They keep all plates spinning so you and your family are free to just ENJOY! We’ve seen many weddings that were coordinated by a family friend, and there is a distinct difference between professional planners and those that aren’t. A friend typically does one thing well– managing the timing of the ceremony, for instance– but there’s so much more to coordinate. If hiring a professional planner isn’t possible for you, we strongly suggest appointing a wedding day contact that you can completely trust to make decisions for you. A few days before the wedding, ask that all questions be sent to your contact. Trust him/her to take care of it. If your cake begins to melt from the heat at your outside wedding, you should be the last person to hear about it. If the best man forgets his dress shirt, you should be the last person to hear about it. Allow someone else to solve the problems.
3. AVOID YOUR CELL PHONE.
Since you have appointed a contact that’s taking care of all issues, give your cell phones to your maid of honor and best man after the rehearsal dinner. People will continue to call you with questions while setting up the reception site. The photographers will call needing the hotel room number where you’re getting ready. You don’t want to be bothered by any of this! Your contact person can answer any of their questions and leave you free to enjoy being with your favorite people!
4. MAKE A PRE-WEDDING PLAYLIST.
It may seem simple, but singing along to your favorite music while getting ready makes for a fun, stress-free atmosphere! Ask a bridesmaid to bring a speaker to your getting ready room. Trust us. Music makes the atmosphere so much more fun!
5.PLAN ON A FIRST LOOK.
We’ll talk about the advantages of the first look in a different blog post, but there are two ways we’ve seen first looks take away wedding day stress: 1) Overall, the pace of the wedding day is much different with a first look. When you wait for all the pictures until after the ceremony, there’s a rush to complete the timeline so you can get to the reception on time. Managing family dynamics during family formals is already stressful enough, but needing to do them quickly so you can rush to get SOME pictures of the two of you before you need to be introduced at the reception, can be stressful. 2) We don’t want to think about it, but your wedding day may not go as planned. Maybe it’s storming and you have an outside ceremony planned or maybe you don’t like the way your hair looks. These are things we don’t want to talk about, but they happen! Once you have your first look, none of it matters anymore. There’s something so calming about just BEING TOGETHER on your wedding day.
6. HOLD YOUR CEREMONY AND RECEPTION AT THE SAME LOCATION.
I almost didn’t include this point, but I think it’s worth considering if you fear being anxious on your wedding day. I don’t know if I’d call additional travel time STRESSFUL, but it does all add up to the chaos of the day. If your ceremony, portrait location, and reception are all at the same location, the day is naturally slower paced with more downtime. More downtime means more time to chat, laugh, and be present!