“IT IS A STRANGE FATE TO HOLD SO MUCH FEAR AND DOUBT OVER SO SMALL A THING.”
– BOROMIR from LORD OF THE RINGS
As photographers, we see it firsthand. Sometimes, all day.
It’s never the exact same person, event, or cause. But there are common themes and, fortunately, ways you can prevent them from happening.
So, in Jerry’s words, help us help you.
top 9 ways on how to prevent wedding stress
1. the fiance | You can feel so in love in one moment and then so angry the next. It may surprise you. But welcome to a glimpse of marriage. Don’t worry. It’s normal. But what you do NOT want to do, which is unfortunately normal, is do nothing about it.
Your marriage is the MOST important thing about your wedding day. It is what goes on forever afterwards. But what isn’t shared often enough is how much time you should spend planning on and working on your marriage before your wedding day. Here are ways to reduce the stress on (and especially after) the wedding day with your husband-to-be:
- date nights | A MUST! No wedding planning. No work. Just enjoy each other’s company and have a romantic time together. You can find some suggestions for date nights here.
- have the important conversations | This is actually key even before you have the ring on the finger, but especially after. Make sure you discuss the important things other than your wedding day (and sometimes it may be good to do that with a 3rd party). There are some GREAT tips on what to discuss by the Project Everlasting author Mat Boggs here and the Marriage and Family Therapist Lindsay Murad here.
- premarital counseling/classes | These are priceless. It’s a great place to just talk out issues that you didn’t even know you had (or will have) and get it dealt with now with a great professional. You can do this through your church or through a great counselor/psychologist/MFT.
Just like for your wedding day, you will get as much back as you put into planning for your marriage.
2. the family | Whether it’s his or yours, there can be a lot of expectations and pressure from family. The key is to communicate all those expectations with them beforehand. Most importantly, communicate your expectations. Remember, firstly, this is your (you and your fiance’s) wedding day. Sometimes, the best way to work out drama with your family, however, is to do step #3.
3. get a wedding planner | Just like in a good business, you delegate. For a great wedding, you delegate it to a professional wedding planner. Not just any wedding planner. Get a great one. You’ll find tips here on how to find a great wedding planner for you. A planner is invaluable at getting all the details down.
4. prepare and share your timeline | You’ll typically do this with your planner, photographer, or DJ. We as photographers create our own and are often asked by brides to create one. There are great tips from Gloria from Grand Engagements on how to best create a wedding timeline here. But it’s so important you share your timeline, once it’s developed, to family and your other vendors. One of the important reasons why is step #5.
5. family photos | It can take up a lot of time to just get all the family together. Let them know days ahead of time (and make sure it’s announced) when family photos are and who needs to be included.
6. emergency phone numbers | Be sure to have all the key phone numbers (vendors, family members, bridal party). Make sure that your vendors, key family members and bridal party have them also. Too often, someone may be missing for some part of the event. Only the bride has the number. But, unfortunately, her cell phone was left in the car, etc. This can save you a lot of headache (especially if you gave the numbers to other people who can take care of it for you and you can just enjoy the day!).
7. wardrobe malfunctions | It’s not uncommon to see brides or bridesmaids pull up their dress throughout the day (or have other similar wardrobe issues). The solution? Fashion tape. Perfect for strapless dresses or parts of your gown that need to just, well, stay.
Special Note on Veils: They are beautiful. But if they are long, people will pull down on them. It’s not intentional but just hugging the bride with a veil (especially when she has a hairstyle with her hair all up) will pull the bride’s head slightly down. Not very comfortable. But if you know it’s going to happen, much less annoying.
8. shoe pains | Have band aids for you and your bridesmaids for the high heels that aren’t broken in. You can also use Dr. Scholl insoles for women here to add some extra cushion for the long day. You can also bring another pair for the reception. Some women love to have cute flip flops. While others want to keep it formal and just get a much more comfortable but still fabulous looking pair of heels.
9. hire great vendors | Make sure you hire professional experts in their fields. No friends for the important stuff, or really for any part, if you want them to have fun at your wedding (and you want that part of your wedding done right without headaches). We’ve seen way too many painful situations arise from asking a friend to help.
Now, especially for certain types of vendors, you want to make sure they have extensive experience in the wedding industry, especially if you want an elegant wedding. You’ll see a very different feel if you hire a DJ who works only in clubs for your wedding. It’s different when you hire a corporate project manager to plan your wedding versus a professional wedding planner.
We’ve found that hiring great vendors can be one of the MOST important aspects in removing stress on the wedding day and in making that day everything you both had wanted.
What’s your experience been? Share your thoughts below!