Any woman who has planned a wedding will tell you that being a bride on your wedding day is all about expecting the unexpected and rolling with the punches. But more often than not, issues that arise can be easily avoided with a little pre-wedding planning to offset them. Using these eight tips from my own wedding planning experience, you can enjoy a calmer, more relaxed wedding day.
- Build gaps in your schedule
Don’t forget to allow for travel time between locations, but give yourself at least half an hour’s wiggle room for each activity in case things run behind schedule or someone arrives late. Keep in mind: hair and makeup almost ALWAYS run overtime, so plan for it.
- Make a plan B
Go ahead and make a “running late plan B” with your photographer just in case. Arrange for your photographer to have access to the getting ready location so they can start working on the detail shots while they wait for you. This way they won’t have to cut out those much treasured getting ready pictures with the bridesmaids or the beautiful photos of the rings to save time.
- Keep the important people together
Once Grandma Helen and Uncle Filmore have arrived, put someone in charge of ensuring that they don’t wander off. Asking your important family members to arrive early and stay together makes the ceremony, as well as the family photos, go infinitely more smoothly. Nobody wants to receive their wedding photos only to realize that Great Aunt Verna had wandered off to find a sandwich right after the wedding and missed the family photos.
- Assign a vendor contact
If you have chosen to use a wedding planner or day of coordinator, they will be responsible for maintaining contact with vendors and answering their questions on your big day. But if you have opted out of using those services, choose a friend or family member to be your day of vendor contact. Trust me, you will not want to spend your makeup time on the phone with the florist discussing a broken vase.
- Don’t drive yourself
The drives from place to place on your wedding day are a great time to decompress and soak in the moment…or to put out any little fires that might need your attention. Ask a friend or family member to be your chauffeur throughout the day, giving you the time you need to take care of any last details.
- Stay in contact
I know it can be tempting to ditch the phone on your wedding day, but staying in contact with key people can help to put your mind at ease. Texting one of the groomsmen to make sure everyone is getting ready on time and chatting with Dad to ensure the family is arriving on schedule can be immeasurably helpful. But don’t spend too much time on your phone and forget to enjoy the moment!
- Make an info sheet
Taking time at the rehearsal dinner to hand out a simple, single sheet of paper for bridal party members and family members with essential roles telling them when to be where and what their specific tasks are will drastically reduce the number of confused calls and texts you receive on the day of the wedding. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead to minimize the chaos.
- Take a moment
If you need a moment to step aside and breathe, do it. The wedding won’t start without you!
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