Lots of things can happen on a wedding day. In my experience, I’ve seen just about everything and because of that I’ve learned how to best manage the day from beginning to end, no matter what happens. Here are some of the key things to remember going into your big day.
Eat and drink (water) often—Most weddings end up being crazy days, with little time for you to breathe once it gets going. Start your day off with a filling breakfast and be sure to snack and hydrate throughout the day—this is so simple yet so essential to ensuring that you enjoy yourself from beginning to end. Skipping a meal or a glass of water may cause you to not feel well, have less energy, or be affected by alcohol way quicker than intended during a day you definitely want to remember. Lunch can easily be forgotten, but trays of sandwiches, fruits and veggies can be picked up by someone while you get ready.
Communicate with your loved ones about the schedule—A lot of times, family and friends are responsible for bringing/packing up things, keeping things organized, or being somewhere at a certain time. With so much going on during a wedding, it’s a good idea to give reminders the day before, or put someone in charge of keeping everyone straight. You may think it’s obvious that Uncle Bob needs to stick around the altar after the ceremony for family photos but if you haven’t made that clear to him, he may be distracted by other loved ones or wander off for a beer. When you tell your brother to be at the venue 90 minutes before the ceremony but fail to say why, he may take his time and run other errands for you on his way, instead of being there to knock out bridal party photos. Good communication keeps things running smoothly!
Speaking of first looks, you should totes consider one for so many reasons - This suggestion is all in my "Get the Prettiest Photos Possible" post, but it's worth a repeat! If you don't consider yourself traditional, the first look is a great thing to do. First looks are perfect for those who have a lot of anxiety about the ceremony. The ceremony can be emotional and stressful for those not big on a crowd watching, and not seeing your love until everyone is watching can add to it. I've heard from every single couple who has planned one that the first look eased nerves immediately and made them feel more ready for the wedding. This also eases stress with the timeline. We can take some or all of the couples portraits during this time, allowing us to take our time for other things during cocktail hour. Also, take advantage of the first look! Want to say some of your own vows that may be too personal in front of your guests? Say them to each other now. Exchange gifts. Cry together. Make it a special time.
Mail me an invitation—Not only do I love getting invitations (and my RSVP will always be “yes”!), but I’ve had several brides forget to bring the invitation to the venue with them for photos. If invitations are important to you, it’s nice to know that if you forget, I have a backup I can bring with me.
Double check with churches about any photo restrictions—While it hasn’t happened to me before, I’ve heard of situations in churches where suddenly the church coordinator isn’t allowing a photographer to photograph the ceremony. Reach out to both your church and the church’s coordinator to see what restrictions there are and let me know. Be sure to talk to both as coordinators may have a differing opinion from the regular church restrictions. Ifa complication does arise, communicate what’s important to you and any questions you may have.
Don’t forget about the marriage license—Signing the license can take up to 30 minutes, and after a ceremony, there usually isn’t a lot of time. Consider signing it before the ceremony to avoid having to find your witnesses during the move to the reception and holding up family formals and couples portraits.
This is your wedding. You do you—I can’t stress this one enough: This is your wedding, therefore it is your and your partner’s day. If you get anxious or stressed out by loud crowded rooms, get ready alone or with the few people you choose. Does the idea of having the moment you and your partner first see each other be in front of 150 loved ones weird you out? Have a first look to ease the nerves. Hate being in front of people? Keep your ceremony short and sweet. Want some alone time with your partner after the ceremony to eat or just soak in the day? Your loved ones are happy to wait a few extra minutes. Don’t like the idea of the garter and bouquet toss? Good news: they aren’t requirements! The point is, this is one of the most important days of your life, so you make it fit you, you should be loving every minute of it! Have that glow stick exit, banana pudding instead of cake, do yoga with your bridal party the morning of! People are there because they love you and want to share the day, they’re happy to be there no matter what kind of wedding your plan for yourself.
Things will go wrong—Your bouquet will probably wilt a little. One groomsman may rip the back of his pants open while heading to the venue (no joke, this has happened), the tuxes may have wrinkles, and your dress will most definitely get dirty by the time dinner rolls around. The thing to remember is that none of this matters. Go with it and enjoy this amazing day that you’ve worked your butt off to make happen. You are there to marry your partner and celebrate with people you love, and if that’s what you focus on, there is nothing in this world that can ruin your day. <3