I originally wrote this article for the always fabulous Northshore Harbour, but thought that some of the tips here deserve to go out to an even wider audience of potential bride and grooms. I hope you find some of these below tips useful for ensuring a stress free wedding day.
So, everything is in readiness, the countdown is on to one of the biggest days of your life. A day you want to look back on forever and remember at how awesome it was. The one day that you want everything to go just right. That thought alone is often enough to stress even the most chilled out bride.
But there are a number of things that you can do prior to and during the big day to help reduce those stress levels to zero.
Below are some tips from Steven Thomas, an experienced wedding photographer and owner of Vellum Studios, on ways to have a stress free wedding day.
1 CHOOSE EXPERIENCED VENDORS
One of the easiest ways of making sure your wedding day goes off as planned is to choose experienced people for your team who have the knowledge and skills to deliver what you want under all conditions. When meeting with Vendors such as celebrants, photographers & videographers ask questions such as: have they worked at your chosen venue before? How would they handle bad weather etc.
2 COLLABORATE ON THE TIMELINE
The wedding day relies on many people working seamlessly together throughout the day. Hair & Makeup, florists, decorators, photographer.. All have a part to play and need time factored into the day to do their job properly.
Coming up with a timeline for the whole day can be a daunting task. But your vendors are a great resource to help you come up with the perfect wedding day timeline. By working with your vendors on the timeline you will ensure everyone is on the same page come the wedding day and tasks have realistic time frames. Photographers in particular can give excellent advice on timelines that make the best use of afternoon light.
3 PLAN FAMILY PHOTO GROUPINGS BEFOREHAND
Spending quality time with your family can provide some of the biggest joy on your wedding day. But let’s face it, family can also provide some of the biggest stresses on your big day too. Following your lovely ceremony you don’t want to be yelling at the top of your lungs for Aunt Flo to get into the family photos. Or try to remember (without much success) some of the family groupings you wanted.
This is where planning ahead and delegating pays off. Talk to your photographer prior to the day about the family photo groupings you would like and don’t forget to mention to them any family issues there may be so that they can approach these things delicately on the day.
Once you have the groupings worked out, the next step would be to choose someone responsible from each side of the Bride & Groom’s family to be the gatherer of the groups. This will certainly save your sanity during this part of the day and make sure you have plenty of time for the fun bridal party and couple photos later.
4 DO A PRE-WEDDING SHOOT
People fear and stress about the unknown. One of these unknown things for a lot of people is professional photos. The vast majority of us aren’t models and don’t willingly get in front of a camera too often except for cute selfies while on holidays.
This is where a pre-wedding or ‘engagement’ shoot‘ can really help. A pre-wedding shoot allows you to get used to your chosen photographer and how they work, so that come your wedding day, you can just relax in the moment. The bonus of a pre-wedding shoot is that, as there are no time pressures or receptions to be at, it can be very relaxed and even fun! It is also great to be able to use these more relaxed casual pictures in frames around your house or on the gift table at your reception.
5 BE COMFORTABLE
This one should go without saying but it is important that you both be comfortable on your wedding day. It is almost impossible to fake being happy and relaxed for the camera when you clearly are not.
So if at all possible, wear in your shoes prior to the big day (this goes for the girls and the guys).
Some brides also pack a pair of ballet flats for the reception or even thongs if they are going anywhere near the beach.
At the dress fitting make sure you can sit down in your dress (since you will be doing quite a lot of that at the reception).
6 DON’T FORGET TO EAT
Wedding day nerves can kick-in early on the day often during the bridal prep time. Resulting in lack of appetite and skipping breakfast and or lunch. Then as soon as the ceremony is over everyone in the bridal party becomes ravenous. This is when having an esky of drinks and nibbles organised for the photo location shoot sure can take the edge off the cravings until the appetizers roll out at the reception. Speak to your venue too, as often they will happily provide you with drinks and finger food while you are getting shots on the grounds.
7 PLAN SOME COUPLE TIME
It is great to share your day with your besties in the bridal party and close family members. But I often suggest that you allocate some time during the location photoshoot for some quality one on one time with your new husband/wife. The day goes by like a whirlwind and before you know it it will be over. So I like to get my couples to slow things down and just be with each other and take it all in. I often find it is these close unposed moments that provide the images that they cherish the most.
8 ENJOY YOUR DAY!
Hopefully with some of the above advice you have put steps in place for a nice, smoothly run wedding day. But sometimes there are hiccups in even the best laid plans. The secret is to focus on the good stuff (the fun, the love and the connections) and don’t sweat the little things that may not go quite right. So keep on smiling and enjoy one of the best days of your life!