Between photographing and planning weddings, I’ve worked with hundreds of brides and grooms. And while most of them have a blast on their wedding day, sadly some find themselves tired, uncomfortable and unhappy. Some have made unfortunate choices while planning their big day and some are just too stressed and freaked out to enjoy the day. After all the planning and money put into their wedding day, it breaks my heart when a client is not able to enjoy it! I’d like to help future engaged couples of the world enjoy every minute of their wedding day. So here are my top ten tips to do just that.
- Hire people you trust and enjoy – If you trust your wedding vendors you will not spend your day worrying if they are actually going to do what you’ve asked them to do. If you enjoy your wedding vendors, you will be happy to see them when they arrive. They will add to your happy day rather than being someone you have to put up with.
- Take care of yourself on the days leading up to your wedding day – I know when I’m tired I’m more likely to overreact to stress than if I’m well rested. It will be tempting to pull an all-nighter to finish your favors, but it’s not worth loosing the sleep. Instead, enlist help from your fiance and friends. You’ll also look your best if you’ve had enough water and have been eating healthy the week of the wedding.
- Know something will go wrong and plan to roll with it – This is common advice and it’s true. Something will always go wrong on your wedding day. But if you keep your eye on the prize and remember this day is about celebrating your new marriage with your most favorite people in the world, those little details will not seem so important.
- Stay within your budget – It can’t be fun to start a life with someone in massive amounts of credit card debt. Knowing something will go wrong on your wedding day is another big reason to stay within your budget. If the thing that went wrong also put you in credit card debt, it’s going to be that much harder to ignore. If you can’t afford a high priced item, just don’t do it. Invest your money in what you consider the most important aspects of the day. And if you don’t know what those are, take a look at The Best Wedding Planning Advice I’ll Ever Give.
- Make sure your attire is comfortable and fits you properly – Jimmy Choo’s are gorgeous! But if I tried to walk in a pair I’d kill myself. If you’re not used to wearing ultra high heals, your wedding day is not the day to give that a try. You also won’t be happy if you spend the day hiking your strapless dress up. Break in your shoes (perhaps buy a backup pair of flats) and invest in a great tailor. This advice is not just for the ladies. Men, if you’re renting a tux or suit, be sure it is comfortable and sized appropriately. Consider investing in comfortable formal shoes and a dress shirt that fits you perfectly.
- Save the cocktails for the after-party – It’s impossible to enjoy your wedding day if you can’t remember it.
- Don’t do things that are totally out of your nature – If you and your fiance are super fun, casual people who hate dressing up, why would you have an ultra formal wedding? There is no rule that says your wedding has to be black tie. You don’t even have to wear a wedding gown. Fashion your wedding day around your own personality and style. Don’t let the trend of the day dictate your wedding planning.
- Assign someone to trouble shoot your day – It will be difficult to have fun at your wedding if you are also the main contact for every problem. I don’t care how much of a control freak you are. You won’t enjoy being in control on your wedding day. Ideally, a wedding planner can be the point person for all the problems that arise on your wedding day. But if you can’t afford a planner, enlist the help of someone in the wedding party you trust to make decisions when problems arise (the most organized and least dramatic friend you have). They will know when to take care of things themselves and when to get your input.
- Plan for all types of weather – Two years in a row I’ve shot what were supposed to be beautiful spring weddings in the snow (Although I have to admit, they were gorgeous! Check them out here and here). There is no way to control the weather so it’s important to plan for all scenarios. That means choosing a location that would be great indoors and outdoors. That also means finding beautiful spots for indoor wedding photos. And I always suggest purchasing some adorable umbrellas that match your wedding colors so the rain does not stop you from getting beautiful outdoor images.
- Take a minute alone with your new spouse in the middle of the day to slow things down – Your wedding day will be over in a millisecond. There are a few tricks to slow it down. One of my favorite is taking a minute in the middle of the day with just you and your spouse to take a breath together and talk about all the wonderful things that are happening. You’d be amazed how effective that can be in slowing your day down. It’s also a beautiful opportunity to have a special moment together.
Wedding planning can be a bear. But it could be the only day you and your husband have every person in the world you both love in one room. That’s such a gift! If you keep perspective and prepare for a bit of chaos, you’ll love every minute of your wedding day. Happy planning!