As a photographer, I’ve found that I am one of the few wedding professionals that spend the most time with the bride and her bridesmaids on the wedding day. Some of the things that causes a bride to be stressed before her walk down the aisle are usually avoidable with proper planning. Today, I wanted to share 5 tips for having a stress free wedding morning, so that your joyous walk down the aisle is the only thing that’s one you can truly enjoy! Let’s go:
1- Hire a Wedding Planner: This is one of the first things I recommend during client consultations. I think many couples underestimate the number of puzzle pieces that have to come together for a flawless wedding day and unless you’ve been around a number of weddings, it’s hard to estimate how many little delays can lead to big delays. Also, the wedding planner can handle multiple family members and wedding vendors professionally when needed to take the stress off of a family member and prevent unnecessary disagreements.
2- Allow More Time Than Needed for Hair and Make-Up: This is an area that I see run behind so often and that’s not a diss to hair and make-up artists. There have been times that the artists have done a great job but the bridesmaid wanted something changed or retouched and that time that is supposed to be spent on the next person in line gets delayed because what wedding professional wants to send out less than their best work? No one. So if the make-up artist tells you it usually takes 45 minutes per face, please allow an additional 30 minutes. It may require you to move your wedding day activities to an earlier start time, but I’ve never seen a bride stress out about being ready 30 minutes before the wedding started. In fact, that gave her more photo opportunities with her bridesmaids before the celebration gets underway.
In addition to hair and make-up timing, often times the bride naturally thinks she should go last when getting her make-up done. It’s the bride and groom’s day, so when the schedule gets behind, everyone begins to speed up naturally, which means the time spent on the first bridesmaid is not the same timing spent on the bride. It breaks my heart to see a bride rush through make-up and getting dressed to only break a sweat and panic because she’s worried about being late to her own wedding. My recommendation is for the bride to have her make-up applied somewhere in the middle of the pack so that the necessary time is spent on her and then if needed she can be touched up right before getting into her gown.
3- Ask Essential Wedding Party Members to Arrive Early: Let’s face it, when we know we have to be somewhere at a certain time, there comes a tendency to allow for the amount of time it takes to arrive at our destination. While some people plan for unexpected circumstances some don’t. As the bride, it’s okay to automatically build in buffer time into your day to allow for traffic, accidents, weather, or forgotten items to be retrieved.
4- Get Dressed Early: If you’re doing a First Look, it will be necessary to be dressed about 2 hours before the start of the ceremony in order to see your groom, take photos and be hidden away before guests start arriving. If you have decided against a First Look, please consider the timing it will take to get into your dress. This is such a beautiful moment when the mother, maid or matron of honor or other special person is helping you and it’s sometimes difficult to capture these precious moments when the bride is rushing and fussing. This is the time that I see the most mistakes happen as well (i.e. make-up getting on the dress, finger pricks and blood getting on the dress, etc.). This is also the time that the bride realizes how her life is about to change..bring on the waterworks! Allow yourself time to enjoy this moment.
5- Have You Wedding Attire Prepared. As a photographer, it’s my job to capture all of your beautiful details of your day- the dress before you put it on, your jewelry, the rings, your shoes and any special heirlooms. It’s best to have these items already in the bridal suite so that no one has to spend time gathering them. Also, just as important as it is to have the items gathered, it’s a great idea to already have the dresses steamed. If we are waiting for the dresses to be steamed, that’s time away from photographing those details and depending upon the length of time it takes to get the wrinkles out, those details may miss being photographed. Also, keep in mind that steaming many dresses at one time may cause the smoke detector to think there is a fire and the alarm could start sounding, loudly!
Ultimately, many of the things that can cause stress on the wedding day can be eliminate with the proper planning and timing. Cheers to a stress-free walk down the aisle and a flawless wedding day!