I have planned weddings for hundreds of couples, walking by them every step of the way. Now let’s be honest, we all know how stressful the actual planning of the wedding process is, but even after all the planning is done and we await the big day, the stress typically does not end until the festivities are officially over and the couple is off on their honeymoon. Because I know your nerves will be shot on your big day, I have provided some tips I have found helpful to ensure your wedding day runs smoothly.
1) Make a timetable for the morning of. Hair, make-up, breakfast, bouquets and breathing…the morning of your wedding is a hectic one to say the least! The trick to making the hustle and bustle more exciting than stressful is to make out a short time table (and keep to it!) You don’t have to get into incredible details but it’s handy to have a notebook with approximate arrival times of you suppliers (also have a contact number jotted down for each so that anyone can give a bell while you’re working away yourself), timing for hair and make-up etcetera to be finished and the last possible minute you can get into your dress.
This is one tip that a surprising amount of couples don’t heed. For peace of mind (and piece of sanity) on your big day, send any directions or info needed to all guests with their invitations, or put them on your personal website. People who take for granted how easy it is to get from church to reception or to get to the venue at all find themselves on their phones all morning telling their mates to take ‘the other right’. Knowing that you’ve done all you can to get people to the wedding means that yourself and your OH can turn your phones off without so much as a wince.
2) Assign a member of the bridal party to your photographer. Once you’ve done all your research and are happy with your photographer, you shouldn’t really need to be worried about getting the shots you want on the day. If you want a mixture of documentary style shots and posed pictures, assign a bridesmaid or groomsman to the task. They can work with your photographer to make sure you get all the shots you want, from gathering groups of people to pointing out who’s who among the guests –just make sure the photographer knows who they should deal with for the day, and vice-versa
3) Make sure you have a dresser. This is an obvious tip, but one which is often forgotten; make sure somebody knows how to get you in and out of your dress! Assign someone to this task and make sure you do a quick dress rehearsal the week of the wedding so that your dresser is comfortable to take charge on the day. This person can also be in charge of having pins, chalk and any accessories you are wearing on the day. Make sure this person hasn’t got a fresh manicure or dark nail polish that will come off on your dress.
4) Create a perfect emergency bag. You’ve probably heard this one before, but there’s a good reason for it. Your emergency kit is your savior for the day and will hold everything you need for any nasty little situation. Start by making a list (or getting a list online at Weddings Online!) of all the things you might need throughout your wedding day, from the moment you wake up to when you go to bed. A good emergency kit will prepare you for anything the day throws at you, from dress stains (Tide Sticks ROCK!) You won’t need to keep this all on yourself for the day though, hand it over to your chief bridesmaid who can do a few make-up checks throughout the day, apply a little extra lippy, or baby wipe any tears.
5) Style out your wedding car. We’ve all heard of the bride jumping out of her wedding car on the way to the church, and heading into the local garage for a bottle of water, haven’t we? If you want to avoid a pit stop in white, kit out your car with all you’ll need on the way to the ceremony, and later, the reception. You’ll need lots of water to keep you hydrated for the day, and it’s also handy to have a few nibbles in the car too to keep your sugar levels up. Go for something healthy that won’t stick to your teeth or get too messy –yes that means the chocolate mousse is out I’m afraid!
6) Gift Cards and Gifts Have somebody there to take care of any cards or gifts you are given on the day. There’s nothing worse wondering whether or not somebody gave you a card when you get to writing your thank you notes. Ask a member of the bridal party to keep everything together for you, and if there’s any gifts, to jot down names of people on a notepad. This is a good way to make sure nothing goes missing with all the hustle and bustle of the day and will also give you peace of mind knowing that someone’s got your back!
7) Keep the kids entertained. If you’re having children at your wedding, you should think about implementing a few structures to keep them entertained. If you are having more than four under agers, hiring a professional to do the entertaining for you is immediately going to take a whole heap off your shoulders. However if you’re only having one or two, make up some goodie bags with little toys from the Pound shop a few weeks before, or ask your wedding coordinator if they have a room for the kids to go to play around
8) Make preparations for all types of weather. This one is especially important if you are planning to get married in Charleston S.C. anytime from April-October. No matter where you are there is always a chance of ok here goes, yes I said it “Rain”. Plan B you’ll have to prepare for the worst! Have somewhere indoors that you can take photos in case it rains, and make sure to get yourself a pretty umbrella for getting you in and out of cars! If you have the (nicer) complaint of too much sun, maybe invest in a bridal parasol, there are some really pretty ones available online! If it gets cold, maybe have a pair of vintage gloves on hand to keep warm in photos? Faux fur muffs are also really popular and great for keeping your mitts warm too!
9) Allocate time to spend with your other half. There is so much to do during the wedding day, from the photos to the speeches and the first dance; it’s so easy to forget what the day is really about: two people taking a vow to love each other forever. Taking time to just be with each other, even for 20 minutes, will instantly relieve any stress you have on the day and remind you what it’s all about. Head outside during the reception for a few minutes and take a deep breath together, you’ll look back on those few minutes when it’s all over and be glad you had them.
Now that all that is done and hopefully your nerves have gone down and you’re less stressed because half of your “to-do” list has been marked off, LET’S CELEBRATE!
Happy Beginnings, Mike