I’ve photographed hundreds of weddings over the last seven years and I can say with a lot of experience, a stress-free day is the best kind of day! Here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way that help with minimizing stress and having a fantastic wedding day!
1. HIRE A WEDDING PLANNER
….or at the very least, a day-of-coordinator. The key to a stress-free wedding day is having a well-thought out, realistic schedule and someone there throughout the day who is your advocate. Both of those things are fulfilled by an awesome wedding coordinator. Many brides often say they have a helper of sorts; a mom, relative or friend who is acting as a sort of “coordinator” for the day. Trust me, from experience, no matter how good the intentions are in the beginning, nothing can replace an experienced wedding coordinator. If someone is sharing the role of guest and helper, it’s just not possible to do both roles well. Either they end up helping so much that they don’t get to be a guest and end up missing out on enjoying your day OR they end up getting caught up in being a guest, chatting with all the people who have come from out of town, enjoying the day and losing sight of some of the things that have to be done by someone. Trust me when I say, often the difference between a great wedding day and stressful chaos is having a great wedding coordinator.
2. PLAN OUT YOUR WEDDING DAY SCHEDULE
….with help from your wedding coordinator and photographer. Everything from the time of your ceremony to your hair appointment to the time you plan to cut the cake. I’ve often had couples plan out their entire wedding day only to realize they forgot to allow time for this or that and scramble on the day of to try to make things work. No one wants that kind of stress on their day. Think about these things well ahead of time and ask for help! Professional wedding planners and photographers often have invaluable insight into the best way for a wedding day to flow.
3. PLAN FOR THINGS TO TAKE WAY LONGER THAN YOU THINK THEY WILL
…Yes, it takes 5 minutes for you to drive from the ceremony site to the reception site on a Tuesday afternoon by yourself. But trust me when I say, on a Saturday evening with your entire bridal party and family, it will take longer. Much longer :) And the hair appointment that you think will take an hour? Doubtful :) One of the keys to a avoiding stress on a wedding day is allowing for plenty of time for everything to happen. No bride wants to be running around in a hurry on her wedding day. If you think it will take an hour to do your hair, allow two. If you think it will take 10 minutes to drive from one spot to another, allow 30 minutes. The ceremony that you swear will only take 15 minutes? By the time all the guests get seated, you get married and every one gets out of the ceremony site while chatting along the way, it’s usually at least 3 times that long. Bottom line, allow for more time than you think you’d ever need. You’ll probably need it :)
4. PLAN FOR FAMILY PHOTOS
…first thing you need to think about is what family photos are important to you. Discuss it with your fiance and if you know the mothers will most likely speak up on the wedding day with shots they want, go over it with them as well. We’ll go over exactly who is in what photos before the wedding day. From there, it’s super important to let every single person that is in photos know when and where they are supposed to be for photos. If you want to start photos at 2:30 tell them 2:15 or 2:00. Then when they are 15 minutes late, as most likely someone will be, they are actually on time! :)
5. BE FLEXIBLE
…not every single thing will work out the way you imagine it to. Attitude is everything on a wedding day. Most likely something will not go as planned and it’s up to you to decide how you will react. I always say, if you’re married at the end of the day, then the day was a success!
Nashville wedding photographer, Kristyn Hogan, documents the beauty, the life and the story of weddings and people in Nashville and destinations worldwide.