The number one thing I prayed for our wedding day was that I would be stress free so that I could FULLY enjoy my wedding day. I don’t know about you, but when I stress out, I am not myself and that is the last thing I wanted for my wedding day. I decided not to book a wedding planner because not only were we on a budget, I have always dreamed of planning my own wedding. While I wasn’t stressed on our wedding day because I planned ahead (for the most part), there were definitely things I could have done to make my day less crazy. So I am going to share some of the things I did to prep for our wedding day and some things I should have done to ensure a smooth and calm day!
Create a Detailed Timeline
Wow. One of the best things I did not only for myself but each vendor! After booking all my vendors, I created my timeline from arrival to exit. The first section of my timeline I was very detailed as far as describing when and where everyone should arrive. The second section was a detailed list of everything I needed to bring, and WHO was doing WHAT. I had all of this information on one document to ensure that everyone knew what needed to be done and who was in charge of setting up, cleaning up, etc. I did hire a day of coordinator who help set up all my reception and ceremony decor and I am so thankful I did. I think it is so important to relax and enjoy the morning of your wedding day instead of running around like a chicken with your head cut off. MOMS TOO! (If you’re looking for a wedding planner/day of coordinator who is reasonably priced, feel free to reach out to me!)
Delegate. Delegate. Delegate.
I really can’t say enough. Anyone else a control freak?! I woke up at 7am the morning of my wedding day to run to the grocery store to get food and breakfast for all my bridesmaids. Not because no one was willing to do it, but because I was afraid to ask for help. On our wedding day our ceremony was in a church and our reception was 3 minutes down the road, so as soon as Addison and I finished family pictures, I went to the bridal suite to get my stuff, I realized the Yeti cooler and random things were still in the bridal suite that needed to be cleaned up before we left. Yes, I carried the cooler to my car in my wedding dress. Again, not because no one was willing to help, but because everyone had already left and I didn’t DELEGATE! Do not be afraid to ask the right person to help you!
Work With Your Wedding Photographer
When I first became a wedding photographer I didn’t realize how important creating a timeline was! The start time to a ceremony and reception is crucial. I had a bride who’s ceremony start time was during sunset so she had to a first look, which thankfully ended up working out for the best but that wont’t always be the case. Reach out to your wedding photographer before you create your general timeline. Your wedding photographer will also help you create cushion time! When creating timelines I always create cushion time just in case something pops up! It happens more often than not so I love planning ahead and helping my brides create their best timeline for their wedding day.
Send Out Your Timeline
One of the best things you can do is make sure everyone is on the same page! After pulling my lists together, timeline, vendors and details I sent it out to everyone and when I mean everyone…the bridal party, both sets of parents, day of coordinator, each vendor (even the DJ!) the venues, etc. It is crucial to make sure everyone knows the game plan so you CAN BE STRESS FREE. On my timeline I had detailed information with inspiration pictures for my day of coordinator on how I wanted things to look. She was so thankful because she didn’t have to guess how I wanted it to look and I was able to set her up for success.
Most Likely Won’t Go Exactly As Planned
I wish everyone knew this going into their wedding day. I did everything I could to prep for my wedding day to ensure there would be as few as mistakes as possible, but sometimes things don’t always go as planned and IT’S OKAY! There maybe a hiccup and if there is the biggest thing we can do is remember “no one else is going to even notice”. There were a few things at my wedding that didn’t go the way I wanted them to, however I was GETTING MARRIED!! That honestly was all that I truly cared about on our special day and I am so thankful I went in with low expectations. Don’t get me wrong, I had high expectations for my wedding day until a few weeks out. If you go in to your wedding day with lower expectations then you can enjoy your special day and be stress free!
Photography: Annie Watts Photography